AO3 News

Post Header

Telescope pointed at an OTW logo made of stars with the words 'Spotlight on Strategic Planning'

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is pleased to share with you our vision statement. The document below will be the framework for our new strategic plan. (You can find out more about our previous strategic plan in the linked 2020 post.) During the next 12 months or so we will be finalizing specific goals and action plans to make these items happen. While our final plan will need to be flexible and adapt to changes around us, this vision statement is the foundation of what we want to work towards to improve the OTW and help it continue providing services to fans.

Mission Statement

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. We believe that fanworks are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate.

The OTW represents a practice of transformative fanwork historically rooted in a primarily female culture. The OTW will preserve the record of that history as we pursue our mission while encouraging new and non-mainstream expressions of cultural identity within fandom.

Strategic Vision

Our vision for the OTW of three years from now is a stable, consistent, connected, and continually growing organization that is proactive about its role in fandom and beyond, and continues to serve fans.

The OTW will use this strategic plan to create key internal improvements that will help support and retain current volunteers, attract new ones, and encourage transparency and the OTW's capacity to adequately serve diverse groups of fans worldwide.

Priorities & Challenges

Visioning discussions within the OTW have determined six main priorities and five major challenges to focus on within the next three years:

Priorities:

  • AO3 Development
  • Internal Sustainability
  • Governance Development
  • Paid Staff
  • External Communication
  • Diversification of Fundraising

Challenges:

  • Siloing
  • Retention and Recruitment
  • Diversifying Spaces
  • Legal Challenges
  • Public Narrative

These priorities and challenges, laid out in further detail below, will be used to shape our strategic plan.

Priorities

Visioning discussions within the OTW have determined our six priorities for the next three years.

AO3 Development
We will continue to develop the Archive's infrastructure. This will include exploring the development of tools to prevent and combat harassment, help users create a self-managed experience, make the interface accessible to non-English-speaking users, and expand our multimedia support. These new features align with AO3's development roadmap, and will not come at the expense of existing coding priorities and ongoing maintenance.

Internal Sustainability
The OTW will improve the sustainability of our internal committees by focusing on succession planning, diverse recruitment, delegation, retention, documentation, conflict management, and internal communication.

Governance Development
We will continue to revise and carry forward the proposals for re-envisioning our leadership models that were developed during the 2017-2020 strategic plan.

Paid Staff
We will explore models for incorporating into our structure a limited number of paid staff positions that will not replace volunteer roles, but instead provide necessary infrastructure to keep our work sustainable within a majority-volunteer organization. A Paid Staff Officer will be appointed by the Board to manage next steps towards incorporating paid staff.

External Communication
We will remodel our external communication to increase awareness of our mission, strengthen the consistency and reach of our public messaging, and improve public relations by increasing transparency with both members and non-members about the OTW as a whole.

Diversify Fundraising
We will work to strengthen the financial stability of the OTW by exploring areas such as additional non-commercial/non-advertising fundraising methods and low-risk investment opportunities. We will continue working to ensure that our financial practices are in keeping with the best practices for nonprofit organizations.

Challenges

Our leadership and volunteers have worked throughout the visioning process to articulate the challenges they see the OTW currently facing, or facing in the next three years. We are committed to facing these challenges as we work for our organization's future, and to sharing our work transparently with our stakeholders.

Siloing
The OTW's structure tends to be siloed, with different parts of the organization not frequently informed and engaged with work that doesn't directly touch on their purview.

This impacts organization-wide projects and initiatives, internal communication, transparency, volunteer retention, and committee sustainability—it is hard to work together when mechanisms to do so don't exist. When we cannot share resources and support between different parts of the organization, each committee is left to manage on their own in case of emergency leadership transition, reactionary workload, etc.

  • In order to move towards sustainability, we will improve our internal communication and our consistency across the organization.
  • Future models for governance and staffing structures will address siloing.

Retention and Recruitment
Many of our OTW committees have high rates of turnover, and fall into a cycle of recruitment, training, and loss of new recruits, meaning that they must soon begin recruiting again. A connected concern is recruitment cycles that do not yield enough, or sometimes any, new recruits to fit a committee's needs.

