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I. PREPARING FOR VOTES

Elections has had a busy few weeks and is ready to receive OTW members' ballots in a couple of weeks. Candidate Q&A posts were all posted by July 31 and voting instructions were emailed to all eligible members. Candidate Tyme LaDow withdrew her candidacy effective July 26. Elections also hosted two chats with candidates, and the transcripts were posted on their website in the days after the events.

If you have any queries, you can contact the Elections Committee through its website. The election will be held August 14-17, and your ballot will come via the email you gave when you donated.

II. AT THE AO3

AO3 Documentation has uploaded some changes to the AO3's Invitations FAQ while
Accessibility, Design and Technology has been collaborating with other committees to wrap up testing of the admin roles code from our contractors. Systems are scoping some further email work, and starting to think about their next round of server purchasing.

Support estimates they will come in at approximately 1300 new tickets this month. Fortunately, their newest class of recruits have collectively closed 1500 tickets since the start of their training period, so they're a great help! Policy and Abuse has received about 1100 tickets so far this month.

Tag Wrangling completed an update to the wrangling policies to describe procedures for wrangling some of the more straightforward non-fandom specific tags, as the next step in the ongoing process of overhauling how those tags are handled. In June, tag wranglers handled more than 333,000 tags across more than 37,800 fandoms.

III. PLANNING AND MOVING FORWARD

Legal has filed our petition to renew the “vidders’ exemption” to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions, part of a process we do every three years. They are also preparing for a meeting with U.S. Congressional staff regarding copyright policy, and answering lots of user queries.

TWC is moving issue No. 34 (September 2020) into production. The editorial teams are working with authors to get manuscripts for the March 2021 issue. TWC anticipates on-time releases despite the coronavirus and the havoc it's wreaking on people's schedules.

Fanlore has been discussing some updates to their editing cheatsheet to help users quickly grab the formatting they need while editing pages, and are making plans for a "themed month" of social posts and graphics in October.

Translation worked on Elections platform content and voting instructions this month. They have also started a new language team — Sinhala!

Communications has replaced This Week In Fandom with a new monthly series, OTW Signal. We encourage link submissions for it from the public. Our OTW Tumblr account also has a new moderator, Szabo Dorottya. So if you use Tumblr, do stop by and say hello!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Board received 14 submissions of various kinds to their internal anonymous feedback form, which they have either passed on to the relevant committees or are discussing the best way to take action. Among the submissions that concerned the Board, they received queries and suggestions about paid employees, OTW diversity and the OTW's founding principles. The anonymous feedback form has been extremely helpful in allowing them to hear from different volunteers who have a variety of perspectives.

Finance is continuing ongoing work for the 2019 audit, while preparing for recruitment and the budget update later in the year.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting received 74 new requests, and completed 77, leaving them with 24 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 24 July the OTW has 883 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.
New Committee Staff: 1 Translation staffer, 1 Legal staffer
New Translation Volunteers: Dani Lee, farah, forestcat, Hali, Juliette, Leona Malfoy, nõiaelu, Noura Mu, Prerna A. Popat, Quality, and 4 other volunteers
Departing Committee Staff: Cyn (Open Doors), ExpatGirl (AO3 Documentation), Kendal GK (Support), Ashley Pancho (Support), and 2 other Support staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Eugecapisce, g33k_magnet, Stephanie Godden, thomastelbon, 2 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Gil81, Tygermine and 1 other 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.

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Elections News - Cast Your Vote!

At this time, all members of the OTW who are eligible to vote should have received an email linking to the voting instructions for 2020. 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, 2019, and June 30, 2020 UTC, inclusive of both dates. Receipts are dated in EDT time zone but the cutoff is in UTC; your receipt may list June 30, 2020 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?”


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.

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Published:
2020-07-19 11:15:39 -0400
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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 Julia Santos, who volunteers as a Tag Wrangling staffer.

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

As a Tag Wrangling volunteer, I help sort through and organize tags so it is easier for users to find what they want to read or filter out what they don’t want to read! This means making tags canonical (filterable), connecting tags to already existing canonicals, checking on the growing number of tags that express the same fandom concept, and discussing the best formats to canonize tags. \o/ Wranglers always try their best to make tags intuitive so Archive users have an easy time browsing through fics and finding what they are looking for.

As a Tag Wrangling supervisor, I also help with recruitment and training of new Tag Wrangling volunteers, check in on progress, and lend a hand and/or help coordinate other Wrangling projects when needed.

