For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.
I. FANDOM COMES THROUGH!
Thousands of fans became new members of the OTW in October and many more donated, signal boosted, and cheered us on during our most successful membership drive ever! The final total for the drive was US$173,760.34, but by the end of October we had received US$182,930.34 in donations from 8,211 people.
Our Development & Membership committee had been preparing content for months, but then had to handle many last-minute workarounds due to tech issues and changes during the drive. Development & Membership also responded to hundreds of fan questions and comments during the drive itself, meaning many long days for this small but hardworking group.
Translation also worked extremely hard in a tireless race to translate all the October drive content, even while it changed as the drive went on. They prepared 10 documents in 18 languages — including two infographics and lots of tweets! Everyone came through brilliantly and amazingly fast. Special kudos to teams Czech and Hebrew, who only recently joined the committee and already hurried to help with the drive effort, as well as to volunteer Ania, who created versions of all the many drive graphics in each language.
II. AT THE AO3
Accessibility, Design and Technology had a series of tiny code updates this month (Releases 0.9.26, 0.9.27-.29, and 0.9.30-.32) and otherwise worked with Development & Membership and others on drive matters. The Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee has been recruiting and will welcome a bunch of new testing volunteers soon!
Abuse handled over 180 tickets in October. They are currently working on a roadmap for next year and reviewing stats for 2014 in preparation for an end of term report. Meanwhile, AO3 Documentation is still making good progress as it works on AO3 FAQs.
Tag Wrangling's had a busy month! Wrangling staff helped Support on several tag-related tickets, answered questions from Twitter, and moved to Trello for internal task management. Our wrangling guidelines completed the migration to a new location. Finally, they welcomed 36 new tag wrangling volunteers and five new staff members!
III. PROJECT NEWS
Open Doors has been continuing to assist with archive imports and improving committee documentation. Communications released a second guest post, this one interviewing fandom blogger Jamie Broadnax. Meanwhile, Journal is pushing through the last few manuscripts for their next two issues while redoing their coding documentation.
Legal has been hard at work on the OTW's initial submissions in the process of seeking to renew the U.S. Copyright Office exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that provides legal protection for fan video creators who have to break encryption on DVDs (and other media) in order to make fan videos. They put out a call for comments, and have received some very helpful responses. If you have other responses, or examples of videos from the last three years that you think we should consider using as examples of how fan videos can create new meaning from existing works (especially if making those videos required breaking encryption on Blu-Ray or online sources such as iTunes or Netflix), please continue to send them! Legal plans to submit our exemption requests in November, but the process will continue from there, and we will still have lots of uses for new examples.
In addition to that, Legal has continued to work with the USPTO/NTIA Multistakeholder process for improving the operation of the DMCA notice and takedown procedure, and has responded to several queries from fans with legal questions and requests for help.
The OTW Board and Strategic Planning were joined by representatives from Volunteers & Recruiting and Legal for a planning session to map out future plans for the OTW. During the meeting, Strategic Planning presented the data they had collected from surveys and interviews of current and retired staff and volunteers and highlighted organization-wide challenges facing the Board, chairs and leads, and committees and workgroups. From this presentation, they facilitated a brainstorming session that led to a list of overall strategic goals to be accomplished in six-month intervals over the next three years. Board director Anna Genoese stepped down from the OTW Board following the three-day meeting.
Strategic Planning then scheduled three follow-up meetings, open to observers throughout the OTW, to review the goals brainstormed in the meeting. They are currently working on writing up these goals into a draft that will be presented to all staff and volunteers for review, input, and discussion of specific implementation steps. Strategic Planning expects to contact each committee or workgroup individually, as well as lead OTW-wide discussions of these goals, during the feedback phase.
Internationalization & Outreach has been holding a series of internal meetings to help it develop a more thorough understanding of the needs and ideas of the OTW, so that the direction that the committee takes in the future is in response to those needs and ideas. Internationalization & Outreach is focused on raising the profile of the OTW in underrepresented fannish communities and devising outreach strategies and implementing them. Internationalization & Outreach wants to focus on which fannish communities may share or be interested in the OTW's goals, how to reach them, and how to make our projects and our organization more welcoming and more in line with their needs.
Elections announced this year’s candidates for the OTW Board and posted candidate manifestos and bios for the public to peruse. They also reached out to the public for question submissions, which led to the recent posting of a Candidate Q&A covering many issues relating to OTW Board work. They also held a series of chats with the candidates and worked on creating transcripts of those meetings.
V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS
Volunteers & Recruiting was very active in October both in terms of committee projects and providing support to the rest of the organization. At the beginning of the month, three staff attended the in-person Board meeting to provide input into the discussions there, and have been actively involved in the follow-up conversations working toward the draft strategic plan. Volunteers & Recruiting also managed recruiting for five different roles (with over 150 applications received) and began the official decommissioning of the Category Change workgroup.
Internally, they finished documenting their annual report project and planning for next year, closed out the annual Still Willing to Serve project, finalized the annual revision of our induction and removal procedures, and completed the final stages of migrating volunteer records to a new database system. They also identified and filled in a few documentation holes and have started looking at the future leadership structure for the committee and succession planning with an eye toward sustainability.
New Committee Chairs: Niko Thompson (Strategic Planning Co-Chair)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Forever42, Karissa, LauraBeth, Jamie101, Yzmaisamzy, mrajick, Elizabeth Moonstone, Carolina, Gryfeathr, a_phasia, cordial, SunnyB, Kise, RawringPopcorn, Sezso, clotpoleofthelord, Asha, grungehemmings, Assassin_J, ravelqueen, whylorinda, hannahmhall, ShotaSammy, Swimmies, Amy Ketchup, phoenixacid, Cryllia, needleyecandy, Perfidiously, PhoenixFlame, Pax, Celia, Estirose, Sinope, especiallysarah and Krista
New Translator Volunteers: Neru and Hirannis
Departing Directors: Anna Genoese
Departing Committee Chairs: Cat Meier (Finance) and Aja (Development & Membership)
Departing Workgroup Leads: Soledad Griffin (Category Change)
Departing Committee Staff: 2 Translation, 1 Web Strategy, Design & Development, Reanna LaCasse (Support), 2 Communications, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting, 1 Tag Wrangling, 4 Abuse and 1 Finance
Departing Workgroup Members: 1 AO3 Docs volunteer, hele braunstein (Category Change), Lady Oscar (Category Change), bingeling (Category Change), kiki-eng (Category Change) and 2 other Category Change volunteers
Departing Communications Volunteers: Diane Quintal and 1 other
Departing Tester Volunteers: ljunattainable, openendings and 28 others.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Michelle Dong and 62 others.
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3