This impacts burnout and workload distribution for long-time volunteers and knowledge-holders ("linchpins"), who rarely have their workload burden eased by new recruits. It also impacts overall committee capacity, as recruitment and training take time away from other work.

  • In order to move towards sustainability, we will improve our yield of quality recruits that fit a committee’s needs, our retention of new recruits, and our ability to move new recruits into positions of responsibility previously held by linchpins.
  • Paid staff positions, if created, will be designed to relieve linchpin workload burdens.

Diversifying Spaces
The OTW has received valid criticism as to its failure to prioritize creating a space that is welcoming to all groups, especially Black fans and fans of color. Because of this inaction, the tools, goals, and strategies for prioritizing diversity are not in place across all parts of the OTW, resulting in many fans and volunteers feeling unwelcome on the Archive and in the Organization.

We will work on the implementation of processes to increase diversity and inclusion within the OTW, allowing the incorporation of policies to establish a system in which volunteers are actively welcomed within the Organization, and fully assisted when faced with discrimination of any kind.

We will develop additional resources to document and evaluate shortcomings in the OTW, and new mechanisms to proactively discover problems we may have overlooked. These efforts will be guided by, and involve at all levels, volunteers from non-American, non-Western backgrounds as well as those who are ethnic minorities in the United States and other Western countries. Avenues that we will consider and plan for addressing diversity and inclusion include:

  • Contracting with an individual or organization to consult on issues of racial bias and inequality within the Organization and its projects. Options for this will be researched by a dedicated Diversity Consultant Research Officer, appointed by the Board of Directors.
  • Using the Organization’s current resources to address diversity by starting volunteer resource groups. The implementation of volunteer resource groups would be integrated into our current workflow, for example, by creating spaces for volunteers of different groups, who may suggest, advise, be consulted on, or provide information for OTW policies that may affect their experience within the OTW and its projects.
  • Expanding our recruitment sources to diversify the set of candidates considered for our roles, such as by posting advertisements for OTW volunteer opportunities to non-OTW websites.
  • Creating a more welcoming environment by continuing to develop the features to provide individual users with more control over their experiences, such as blocking, permanent-filtering, or other customization features. These features will preserve users’ freedom of expression on the Archive while enabling each individual to self-manage how they interact with content and users.

Legal Challenges
The OTW has observed and weathered many legal challenges in the landscape of transformative works, both in the form of new legislation that threatens to shift that landscape, and attacks under existing legislation. We anticipate that these legal challenges will continue into our future.

Though our Legal Advocacy is on the front lines of dealing with these challenges, they impact all parts of the organization when they necessitate shifts in our projects' Terms of Service, revisions of our internal practices as a nonprofit organization, or other large-scale changes.

  • Our sustainability efforts will ensure the continued capability of our strong Legal committee.
  • Our future models for governance and staffing will ensure that our organization is agile and flexible, able to consistently adapt to the rapidly-changing landscape that we exist within.

Public Narrative
Though the Archive of Our Own has strong name recognition in many fandom communities, the OTW itself is less well-known and our history, purpose, and structure are not widely understood. We often confront public relations challenges regarding misinformation within our main constituencies.

We will work to improve public relations by increasing transparency with both members and non-members about what the OTW is and does. This will positively impact our ability to share our message and mission with our key constituents, and will reduce complications in fundraising due to a lack of public clarity about the role of the OTW. Avenues that we will consider and plan for expanding and streamlining our public narrative include:

  • Increasing exposure of the OTW’s goals and missions to constituents—fanwork creators, readers, donors, scholars, and the general public—via new formats. For instance, sharing the OTW’s history, purpose, structure and other related contents in infographics.
  • Encouraging committees to explore the possibility of creating publicly-facing video content to explain the work that they do, and how it fits into the OTW as a whole. This could include tutorials, explainers, short news updates, and similar content, which may be more accessible to some users than our traditional text-centric communication approach.
  • Remodeling our communication strategy to improve our transparency and increase the visibility of the OTW, and to ensure that we are communicating our mission and narrative effectively.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

All About Spike banner with the text in the middle and a photo of Spike on either end

All About Spike, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

All About Spike is a large selective Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel archive for fanfiction and essays about the character Spike. It was founded in July 2002 by drinkthehalo, who is the archivist. The archive focuses on fanfiction that explores the ambiguities of Spike's character with an eye toward his redemption.

