jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
I'm now doing more volunteering, which is fun. I've done a bit of coding on the AO3 translation interface, which is in review, and I've improved a few of the automated tests.

I've also been enjoying trying out Slack - the OTW is currently in a trial of using it as well as Campfire. It's not perfect, but the ease of creating new rooms and the usability of the mobile app have improved cross-committee communication and relationships, which is good.

We've just started a couple of informal discussion groups/courses which volunteers can choose to join and study together - one via EdX on leadership, and one I'm running on web accessibility. It's great to be able to share a bit of what I've learnt from Dreamwidth, Growstuff and my day job with other OTW volunteers.

There was an in-person meet-up for volunteers in London a few weeks back, which was fun. I heard from Priscilla (Translation co-chair) and Alex Tischer about how Translation works these days, and from Alex about the problems with the site software, as well as more about finance. James and Ariana were there and we talked code a bit as well. It's one of the benefits of London and Heathrow being a bit of a hub - occasionally people are travelling through for other reasons and can say hi. We'll do another meeting around Nine Worlds con, which several people are going to.

I'm still looking forward to seeing the budget for 2016. It sounds like the draft from the previous board wasn't of the quality you'd expect, and the current board are still working on getting all the right inputs from committees.

OTW update

Jan. 2nd, 2016 11:30 am
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Chatter about the OTW seems to have gone quiet again since the election. This is a critical time, as things calm down again - as puckling said, having engaged members in between elections is really useful for the org. Someone was setting up a Google group, on which I haven't seen anything for several months. It would be great to get that going again.

Reading minutes from 15th Dec, the board appointed the other candidates (apart from Andrea and Sanders), which I think was a good move. Atiya becomes Treasurer, which is a tough job. They're still trying to get a budget published. The next meeting is 8th Jan.

A load of things are obviously delayed by the holiday period - some volunteers suddenly have a lot of free time, and others suddenly have none, which means things move in odd fits and starts.

I've volunteered as a coder and tester again, which is interesting. I haven't yet been officially inducted, so I'm not getting all the back-channel discussions or volunteer communications, but I've been hanging out in the main chat channel as well as getting familiar with the status of things.

My 5 big posts on the state of the servers were all written several weeks ago and are stuck in holiday limbo, waiting for approval from several different committees.

The holiday period has been hard for the core team - the 10 or so most active people across Systems, AD&T and Support who keep everything up and running. Yuletide was a drop in the ocean compared to the sheer mass of people spending more time reading during the holidays, though they did have some specialist support for their assignments and tags, which was made easier by half their founders and mods also being OTW founders and volunteers. Having Elz working full-time as a contractor is good. James has been spending a lot of time coaxing the servers through overload. He's suggested $6k of new hardware which should give some breathing room, but it's going to stay painful until we get that bought and installed. The last deploy (.100) has helped the databases a bit, but we had a lot of downtime when the firewall went temperamental. There are 40 open pull requests, and a lack of senior people with time to review things, though not nearly as bad as it used to be.

For context, an enterprise application of this size, if it's business-critical or business-important, will often have a team of over 200 full-time employees, across operations, 1st line support, application development, application maintenance, all the design, build and test teams, project management, etc. If you exclude tag wranglers and translators, which are a special type of work, the AO3 has under 100 volunteers in equivalent areas. And although many are very dedicated and spend a lot of hours working for the org, it's not reasonable or sensible long-term to rely on volunteers spending 40 hours a week or more on org work. AO3 has 700k users. You could easily have 200 people working on a business system with 10k users, though obviously there are also examples on the other end of the scale with millions of users, lots more than AO3, with even fewer people running it.

