• 2012 OTW Board Candidates

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martedì, 25 September 2012 - 5:59pm
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    And now for (some of) the news you've all been waiting for: the details of the OTW's 2012 Election Season.

    We have great news for you: three fabulous people are joining the OTW Board! Because only three candidates came forward, we won't be holding a contested election this year. However, they are all awesome and eminently qualified for Board service. Without further ado, let's introduce them (in alphabetical order by given name).

    * Andrea Horbinski
    * Eylul Dogruel
    * Franzeska Dickson

    We would like for all of you to get to know them and to ask questions about the experiences and ambitions they bring to the table. To this end, we'll be hosting a chat soon - we'll announce the time later this week. Alas, the tea and coffee we can provide will only be virtual, but you are welcome to bring your own mug to the computer. We will also be posting their candidate biographies and manifestos soon.

    Although we didn't get to hold a competitive election this year, we are delighted to have attracted three such marvelous new Board members. Welcome, Andrea, Eylul and Franzi!

    There will be another election next year, when three board members' terms expire (Francesca, Kristen and Ira).

    If there's anything we didn’t cover here that you're concerned about, or if you want any more information, please respond to this with any questions, comments, or objections you may have. You can reach the Elections Officer by using the Elections contact form; you can reach the whole Board by using the Board contact form.

  • TWC Releases No. 11

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sabato, 15 September 2012 - 4:51pm
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    Transformative Works and Cultures has released No. 11, a general issue with essays that focus on a variety of topics, including lip dubbing, fan fiction, early modern romance, pro fiction that includes fans as characters, and author's notes. The issue comprises six theoretical essays, four Symposium pieces, and two book reviews.

    • Natasha Simonova, in "Fan Fiction and the Author in the Early 17th Century: The Case of Sidney's Arcadia," argues for the early modern era as a point of origin for fan fiction with Sir Philip Sidney's romance, The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia.
    • Nicolle Lamerichs's "The Mediation of Fandom in Karin Giphart's Maak me blij" looks for fannish tropes and narrative structures in nonfannish fiction, in this case a 2005 Dutch novel that features fans as characters, thus self-reflexively looking at the connections between lesbian fiction and fan fiction.
    • Kyra Hunting's "Queer as Folk and the Trouble with Slash" addresses the discrepancy between a show that already includes queer and explicit sexualities and its fan fictions by analyzing mpreg stories.
    • Alexandra Elisabeth Herzog's "'But this is my story and this is how I wanted to write it': Author's Notes as a Fannish Claim to Power in Fan Fiction Writing" studies the particular genre of author's notes to address the power struggle between readers and writers used to generate meaning.
    • Mark C. Lashley's "Lip Dubbing on YouTube: Participatory Culture and Cultural Globalization" reads lip dubbers as transnational creators as they appropriate and alter popular songs, thus resituating them within their own cultural contexts and performing them with their own, often non-Western, bodies.
    • Finally, Heather Osborne looks at virtual performances in online gaming, in particular gender expressions within the games, in "Performing Self, Performing Character: Exploring Gender Performativity in Online Role-Playing Games," and analyzes data from an online survey that addresses gamers' gender and sexualities as well as their respective representations.

    TWC's Symposium section features shorter, often personal essays that address particularly fannish connections.

    • D. Wilson's highly personal meditation on "Queer Bandom: A Research Journey in Eight Parts" merges the author's personal journeys of following several bands around the country with meditations on queer space and time in the shifting discourses of online band fandom.
    • Sharon Wheeler, in "From Secret Police to Gay Utopia: How a Professionals Slash Writer Disrupts Readers' Expectations" focuses on The Professionals (1977–1983) and provides a close reading of an alternate universe fan fiction series.
    • Paul Mason looks toward the beginnings of tabletop role-playing games in "RPG Transformations: Fan or Pro?" Mason offers an important historical overview of the early years of Dungeons & Dragons and its fans.
    • Finally, Staci Stutsman also addresses the unclear boundaries of authorship in "Blogging and Blooks: Communal Authorship in a Contemporary Context," in which she studies popular blogs and the tendency to turn blog posts, including selected comments, into publications.

    Two reviews appear in this issue. Francesca Coppa reviews Paul Booth's Digital Fandom (Peter Lang, 2010), focusing on the use of fan cultures, and in particular multimedia digital fan works, to address the general tenets of media studies. Michael Z. Newman and Elana Levine look at the shifting demands of media studies in the convergence age in their book Legitimating Television (Routledge, 2011), reviewed by Melanie E. S. Kohnen.

    The next two issues of TWC, Nos. 12 and 13, will appear in spring 2013 as guest-edited special issues: Kazumi Nagaike and Katsuhiko Suganuma coedit the special issue on Transnational Boys' Love, and Matthew Costello's special issue focuses on transformation and comics.