The archive is moving to the AO3 in order to keep the works available for the readers who love them, for future generations of Spike fans to discover, and for anyone interested in fanfiction of the early 2000s.

The purpose of the Open Doors Committee’s Online Archive Rescue Project is to assist moderators of archives to incorporate the fanworks from those archives into the Archive of Our Own. Open Doors works with moderators to import their archives when the moderators lack the funds, time, or other resources to continue to maintain their archives independently. It is extremely important to Open Doors that we work in collaboration with moderators who want to import their archives and that we fully credit creators, giving them as much control as possible over their fanworks. Open Doors will be working with drinkthehalo to import All About Spike into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. Eventually links to the old site will redirect to the collection on AO3, which can be searched and filtered in order to locate individual imported works.

We will begin importing works from All About Spike to the AO3 after August.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on All About Spike?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. We will then permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your All About Spike pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive.
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your All About Spike account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the All About Spike mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on:

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of All About Spike on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve All About Spike!

- The Open Doors team and drinkthehalo

Comment

Post Header

OTW Elections News

At this time, all members of the OTW who are eligible to vote should have received an email linking to the voting instructions for 2022. The subject line was "Voting Instructions for Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) Board Election". Please note that anyone who didn't receive this email is not on the voter rolls this year and will not receive a ballot.

The voting instructions email contains a link to a test version of the ballot. Please follow that link to make sure that the page displays correctly and the candidates are visible. If not, please ensure you are not blocking JavaScript from ajax.googleapis.com, bootstrapcdn.com, and/or opavote.com.

If you are an OTW member and didn't receive this email, please do the following:

  1. Check your spam folder.
    • If you use Gmail, check your Social tab.
    • If the email is marked as spam, unmark it. Otherwise, you will not receive your ballot, as it will end up in spam as well.
  2. If no email is present, open your donation receipt and check the date.
    • To vote in this election, your receipt must be dated between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, inclusive of both dates. Receipts are dated in EDT time zone but the cutoff is in UTC; your receipt may list June 30, 2022 but you won't be eligible if the donation was after midnight UTC on July 1.
    • If you paid by check, your membership is measured by the arrival date of the check.
  3. If your donation was made during the eligible time period, make sure you checked the box to become a member. Membership is voluntary for those who donate at least $10; only members can vote.
  4. If you did become a member, make sure you neither marked any email from the OTW as spam nor opted out of OTW emails or last year's ballot. If you did so and would like to vote this year, you'll need to follow step 5 below.
  5. If you donated at least $10 during the eligible period and you checked the box to become a member, please fill out the Elections Contact Form and select the topic "Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?" Make sure to include the email you used when donating.
    • Membership has no connection to being a user of AO3 or Fanlore. Please don't give us your AO3 or Fanlore username – we have no way of knowing who that name belongs to, and we don't want to know.

Most importantly, if your voting instructions email bounces, gets marked as spam, or you opt out, you will not receive a ballot for this year's election, and you may not receive a ballot next year. Similarly, if any of those things happened to last year's election emails, you will not receive a ballot this year. Therefore, if you previously opted out of OTW emails or marked them as spam and would like to vote, fill out the Elections Contact Form and select the topic "Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?"

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2022-07-20 16:23:01 UTC
Tags:

Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with DZ, who volunteers as a Policy & Abuse staffer.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

Archive of Our Own is the fanwork hosting subset of the OTW. From original works to microbial art, all kinds of fanworks are welcome on the Archive as long as they comply with the ToS. Every committee in the OTW is fully run by volunteers and I signed over my time to the Archive's Tag Wrangling and Policy & Abuse committees.

