September 2012 Newsletter, Volume 63
For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.
I. MOVING ON TO YEAR SIX
September marked the OTW's fifth anniversary, and while Communications held events on our various news outlets to celebrate, other parts of the organization forged ahead with plans that will lead to continued accomplishments in year six. Development & Membership is preparing for the upcoming membership drive, which will take place 13-17 October on the theme of "Five Transformative Years." The Journal Committee published the latest issue, number 11 of Transformative Works and Cultures and have already been at work on two special issues that will be released in the first half of 2013, a Boys' Love special issue and a Comics special issue. After some staff changes, Translation's language teams are steadily making progress in translating the org website and other projects are starting to move forward.
The Elections Workgroup announced three candidates for the three-year Board term beginning in 2013. Due to the same number of candidates stepping forward as there were empty seats available, an election will not be held in November. Instead the new candidates will begin taking their places on the Board and have been holding public chats to introduce themselves to the organization and its members.
Meanwhile, board member Julia Beck offered the following message to OTW staff, volunteers and members.
"My name’s Julia Beck, and I’m a member of the OTW Board of Directors. I wanted to let you know I need to take a hiatus from my OTW work, including my Board duties, effective immediately. Because of my current situation outside of the organization, I’m not able to fulfill my Board duties as well as the organization needs and deserves. The Board discussed several options, but agreed that my going on leave until the start of the new term would be preferable to my stepping back altogether. As the mid-January start of the 2013 term coincides with the deadline for an important personal project, I’m confident that I’ll be able to make a full return at that time. I apologize for the additional work this is causing, and want to thank my fellow Board members for their trust. I’m also grateful to the candidates stepping up to this year’s Board election, and am looking forward to working with the newly formed Board in January. Thank you for your understanding."
Board meeting minutes for the remainder of August and 8th and 14th of September are now available. They've been discussing meta options for the AO3, succession planning, and adding new servers and computer bits to support our coders. Finance has been helping Systems and Accessibility, Design & Technology with sorting out new hosting for the new servers.
Strategic Planning has begun following up with survey respondents who wanted to talk further to the committee, and has deployed a survey and email interview to Open Doors. They also provided another monthly update on their activities.
The Wiki Committee started a new challenge, Stub September, and invited people to work on unfinished pages on Fanlore. As a result of discussions about the definition of a stub they created a new template, ExpandArticle, and in the process went through existing templates and deleted some that are no longer in use. Wiki also held an editing chat on September 22 for editors to talk about Fanlore editing that was fun for everyone involved; they've resolved to hold them more often.
An animated discussion also arose around the question of how best to distinguish pages about podfic from pages about fanfic leading to a productive discussion at the Fanlore Dreamwidth community. The Wiki committee already implemented some of the suggestions such as modifying fanwork infoboxes (for example Template:Podfic), and they are continuing to consider the various points raised. You are welcome to add your voice to the discussion!
Accessibility, Design and Technology has successfully deployed Releases 0.9.0 and 0.9.1 and are looking forward to the next deploy which should mark The Return of Tag Filters. They've also brought back podfic embeds and discontinued support for IE6 and 7 much to the delight of our coders, and are continuing work on an improved AO3 roadmap and a redesigned header. The past month has also seen a return of the AO3 newsletter.
This has been an extremely busy month for the Abuse Committee due to an ongoing plagiarism case affecting several authors. They have been working with both Support and Legal on a tricky case that came up earlier this month. Support has seen three significant influxes of tickets this year and have decided to start refreshing some of their internal documentation and procedure guidelines for the inevitable, tragic day when Support has a complete staff turnover. This will also make the workflow clear to new ticket pirahnas (Support Staffers). Open Doors is in the testing phase of the 852 Prospect import, and has been working with members of Accessibility, Design & Technolgoy and Support to make that go smoothly.
Tag Wrangling has been working on making their documentation public, starting with a basic introduction. They've also been re-categorizing bookmark tags and have decided on guidelines for certain types of additional tags. Content Policy is reviewing draft Terms of Service and FAQ changes. The major proposal of substance (not including the separate issue of meta) is to change the "underage" warning tag to "character under 18 in sexual situations" for greater clarity and they are seeking comments at this time from other parts of the OTW.
V. ON THE TECHNICAL FRONT
Systems closed 82 tickets since last month and aided in the successful migration of Drupal (which the transformativeworks.org website is built on) to a 3rd party vendor. They also resolved problems with spamblocking of messages we were receiving from Twitter; deployed anti-spam improvements to Fanlore; installed a firewall for the Archive; upgraded stage's disk and the dev server; researched a U.K.-based colo; installed raid batteries for otw1&2; added elasticsearch to otw5, and are still working on a bunch of other stuff!
Webmasters meanwhile successfully migrated the transformativeworks.org, elections and opendoors domains to a new managed hosting provider. Most functionality has been tested, but please notify Webmasters if anything appears to be broken! With that step complete, they will be coordinating an upgrade to Drupal 7 with other committees in the near future. They are also working towards finalizing a development roadmap for the transformativeworks.org site and look forward to sharing it very soon.
VI. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS
Volunteers & Recruiting is continuing to work on the process of revising and updating documentation related to induction and removal for all staff and volunteer roles within the organization. In the meantime, these are this month's arrivals and departures. As always, thank you to all our volunteers for their efforts on behalf of the OTW.
*New Staffers List*: Amy Wilson (Open Doors), christycorr (Development & Membership), Joanne (Abuse), Reena (Translation)
*New Coding Volunteers*: Sweet, look_closer, Captain Pollux
*New Front End Volunteers*: Amelie Swire, Amy D, Kae, Delaney, Emily E., Meaghan
*New Testers*: Molly Kaze, Roberta_M
*Departing Staffers*: Franzeska Dickson (Abuse), AnnaK (Development & Membership), Alexandra Edwards (Development & Membership), Reena (Support)
*Departing Workgroup Members*: Curtis Jefferson (Survey)
*Departing Testers*: SapphireNight, Vel
*Departing Tag Wranglers*: dodificus