Volunteer management is the hardest thing around, in many ways, and is an old and well-worn problem. The OTW has a lot of easy tasks that you can dip in and out of, like Fanlore editing, and some bits of Translation, Tag wrangling or help with Journal. But there are a lot of tasks that require keeping up to date, current skills and large amounts of time. Writing and editing the major journal articles needs experienced academics, though the Symposium section of the journal and the Fanhackers blog welcome essays from everyone. Several of the groups that keep the Org running need people who are familiar with all the processes and areas of the org and up-to-date with what's going on in each, and that needs a certain amount of ongoing time - improving efficiency helps, but fundamentally you need various roles that are in touch with each other. Support need to be familiar with all the Archive functionality, common mistakes by users, common requests for features and the official answer. The documentation is all there, but getting familiar with it takes time. And the biggest one - coding and sysadmin work takes skills, and those skills take time to develop. Either you need to be someone who already has those skills, from their day job or elsewhere, or you need to learn them, which takes a lot of time. And even once you have those skills, you need to get familiar with this particular project. Obviously there's more that could be done to make it easier for people with those skills to drop in to the AO3, but it's a lot better than it used to be, and fundamentally this is a problem that all volunteer projects face - it takes a lot of time, and dedicated people are thin on the ground.

How can we get some of those people who were spending lots of time talking and writing back in October, and get us to keep talking, to keep reading meeting minutes and news posts, asking questions, and spreading knowledge? How can we get the word out to people who were keen to help back in October, and get them now to do little but useful things like explaining to their friends how to recognise when "The AO3 looks weird and broken" is "Bug, report it via Support" and when it's "CSS hasn't loaded, hit refresh, report to Support if it keeps happening"?
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The Fanlore page now has some links to most of what's been happening and some good summaries, for anyone who's not already aware.

I have been on various committees across the org, and am still friends with a number of people in it, though I haven't done anything active for a couple of years, as I was recovering from my time on Board. In the current mess, both my time on Board and my time on Finance are particularly relevant.

I am still figuring out what to say publicly, but I am also keen to talk about it, in between being nervous of hearing stuff dragged back up that will upset me. I'm tentatively hopeful but also slightly cynical at the moment. Matty and Atiya are great people and I look forward to seeing what they'll do. They're not perfect people, and fandom's idealisation-devaluation cycle can be vicious. There is a distinct risk of us getting a situation where they make a mistake and a lot of people turn on them at once. I hope that doesn't happen.

A clean slate is easier in some ways than changing a culture when you're a minority, but there are bits of problematic culture that have been spread across the org for so many years that I really doubt they're all gone, and I don't think the Board is the only problem culturally or ethically, let alone in any other way. This is a great opportunity for the org to improve some things, but it won't be the solution to everything.

In other news, I have been sick for the past week, I'm still recovering, and I have my day job to catch up on from a week of sick leave, chores to do, and a pile of fun stuff including Dreamwidth coding that I'd like to get to at some point. But I've volunteered to share my knowledge on the finance side, because institutional history can help, provided you can prevent it perpetuating bad culture (which I'll do by not actually joining whatever new committee or post gets set up, and staying out once I've shared my info).

So, a few clarifications and corrections, in no particular order. Some people may have forgotten or not realised just how dysfunctional things used to be, and how much better the current state of the Org is, even though it's a long way from where it needs to be. If you want more history, look up the 2011 elections on Fanlore. Read more... )

That's enough typing for now. Are there any particular bits people want to hear more about? I also have a giant half-drafted post about the AO3 servers and performance and options for throwing money at the problems - are people keen on me dusting that off as well?
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I've been working mainly on elections stuff lately, but also a few other bits. Ira's posts have more details expanding on the minutes. I spend a fair amount of time with the strategic planning workgroup. I've also worked on some diagrams of organisational structure for the board, and we're now talking about writing up a proper job description before the election, setting out rough expected workload.

It's still exhausting, and my day job has also been busy, but there are some good signs of progress. At least we're having these conversations, and also planning to formalise the emerita board and set up an advisory board. Volcom are also making progress on their big projects for the code of conduct and related processes, which is exciting.
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Most of the recent news is on the OTW blog - check it out! It includes more information about performance of the AO3, invitations on the AO3, the latest survey data, and it will shortly have a post about elections that has been consuming a lot of my energy for the past few weeks. The board minutes for the last few meetings are now also online.
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Since my last post seems to have sparked off a lot of discussion, there are a couple of things I'd like to clarify. Firstly, attendance is not the whole story, particularly for board meetings.

Read more... )

In happier news, thank you to everyone who gave me hugs on my last post - it's given me an injection of energy, and we've managed to redistribute a couple of tasks so that several of us are making more progress again. New board minutes are now posted, Sidra's thank-you is posted, and so is strat plan's latest update. And although the annual report is several months late, it's getting very close to being ready. So there is some improvement in various areas, even if it's not as much as we might have hoped six months ago.


