AO3 News

November 2014 Newsletter, Volume 86

Published: 2014-12-06 14:41:50 -0500

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. A WIN FOR LEGAL

It’s been a very active month for Legal's advocacy mission. In the beginning of November, they filed petitions with the U.S. Copyright Office to renew the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption that the OTW helped win in 2009 and 2012. This made it legal for fan video makers to rip DVDs and online sources in order to make noncommercial fan video. In addition to seeking renewal, Legal has asked the Copyright Office to expand the exemption to include ripping Blu-Ray discs for the same purposes. The petition is only the first step. Over the coming months they will be submitting evidence and providing further arguments to support the need for the exemption. Legal thanks everyone who helped them with stories and information so far.

Legal also got some good news this month based on some work they did back in April in the case of Garcia v. Google. In April, Legal filed a brief in support of Google’s request that the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals re-hear the case. And we succeeded! On November 12, the court declared its original ruling void, and set a schedule for re-hearing the case. So on November 25, Legal filed another brief, explaining why we thought the previous result would promote online censorship and harm free speech.

Legal also did some informational work in November by helping to create some educational materials about transformative works and U.S. fair use law. Their post on “The Case Against Licensing Fanworks" sparked some lively discussion on AO3 News.

Finally, in November Legal also continued work on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s multi-stakeholder project to improve the functioning of the DMCA notice and takedown process, and responded to several queries from fans. As always, they welcome your queries!

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology had two code deploys in November — (Releases 0.9.33 and 0.9.34) — and are currently working on a third, with the help of shiny new testers from our last recruitment round! Accessibility, Design and Technology handled a security concern related to our development data by upgrading our encryption method and asking users to change their passwords (via AO3 News post and targeted emails).

Tag Wrangling helped Support resolve tag-related tickets, fixed some broken links in the Tag Wrangling FAQ, and held special-topic training sessions for beginning and intermediate wranglers.

Abuse handled roughly 270 tickets in November, with more constantly streaming in. Please do remember that our team does not need multiple reports sent in; one report per case is all that is required for us to investigate. Most cases are dealt with in less than a week, while trickier cases could take up to two weeks to handle. Abuse is also working with coders to create a way to help better track Fannish Next of Kin requests.

AO3 Documentation sent the first five new FAQs to other committees for revision. This is the last step in their drafting workflow, which means that the first new FAQs are finally almost done! They've also welcomed a new volunteer, and started working on the required documentation to transition into a full committee, while also creating a committee roadmap for 2015.

III. STEPS FORWARD

Systems made some changes to the OTW's internal email architecture to better handle future OTW membership drive emails so that they won't affect the delivery of our internal emails. Meanwhile, Content Policy began revisions to Open Doors' FAQ, with that committee's assistance.

Open Doors announced the pending import for Chains (available in multiple languages thanks to Translation!). They are also receiving much appreciated assistance from Accessibility, Design and Technology on a solution for a second archive import, and have been making progress on two other pending archives. Translation focused on internal documentation and future-planning, including revamping workflows for news posts. Translation chairs are hard at work on chair training documentation and a roadmap for 2015.

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee resolved the problem with the OTW website that had been causing frequent downtimes. And Journal is finishing up obtaining final versions of manuscripts for the first two Transformative Works and Cultures issues of 2015, which will go into copyedit in January.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections wrapped up the 2014 elections period with a final OTW news post containing transcripts of the three public chats with candidates. They are now writing a roadmap for 2015 and are contacting other committees for feedback on that process.

Strategic Planning drafted an initial plan from the list of strategic goals that was brainstormed in October and presented it to all staff and volunteers for review, input, and discussion of specific implementation steps.

They then hosted two organization-wide chats to review the goals with any personnel who wished to attend. Additionally, each committee chair was contacted individually to solicit input on implementation the specific goals involving their committees. Once the feedback is received, the plan will be revised and reviewed again.

Strategic Planning also welcomed new staff members who will be helping to refine the Strategic Plan, as well as finish up survey reports for each committee and workgroup.

Development & Membership worked with the Board to create a post on the OTW's financial future following our record-breaking drive. The committee also had a lengthy "what we learned" document put together. Because of our technical difficulties with the OTW website, there were some snags in premium fulfilment for donors. But the committee has a good handle on it now, and things are should be smoother going forward.

