Geocities Closing

Like many fans, we are concerned about the news that GeoCities is going to close at the end of the year, especially as many older sites and fanfiction archives are housed there. As the chair of Open Doors, which is dedicated to protecting at-risk fannish projects, I can assure you that we will work out some sort of gameplan; in the interim, if you have an archive or webpage there, or if you can put us in contact with any archivists located there, please contact Open Doors through the Open Doors contact page.

Retiring Our Amazon Widget

The OTW is retiring our Amazon widget; we ask you to please disable your “I heart OTW” Firefox extension if you installed it. Amazon no longer supports widgets or other Amazon Associate / nonprofit fundraising devices that don’t have banners or ads attached, and the OTW prefers not to have any corporate advertising on its site. We will not be receiving any donations from the use of this widget: however, please feel free to donate to us early and often through the usual channels.

April, 2009 Newsletter, Vol 27

Welcome to our next newsletter; get progress reports from all your favorite committees and stay on top of your favorite OTW projects–right under the cut!

Abuse:
No report.

ADT/Archive:
AD&T are trialling a new way of navigating through pseuds on the Test Archive right now. We plan to make it possible to manage your different identities better. We’ve also rebuilt the way the inbox works and are in the process of splitting out the ‘Warning’ tags from general tags when viewing story summaries.

We’re researching co-location facilities and ongoing hardware costs. We need a good idea of how much it will cost us to move to hardware with enough grunt to support a lot more users. synecdochic talked about why having the right hardware and architecture is important if you’re interested in knowing more.

All the excitement emanating from our team on Ada Lovelace Day seems to have proved inspirational, and we’re happy to be welcoming some new coders on board. We’re also sprucing up our training documentation and working to improve support and training for new coders, as part of our committment to fostering the tech heroines of the future.

Board:
The Board continues to work with Systems on co-location for the AOOO; with Financial on writing the Annual Report and making budgets; with Volunteers on various personnel issues; with Open Doors to get the Fan Culture Preservation project up and running; with Legal to support the EFF’s DMCA exemption; with Webmasters and Elections on election software and installation; & with Abuse on privacy issues. Board chair Naomi Novik also took out some time to go on NPR to speak against DRM technology on audiobooks.

Communications:
The Communications team helped to promote the latest issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, on gaming, and we’re pleased at the response across the blogosphere; we got slashdotted and we’re hoping to develop additional articles in the print press. Meanwhile, we also continue to support the OTW’s presence at various cons and conferences. We’re also particularly proud of our Ada Lovelace Day post. Breaking news: we now also have a mirror site on Dreamwidth, a new fan-friendly social networking site.

Content Policy:
No report.

Development:
Big report on the March, 2009 drive coming soon!

Documentation:
The Documentation Committee is pleased to announce our newest addition, tree! tree brings our committee up to seven members, and we are delighted to have someone else to assign work to.

Documentation has also started our first big internal documentation push—developing “What Is It?” primer pages for each committee. These pages will help new staff and volunteers get a better feel for what the committees do, and how they operate.

Committee chairs should expect to hear from their assigned Documentation person soon, if you have not already; your Documentation person will help figure out what kind of information your “What Is It?” page should have and how to organize it. Once the skeleton of the page is there, committee members are encouraged to add information to it. (Don’t worry about organizing it—info dumps are OK!)

Staff and volunteers are also encouraged to check out the internal FAQ. It’s a work-in-progress, and we welcome any contributions.

Elections:
No report.

Finance Update:
Finance is working on our Annual Report, coming soon!

Journal:
Issue number two of the academic journal TWC, a special number about Games, is out! The communications team has made a big push to advertise it heavily to the gaming world, and we have been tracking links. We are very pleased by the response, as we’ve been featured on Slashdot and other prominent sites. The editorial team is embarking on a spree of solicitation for No. 3 (a general, unthemed issue), and for No.4 (a special issue on Supernatural). http://journal.transformativeworks.org We will also be represented at events such as Muskrat Jamboree, where a Journal member will sit on a panel about OTW.

Legal:
Legal is collaborating with Vidding History to support the OTW’s reply comment in support of the EFF’s DMCA exemption; see “Vidding History” below for more info.

Open Doors:
Open Doors will soon announce its new Fan Culture Preservation Project with a press release and a webpage; currently, we have finalized the legal arrangement with our university partner and are now actively working on establishing a collection/saving some zines. Stay tuned!

Systems:
No report.

Translation:
We continue to welcome our new fabulous volunteers, which now include a Danish translation team. For now work on the OTW website goes forward as the main focus of our efforts.

Vidding History:
OTW Goes To Washington! Board members Francesca Coppa and Rebecca Tushnet, as well as TWC Review Editor Tisha Turk are going to DC in early May to testify at the Copyright Office in favor of the EFF’s proposed exemption to DMCA prohibitions on DVD ripping for makers of fair use user-generated content. Tushnet and Coppa will also be presented on vidding at the Columbia Symposium on Gender and the Law on April 10th; Turk will be presenting on vidding later that month at the IP/Gender conference at American University School of Law.

Volunteers:
The Volunteers committee welcomes our newest member, avaloste! We continue to bring new staffers and volunteers into the Org, and have recently made some changes to our internal process that should not only make it easier to do, but easier for future Volunteers committee members to learn.

Webmasters:
The Webmasters are currently working to upgrade CiviCRM, the software we use to support DevMem’s fundraising efforts. We are also working closely with Translation to resolve a lingering site bug, and will work soon with the Elections committee to create a home for Elections-related content.

Wiki:
Wiki recently announced its new chatroom for fanlore participants; they also ran a “Fanlore Live” panel at Escapade.