Jul. 4th, 2012 07:33 am
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[personal profile] awatson wrote a great post on burnout recently. I've mostly been suffering from those symptoms too much to write in here, despite my early dreams. If you want more OTW news, [personal profile] renay and [personal profile] hl are also writing a bit from different perspectives.

Board is difficult. We have three people who can hardly ever make a meeting at the moment. I would say you can see from our minutes, but I'm having trouble getting a quorum to approve the minutes so I can post them. And it's getting to be holiday season, so it's only going to get harder. We can't really have the discussions of big issues that we need if only half the board are there. So we tick along on the admin side, and work on making specific committees more sustainable.

That's an uphill battle, too. We have had an unlucky year, with six chairs having to step down in the first six months of the year - that's significantly higher than normal. We've also had a lot of experienced staffers finally hit the point of "too much". So for those who are left, training newbies is balanced with keeping things running, and trying to fit in some long-term strategic thinking in the gaps. It's easy to think that all we need to do is train and mentor more people for future leadership, but mentoring is hard work, even if it's rewarding. There are people who say they have tons of professional experience, but then don't seem to apply any of the expected skills to their org work. Which applies to me some days, too - I forget that the day-job skills for dealing with difficult clients could be applied to fannish friends in the org.

The AO3 performance problems have slipped off the headlines, but behind the scenes everyone knows it's only a temporary reprieve - we need to fix the actual problems so they don't recur. And because of the stress that's causing, still no-one wants to talk about any of the issues that were raised publicly during the last election.

I wanted to end this on a hopeful note, but I can't think of one right now. I guess that's another of the symptoms of burnout. Anyone want to volunteer for Board next year?
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We've heard about a couple of surveys for an Otakon panel, which I'd like to signal-boost. These don't meet the official guidelines to be publicised on the OTW website, but given the content, I imagine many OTW members will be interested. The panel is on sexism in anime and anime fandom, and the hosts have put together two surveys to help prepare for the panel. Here they are with blurbs:

Research Survey For Otakon Sexism Panel 2012 – This one is for any of you who’ve attended a convention. We’re trying to get a sense of how people feel at events and how they connect to the community.

Sexism in Cosplay Survey for Otakon 2012 – This one is for you cosplayers out there. If you’ve cosplayed or do so regularly, we’d love for you to take the time to fill it out.

There's some information and links to the surveys on the Altair and Vega blog, and they plan to keep the surveys going until July 20th.
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
I think it's time for a little more chat about the work I'm doing for the OTW at the moment.

I started this year with several overlapping roles:
- Board member
- Board secretary
- AD&T staff member
- AD&T training lead
- Open Doors board liaison
- Support board liaison
- Finance board liaison

I've now stepped down from AD&T (last week), but am still doing the rest and have joined Finance staff as well. Each of the other board members has something similar - a combination of chair position(s), staff position(s) and liaising, and we each have about 6 different hats to wear.

In a normal week, this means I would have the following regular tasks:
- Attend board meeting (2 hours)
- Write up board meeting minutes, get them approved by the rest of the board and send them to Webmasters for posting
- Attend AD&T meeting (1.5 hours)
- Attend Finance meeting (1 hour)

I'd also attend Support and Open Doors meetings (neither of them meet every week), make notes towards the monthly board newsletter update, follow up via email on any discussions or other projects, and spend some time coding. I'd aim to have a 1:1 catch-up via email or Gtalk with each of the three chairs I liaised for at least once a month, and ideally more like once a week when things are moving fast.

Support started the year on a good footing, having carried on working during the break. Matty has set up the new AO3 documentation workgroup to revamp the FAQs with AD&T's help. They've added a new staff member and have been handling tickets as usual.

Open Doors were very quiet in previous years. This year they started off with the SSA import, which required a ton of help from Support, Comms and AD&T. Their chair, Heather, had to step down fairly shortly after that, as her day job is busy and she didn't have the time for the increased workload. Mishie stepped up as the new chair, and has done an excellent job. Most of the committee are new, and the experienced people have fairly limited time. They're writing a lot of processes from scratch, preparing for importing more archives to the AO3 - we have a queue of archives which have asked for help.

