October 2023 Newsletter, Volume 183

I. BOARD OF DIRECTORS UPDATES

The new Board of Directors members have been hard at work! They’ve finalized a contract with an organizational culture firm who will be beginning work soon. This is the first major step to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the OTW. Board has also selected the first chairs for the Board Assistants Team committee, a new group who will assist Board with administrative and scheduling tasks.

In addition, Board held a closed meeting to vote on officers for this term, so please welcome Anh Pham as President and Zixin Zhang as Secretary! Our Treasurer, Yuechiang Luo, will be continuing in her role. Finally, the next public meeting will be held Sunday, November 12th at 1:00-2:00 AM UTC (what time is that for me?). Board will be modifying the usual structure and rules to make this one go more smoothly; more info on that can be found in the Board Discord server.

II. AT THE AO3

Open Doors announced the new import of fanworks from print zines as part of the AO3 Fanzine Scan Hosting Project (FSHP), in partnership with fan-run preservation project Zinedom. The FSHP is still finding its feet in many ways, but is making good progress, and it’s wonderful to see readers welcoming these older fanworks! Open Doors also completed the import of Echoes from the West, a digital archive for Saiyuki fanfiction. October has been a particularly busy month for Open Doors, which hopes to bring you news of more completed imports soon.

It was an exciting October for Tag Wrangling, which is completing preparations for the first few rounds of testing for No Fandom wrangling procedures. Accessibility, Design & Technology (AD&T) provided an extremely welcome bug fix involving the autocomplete when fandoms were renamed—and an even more welcome update to the Tag Search, so now wranglers can sort by use count. In September, wranglers handled more than 449,000 tags across over 60,400 fandoms – an average of more than 1,100 tags per active wrangler!

Support received a total of 2,007 tickets in September—down from the previous two months but still quite a bit above its usual average. Meanwhile, Policy & Abuse received 2,560 tickets in September and is excited to welcome its new recruits, and Systems continued to work with Support and AD&T on resolving some lingering issues with user sessions.

III. MEMBERSHIP AND OUTREACH

Development & Membership held its semiannual membership drive in conjunction with Communications and Translation, who translated the news posts into 28 languages. We’re very grateful to the 6,773 donors from 74 countries who donated a total of US$192,743! Before the drive, Finance also released an update on the OTW’s 2023 budget.

Elsewhere, Development & Membership’s table at World Science Fiction Convention in Chengdu, China, was a success! Photos were shared on OTW’s social media – tag us on your own photos!. We hope you grabbed some cute stickers or exchanged amazing fanwork recommendations. Stay tuned for our next adventure – it may be nearby 👀

Finally, Communications released a report on the OTW’s 16th anniversary survey, which got 78,258 responses! Make sure to check out the survey report if you haven’t read it yet.

IV. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Fanlore celebrated an audio-themed month, Podtober, highlighting fannish podcasts, podcast fandoms, and podfic! It held a fun and friendly Podtober-themed editing chat in its Discord server and continued to feature audio-themed articles on social media for the rest of the month.

Legal also has great news: in October, the Copyright Office approved OTW Legal’s petition to the U.S. Copyright Office to renew the “vidders’ exemption” to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. This exemption allows creators to rip material from DVDs, Blu-Rays, and streams in order to make high-quality fair uses of that material in noncommercial videos such as vids and OVAs. The exemption renewal process happens every three years, so let’s hear it for three more years of wonderful vids and OVAs! Also in October, Legal met with allies regarding pending copyright policy issues.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 26 September to 22 October, Volunteers & Recruiting received 133 new requests, and completed 162, leaving us with 54 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 22 October 2023, the OTW has 922 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Directors: Zixin Zhang, Qiao Chu, Kathryn Soderholm, Jennifer Haynes, Anh Pham
New Fanlore Volunteers: Megs Fretty and Silarona (Graphic Designers)
New Open Doors Volunteers: ArcadianMaggie, Belea, Hesandi, AuroraT, Amanda Hartley, Xochitl Kuu, Kayla G, Kira Q, and 4 other Administrative Volunteers
New Policy & Abuse Volunteers: Chrome, PS, Aster, Dae, JanB, xenosimp, Intyalote, and 2 other Volunteers
New Strategic Planning Volunteers: Adriftthen, powerchords, and 1 other Volunteer
New Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers: peaandsea (Senior Volunteer) and 1 other Senior Volunteer
New Webs Volunteers: 2 Volunteers

Departing Committee Chairs: Kate Sanders (Strategic Planning)
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: petricores (Social Media & Outreach)
Departing Finance Volunteers: Nikki Bird (Financial Analyst)
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: 1 Import Assistant
Departing Policy & Abuse Volunteers: alandwithnoname and 2 other Volunteers
Departing Support Volunteers: JR and Maine
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Alora, alandwithnoname, and 2 other Tag Wranglers
Departing Translation Volunteers: makepeacelovejoy (Volunteer Manager) and 3 Translators
Departing Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers: 1 Volunteer
Departing Webs Volunteers: 1 Volunteer

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.

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