In addition, Development & Membership announced that the OTW is taking part in the Amazon Smile program so that fans making purchases at Amazon can automatically donate to the OTW. They are also developing business cards and stationary for organizational use.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting spent November diving into internal committee work after closing out all external recruiting campaigns for 2014. They've made huge leaps forward on an internal audit of all OTW-wide tools, started a revision of recruitment documentation to help improve our recruiting services in 2015, continued to assess and revise committee internal documentation and procedures, and worked on feedback for the recently released draft of the Strategic Plan.

New Committee Chairs: jsparc (Wiki), Curtis Jefferson (Volunteers & Recruiting)

New Committee Staff: Nerine Luna Cyran (Tag Wrangling), ragingrainbow (Tag Wrangling), Nary (Tag Wrangling), theteapot (Translation), Kirsten Korona (Communications), Ridicully (Support), Kenna McKay (Support), LilyC (Support), Sparrow Rubin (Support), Amy Shepard (Strategic Planning), FeminineBrain (Strategic Planning), 3 other Communications staffers, 2 other Tag Wrangling staffers, 3 other Support staffers, 1 other Strategic Planning staffer, and 1 Systems staffer

New Workgroup Members: Amalia Blondet (AO3 Documentation)

New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 Tag Wrangling volunteer

New Tester Volunteers: mugenmine, Anika Kabit, twofingerpost, pendrecarc, nightmarefluff, Agwen, and 6 other testing volunteers

New Translator Volunteers: 1 Translator volunteer

Departing Committee Staff: Priscilla Del Cima (Development & Membership), Camden (Communications)

Departing Workgroup Members: EnthusiasmGirl (AO3 Documentation), 3 other AO3 Documentation volunteers

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 11 Tag Wrangling volunteers

Departing Translator Volunteers: Nothorse and 1 other Translator volunteer

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October 2014 Newsletter, Volume 85

Published: 2014-11-05 11:25:25 -0500

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. 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.

IV. GOVERNANCE

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

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September 2014 Newsletter, Volume 84

Published: 2014-10-05 18:52:26 -0400

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

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August 2014 Newsletter, Volume 83

Published: 2014-09-06 12:55:44 -0400

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. TAKE PART IN STUB SEPTEMBER!

The Wiki Committee is organizing Stub September again this year, which encourages newcomers and seasoned Fanlore editors alike to pick a stub and expand on it. A stub is an article on Fanlore that is under-developed and missing important information. Right now, there are over 1600 existing pages on Fanlore that are identified as stubs. You’re invited to use the list to find a page where you know something about the topic and edit the page to add your new information.

To help newcomers get started, the Wiki Committee will be organizing an editing party on Sunday, September 14th at 19:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?) in the Fanlore chat room, where you can come and ask questions, or just work on entries alongside other people.

II. COMING AROUND AGAIN

Fan Video & Multimedia is once again working with our Legal Committee as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to petition for a DMCA exemption granting vidders, AMV makers, and other creators of noncommercial remix video the right to break copy protection on media files. In 2010, we won the right to rip DVDs; in 2012, we got that exemption renewed and expanded to include digital downloads (iTunes, Amazon Unbox, etc.). In 2015, we'll be pushing to add Blu-Ray. Right now we're in the data-gathering stage: asking fan video makers to talk with us about how they get Blu-Ray source and why Blu-Ray is important.

In August, Legal also responded to several legal queries from fans and continued its work with the USPTO Green Paper DMCA working group, and responded to a claim from an alleged rights holder.

Open Doors has been working on documentation, in-progress imports, and closing (or re-opening!) old cases, while Journal is in the last stages of production on issue 17, which will be published on September 15. They're 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. Meanwhile, editor Karen Hellekson was an academic keynote speaker at WorldCon 72 in London.

III. OVER AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology have squeezed three more deploys into August, a somewhat slower month than usual. However, user activity at AO3 has not been slow at all! On August 10, we recorded our first Sunday (always the busiest day of the week) with over 10 million page views, an average of roughly 7,000 page views per minute.

To go along with all that activity, Abuse received 198 reports in the last month. All but 18 have been resolved! Support also had a busy, busy month: 458 tickets and counting as August came to a close. They also held a multilingual live chat to assist users with the help of Translation. Support will be recruiting in October, so if you'd like to help users at AO3, keep an eye out for their announcement next month.

Tag Wrangling Staff helped out the Support team on some complicated tag-related tickets, and thanks the AD&T team for their advice on working around server restrictions and bugs.