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

I’m usually able to wrangle 2-3 days a week, so I like to divide my time: one day for fandoms I wrangle alone, one day for co-wrangled fandoms, one day for megafandoms as they get lots of tags! I’m usually listening to podcasts while I wrangle so that makes wrangling even more fun. Weeks when recruitment is on, or check-ins need to be conducted, means one of my days is dedicated to that work instead of checking on my fandom bins.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I had just graduated from university and was looking for something to keep me occupied until I found a job. I've always loved reading fic and, at the time, was modding a couple of fic rec blogs so I was very used to browsing endless tags on AO3. I came across the recruitment post on Tumblr and it seemed like the perfect way to 1) give back to the community that has been one of my major sources of entertainment for years and 2) keep myself busy.

What’s the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Interacting with people from all over the world, who are just as excited about and invested in fandom as me! My fellow volunteers are some of the kindest, sweetest, and funniest people I’ve met online. They’re all wonderful to work with and are always up to exchanging recs or flailing about new fandom content. I’ve discovered so many new TV shows/books/movies/podcasts through our talks and my life is definitely better for it.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I read all the fic in about 20 different fandoms and I love yelling about them whenever I can. I’m also a fic writer and have written fics for Teen Wolf, How To Get Away With Murder, and MCU and have also participated in and helped run a few fandom challenges. I’m currently in my feelings about MDZS/CQL, where I cry about the characters every day and write soft Wangxian fics to soothe my heart.


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 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.

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Published:
2020-07-12 12:58:54 -0400
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The Elections season is in full swing! This post has links to the candidates’ answers to your questions.

Chats

There will be two public chats, both of which will last 90 minutes. Each of them will have three 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 the first 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:

Edited July 26: Per an announcement, Tyme Ladow withdrew from the ballot.

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 2020 Q&A tag.

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Published:
2020-07-06 13:15:11 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages

I. UPCOMING CHANGES

The OTW Board of Directors has been hard at work listening to and addressing the wide array of concerns about the OTW's internal and external approach to racism that came to light in the past month. The result of discussions was announced publicly. This is very much still a work-in-progress, and Board also set up an internal anonymous feedback form for all of our volunteers.

II. AND MORE FROM OUR PROJECTS

Fanlore ran a very successful Bingo Challenge with a record number of participants. Thank you to everyone who helped with the running of the event and to everyone who took part! The committee also announced a new logo for the site, its first since the project was launched in 2008. Follow their Twitter account to stay up to date on Fanlore news.

Transformative Works and Cultures' latest issue on Fan Studies Methodologies went live right on time! Thanks to all team members for their hard work. The next issue, due on September 15 is on track; and Transformative Works and Cultures also released a new call for papers on Fandom Histories for 2022 release.

Legal had a big month. They submitted comments to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Our comments, which were part of the Senate’s ongoing assessment of section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, covered a number of topics: they responded to a report by the U.S. Copyright Office; urged the Senate to consider the needs of Internet users, independent creators, and small service providers; and presented new empirical data drawn from OTW Legal's 2017 OTW user survey regarding section 512’s effectiveness for transformative creators. Thanks again to the many fans that completed that survey—your answers are still helping us make a difference to support fanworks and fan creators!

Members of the legal team also met with the U.S. Copyright Office, continued work on future legal advocacy testimony and submissions, and responded to a number of user queries.

Communications has been reviewing its publication and events process and will have some changes in the works starting in August. They also want to remind readers that suggestions are always welcome for interviewees for our monthly OTW Guest Post series, which includes features on fanwork creators. Meanwhile our Webs Committee restored access to the OTW's website which went offline for over a day in June.

III. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology: AD&T released the big rewrite of the wrangling and filtering code that hopefully means fewer issues with large tags and fiddly tag relationships going forward. Thank you to Tag Wrangling for providing input and helping out with all the testing! All the latest improvements and fixes are detailed in the release notes. Together with Systems, AD&T kept users up to date about issues with email delivery due to a change in IP address and some overworked mailer workers.

They have also been wrapping up the first round of design discussions (together with the Policy and Abuse and Support chairs) on one of the next big projects, namely blocking and muting functionality. There's a lot of tiny interrelated details to consider and we want to make sure we get the launch as close to right as possible, so these features are still quite a ways off.