    TWC No. 14 will be an open, unthemed issue, and we welcome general submissions. We particularly encourage fans to submit Symposium essays. We encourage all potential authors to read the submission guidelines. The close date for receipt of copy for No. 14 is March 15, 2013.

  • OTW Anniversary Challenge now closed

    By Claudia Rebaza on Giovedì, 6 September 2012 - 10:59pm
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    Thanks to everyone who's taken part in our anniversary celebrations! We'll be contacting winners over the next 72 hours.

    If you have not heard from us by September 10 and you linked us to all three of your reposts and two challenge entries, please contact us and give us the URLs to those 5 posts along with the email you want the invite sent to.

  • 852 Prospect: Not Coming As Soon As We Thought

    By Claudia Rebaza on Giovedì, 30 August 2012 - 8:28pm
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    Dear Sentinel fandom!

    We're writing to let you know that the import of 852 Prospect into the Archive of Our Own (which we announced in May) is not going to make its August deadline as we first expected.

    The import was rescheduled due to performance issues on the Archive, which are still being worked on by our coders. The Archive's next code deploy is scheduled to occur in a few days, but the import code is still being finalized and needs to be tested. Furthermore, as the new filter code is not yet ready, its absence would be a matter of concern for users who will want to search within an imported collection.

    We want to make sure everything is working smoothly at the Archive before we import 852 Prospect. Archive imports are a major process for all the committees that work on the site, so everyone wants to be as prepared as possible for any snags that may occur. We thank all of you for your patience as these changes are implemented, and if anyone has further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Open Doors.

  • OTW Board Resignation: A Message from Jenny Scott-Thompson

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martedì, 28 August 2012 - 5:58pm
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    We regret to announce that Jenny Scott-Thompson will be resigning from the OTW Board effective at the end of December, which coincides with our organization's term break. We are deeply saddened to lose her as a board member, but Jenny will be continuing on in her other roles within the OTW as a staffer on the Finance Committee and as part of the Strategic Planning workgroup. She will also finish her term as Elections Officer, which ends at the end of December as well.

    This resignation was due to personal reasons relating to increasing demand from her day job, which is leaving her with insufficient time for the various tasks of her role on board. Due to these constraints she doesn't feel that she will be able to perform her duties as an OTW Board member as well as needed, and she would prefer to step down and offer the opportunity to another OTW staff member that is better able to serve the org at this time.

    Jenny's resignation has an effect on our upcoming election as this will leave us with 3 seats instead of 2 open for candidates and it will also get our board seats back onto a proper cycle sooner than expected.

    Jenny has been very active in her duties this term and we regret that we will be losing her energy and commitment to the OTW in a board role. Thank you, Jenny, for the work that you have done so far and we are glad that we will still be getting your input and time in other roles.

  • Time for a Chat

    By Claudia Rebaza on Venerdì, 17 August 2012 - 11:47pm
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    The OTW has developed a tradition for elections, that we run a couple of public chat sessions with all the candidates. The transcript is posted afterwards for those who missed it. We'll be changing the format slightly this year. As the org grows and the number of voters increases, we need to make sure everyone gets a fair chance to participate.

    The timing of the chat sessions is determined by the candidates themselves. Depending on their availability, the Elections Officer picks the best time that suits as many of them as possible. Each chat will last one hour.

    The first chat will be a very general getting-to-know-you session. Questions can be asked in person to all the candidates. At the beginning, the moderator will ask any voters present if they have particular questions, and select one at random using a random number generator. We ask that you don't repeat questions already sent in via email, and remember that the aim is for those who want to get to know the candidates' personalities as well as their policies. Please also remember that although some candidates are happy to connect their legal and fannish names, others are not, so some will chat happily about fandoms they have participated in, with many details, while others will keep such discussion to generalities to avoid linking identities.

    For the second chat, several people asked last year about getting to see how the candidates will work together. We're still working through the details of how we can best showcase this, but we envisage it being a free-form discussion between the candidates on a topic of interest to the org, much as would happen in a board meeting.

    We'll announce exact dates and times after the candidates have confirmed, but wanted to give you advance notice of the change in format.

  • Status Update: AO3 is A-OK, Be Back Soon!!

    By .fcoppa on Giovedì, 16 August 2012 - 9:15pm
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    This is just a quick message to say that, due to a typo in our DNS, the Archive of Our Own is currently offline for some users. The error has already been fixed but it may take as long as 7 hours to propagate through the system. However we were not hacked or anything and we hope to be up as soon as possible. (Systems is telling us that this was a test of our communication and response teams...oh, wily wily Systems! Also typing is hard!)

    We are sorry for the inconvenience and for any alarm. Also, it would be best not to click any links or submit any personal information to any unfamiliar sites.

    Systems will have a fuller report on the problem soon for those who want the dirty details. Otherwise stay tuned and thank you for your patience!