IV. GOVERNANCE & OPERATIONS

Development & Membership had personnel changes with the departure of former chair Lesann and the addition of Aja and Dan as new co-chairs in her stead. New staffer James Baxter will be working on graphic design as part of the October Drive. Development & Membership also coordinated an OTW presence at Nine Worlds and LonCon 3, and collaborated with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others at Dragon Con as part of Project Secret Identity.

Systems is happy to report that their efforts to spin different functions off onto different virtual machines has kicked off with the move of the OTW's Vault platform, and they're continuing to work on a mail server and a new RT server, which will include improvements to benefit Support and Abuse. Additionally, staffer James has been hard at work applying our new wildcard SSL certificate to secure various sites on transformativeworks.org subdomains, while Sidra is undertaking the daunting task of looking into long-needed Vault improvements.

Board had a relatively quiet month while our directors continued to hold weekly Office Hours and plan for their October retreat along with Strategic Planning. Strategic Planning has been working on some internal training sessions about non-profit organizations and structures while continuing to survey and write reports for a variety of committees.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Translation is busy interviewing and training their many new recruits from their successful call for volunteers. They kept Volunteers & Recruiting busy co-ordinating recruitment. Besides inducting and retiring personnel, Volunteers & Recruiting has been answering internal requests, finishing up their database audit, and gearing up for the annual Still Willing to Serve, and releasing their 2013 Annual Report.

New Committee Chairs: Aja (Development & Membership), Dan (Development & Membership), Kiri Van Santen (Communications)
New Committee Staff: James Baxter (Development & Membership)
New Workgroup Members: Jenny McDevitt (Elections) 2 (Elections); Lady Oscar (AO3 Documentation) and 1 other AO3 Documentation member.
New Translator Volunteers: MagdaC, Quarby, DeeCharlotte, sevenwonders, GreenFug, convincle, Eimry, Lextiel, Kyanite, Keito, Hayyu Anshary, Jáchym Fitris, Iristiel, chocochino, Amalia Blondet, Artmetica, Sanni L., A Walker, firebreathing, Magdalena A, and 14 others

Departing Committee Chairs: Lesann (Development & Membership)
Departing Workgroup Leads: Matty Lynne (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Committee Staff: Lesann (Development & Membership), vtn (Tag Wrangling), Sherry (Abuse), girlmarauders (Support), Nikibee (Support), Jenn Calaelen (Tag Wrangling), Ellen Fleischer (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Kit Paige (Translation), victoriajm (Translation), Charlotte (Translation), lisaa35 (Abuse) and 2 other Abuse Staffers.
Departing Workgroup Members: Richard Davie (AO3 Documentation)

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July 2014 Newsletter, Volume 82

Published: 2014-08-05 12:38:13 -0400

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. STEPPING OUT

As usual, there’s lots happening with Legal! On July 26, staffers Betsy and Heidi, together with Josh Wattles of deviantART, gave a well-attended presentation at San Diego Comic Con entitled “Fans, Love, and the Law.” We hope to be able to post a recording of the presentation in the future. Legal is continuing to work on the USPTO/NTIA copyright law Green Paper project, and has been participating in working group meetings as part of that process. They also took part in the USPTO Green Paper Roundtable in Los Angeles on July 29. Legal has responded to several legal queries from individual fans, and helped an individual fan who received a cease & desist request regarding fanworks. Finally, they’re working on a legal brief to be filed next month — we'll be letting everyone know more on that when they're able to make it public.

In another look at legal issues, Fanhackers chair Nele Noppe wrote a well-received post about the censorship problems faced by anime and manga fans.

Also, the Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee has temporarily halted anonymous commenting on the OTW website due to a major spam wave. We hope to see this restored soon.

II. OVER AT AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology has squeezed three more code deploys into the last month and are wrapping up Release 0.9.15 with 110 closed issues in the bugtracker. In preparing for the next Release, they are now down to 25 pull requests (code submissions), and will focus on Quality Assurance & Testing recruitment and larger coding projects next.

Unfortunately, dealing with the day-to-day tasks of running the Archive (fixing bugs, planning code updates, monitoring performance and server stability, etc.) has left AD&T with little time to clean up and optimize old, crufty code. They've been in search of a Ruby on Rails freelancer to help out with specific coding and refactoring tasks, which will be important for adding new features and future-proofing the Archive for increased traffic, and have now found a contractor, Marie, they are very excited to be working with. Thanks go to Board and Legal for enabling AD&T to outsource a small amount of their workload, and to OTW's donors for contributing financially to the future of the Archive.