As a wrangler, I sort and connect the tags people put on their works. If you ever wonder why a fic tagged "Not your grandma's abo" appears under Non-Traditional Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics" when you filter, I am one of the people making sure that happens. Every tag is seen and sorted by a real person eventually. One of my favorite things to do as a wrangler is to create fandom-specific tags.

As a part of the Policy & Abuse committee (PAC), I investigate reports for content believed to break the Terms of Service. While that tends to be the bulk of my PAC duties, I also answer questions and help clear up any confusion about policy. If someone is uncertain if something is allowed on the Archive; confused why their work seems to be missing or deleted; or wondered why their account is suspended, they can submit a question using the "Policy Questions & Abuse Reports" link found on the bottom of every page.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

For wrangling, I tend to do that whenever I have free time and extra spoons. So my schedule varies a bit, I often sneak in a bit of wrangling before I leave for work in the morning once or twice a week. If I'm busy, I try to scan the fandoms I've assigned myself to and see which ones need more attention.

As for my PAC duties, I have what I call a "PAC week" which spans four days of the week. I do a different mix of tasks each of those days such as investigating reports, drafting letters, or following up on any of the cases I'm handling during this time. I regularly beta-read drafts for other team members. Every case is reviewed by at least two staff members. There's always a lot to do. Outside of this time, I avoid any time-intensive or spoons-heavy task -- often any PAC task in general.

I find that having a schedule is useful for PAC since I find it harder to pause in the middle of doing a task and pick it back up again -- sometimes this is because the task can't be broken up and sometimes this is just because of how my brain works. Different volunteers have different preferences. I know some do a little each day or pick one day out of their week to do everything so I guess I am in the middle.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I have always been the kind of fan who was terrible at not getting more involved once I really got into something. When I was into K-Pop, I moderated forums. When I was really into D&D, I was very involved in helping others create Homebrew and edit their homebrew.

I actually tried to join Tag Wrangling 3 years in a row but the app always closed before I had time to fill it out. Then, one day in 2020 I checked again on a whim and saw that the position was open. I later decided to join PAC because my involvement bug bit again.

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

What do you call work-life balance but for volunteering?

The Archive grew a lot in the past year and continues to grow. More users means more tags, more people who report violations, and more questions about what's allowed on the Archive. Neither committee requires that I make it my part-time job, but with so much to do I can feel a bit overwhelmed, and like I'm falling behind even though I decide how much I do.

It didn't help that I joined during the pandemic. So I had a lot more free time to spend on wrangling, and by the time I joined PAC, doing OTW stuff daily was just my normal. I enjoy wrangling and doing PAC work but I'm trying to remember to leave more time to do other stuff I enjoy.

What fannish things do you like to do?

Beyond squeeing and finding things to become a fan of? I write fic. Well, I plan fic -- writing tends to go much, much slower. I also dabble in meta and gif making occasionally. I even tried to learn how to create podfic a while back. I like to think of myself as a fannish jack of all trades, master of none. I have a lot of enthusiasm but I may not be the most skilled in any of it. I'm having fun.


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2022-07-17 16:03:42 UTC
Tags:

Organization for Transformative Works Elections News: Cast Your Vote

The Elections season is in full swing! We have chats with candidates coming up soon. You can also find links to the candidates' answers to your questions at the bottom of this post.

Chats

There will be four public chats, all of which will last 90 minutes. Two of the chats will have 2 candidates in attendance and the other two chats will have 3 candidates in attendance. Chats will take place in our public chatroom.
They are scheduled for:

During these chats, chat attendees will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions not already covered in their platforms, bios, and Q&A, as well as to ask individual questions of specific candidates. New questions will only be accepted for the first hour of the scheduled chat time to make sure candidates have time to finish them all.

We hope that you can join us for one or all of these chats!

Please note that though the link to the public chatroom is already active, chatting capabilities will not be enabled until approximately half an hour before the chats begin.

Read on to learn more about using Discord.