Finance are having a big focus on documentation this year - they've previously had several expert committee members who had all the information in their heads, but would now like to have things clearly documented as well, to make training new people easier. They're also aiming to formalise the budget process and publish detailed accounts more often - there's a fair amount of information in the annual report, but that's only once a year.

The other new role I've added to my workload is Elections Officer. The latest Board minutes talk a bit more about the exact scope of this role - one of the issues Ira struggled with last year is that the role is not very well defined. She produced a great report on the difficulties faced last year and how we can improve the elections process. For example, a lot of voters were confused by how to vote and the difference between being an AO3 member and an OTW member, so we're updating the FAQs and making them easier to navigate. Also, the candidates really struggled with the overflow questions after the chat, so we'll be considering other ways to let voters understand the candidates' views and get to know them without putting too much burden on the candidates.

There are several things that worked well when the org was small, with uncontested elections and few candidates, that don't scale with our larger numbers of members and more frequently contested elections. Given the success of our recent donation drive, we'll probably have double the number of voters next year that we had last year, so this will be even more important, to let all voters feel that they have a voice and a chance to question the candidates.

The other issue we're looking at is term lengths - due to several board members stepping down early, and a lack of clarity in the byelaws, we have some decisions to make. The previous board explained that in a post at the end of their term, and we'll be talking more about that over the next few months.

The other implication of this is that I won't be endorsing any specific candidates next year - as Elections Officer, I have to remain neutral. While we haven't yet started the process and I have no idea who potential candidates will be, I can make a couple of general comments, though. You already know most of my views from last year, and I don't think the OTW's priorities have changed. We still need board members to focus on sustainability, transparency, diversity (i.e. non-English-speaking and non-Western-media-centric fandom communities) and volunteer retention. We'll need people who will continue the work we're doing on the strategic plan, the code of conduct and various documentation and communication projects. We'll need people who understand the difference between doing the work of a committee, managing a project to achieve something, and managing people to train them and prevent them burning out, and people who have experience doing those, so can support chairs and staff, but who can also do the work of the board in focusing on the big picture and long-term strategy. Regardless of who steps down, we will already have board members with knowledge and experience of all the OTW committees and projects - we're deliberately rotating liaising this year to achieve that.

Oh, and just in case I didn't have enough work, I'm still in the workgroup for the systems training project, I've joined the survey results analysis workgroup, and I'm liaising for the strategic planning workgroup. And a full time day job.


Apr. 25th, 2012 10:24 pm
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Renay posts about Volcom work

Sanders posts about Board work

I guess I've had some of the same problems as Sanders and Renay here, in terms of talking about my work in the OTW, except one step worse because I haven't even been keeping up with Dreamwidth.

Talking about work and my mental state is difficult. I've kind of got out of the habit. As I mentioned on my personal journal a few months back, that's partly because it's not actually that bad. I look back to my previous project at work, and yes, the end of that was very tough. At the beginning of my new project, I was exhuasted and facing the standard challenges of settling in to a new area of work. I had a week's holiday in October and it was nowhere near enough, particularly with the OTW election on top of everything else. By mid-December I was seeing my GP about depression - it was the middle of winter, my SAD was hitting me worse than it had in years, I was overloaded with work and struggling to cope. And yet the hardest thing, in a way, was that it wasn't as bad as, say, 4 years ago. I have all my coping mechanisms for when things are really bad, but it wasn't like that. I had no coping mechanisms for mild depression, for balancing the days when things were okay with the days when things weren't.

Thing have improved since then. I got a good break over Christmas, and things have been looking up in terms of work. I'm still tired, but not nearly as badly. Spring helps.

But then I look at OTW stuff. We've made huge progress. I'm so pleased about the drive going well, and emailing the AO3 users. Our strategic planning workgroup have made brilliant progress, and I'm so excited that their post is up so you can all read about it. I am ridiculously excited about the Code of Conduct, because we need it so desperately. I have dreams for my role as Elections Officer next year. Open Doors has really got going and has big plans - Mishie is doing a great job as a new chair, after Heather had to step down for personal reasons. Support goes from strength to strength, and the AO3 Docs workgroup are getting going to improve the FAQs and other documentation. Finance has new people and is looking at improving their documentation, too.