  • Survey Sunday Delay

    By Claudia Rebaza on Domenica, 12 August 2012 - 7:21pm
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    Hi, this is Julia, the lead for the OTW's Survey Workgroup. I wanted to let you know that we will be skipping our regularly scheduled Survey Sunday post this week. The reason for the delay is actually very good news: a new statistics expert has recently joined our workgroup and is now helping us review our methodology. We have decided to rework our planned posts according to these new guidelines to make better and more meaningful use of the data. In other words, we have chosen to go with quality over speed, but once we have re-adjusted our process, we will take up our regular schedule again. Thank you for your patience!


    OTW Survey Workgroup

  • All about OTW election questions

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martedì, 7 August 2012 - 9:26pm
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    We had a lot of questions submitted to the candidates by voters last year, and we're expecting even more this year. We all want to know what they think of the particular area of the organization we care about.

    However in order to be fair to both voters and the candidates we need to balance the needs of each group. So for the big questions that come up every year, we'll be asking the candidates to write a mini manifesto, in a question-and-answer format about their goals for the OTW and its projects. This will be available at the same time as their biographies, so you can read these before writing in with questions.

    Secondly, we'll organize the questions that are sent in by voters. All the questions will be gathered in advance. The Elections Officer will combine questions that are essentially identical while endeavoring to preserve nuance, taking advice from the current board if needed. Candidates will then be sent those questions over a rolling period, with 24 hours to answer, and a maximum word count of 200 words per question. This will mean that we preserve the quick-response, chat-style feel, but prevent the candidates from getting overworked trying to write long essays.

    Late answers will be marked as such on the website if submitted within 12 hours. Anything more than 12 hours late will not be posted. The candidates collectively have one week to answer all the questions. Over that week, each candidate notifies the elections officer when they are ready for a new batch of questions. The batch is sent, and that candidate has 24 hours to respond. They can't have the next batch until they have answered the previous set. All answers to all batches are due at the end of the week, with the number of batches designed to give a day or two without questions assuming a rate of one batch per day. If a candidate wants, they can answer all the batches one after another over the course of a single day, or spread it out over a week.

    In this manner we hope to give candidates sufficient time to reflect on the questions and manage their schedules while also offering voters a short-term response to their concerns in a more clearly presented format.

  • Announcing the OTW Pinboard Account!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Giovedì, 2 August 2012 - 2:02pm
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    Are you curious about what sorts of information the OTW puts out? Want to point us to useful resources for fans? Want a guide to OTW posts? Check out the OTW's new Pinboard account!

    Why Pinboard?

    Users can click on our tag terms from any post on our website, and visitors to our mirrored posts are directed to our website tag cloud at the foot of each post. This can be helpful in terms of finding all uses of a term or to get an explanation of the term, but there is otherwise no way to interact with this tagged material.

    The OTW maintained a Delicious account for several years to make it easier for fans to locate and share information we put out. However as many fans know, Delicious features changed after its sale by Yahoo last year and many fans who once used it went on to different bookmarking sites. Pinboard has been a big favorite due to both its features and its fan-friendly attitude.

    So the OTW now has its own Pinboard account and we would like you to contribute to it!

    The account currently offers bookmarked posts from the OTW website, and further OTW content will be entered in coming months. But we would like to make this account a useful resource for fans looking for all sorts of fannish help and information.

    First Friday on Pinboard!

    Some of you may be familiar with our First Friday events on Tumblr. As part of our new account's grand opening, we're going to borrow the concept for Pinboard this month, with its own twist.

    One of our tags is Resources-for-Fans. We would really like to develop this with either OTW information that you have found helpful, or with information produced elsewhere that could be considered a fannish reference or resource. Some examples might be:

    • Entries on Fanlore
    • Tips for recording podfic
    • Reviews of vidding software
    • Fan studies or bibliographies
    • An explanation of how someone approaches beta work
    • Icon tutorials
    • A guide to preserving print or digital collections
    • Tips on using OTW projects in various languages
    • A newbie fan guide to Pinboard

    You get the picture! And in keeping with First Friday we will also be awarding 15 AO3 invites which may be used by participants or can be given to a designated friend.

    The giveaway will work as follows:

    1) Contest participants should tag resources they want to submit with the Resources-for-Fans tag.
    2) Members of the OTW Communications team will review existing tag uses of Resources-for-Fans on Thursday, August 2.
    3) We will again review them on Sunday, August 4.
    4) We will select 15 of the new links to highlight in a future OTW News post.
    5) We will contact those contributors through their Pinboard profile information by Tuesday, August 6.
    6) Contacted contributors need to respond to us and designate their preferred email account (AO3 invites function through an email message).

    Anyone interested in suggesting links can do so at any time by checking out our Pinboard policy.

    If you know someone who has a Pinboard account and wants an AO3 invite, let them know! And we hope you'll all stop by our Pinboard whether you have an account there or not and let us know what other OTW information you'd like to find.


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