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Organization for Transformative Works News
August 2008 Newsletter, vol. 16 
21st-Aug-2008 06:00 pm
otw_news (ciderpress)
Welcome to the August 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, Community Relations compiles updates about what the various committees are working on and we share them here.

All issues of the newsletter will be tagged accordingly, so you can follow our progress chronologically.

Academic Journal Update from mafaldastasi

The Academic Journal has been preparing documentation for copyedit and layout. The copyediting team members have received editing assignments. The journal is on track for its first issue in September 2008.

The editorial teams are thinking about content for No. 2, which will come out in March 2009.

Accessibility, Design, and Technology Update from black_samvara

AD&T are working on Browse fanworks (what's new/interesting/popular) and Subscriptions (tell me when so-and-so updates their WIP/posts a new story/updates a series/etc.). We've been working with our beautiful front end coding team to make the archive user friendly and I've been posting random Aussie bush poems to the Test Archive and then searching for them because watching the search results popping up fills me with glee.

Board Update From kellyannbessa

Having survived VividCon, we've been discussing elections, internal reference materials, and the Org's schedule for next year.

Community Relations Update from bethbethbeth

Courtesy of the HP con Terminus, 4/6 of ComRel was able to get together on our usual meeting night and pretend to be discussing committee business. No formal OTW presentation was made at the con, but Femme and I did find occasion to whisper "...I hear you're in the market for a multi-fandom archive" to numerous friends and acquaintances.

In other news, Henry Jenkins' latest blog entry ("How Fan Fiction Can Teach Us a New Way to Read Moby-Dick (Part Two)") discusses the OTW in the "'Transformative Work' of Fan Culture" section

Content Policy Update from ainsley

The Content Policy committee has been preparing the draft of the Archive's additional policies, which will soon be ready for public comment. Additionally, we've continued with the edits on the Archive's ToS based on that set of public comments.

Development and Membership Update from ignazwisdom

We recently welcomed a new researcher, Kahtya, to our team, and now we're moving forward with plans for our next donation/membership drive, in conjunction with producing some limited-edition OTW merchandise. We continue to meet weekly to work on these and other projects. You can still join or donate to the OTW at any time!


No update at this time.

Financial Update from sandersyager

In the wake of this summer's Shark Week, FinCom has been swimming along, slowly but surely navigating the waters of filing OTW's first 990, hunting for a volunteer accountant, and making plans toward an interim report on expenses and income so far in 2008. Cookies have been shared, cons have been visited, jobs and real life have threatened to hook each of our faithful financial sharks, but we're back together and ready to sink our teeth into the task of preparing the 2009 budget and coming up with more aquatic puns for the newsletter.

Legal Update from killalla

The Legal Committee continues to support other committees with diverse matters, from drafting confidentiality statements to advice on potential legal issues. We also aim to respond promptly to queries from members of the public as they arise, and we are working to make relevant material available on the website.

Open Doors

No update at this time.

Public Relations Update from jacquez

The Public Relations committee is working on updating our communications strategy for the rest of 2008 (and beyond). (*See note below)

Systems Update from jadelennox

This is going to be the last systems committee update from jadelennox, because systems is having a personnel change: I will be stepping down as chair, and will be replaced bylongtime committee member Sidra, although I will be sticking around as a committee member for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, systems has been at the beck and call of the website and wiki teams, updating stylesheets, MediaWiki, and Drupal modules as needed.

Translations Update from Lian

Our fabulous translation teams are excited about finishing up the website translation a project we've been diligently working on for a long time now (and we <3 them madly for their dedication!) . Once the website is up and shiny, we will apply ourselves to assisting other committees in making our projects accessible to an international audience.

Volunteers and Recruiting Update from kellyannbessa

We currently have an open job search for the Webmasters committee. They are looking for a PHP guru.

Webmasters Update from zvi_likes_tv

The Webmasters have chosen Zvi (zvi_likes_tv) as our new committee chair. Our previous chair(Elke) stepped down in early August for personal reasons.

Work on Website 2.0 proceeds apace. We are polishing the look and feel of the site and working with the Translation team to make it truly multilingual.

We are searching for a volunteer PHP coder to work with us on an as-needed basis. Please see the job posting (http://community.livejournal.com/otw_news/36795.html) for details.

Wiki Update from angstslashhope

The Wiki Committee are working busily with our beta volunteers to test run policy, hone interface and work on initial population in preparation for Fanlore's soft launch.

(*11:00 p.m. EST, August 21 - In light of this conversation, PR asked that their update be revised and the final sentence - 'As fandom and fannish activity become more visible to the mainstream media, it is increasingly important to have an up-to-date plan, including key messages, in place to help fans and the media understand each other' - be removed to avoid any misunderstandings.)

What details would you like to know? Please give ComRel a helping hand and let us know! Email us at comrel @ transformativeworks.org.

-femmequixotic, bethbethbeth, ciderpress, mirabile_dictu, shrift, svmadelyn
Community Relations Committee
21st-Aug-2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Having talking points about the OTW and its aims is fine. Having talking points about fans in general is impossible, unless your talking points are "there's a lot of 'em" and "they're really diverse." Also, saying you're developing talking points to help the media understand fans? Er, fans didn't hire the OTW to be their spokespeople.

I'm a diehard supporter, and I've been telling critics for quite a while that the OTW isn't setting itself up as fandom's self-proclaimed PR firm. I would appreciate it if the OTW's own messaging supported that.
21st-Aug-2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
*nod* I see your point.

I'm not a big supporter (or detractor) of OTW and I can't say that I'm particularly worried about the prospect of someone trying to speak for me. After all, I can always create my own organization that promotes my views on fandom. But knowing that this has been a major concern of fans, it's probably advisable to exercise more care in how statements are worded.
22nd-Aug-2008 02:55 am (UTC)
What I meant when I wrote it, and I rewrote it about 5 zillion times and STILL messed it up -- was that when fans are approached by the media and want some help, we can help with that, if they ask us to.

--laura (PR)
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