  • On the login page, you'll need to provide a screen name.
  • Once you enter the server, you'll find a list of users on the right and a list of chat rooms on the left. Settings are available via the gear icon on the lower left, near your screen name; there you can choose, among other options, whether you prefer a dark or light chat room appearance.
  • There are three rooms available to chat attendees who are not candidates or Elections Committee staffers: general, candidate_chats, and open_chat.
    • General is where you'll find a list of rules for the chats. Please read through these carefully before entering the other two rooms.
    • Candidate_chats is where the candidates will answer questions and debate amongst themselves. Only the candidates and moderator will be able to chat in this room.
    • Open_chat is where all attendees can participate and talk to each other. We ask that you try to stay on topics related to the election. A moderator will be in the room, so if you have a question for the candidates, you can signal the moderator with o/, the candidate's name, and the question. Use o// if it's a follow-up question to the current discussion.

Q&A

When we posted the Board candidates' bios and platforms, we asked the public to submit additional questions for them. Once again, our sincere thanks to everyone who did so! We have been posting groups of questions as the candidates finished them, and two have been posted so far. For the categories that have not yet been posted, the dates they will be posted are listed in parentheses.

To navigate answers by individual candidate, please use the links below:

The following is a list of the topics covered by the questions. Clicking on a topic will take you to the tag containing all the candidates' answers on that topic.

To read all the posts regarding Q&A, simply select the 2022 Q&A tag.


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2022-07-02 16:57:44 UTC
Tags:

Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works

I. VOLUNTEER PRIVACY AND DATA SECURITY UPDATES

In light of the malicious email attacks against OTW volunteers that took place in early May, teams across the OTW have been working to improve our internal processes to protect volunteers' privacy and secure sensitive data. The Board of Directors has been continually liaising with committees, including Legal, to deal with the ongoing aftermath of these attacks. Likewise, the Board discussed with Strategic Planning integrating data security into the OTW's upcoming Strategic Plan. A draft of the proposed new strategic plan has been sent to all chairs for review and feedback, and Strategic Planning is working on incorporating the feedback it has already received into the plan draft. The vision statement for the plan is still in the works for posting to the OTW’s website with the help of Communications and Translation. Stay tuned!

The Board also worked with Elections to prepare for the upcoming Board of Directors election, including giving feedback on proposed measures to protect candidates' privacy. As such, Elections will only be publicly posting the legal names of elected or appointed Board Directors. If you are an OTW member, you will receive your voting instructions email on July 23, and this correspondence will include candidates' full names. Similarly, candidates' full legal names will appear on the ballot, and everyone is still running under their legal name! Elections Chairs have also reviewed its security precautions for the upcoming election and will make any changes that are required to ensure volunteers, candidates, and members can safely engage with the election process.

Elections has also begun updating some historical posts on its website to remove personally identifiable information provided by former candidates. This can only be done at the direction of the candidate themselves. If you're a former candidate and you are concerned about the information you have shared on Elections' website, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Elections Committee.

Meanwhile, also due to the attacks, Volunteers & Recruiting cancelled its recruitment cycles for the months of May and June, and external recruitment remains frozen until further notice. However, Volunteers & Recruiting has been doing its best to provide all of the OTW's volunteers with as much support and information as possible and will keep on working to make sure that everyone's private data are safe within the OTW.

Translation has been reviewing many of its policies on data retention in the past couple of months, particularly anonymising and destroying older records. It has also started testing a new password manager and secure document storage solution. Similarly, Tag Wrangling finalized some updates to internal tools to implement new security guidelines. While Systems provided some advice and support to Board and other chairs, Communications has resumed news posting after a delay, and various OTW committees have begun responding to the backlog of tickets that accumulated during the attacks.

These are only some of the measures that the OTW has taken in the last few weeks to protect its volunteers. The OTW’s investigation is ongoing as the Board and Legal Committee continue working with all relevant authorities.

II. AT THE AO3

In May and June, Accessibility, Design & Technology had three deploys culminating in the release of comment blocking! It also started testing a release of miscellaneous issues with code from a number of new contributors. Elsewhere, Open Doors is delighted to announce that it has completed the imports for Thin Line and The Snape/Weasley Archive, both Harry Potter fic archives (with some art).

