September 2014 Newsletter, Volume 84

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

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

I. FANS TAKING PART

The OTW celebrated its 7th anniversary last month with a guest post from Flourish Klink. This kicked off the first in what we hope will be a series of guest posts discussing the OTW and fandom issues. We encourage fans to let us know their suggestions for future guest posts.

On September 10, the OTW took part in the Battle for the Net Internet Slowdown by displaying banners to inform users about the attack on net neutrality. A screenshot of AO3’s front page appeared as part of the coverage on BBC’s tech show Click.

Wiki‘s event on Fanlore, Stub September, was a great success. Many new editors discovered Fanlore last month, which we are very happy about! The committee held an editing chat on September 14th, and later posted a summary of issues discussed that day. Internally, the committee began examining a mass editing tool that should make behind-the-scenes work much easier in the future.

II. OVER AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology had a busy month! They successfully completed four substantial code deploys: major improvements to our search index code, followed by the first part of a Big Search & Browse Upgrade of 2014, shiny new admin banners (to be seen in action during the upcoming membership drive), and finally, AO3’s all new FAQs. You can now browse AO3’s help section in several languages, courtesy of the tireless Translation committee and its many volunteers. Major kudos to them for their stellar work and their patience and support as we work towards a truly international Archive.

AO3 Documentation has been doing amazing work to overhaul our entire sprawling collection of partially outdated FAQs. This means the structure of the FAQs on AO3 will now be much more accessible, thorough and easy to navigate. AO3 Docs has welcomed 8 new volunteers to their team to help with this overhaul.

Tag Wrangling focused this month on preparing for their October recruitment effort. If you’re interested in becoming a tag wrangler, watch the volunteer page this week for more information. Tag Wrangling also worked with Accessibility, Design and Technology on the FAQ move, and with Support on tag-related tickets.

Abuse and Support have been dealing well with the volume of messages from users. Abuse received 420 reports in September and was able to handle a large portion of them in the same month. Support processed almost 550 tickets in August, and almost 450 tickets in the first three weeks of September. They’ve also scheduled two more Open Chats for the year – October 26th at 17:00 UTC and December 7th at 00:00 UTC. We’ll have an announcement post for each closer to the date. Come visit!

Systems has been negotiating for more rack space in our hosting facility for new switches for the servers, spent some time responding to security issues as they’ve come up, and built a new Elasticsearch cluster for better AO3 indexing.

III. ONGOING WORK

Journal published issue 17 on September 15. The nineteen submissions range from genderswap in Sherlock, twincest in Harry Potter, and Disney cosplay to fanfiction metadata, fanfiction as Midrash, and an Orlando Jones interview. They are also working on the two special issues for March and June 2015, which are on “Performance and Performativity” and “European Fandoms and Fan Objects,” respectively. Kristina Busse was a panelist at the FLOW conference in Austin, Texas, United States, where she met many former and future TWC contributors and reviewers, and discussed “Political Television and Perceptions of American Politics.”

Translation is very happy to count 36 new volunteers in its ranks, including the members for two new language teams: Czech and Hebrew! Most volunteers are currently busy working on the October membership drive posts from Development & Membership and new documents from Open Doors, including a future announcement for a new archive import.

Legal submitted comments to the Australian government in association with Australia’s Discussion Paper on Online Copyright. OTW filed jointly with Creative Commons Australia, recommending against a proposal by the Australian government regarding online copyright infringement enforcement and penalties. The proposal has since been withdrawn. Legal also responded to several queries for help and information from fans.

Legal is also continuing work on a few ongoing projects such as the USPTO/NTIA multi-stakeholder work regarding the DMCA, and also, as noted last month, they’re gearing up for the next round of work before the US Library of Congress, seeking further renewal of the DMCA exemption we helped obtain in 2010 and renew in 2012.

The OTW website has been experiencing some outages in the past month. If users have difficulty reaching the site or if a post link doesn’t seem to be working, please contact our Web Strategy, Design & Development committee with information about the time you experienced a problem, and either a screenshot of what you saw or a copy of the error message received, in order to help them track down the problem.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Strategic Planning completed two more internal Non-Profit 101 sessions to inform OTW volunteers about non-profit structures and practices. They are also wrapping up survey processes for the final few committees before the October retreat, and are focusing on distilling all of the information they have collected into notes and takeaways to bring to the Board at that retreat.

Elections is now an official committee with a new co-chair, briar_pipe. They have been updating our documentation and processes to ensure even more equitable and practical election seasons in the future. For this election season, Elections has worked with the Board to clarify the eligibility requirements and have since successfully sent out a call for candidacy declaration. They are currently finalizing the timeline and procedures around announcement and introduction of candidates to the OTW community.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been hard at work on co-ordinating recruitment with AO3 Documentation and prepping for the OTW’s last two recruiting campaigns of 2014. VolCom is also starting to retire departing staff and volunteers as a result of the the Still Willing to Serve project last month. Three members of the committee are heading out for the OTW Board Retreat in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, from October 3 to 5, 2014.

New Committee Chair: briar_pipe (Elections)
New Committee Staff: Ehryn (Support), atly (Web Strategy, Design & Development), 1 Elections staffer
New Workgroup Members: Claire P. Baker (AO3 Documentation), Jess C. (AO3 Documentation), Elenna (AO3 Documentation), 5 AO3 Documentation
New Tester Volunteers: Ridicully and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: SilenceoftheSolitude, Tired21, Erhien, Ariella and 2 others

Departing Committee Staff: Caitlin Munley (Web Strategy, Design & Development), very (Tag Wrangling), 1 Communications Staff
Departing Workgroup Members: Bobdog54 (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 2
Departing Translator Volunteers: Snixx