But...there's always a but. I have reached a new level of burnout. I haven't coded anything in over two months. I spent two years reading every word of every transcript in the OTW Coders room on Campfire, and I've probably spent less than an hour in there in the past month. There are some areas where I can't bring myself to care anymore, because it hurts too much. I've said before that the thing that causes burnout isn't too much work, but too little support, and I'm finding the truth of that yet again. I'm seeing more different ways that well-intentioned people can hurt each other.

I still have hope. We're still making progress, and we can make things better. But it's hard work, and we lose good people along the way, and we can't solve it all at once. Please keep wishing us well, and please keep asking questions, holding us accountable, letting us know where we need to be more transparent, and above all, whatever your level of involvement, please remember there is a human being at the other end of the computer screen.
jennyst: Fraser: Support the OTW. It's the right thing to do. (OTW right thing to do)
The OTW's twice-yearly donation drive has just started. We need your support, in both time and money. Please signal-boost, comment, and talk about the posts, and let us know which areas of the OTW you'd like to know more about. And please donate - all of our projects are entirely funded by fans. We're applying for arts grants for the history and journal and tech grants for supporting coders, but we'll still need the majority of our funding from our users, just like Dreamwidth.

Our annual report will be coming out soon, with all the details of last year's finances. We still have a good cushion of cash to cover operating costs, but donations last year didn't increase as much as our userbase did. So we're in great shape for now, but our main aim is not just to get more money from people who've donated before, but to encourage new people to donate who haven't donated before but who enjoy using our projects (AO3, Fanlore, etc.) so that it's sustainable in the long term. If we keep growing at our current rate, several costs are going to increase - not just more new servers to run on, but more bandwidth, more space for backups, etc.

So please spread the word to friends who may use the AO3 but who may not have heard of the OTW - we need ongoing, regular funding for the servers. You can even set it up as a monthly or quarterly donation, which helps us plan ahead.

OTW: By Fans, For Fans. Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 18-25, 2012.


Mar. 18th, 2012 10:08 pm
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I know I haven't posted here much lately - that's mostly been because all the key stuff has been in the board meeting minutes, which are now being posted publicly on the OTW website. You can look there to see the latest notes on setting up our strategic planning process workgroup, getting the term going, and some wider discussions.

Essentially, all the stuff we discussed during the election is gradually progressing, but it's hard work, and it's slow, particularly as we have to keep up the day-to-day work of the board at the same time. In some ways, we've gone from crisis to crisis, and doing big-picture stuff at the same time is both essential and exhausting.

I think what I'm essentially saying is that although I know it looks from some angles like we haven't achieved much progress since the election, that's not true - we've just had to get stuff sorted out internally before the effects will show externally. And I'm also saying that it's been a tough few months, and a particularly tough week, so I in particular and probably most of the rest of the board would love some encouragement. But as usual, if you have particular questions, please ask me - I would far rather be able to clear up misunderstandings here than have them persist.
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The most recent Board meeting minutes can be found at the OTW website. We also posted a bit on the official blog there about what's been going on the past couple of months. After our Board term started on 9th December, we had several weeks where we struggled to meet, due to timezones and the holiday season. But we've now had four regular meetings, and things are starting to pick up. We're also starting to discuss some of the issues raised during the election, which is hard work, but I'm hopeful that things will improve.

We're a bit late starting the term for the rest of our committees, but once that all kicks off, there should be more news to talk about. AD&T have had more of a break than the past few years, but are still working hard on the next deploy and performance improvements, with the help of Systems.
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It's been well over a week since my last quick update, so here are some notes of what's been going on.

We had our first Board overlap meeting! I'm expecting a post to go up on the official blog soon explaining more about what overlap is, but the people who would have been chasing it up have had RL issues (moving house, health problems flaring), so it's taken a while. But it's basically the period while the new Board can shadow the old Board, getting access to some of the Board-locked areas of Campfire and later Basecamp, and sitting in on meetings, though we can't yet vote on decisions. The meeting lasted a whopping 3 hours, but I think we heard some useful updates and laid some good groundwork - we all discussed our hopes for the next few months, and a bit about the general theory of strategic planning.