As the day-to-day operations of Policy & Abuse and Support continue to be impacted by the effects of the email attacks, user reports are taking longer than usual to address. For Support in particular, April was a normal month with just over 1450 tickets, but May saw Support's highest number of tickets (over 1900) since April 2020. However, new volunteers on both committees are slated to soon begin or resume their training to help with this increased workload.

In June, Tag Wrangling made some improvements to its procedures for finding cowranglers for larger fandoms. This is especially needed because we now have more than 50,000 canonical fandoms in the archive!

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

In addition to dealing with the attack and responding to user queries, Legal did quite a bit of advocacy in May and June. In May, Legal submitted comments in response to a U.S. Copyright Office inquiry regarding “technical measures” or detecting and preventing copyright infringements under section 512 of the DMCA. In June, Legal chair Betsy and committee member Stacey attended a series of roundtable meetings with the U.S. Copyright Office, also regarding technical measures. In both proceedings, they provided input from the point of view of fans, Internet creators, and small Internet providers. They urged the Copyright Office to remember that many service providers, like AO3, do not receive many copyright-related complaints, and they opposed any suggestion that the Copyright Office endorse or impose technical filtering measures on online service providers. They explained that there is no one-size-fits-all way of applying technology to questions of copyright infringement, that current technologies do not exist that would allow service providers (like the OTW) to distinguish between infringing and non-infringing material, and that there is no existing technology that could replace human evaluation of copyright fair use.

Legal also joined its ally Electronic Frontier Foundation in filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Warhol v. Goldsmith, arguing that a broad and flexible fair use test is essential and relying on fanvids as examples to urge the Supreme Court to reaffirm its prior fair use holdings. Here’s what EFF wrote about it.

At the end of June, Legal chair Betsy attended a copyright policy roundtable with participants from a variety of library, technology, public policy, and creator advocates to discuss copyright policy proposals and strategies. Legal also communicated with two apps that were using OTW/AO3 trademarks in confusing ways.

IV. GOVERNANCE

It has been a very busy two months for Elections, which is very happy to announce that the 2022 OTW Board Election will be contested - there are five candidates and three open seats. You can read Elections' Candidate Announcement post and the candidates' Bios & Platforms on the Elections website. You can keep checking the Election Timeline for news of other upcoming events, including Q&A posts and Candidate Chats.

Development & Membership also collaborated with Elections to prepare for the OTW's annual voting membership drive, as June was the last chance for anyone who would like to vote in the 2022 election to attain membership.

V. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Fanlore's annual Bingo Challenge took place in June and was a great success -- thanks to everyone who took part, ticked off their Bingo cards, and earned loot in the form of shiny pirate-themed badges! Fanlore's social media and graphics teams are now busily planning content for their Fandom in Color themed month, which will be taking place in July. Elsewhere, Fanlore has been discussing improvements to its Help page guidance on page naming conventions and formulating a set of guidelines for page names where the original canon is in a language other than English to better support editors in documenting a wide variety of fandoms on Fanlore!

TWC is preparing to go into production next month for general issue No. 38 (to be released September 15, 2022) and is working with authors for the editorial push for No. 39, a special issue guest edited by Jennifer Duggan and Angie Fazekas on trans fandom (to be released March 15, 2023).

As Systems' contractor has been making good progress on modernising the OTW's email infrastructure, the committee has been getting ready to bring new hardware online. Finally, Development & Membership has been hard at work sending out the many, many card decks requested as donation gifts!