Support had 485 tickets and counting for the month of July, which is right in line with their new average. They also had an Open Chat at the end of June thanks to all of the Support and Translation staff and volunteers who volunteered their time. There are plans for another Open Chat at the end of August, with two more to follow later this year.

Tag Wrangling Staff has worked with Support on quite a few tickets and continued refining their training documentation. They've also made arrangements with Translation to request their services for tags or works that wranglers need help with, to help streamline non-English wrangling. Tag Wrangling welcomed another 28 new Tag Wrangling Volunteers from their June recruitment, making this class of 43 new wranglers the biggest yet. Congratulations to everyone for their progress in training thus far!

Abuse talked about a lot of different policies and what warnings mean this month. It's harder than it sounds! At the same time the committee dealt with about 200 reports of abuse from AO3 users.

AO3 Documentation just wrapped up some major internal workflow restructuring, and things are now merrily chugging along as they work on a bunch of FAQs.

III. PROJECT TIME

Journal is not resting on its laurels after the successful on-time release of its latest issue in June. They are prepping to go into production for the September issue and are wrangling content for the first two issues of 2015.

Wiki added 3 new staffers and 2 new gardeners as a result of recent recruitment efforts. They successfully closed several identity protection cases and continue to deal with various outside requests. They're also working on a DMCA policy with Legal and discussing a few future projects.

Development & Membership is in the process of brainstorming and concocting a scheme for year-round fundraising as well as moving forward with discussions about the OTW's visual identity.

Open Doors is still working on strengthening documentation and assisting with on-going manual imports.

Translation volunteers and staff started developing tools for language-specific translation training—very important, but a lot of work! They've been testing PhraseApp, a potential tool for Archive interface translation, and are cautiously optimistic. They're also preparing for a big volunteer recruitment next month, so if you've been thinking of volunteering, keep an eye on OTW News!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Through June and July, Board has been discussing their retreat. Board is very pleased with how the new office hours have been going and plans to continue office hours until at least the end of the term. Per best practices, transcripts are not being made public, but anything Board needs to discuss and/or vote on that's brought up in any director's office hours is either put onto the agenda for Open Session (1800 - 1900 UTC in Public Discussion on Saturdays) or voted on and put into the minutes for that week.

In July, Cat Meier, President of the Board, also began regular office hours on Wednesday/Thursdays from 23:59-02:00 UTC.

Strategic Planning is excited to announce that they are currently in the process of planning out Non-Profit 101 discussions, open to all OTW staff and volunteers. The purpose of these discussions will be to help educate the OTW as a whole about how non-profits are generally organized, structured, and run; how the OTW works as a non-profit; and how strategic planning fits into the picture, both in the non-profit world at large and specific to our organization. Also, starting in September, Strategic Planning will be going back to active committees that they spoke with more than six months ago to ask for updates in order to make sure they bring the most current information to the upcoming Board retreat.

They're also in the process of interviewing and surveying Legal, Finance, Category Change, Translation, Fan Video, and Journal, and they have reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, Development & Membership, and Internationalization & Outreach in progress.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been hard at work clearing a backlog of requested tasks, as well as keeping up with the new ones filed in July. They've brought the annual Still Willing to Serve Project forward a few months, and are also working some annual document revisions, including a project to revise induction/removal documentation. They've also formally welcomed the following:

New Committee Staff: Rachmel and 2 Other Wiki Staffers;
New Workgroup Members: briar_pipe (Elections), Trey C (Elections), Carli Anderson (Elections)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: MichelleMS, Aderam, Meu, drashian, Penny S, ChelseaIBelieve, okdreaming, cannothink, White Hawk, Sylwia Reszczynska, Ania Kopertowska, Goose, covur, ryasdfghjkl, MissGloryAnne, Jenny McDevitt, kiii17, FallenAngel, spock74, astoryandasong, QueenAlkmene, Shivakshi Rana, Arithanas, Dai-kun, mefisto, Wade, Sammie Jarrett and 1 more;
New Translator Volunteers: 1.