We'll be talking more about strategic planning in the next org-wide meeting, so if you're awake at 5am UTC this Saturday and you volunteer for the OTW, come along! Or maybe read transcript afterwards :S At some point I'm also vaguely hoping to do a post on the official OTW blog talking more about the process and theory. In the meantime, a quick Google or Wikipedia of "Strategic planning" gives a pretty good overview for anyone who's curious.

AO3 deploy! We had a deploy two days ago, which included fixing some urgent bugs for due South Secret Santa and other challenges, fixing bugs for the tag wranglers and for a security loophole, among other fixes. We had a great relay team working across the Atlantic in different timezones, handing over the baton to continue working round the clock and get everything sorted as soon as possible. Now it's back to working on the new parser, the remaining skins bugs and missing features that were intended for Skins 2.0, as well as fixing the remaining automated tests that were broken by the tag sets changes.

And our donation page on the AO3 is now live, linking users to the main OTW site - the next version will include some more details and graphics, but it's a great start. That was coded by our intern, Firewolf - at the beginning of October, she'd never programmed before, and now she's fixing bugs and adding new features like this! \o/
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This follows on from Part 1 about Test-driven development, and will make more sense if you've read that first.

A lot of testing, at its heart, is about the question, "Have we done what we intended to do, and is it done properly?" And similarly, a lot of charities and companies do that kind of evaluation of their whole organisation on a regular basis - "Are we doing what we intended to do, and are we doing it well?"

For a company, that's often a case of "Are we making money, and how much?" but it's usually more complex than that - who you're making money for, which areas are making most money, and are you also complying with the law and your Corporate Social Responsibility (ethics and charity) goals. For a charity, it's more about the grey area of "Are we helping people?" than about the black and white "How many hungry children have we fed?" GivingWell has some great discussion about what this means for charities, and how to do this kind of evaluation for a humanitarian charity.

For IT projects, there's the classic 8-point requirement check, which is designed to make sure that you can test it afterwards. Similarly, people or teams may have their performance measured against SMART objectives - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. These are both tied to the idea that what gets measured, gets done. Obviously quite often people go above and beyond, so there are things getting done which haven't and maybe couldn't be measured (like making sure a company has integrity), but if there's someone measuring it and publishing the results, it's more likely to happen, even if no-one's going to yell if it's not done.

On the other side of the equation, non-profit organisations usually focus on the intangible things first. They'll have a vision or a mission statement, a dream that inspires everyone. You can see this in charities - "Make Poverty History", Unicef's aim to end child poverty, or Water Aid wanting to give everyone in the world access to safe drinking water. You can also see it in religious institutions and political lobbying organisations, though they don't always state it as clearly. The OTW has our own vision on the OTW site.

Once you have your vision, though, it needs to be broken down into goals. We have goals for the org, and some projects and committees also have their own specific goals or mission statements. Part of the strategic planning process will involve looking at the goals for the OTW, and considering whether we are meeting them and whether those are still the key goals we want to meet.

I'd like committees and projects to be able to talk more about their goals. In some cases, these might be very simple - e.g. "keep the AO3 running", and sometimes measurable - e.g. "respond to all support requests within 3 days, solve 90% of requests within a fortnight". For some committees, this wouldn't be very useful, but for others, having something to aim for or evaluate your work against is a big help.

Of course, that then comes back to the question of what happens when you don't meet your goals. Either you can set your goals really low, so you're guaranteed to meet them, or you can ignore them and never evaluate how your organisation is doing, or you have the possibility of failure. But I think that's another thing we need to talk about - that failure is not the end of the world, that people shouldn't need to resign for minor mistakes, and that there needs to be room in our organisations and friendships for forgiveness and mercy.

At the end of the day, we all make mistakes sometimes, and we're all volunteers, doing our best. We can admit our mistakes, and still encourage each other and cheer on all the many more occasions when we succeed and exceed our goals. Because despite the things we've done wrong and want to improve, we've achieved a whole lot more - the OTW has come an amazingly long way in four years.
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Transformative Works and Cultures Issue 8 has just been published! I haven't yet had a chance to read any of it, but I am sure it is awesome - the titles in the email look intriguing. I'll update this post with reviews once I've read some, hopefully this evening. I'd like to encourage people to look at the abstracts and symposium articles for interesting fannish meta even if you're not an academic and don't want to read the full thing.

