Newsletter, OTW Sections
Welcome to the OTW's first organization newsletter for 2013! This newsletter appears every month from February to November (omitting our term break period in December and January). Since our last check-in there have been changes to the Board, changes to the chairs and staff of various committees, new policies and procedures, and a lot of work carried over from 2012.
Fanfilms, Fannish Histories, Gender and Sexuality, Television, News of Note
A post on The MarySue took a more psychological look at the "Fake Geek Girl" syndrome. "The theory of microaggressions was developed back in the 70′s to denote racial stereotyping, but was expanded by psychologist Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D. in 2007 to encompass a wide variety and classifications of these subtle and seemingly harmless expressions that communicate 'hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults' toward people who aren’t members of the ingroup."
Strategic Planning, Tag Wrangling Committee, Report
The Strategic Planning Committee is pleased to announce that we have completed our first committee report (available as a PDF), which summarizes and analyzes the results of our survey of the Tag Wrangling Committee and team.
Comics, Fanfiction, OTW Sightings, News of Note
- An article from the Oakland Tribune provided a good exploration of fanfiction and the activities of people who write it. "The online communities -- fandoms -- are vast and develop their own guidelines, techniques and even vocabularies. People write about, talk about, have mini conventions about, make videos about and even edit each other's stories about everything from favorite novels, TV shows and comic books to Japanese anime and mangas, poems, video games or popular songs...'It's really big, it's really diverse, and if you've only seen one little slice of it, you haven't seen anything.'" The piece also featured discussion with OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt, and mentions OTW projects the AO3 and Fanlore.
OTW Board, Announcement
The Board regrets to announce the resignation of Julia Beck, effective immediately. Julia, who was elected to the Board in 2011, went on hiatus in September 2012 and had hoped to return at the beginning of this year, but personal and professional commitments outside the OTW made this impossible. An OTW staffer since 2008, Julia was the founding chair of the Internationalization & Outreach committee, and we will miss her deep commitment to and passion for that cause within the OTW, and the OTW itself. Thank you, Julia, for all your hard work and support over the past four years; you will continue to remain an inspiration to the rest of us.
Archive of Our Own, Support Committee, Event
Hi! Support here, again! In fact, Support is always here--when you submit a ticket through the Support and Feedback form we'll respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do our best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn't seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren't always ideal.
Accessibility, Design, & Technology, Archive of Our Own, Support Committee, Tag Wrangling Committee
Welcome to the January-February Newsletter! We hope you had a good holiday season and are having a happy new year! Despite the term break in December, January was busy busy busy with upgrades and releases for all. February is also turning out to be a big month with releases, spotlights, tag wrangling fixes, and header posts galore! Here's what we've been up to:
- Entertainment Industries, Intellectual Property, Television, YouTube, News of Note
- While a lot of fans are aware that older fiction is often part of the public domain, many might assume the same to be true about speech by deceased celebrities and historical figures. But as a Freakonomics podcast discussed, a century old speech might still be restricted.
Archive of Our Own, Announcement
After a long period of discussion, the OTW Board has voted to allow the posting of meta on the Archive of Our Own. We considered a range of issues while making this decision, including how this move would fit into the overall mission of the OTW, the technical and financial resources required, and demand from users of the Archive and members of the OTW. We determined that there is already a demand for meta on the Archive, and that this use of our resources is consonant with our purview and mission.
We're aware that this decision has taken some time, and we sincerely apologize for the delay. We had hoped to reach a decision sooner, but the complexity of the discussion meant we needed to think carefully about the issues. As the term of some OTW Board members ended while the discussion was ongoing, we also needed time for the new Board members to get up-to-speed with all the issues involved.
- Fandoms, Fannish Practices, Sports, Television, News of Note
- After Ellen focused on femslash shipping. "The term femslash can be applied to really any female romantic/sexual pairing between characters, even OTPs, but its original purpose was as a reference to alternative lesbian romances based on subtext. Crackships, which is frankly just fun to say, are pairings that are very unlikely to ever occur. In a nutshell, it comes down to the difference between subtext and pure, fun fantasy."