September 2011 Newsletter, Volume 53

It’s been a busy month at the OTW! Read about our upcoming election, open house chats, new fan video resources, AO3 performance, and more under the cut.

Election Season Begins

Six candidates are running for four open seats on the OTW’s Board of Directors. To learn about the candidates, the election process, and voter eligibility, please visit the OTW Elections website.

Tag Wrangling Open House: You’re Invited!

The Tag Wrangling Committee is holding its first open house! You’re invited to a drop-in session where you can learn about volunteering as a wrangler, ask about tags, help out with currently wrangler-less fandoms, or just chat about what the wranglers do. The open house is scheduled for Saturday, 15 October at 22:00 UTC (what time is that where I am?) in the OTW’s Public Discussion chat room. Keep an eye on the usual OTW news sources, including the Tag Wrangling Twitter account (@ao3_wranglers), for more information as the date approaches.

A cross-committee group is working to offer open houses featuring various committees on a semi-regular basis, so watch for more invitations in the future!

New Resources for Fan Video Creators and Scholars

The Vidding committee, with help from International Outreach, Journal, and Webmasters, recently unveiled several new resources for fan video creators and scholars. The new Fan Video and Multimedia pages include information about hosting, streaming, and embedding video; instructions for disputing a YouTube takedown; guidelines for citing fan works in academic contexts, and more.

OTW Community Survey

The International Outreach committee has completed a first draft of the OTW Community Survey, circulated it for review, and gotten it approved by the Board. (Then they fistbumped each other and shed a few tears of relief — this has been a huge project.) Now the Webmasters are working on turning the survey questions into an online form. The next step will be a limited field test; if you’re interested in being part of the test group, please drop us a line. For more about the survey, check out this recent Symposium blog post.

Archive of Our Own

The Accessibility, Design, & Technology committee (AD&T) is deep into testing the upcoming AO3 code deploy — many thanks to the testers for all their hard work! In addition to ongoing work on new features (challenge nominations, translations, fanart, the new support board and UI improvements), we’re also doing a site security review and making plans to address performance challenges.

As many users are aware, the AO3 has been experiencing some performance issues recently, and our Systems committee has been kept busy tending the servers and dealing with load issues. A recent post on site performance issues addresses this in more detail.

In the wake of the Delicious relaunch, we also have a post about bookmarking features on the AO3 which describes the AO3’s existing bookmarking features and seeks suggestions for future improvements.

Fanlore

The Wiki committee has been working on an addition to Fanlore’s image policy FAQ (arising out of a conversation about identity protection and explicit fanart), courting some active wiki editors to become members of the committee, and discussing ways to reach out to unrepresented and underrepresented fan communities to get them telling their stories on Fanlore.

Transformative Works and Cultures

TWC released its seventh issue on September 15. The production team is celebrating, and the editorial team is hard at work on the next issue, a double guest-edited one, which comes out November 15. Meanwhile, the Symposium Blog team is posting regularly and invites submissions of meta from anyone who’d like to contribute; contact the editors for more information.

Staffing News

New staffers: We welcome Helka Lantto and Agnieszka Siemienska to the Translation Committee, Claudia Shrivastava to International Outreach, and lionpyh to Support.

Departures and transfers: We bid farewell to Helka Lantto (Volunteers & Recruiting, International Outreach, and Communications), sabeth (International Outreach), and dafne (International Outreach), and thank them for their work.

Chair transition: allison morris concluded her 2010-11 term as chair of Volunteers & Recruiting, and via_ostiense began her term as 2011-12 chair. We gratefully thank allison for her hard work, energy, and vision as VolCom chair, and her mentoring of VolCom staffers.

In October, the annual Still Willing to Serve survey will go live, in which staffers can give feedback on their time in the OTW and indicate whether they would like to rejoin their committee for the 2012 term, join another committee, or leave. If you’re interested in signing on as a new volunteer, please contact Volunteers & Recruiting.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions or suggestions.