What did you think - which are the articles you found most interesting?

Edit: I've just read the editorial on race. The first few paragraphs were hard to read as a non-academic, style-wise, but then I got into it and there's some great content there. Now I want to watch The Real Girls' Guide to Everything Else.
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I feel like this week has been all fire-fighting, and I desperately want to take a step back and see where it fits into the bigger picture, but I haven't yet had time for that. So, in lieu of the proper post that has to wait until my day job work and the AO3 deploy have calmed down a bit, here are some quick notes. I'd be happy to expand on any of these in comments if people want to know more - each paragraph could easily have been a post in itself.

The AO3 deploy has been a rush and a big deal. Support have done an amazing job. There are things I strongly disagree with about how this deploy was handled, but I've said the key things internally and I don't think there's anything to be gained by going over it here. Suffice it to say that the people who made mistakes have also been doing sterling work helping to clean up the mess, and I want to give full credit for that. I know some of the changes and the way we dealt with them have annoyed and upset people, and I'm sorry for that. I'm also looking forward to all the underlying improvements, and enjoying the benefit of them once the dust has settled. I hope that some day we can regain the trust we've lost.

I am sad about Lucy's resignation. I was looking forward to working with her on the Board if either of us got elected. I understand the need for self-care, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in various areas of the org. I'm also looking forward to implementing some of her suggestions - the things we've all mentioned in the chats can be put forward as proposals, regardless of who gets elected.

I want to link to lim's post about her work. I have really appreciated working with lim over the past few years, and I am very upset that she is leaving. From my point of view as a member of AD&T, the bad aspects of this deploy have not all been her fault - there are several other stages where the backlash could have been prevented. I want to extend a huge thank you for all the work she's done on accessibility. I hope we can finish the code off in such a way that people can see the benefits of the work she's done.

Read more... )

And lastly - a giant thank you to everyone who's supported me in this election. I am reading, even when I don't have the energy to comment, and I appreciate hearing all your views. The encouragement, both for me and for my colleagues, is a big help when we're all doing our best for the OTW.

♥ fandom ♥
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
Test driven development (TDD) is a concept in computer programming, and I'd like to take time to explain it for non-technical people, as I think it's a useful start for wider discussions about goals.

Basically, it's awesome )
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
From the official OTW elections site:

We'd also like to remind all of our voters that tomorrow, 2 November 2011, is the deadline to assign a voting proxy (see our Elections timeline here). We know that the extended, electronic ballots that we use should make proxy voting unnecessary in most cases, but a voter might decide they need a proxy if the 48-hour voting period falls during a time when they may not have internet access, or when they have other commitments.

To assign a proxy, send an email from the account you used when you last donated, addressed to both and your proxy. State in the email that you wish to assign your proxy to the recipient, and include your legal name. Your proxy must reply to you and to to accept the responsibility, and to give us their legal name. Proxies remain in place for six months and cannot be revoked, so they aren't a back-up plan! Our elections website has a FAQ section on proxy voting with more details, if you think this may apply to you.

You can find more information about the OTW on the official OTW site. Election voting is November 16th-18th.

Quick rec

Oct. 24th, 2011 08:22 pm
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
I've just had a week's holiday, so I'm still catching up on everything, but I'm loving seeing so much good discussion going on about the election.

I'm particularly impressed with how many people have stayed constructive and optimistic even when offering criticism - it's good to remember that there are real people behind every journal name, and we're all trying to work for the good of the OTW and fandom, even when we go a bit astray.

There are many, many posts I could link to, half of which I haven't read yet, and other people have done better round-ups than I could, but I'd like to do a quick rec of [personal profile] astolat's post about team working - she has some great tips that we can all remember to put into practice more often, and it relates to all the rest of the discussion about burnout and sustainability.

You can find more information about the OTW on the official OTW site. Election voting is November 16th-18th.


jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
Jenny S-T

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