And we say goodbye with thanks to:

Departing Committee Chairs: Natalie (Web Strategy Design & Development);
Departing Committee Staff: Natalie (Web Strategy Design & Development); Cynthia (Communications); Cece (Volunteers & Recruiting), tekla (Volunteers & Recruiting); 1 Translation Staffer; 1 Development & Membership Staffer; 2 Abuse Staffers; 1 Internationalization & Outreach Staffer;
Departing Workgroup Members: Claudia Rebaza (Elections).

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June 2014 Newsletter, Volume 81

Published: 2014-07-05 13:14:30 -0400

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. FANLORE PASSES 30,000 ARTICLES

On June 8, Fanlore reached the 30,000 article milestone with a post by Sparcicle on Nox et Lumos! The Wiki committee last celebrated a milestone in February when it reached the 500,000th edit on the site. Many thanks to all the gardeners and editors who have made this kind of progress possible!

II. MORE PROJECT NEWS

Legal has welcomed three new staffers, Diane Girard, Elizabeth Gray and Kalli, who bring diverse expertise to the committee. Legal has had another active month as they have continued to represent the OTW in the USPTO and NTIA’s multi-stakeholder process for improving the DMCA notice and takedown procedure. As part of that process, Legal has participated in several working group meetings and conference calls. Legal has also created two posts about legal issues of interest to fans, one on fair use and the other on the U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in the “Free Sherlock” case. As always, Legal welcomes your questions!

Open Doors has been tying up loose ends from the Yuletide archive import, and is working on preparing two other archives for a manual import.

Journal's issue No. 16, a guest-edited issue on material fan culture, came out bang on time. Thanks to the editorial and production team members for their great work, particularly Rrain Prior for her work as production editor. The next issue comes out on September 15. Co-chair Karen Hellekson will be attending Worldcon and is giving a talk on Doctor Who fan videos there.

III. OVER AT THE AO3

With the help of their new recruits, the Abuse Committee has successfully closed over 150 reports in the last month! Many of these were long-standing and complicated issues requiring cross-committee work and internal policy debates. As of now, the Abuse Committee only has about 30 pending reports. Because of this, their response time and productivity have dramatically improved. Meanwhile Content Policy made a few FAQ tweaks to address some common questions.

Accessibility, Design and Technology is continuing to work through our backlog of bug fixes, with five deploys and 52 issues closed in our bug tracker in June alone. AD&T were looking at a pile of almost 200 pull requests (code submissions) at one point earlier this year, some of which were over two years old, and they're now down to under 50! This has been a very satisfying and very exhausting process for the committee and our coders. They're now looking forward to digging into bigger projects and making plans for the rest of the year once more of the code mountain has been defeated.

Support held another chat to assist AO3 users, and in conjunction with Translation, was able to do so in multiple languages. Support's chair, Sam, extended thanks to all the longtime Support staffers who have made both their daily work and special events possible.

Tag Wrangling has had a month of working together on many, many tag-related Support tickets, and AD&T's latest code push included some excellent tag-related fixes. Tag Wrangling got a great response to their latest recruitment and is welcoming in the new volunteers. The Wrangling Staff hosted some staff-led training sessions for new and current wranglers in June. They were a rousing success and more are being planned for the future.

IV. INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT

Development & Membership is undergoing a leadership transition. The committee is saying goodbye to long-time chair Kristen Murphy, who is taking on a more silent role in premiums and CiviCRM support, but is appreciative of all that she brought to the OTW and everything she taught her staff. DevMem has begun working with other committees to start up the Visual Identity Group, which will focus on the OTW's visual branding. Meanwhile, convention outreach is undergoing an overhaul, with a current focus on Nine Worlds and Loncon.

Strategic Planning is in the process of surveying Legal, Finance, Category Change, Translation, Fan Video, Journal, and Fanhackers, and is making good progress on the reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, DevMem, and I&O. Their two newest staffers have finished their training and are starting to take lead on their own surveying projects! They have also started the succession planning process for committee chair, Hana, and are working on developing procedures for chair training.

Translation has welcomed 8 new staffers. With this increase in staff, they are working on strengthening internal procedures and making progress on new projects and ideas. Last month they were able to release the OTW video with subtitles in 16 languages! Huge thanks to all of the language teams who put in so much work on this project.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been recruiting for Tag Wrangling Volunteers and Wiki Committee Staff in June resulting in a slew of new names around the OTW!