VI. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 25 April to 24 June, Volunteers & Recruiting received 187 new requests, and completed 147, leaving us with 78 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 June 2022, the OTW has 963 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Chairs: Heleen (Translation), Priscilla (Translation)
New Open Doors Volunteers: Schnikeys (Import Assistant), 1 Volunteer, and 3 other Import Assistants
New Support Volunteers: DumplingSquids, Harold Liu, Kawm, Marianne, Marlene, MxCK, Saagarika Verma, Sushishin, Uschi, and 9 other Support Volunteers New Translation Volunteers: Amanda Kassis, CassieLiu, CSancora, gigic, Hao, Ida D, LPCollins, MariaCJ, mushrooom, nire, Polyxeni Foutsitsi, V. Bosmans, and 6 other News Translators

Departing AO3 Documentation Volunteers: alsaurus, Cheyenne Bingham, MixyStyx
Departing Communications Volunteers: Emily Rogan (Chair-Track Volunteer)
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: 1 Volunteer
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: Luz Villarreal (Administrative Volunteer)
Departing Policy & Abuse Volunteers: 2 Volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Alexandria, Ink_Herder, itsmyusualweeb, mithrel, Sofia and 14 other Volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: 1 Volunteer

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


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2022-06-29 15:05:27 UTC
Translations:
Tags:

Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Rosa, who volunteers as a Translation volunteer for Team Swedish.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I translate news posts and other types of documentation for the OTW from English to Swedish. That means I help to make the work the OTW does more accessible for people and spread the information about transformative works outside of the English-speaking world. Most Swedes are fluent in English and don’t expect things on the internet to be available in Swedish, but having access to things in your native language still helps create a global community of fans.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

As a translator, I’m assigned tasks to either translate a document from English to Swedish or to beta an already translated one from one of my teammates. (Team Swedish is a pretty big team for such a small language, and we use a two-beta system, which means every post we put out has been betaed twice.) So when I get a task, I look at it, do a quick time estimate and then make a mental slot in my schedule of when to do it. The deadlines (and possibility for extensions) vary depending on what type of task it is, and how long it is. When I sit down to do the work, it’s very straightforward. The documents we’re assigned are very structured and easy to work with. Hats off to the people doing the prep-work!

A few times per week, I also log onto the OTW chat system to see if a) a tag wrangler has encountered some Swedish tags they need help wrangling (rarely happens, but when it does it’s so much fun!) or b) Staff has an ad hoc translation/update that needs to be done quickly.

I’m also signed up to help out with translating Support tickets and Policy & Abuse tickets, but so far, none have come my way. I have a feeling most Swedes send in their tickets in English.

What made you decide to volunteer?

Not to sound overly dramatic, but in the fall of 2019 I was feeling very adrift and looking for a purpose (as one does, from time to time). I saw a post on Tumblr about the OTW looking for volunteers and thought that this could be a purpose. Giving back to the fannish community could be a purpose!

I’m still so excited I was picked to do this work!

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

...updating the Cheatsheet. No, the Cheatsheet (the team glossary where the language teams decide on how to translate fannish and OTW-related words/terms like ‘ship (verb)’ and ‘ship (noun)’ or ‘anti-circumvention provisions’) is a lifesaver! It is one of those things we translators love to hate, because some words/terms are very hard to translate in ways that make sense. Particularly, legal terms relating to a legal system that may not have an equivalence outside of the country where the law exists.

This does relate to my biggest challenge, though, or what I’ve struggled with the most, and that’s scrutinizing and reevaluating how I use both English and my native Swedish, especially when it comes to where the languages intersect. So many fandom terms only exist in English (for me). I learned these words and terms through English in English spaces, and finding ways to speak about them in Swedish has been difficult at times.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I mostly write and read fanfiction. And talk endlessly with friends who, for some reason, never grow tired of me even though some of us aren’t in the same fandoms anymore. Nothing feeds the plot bunnies as much as bouncing ideas with other fans. I’m very open about my fannish life outside of fandom, which has made me the go-to person for everyone at work when they need to have a fannish moment, even if I don’t have any/limited knowledge of the source material. It’s the best! I’ve learned so much about Star Wars, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who, and James Bond over cups of coffee in the breakroom.

I also spend some time making sure the Swedish pages on Wikipedia for the OTW and AO3 are updated. (I still haven’t made a single edit on Fanlore, which I’m greatly ashamed of.)