Support tickets are ongoing, and our new volunteers are an absolute gift! 500 tickets in just three days in June drove the ticket count over 1700. Meanwhile, Policy and Abuse received over 1000 tickets. Their new recruits are halfway through training so current staff are excited to have them start helping with a backlog of 3000 open, unassigned tickets.

In June, Tag Wrangling volunteers continued their heroic efforts in handling the large increase in tags associated with the large increase in usage the AO3 has experienced over these past months. The Archive canonized its 37,000th fandom and volunteers wrangled more than 375,000 tags in May \o/.

Systems welcomed a new technical writer to their team and have been busy with email-related work -- moving the IP we send mail from, fixing the mail system that lost its NVME drive, liaising with other mail providers, and setting up a new mail submission system.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections have been very busy this month and announced 6 declared candidates running in the 2020 OTW Board election. Translation worked on their Bios & Platforms and the Development and Membership committee organized a mini-drive for anyone wanting to become a member by June 30th, the deadline for voter eligibility. Elections also collected questions for the Candidate Q&A posts and began preparing the posting schedule for Q&As and Candidate Chat times.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 23 May to 24 June, Volunteers & Recruiting received 123 new requests, and completed 138, leaving them with 19 open requests. As of 24 June the OTW has 882 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: C. Ryan Smith, Suzanne Fossey, Julie Bozza, Chera Kee (all Open Doors) and 1 other Open Doors staffer, J. Quadrifrons (AO3 Documentation)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 volunteer
New Translation Volunteers: Blursed, Calime, dressedupasmyself, Methi, Mimozka, themeltingsnowflakes, thewordscomealive (all Translation) and 2 other Translation volunteers

Departing Committee Staff: GoldenFalls, Genie Este, Alanai (all Support) and 2 other Support staffers; 2 Finance staffers; Paula (Open Doors), McBangle (Policy & Abuse); Syb (AO3 Documentation); 1 Communications staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Ari, KH Ivywater, NatashaK, SLiverofJade, toby and 11 other Tag Wrangler Volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Monika Liptáková and 1 other Translation 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.

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Published:
2020-07-01 15:10:59 -0400
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Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

Would you like to wrangle AO3 tags? Can you read and translate from Russian to English? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Tag Wrangling Volunteer - closing 08 July 2020 at 23:59 UTC or until we receive 95 applications
  • Tag Wrangling Russian Volunteer - closing 08 July 2020 at 23:59 UTC or until we receive 35 applications

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our email address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

 

Tag Wrangling Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Shěn Wēi/Zhào Yúnlán with ABO Dynamics, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and fill in our application form. There will also be a short questionnaire that will help us assess whether you have the skills and attributes that will lead to your success in this role.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. For this role, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only, which will change each recruitment round. Please see the application for which fandoms are in need.

While all wranglers need to be fluent in English, we welcome applicants who are also fluent in other languages, especially Chinese (中文), Russian (Русский), Spanish (Español), Italian (Italiano), Polish (Polski), Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Brazilian Portuguese (Português brasileiro), Korean (한국어), Hungarian (Magyar), Finnish (Suomi), Filipino, Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt), Thai (ไทย) and Hindi (हिन्दी).

Applications are accepted until 08 July 2020 or until we receive 95 applications.

 

Tag Wrangling Russian Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that's Roque Alva/Richard Oakdell romance, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

If you're a fluent Russian speaker who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and fill in our application form. There will also be a short questionnaire that will help us assess whether you have the skills and attributes that will lead to your success in this role.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. We’re currently looking for applicants who are fluent in both English and Russian. The work will involve both regular Tag Wrangling work and translating tags from Russian into English.

Applications are accepted until 08 July 2020 or until we receive 35 applications.

Apply at the volunteering page!

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OTW Elections 2020: are you ready?

It's almost election time! Being a member of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) means being able to vote for its Board of Directors. This helps affect how projects such as the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures are run now and going forward. This year, our election for the Board of Directors will be held from August 14 to August 17. (Access the full Elections Timeline for 2020.)

In order to vote, you need to be a member of the OTW by midnight UTC on June 30, 2020 (What time is that for me?). That means that you have to have made a donation of US$10 or more between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, AND have chosen the "membership" option. If you're unsure whether this applies to a donation you've made, please contact our Development & Membership team.

If you participate in this voter registration drive, you will receive a specially designed icon, only available during this drive. Thank you for your support of the OTW! Register to vote today!

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