New Committee Staff: Kiri Van Santen (Communications), MyraM (Communications) Katarina Harju (Translation), LilyC (Translation) Elizabeth Gray (Legal), Kalli (Legal), Girard (Legal), 2 other Communications Staffers, 1 Internationalization & Outreach Staffer, and 6 other Translation Staffers

New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: sarken, Night, Allons-y, Jamie Marie, bbcatemysoul, Elizabeth H, cadkitten, starrwinter, BearHatter, Gesundheit, Fredericks, justlikeheaven, Katarina Harju, defe, and 1 other Tag Wrangler volunteer
New Translator Volunteers: Anne-Katrin Koch and 3 others

Departing Committee Chairs: Kristen Murphy (Development & Membership)
Departing Committee Staff: 6 Abuse staffers; 1 Translation staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: 2 AO3 Documentation volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: KeevaCaereni and 2 others

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May 2014 Newsletter, Volume 80

Published: 2014-06-05 13:03:20 -0400

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. ALL BUSY ON THE LEGAL FRONT

In May, Legal continued their advocacy work with a couple of larger scale projects. First, they filed a Notice of Protest with the U.S. Trademark Office against a registrant seeking trademark rights in the term “FANDOM.” They also continued our participation in the USPTO/NTIA “Green Paper” process regarding U.S. copyright law, this time participating in a multi-stakeholder meeting regarding standardization of DMCA “notice and takedown” procedures. Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt presented at that meeting, and the OTW has a seat on the Working Group that emerged from it.

Journal is quickly pushing ahead on their schedule. Issue No. 16 will be out soon on June 15, and they are hard at work on No. 17, which will come out in September. They are also already beginning work on two special issues for early 2015 and on issue No. 20.

II. OVER AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology continued to work on code deploys, steadily chipping away at their backlog of bug fixes. Their first May release included a batch-wrangling tool for tag wranglers. This made for an exciting month for Tag Wrangling, as they are now able to do mass-wrangling from individual fandom pages. This makes wrangling much easier and faster, especially for large mega-fandoms. Tag Wrangling has also been collaborating with AD&T on a project to reduce server loads, and they helped Support resolve several tickets.

The new tag wrangling trainees have been doing a great job! Recruitment will open again in June, and Tag Wrangling will be targeting specific fandoms. If you missed out last time and want to join them, or just want more information, keep an eye on AO3 or OTW News as well as the Volunteer page for updates.

AD&T also worked with Open Doors on the Yuletide import. Open Doors has largely been handling claims, redirects, and other inquiries from the Yuletide import (which has generated almost 300 tickets so far). The outreach from the Yuletide import has also generated other archive import help requests, which they will be working on.

Abuse received almost 200 tickets in May. They've been training 13 new recruits who should be ready to start working on tickets in another couple of weeks. They now have about 20 staffers, which marks a real growth from 2013.

Support has scheduled another Open Chat for June 29. In order to hopefully reach more of our worldwide audience, they'll be throwing open the chat room at 13:00 UTC, and will be around for about 12 hours. We'll have links and more information posted closer to the date!

III. DOCUMENTATION AND POLICIES

Board is currently working hard on various projects, including putting together a retreat for October 2014 (and working with Legal and Volunteers & Recruiting on a conference anti-harassment policy to go along with it). Beginning June 7 (18:00 UTC), Board plans to hold the open session of their meetings in the Public Discussion chatroom. Those minutes will continue to be available on the OTW website.

Communications published the OTW's Annual Report for 2013 after a period of internal review.

Translation’s language teams have been hard at work on all our projects. Two new language teams, Russian and Catalan, have started working. The teams have now translated the final Category Change announcement, which presented how fandom browsing will work on Archive of Our Own in the future, following deep changes in the way current ‘media categories’ are organized.

Translation's co-chairs, Hele and Priscilla, have also joined AO3 Documentation as additional workgroup leads. The AO3 Docs FAQ redesign project is moving along.

Content Policy had an AO3 Terms of Service/FAQ update and new DMCA policy approved for inclusion, and AD&T has posted it to the Archive.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting welcomed two new staffers to their own committee in May, as well as continuing to process new recruits into and out of the OTW. As always, we thank those departing for their contributions.