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in the comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2022-06-27 12:32:05 UTC
Tags:

Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works

An advisory note to readers: This newsletter reports on activity in April 2022, which was originally intended to be released in May 2022. Due to interruptions to our usual process as explained in the OTW Board's post last month our posting schedule has been delayed. The OTW's investigation is ongoing as the Board and Legal Committee continue working with all relevant authorities.

I. APRIL DONATION DRIVE

Development & Membership held the April Donation Drive in April, and thanks to the overwhelming support of our users (and the excitement over the card decks), we far exceeded our donation goal, with a final total of US$275,724.51 donated by 7,528 people. We are particularly pleased that 5,810 donors chose to renew or begin OTW membership. Translation worked on posts for 26 languages and we received donations from fans in 84 countries!

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed three whole releases, including an update to Rails 6 and big improvements to AO3's tag search, which have significantly improved functionality for Tag Wrangling. And because three releases just wasn't enough, AD&T started testing a fourth!

AO3 Documentation is thrilled to announce that it has uploaded an updated and slightly reworked Posting and Editing FAQ.

In March, Policy & Abuse received about 2600 tickets last month, which is a bit more than average, and Support received about 1400 tickets. Meanwhile, also in March, Tag Wrangling wrangled more than 380,000 tags across more than 49,000 fandoms--more than 900 tags per wrangler!

III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Open Doors announced two more archives to be imported: WWFSML (pro wrestling slash fic) and Pony Fiction Archive (My Little Pony fic).

Legal has continued advocacy work opposing proposed U.S. online filtering mandates and technical measures legislative proposals. Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt participated in an online town hall with allies from the EFF to discuss these fan-unfriendly proposals; a recording is available on EFF’s YouTube channel.

It's been a long time coming, but a contractor has made a start on some email-related work that will bring Systems closer to retiring some of the oldest bits of the OTW's infrastructure. Also, Webs fiddled with the OTW website a bit more, and it now does a number of fancy automations that should reduce the number of tickies that Volunteers & Recruiting and Development & Membership in particular have to tick!

IV. GOVERNANCE

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has appointed a Diversity Consultant Research Officer to help the OTW formulate its next steps towards hiring a diversity consultant or firm. The role remains open for internal recruitment as the Board would ideally like it to be held by two people for the sake of redundancy and sharing out the workload. The Board also held its quarterly public meeting at the beginning of the month -- thanks to everyone who came and asked questions!

The Board of Directors Election Timeline is now available on Elections' website, which lets readers know what news and information will be released when during the Board election season.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 24 March to 24 April, Volunteers & Recruiting received 51 new requests, and completed 45, leaving us with 23 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 April 2022, the OTW has 948 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Policy & Abuse Volunteers: Aalictoa, ereidivh, FestiveFerret, KayMar, QED, Zoey and 6 other Volunteers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Alecto Gaia, Allonautilus, Ally, Ara, Bard, Bee, Birdie, Bjorn, cali, catmisae, chidorinnn, Defixionesss, denjidenji, Dragonshield, Emmens, erasica, Esin, Faye, Fu, Goosey, Jiang Xinyuan, Juice, Kai Alec, Laura Anne, Leo, Luanna, MoonSally, Morgan Guenther, Nia, obliviscence, plantpun, RannieCRL, Red Wolf, Rune, sarisally, Seonaid, StableState, TBE, Tevya, therealmorticia, Thirteenthesiac, thirtysixhudson, Tyto, Wayward Wren, Wombatmist, and YunShan (all Tag Wranglers)
New Translation Volunteers: idiosincrasy (Manager)
New Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers: 1 Volunteer

Departing AO3 Documentation Volunteers: Carly & 1 other Editor
Departing Elections Volunteers: 1 Team Coordinator and 1 Public Relations Specialist
Departing Policy & Abuse Volunteers: Jen S and 2 other Volunteers
Departing Support Volunteers: KehkashanB
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Captured_in_LSpace, Clock, Courtney, Kamika, Kuh (all Wranglers) and Jen S (Supervisor) and 2 Wranglers
Departing Translation Volunteers: 3 Translators

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


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment


Pages Navigation