burdened with glorious purpose (femmequixotic) wrote in otw_news,
burdened with glorious purpose
femmequixotic
otw_news

December 2007 Newsletter, vol. 1

Welcome to the first issue of the OTW Newsletter! We're constantly on the lookout for ways to keep fandom up-to-date and informed about what's going on behind the scenes here at OTW, so twice a month, ComRel will be compiling some updates about what the various committees are working on and we'll share them here.

First off, as we announced earlier today, the new OTW website is now live and contains our updated vision, values, and mission statement, as well as information on our various projects and a FAQ about the organization as a whole. Please take a moment to visit the updated site!

Committee Updates

Accessibility, Design, and Technology Update from Naomi Novik

We have been working on an initial project, a web database for the Volunteers Committee, to work out more about our development process and get more familiar with all the tools we will be using in building the archive itself, which we will be diving into right after New Year's. If anyone's interested in taking a look at the code (it's a Ruby on Rails project), you can find it here:

http://code.google.com/p/otwdb/

(If you look at the source tab and poke into the Subversion repository link, you will find the code in the "trunk" directory.)

This project is currently deployed on our server and will soon be publicly released, yay. (It will allow anyone interested in volunteering to register themselves, see the currently open jobs, and what jobs they are working on.) We will shortly be recruiting volunteer testers, and holding some public chat tutorials for anyone interested in helping us out with the archive code. And the_shoshanna has joined us as QA coordinator.

Community Relations Update from Femme (femmequixotic)

One of the most exciting things that ComRel has been working on is setting up our Fandom Convention Coordinator position. meri_oddities, who has over ten years of experience in volunteering and running fannish conventions, has taken on the task of liaising with various conventions across fandom lines. At the moment we have nearly thirty conventions on our list, and we're looking for more--particularly ones outside of the U.S. and U.K. If you know of any conventions (or are running one yourself!) please contact Meri at meri_oddities @ yahoo.com with any relevant details.

In addition, we'd like to remind everyone that updates from OTW are available at otw_news on Insanejournal, Greatestjournal and Journalfen, as well as through our Yahoo mailing list and our Twitter accounts. We've also a de.licio.us page to keep track of posts (both on otw_news and off) that provide further information. Please feel free to use these sources to keep up with OTW news and events!

Development and Membership Update from Kass (kassrachel)

The Membership/Development committee has been working on the behind-the-scenes setup necessary for the OTW to function as a member-supported nonprofit. We've been brainstorming policies and procedures, learning more than we ever wanted to know about donation-tracking software, and thinking a lot about what makes the OTW so cool and why we hope y'all will join us in supporting it in whatever ways you can.

We're a volunteer-run organization, and we rely on contributions from supporters to fund purchases of goods and services that cannot be provided by volunteers.

We recently opened a PayPal account for accepting donations online.



You may also make a contribution by check via mail to our PO box. Checks can be mailed to:

Organization for Transformative Works, Inc.

P.O. Box 13501

Silver Spring, MD 20910

United States

Please note that donations are not tax-exempt at this time. We are filing for tax-exempt status in the United States, but until we receive it, you cannot claim donations to OTW as a tax deduction. Once we receive tax-exempt status, donations will be tax-deductible, and we'll let you know as soon that happens. Meanwhile, your gift now will help to fund our start-up expenses. We hope to open the doors for membership donations early in 2008, so stay tuned.

Public Relations Update from Iphi (iphi1)

-As has been announced above, PR has been working on the updated version of www.transformativeworks.org. Right now this website is brand new and therefore you won't find a great deal of content just yet, but as the website continues to grow, our goal is to give you up-to-date information on the status of the projects that fall under the umbrella of the OTW: the archive, the journal, legal assistance, and the wiki. In the future we'd also like showcase OTW's activities and events as well as OTW mentions in the media. For now, take a look at OTW's slightly revised vision, values, and mission statement resulting from the many hours of constructive discussions with you and among ourselves.

-We've made the news!

OTW was mentioned in Lum's interview with New York Magazine

The Vidder: Luminosity upgrades fan video

Naomi Novik was interviewed by Firefox News

A Day At the Biggest Mall on Earth: Fanfic Archiving and You

Systems Update from Jade Lennox (jadelennox)

Systems has been working on getting the transformativeworks.org server up and running. We've been working with ADT to help them configure the Volunteers database, and with the Journal committee to help them get the software used by the Journal ready for prime time. Xenacryst is cutting over most of our remaining services from our initial, temporary server to our awesome hosted system. Risha Bree is researching backup services and is developing a long-term project plan to help us manage some of our bigger tasks. And Jade Lennox has started putting together training materials for potential volunteers who want to learn more about systems administration.

Volunteers and Recruiting Update from morganmuffle

The Volunteers & Recruiting committee has been busy co-ordinating a whole range of job applications, filling both committee and volunteer positions within the Org.

One of the newest projects for the Volunteers is looking for potential members of a Design Pool. This pool of designers will do design work for individual committees or the organization as a whole. The work they are asked to do may be anything from logos and graphics for the website to marketing and promotional materials. Work has already begun on one such project, with more to come.

Content Policy Update from ainsley

The Content Policy committee has created a draft of the OTW's Terms of Service/Terms of Use. Thus far we have concentrated on general principles and our privacy and age policies. The next step we're taking, along with ComRel, is the formation of a "focus group" to help us make the document less preliminary before releasing it for general discussion and feedback. Do consider volunteering!

Journal Update from Karen Hellekson (khellekson)

The Journal group is working quickly to prepare for advertising the existence of a new peer-reviewed academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) at academic and fan conventions. A number of conferences are coming up in early 2008, and we are preparing our first call for papers so we can solicit submissions.

We have spent the last few weeks contacting potential board members from the academic community, including a staff of peer reviewers. We have been extraordinarily pleased at the overwhelmingly positive response from the scholars and their high acceptance rate.

We have selected journal software that will permit contributors to directly upload submissions for blinded peer review. The software tracks manuscripts through the submission and acceptance queue, then trafficks it through production. We plan HTML-only text. The software will index the articles under a number of criteria and will allow readers to post comments. And it will allow readers to register to receive an update when an issue is published, and to enable an RSS feed.

We are currently discussing questions of open access with regard to the OTW's content. We will copyright under Creative Commons. We plan to register the journal with various open access journal directories, which authors increasingly turn to when they decide where to submit.

When these copyright-related issues have been resolved, and when we have our first call for papers ready, we will update OTW's website and go live.

Journal inquiries and suggestions may be made to the Journal committee via editor @ transformativeworks.org.

***

What details would you like to know? Where else should we be reaching out to fandom? Please give ComRel a helping hand and let us know! Email us at comrel @ transformativeworks.org.
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