New Committee Chairs: moonmagicks (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
New Workgroup Leads: hele braunstein (AO3 Docs), Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)
New Committee Staff: Anya (Volunteers & Recruiting), Sarah Sisk (Abuse), NadiaB (Abuse), Trey C (Abuse), PoppyPickford (Abuse) and 1 Legal staffer, 9 Abuse staffers, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer
New Workgroup Members: Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)

Departing Committee Chairs: Emilie Karr (Tag Wrangling)
Departing Committee Staff: Jenny Scott-Thompson (Financial), Jaunita Landéesse (Wiki), Priscilla Del Cima (Internationalization & Outreach)
Departing Tester Volunteers: Jenny Scott-Thompson
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: AlixMason, Luzula, Tonko and 6 others

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April 2014 Newsletter, Volume 79

Published: 2014-05-05 12:55:46 -0400

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. THANK YOU!

Development & Membership was happy to report record donations during our April membership drive. Translation produced over 100 translated posts this month for the membership drive, and helped Development & Membership respond to several potential donor messages.

Translation churned out translations for tweets and a couple of news posts in collaboration with Communications and Accessibility, Design and Technology. It’s been really exciting to see so much content reaching fans in several languages, with great results.

Communications released the OTW video at the end of the membership drive. Work is now underway in getting multiple language versions of the video completed by Translation.

Communication's liaisons to Accessibility, Design and Technology and Wiki have been hard at work with those committees in April, creating and distributing tweets and posts for April Showers. It's been a great month of spotlighting fandoms!

II. OVER AT AO3

The comment period has closed for proposed changes to the AO3's Terms of Service. The changes announced by Content Policy will now include a DMCA policy that takes fair use into account while providing us with more protection in case we are threatened by copyright trolls.

Abuse received over 200 tickets in April. In the next few weeks they'll be adding new staffers and getting them trained to help manage the workload.

Open Doors had their first open house Yuletide chat last week, and had another on May 4. They've mainly been working on Yuletide requests, while trying to keep other archive import projects moving along. They would also like to give their thanks and congratulations to Bettina, the German Speaking Slashers United mod, for completing the GSSU archive import into the AO3--over 700 works, safe in their new home!

Systems has been doing some spring cleaning of older out-of-date tickets, and continuing the never-ending quest to tune the Archive to get the best performance possible out of it.

Accessibility, Design and Technology continued their rolling releases with updates on April 4, April 13, April 17, April 21, and April 24. They also announced changes coming to the Archive FAQ System, and reassured users regarding the Heartbleed OpenSSL Security Vulnerability.

III. WORKING FOR YOU

Journal is finishing up production for the June guest-edited issue, and obtaining the final documents from authors for the September issue. They've already begun working with the guest editors of a 2015 issue.

Legal filed an amicus brief in the case of Garcia v. Google. This case involved the scope and application of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which together prevent content hosts -- like YouTube, the AO3, and many others -- from being liable for what their users post.

Strategic Planning is training new staffers and have started a new round of surveys, reaching out to Translation, Finance, and Fan Video. They're working through the info-gathering and data analysis stages for Journal and Fanhackers while plugging away on reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, DevMem and I&O. You can check out Strategic Planning's completed reports on the OTW website.

Development & Membership announced plans for an OTW merchandise store and solicited comments from fans about what they should offer.

Communications reminded users of official sources of information on the OTW, how to contact us, and addressed a few other questions the OTW has been receiving.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting conducted recruiting for 3 roles, inducted new personnel recruited last month and retired departing personnel. They also answered over 20 non-induction/removal requests, developed some tool documentation, and updated internal training documents.

New Committee Staff: Meep (Support), Nary (Support), Niko Thompson (Strategic Planning), Gryph (Strategic Planning), Kathryn Soderholm (Open Doors), Curtis Jefferson (Open Doors), kittypimms (Volunteers & Recruiting), & 1 Web Strategy, Design & Development
New Workgroup Members: Sammie Jarrett (AO3 Docs), Jennifer Reinhart (AO3 Docs), paraka (AO3 Docs), DekuDani (AO3 Docs), bobdog54 (AO3 Docs) & 7 Others (AO3 Docs)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: abluegirl, deedidoo, Dr_Harbinger, IrogicalArgument, jon_dough, Sass, Slypher, TricksterWins, Yenelie, marrjoram, ThroughTheTulips, Ciel, Nana, parma, Eko, Val
New Translator Volunteers: Maite, Ana Carolina Nonato, Anneli G, Lisa Altevogt, Daphne, and 2 others

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Support staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 8
Departing Strategic Planning Volunteer: 1
Departing Translator Volunteers: 2

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