2012 Candidate Manifesto – Eylul Dogruel

Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?

1) I have a lot of ideas on what is going right and what is going wrong with OTW, and I do find myself often expressing these opinions to fellow staffers, volunteers and public. At some point, I realized that there is only so much you can do with backseat driving. Also, OTW being in the middle of a transition it is an important time to bring forward ideas and start dialogues.

2) There are board members and staffers that I work with that I respect, who are doing amazing work. I’d like to support them better, and help making the structure that supports them better.  

These two are the main reasons why I put my candidacy for the board.

 

 

What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?

I have a background that combines art, design and computer science. My technical knowledge includes web technologies, usability, aesthetics and customer support. In terms of managing experience, I have been part of online communities from an early age, occasionally taking managing roles. In the OTW I have been the AD&T, QA lead in 2010, and I just took over Survey co-chairing.

In addition to this, my switching between several fields as well as my experience living in different cultures gave me the ability to translate and synthesize. I don’t mean translating literally languages but cultures and mindsets. I can think like an artist, then switch gears and think like a computer scientist or an usability designer. I can put my middle eastern hat on, but also combine that with my experience of living 7 years in USA, and with an even longer experience of interacting with western fandoms online. This allows me to sometimes help reformulating ideas from one side to another as well as bridge ideas to find out of box solutions to problems.

 

 

What is your vision for the direction of the organization over the next year and how do you see working with your fellow board members to accomplish it?

I want to see an OTW that structurally transitions from the equivalent of a start-up as a non-profit to one that is a larger organization. I think that we outgrew our structure and that it is causing a lot of symptoms, everything from some of the transparency issues to volunteer burnout.

Recently, in a blog post, I suggested a reorganization of the AD&T committee. I suggested splitting project managements away from volunteer managements, and to divide the volunteer managements into role based groups to ensure all of our technical volunteers were supported. The idea here was to identify and propose a solution to a problem, and to start a discussion on any concerns and alternatives. I do plan to continue this work as a board member collaborating with the rest of the board and the affected committees.

Another initiative that I plan to support toward a better org structure is the Strategic Planning Committee, which is already doing a fantastic job, and to ensure their findings and results are applied.

In addition to tackling structural problems, I’d like to support and initiate solutions to our transparency and diversity problems. More on that on the related questions.

 

 

What is your experience of the org’s projects and how would you collaborate with the relevant committees to support and strengthen them? Please include AO3, TWC, Fanlore, our Legal advocacy work and Open Doors, though feel free to emphasize particular areas of the org you’re interested in.
 
As a former staffer of AD&T, and currently as a member of the category change workgroup the primary project I have worked with as a volunteer is AO3. The rest of the projects I have interacted mainly as a user/reader, or followed their work through the news outlets.

I mentioned in the previous question some of my ideas on how to strengthen and support technical committees. I think it is crucial to better support technical volunteers that work for AO3, and also crucial to ensure Fanlore, TWC, Open Doors or any other projects that needs technical resources are equally supported. However, beyond that, this is a question I’d ask right back at the committees. My first action once I decided to run to the board was to begin talking to volunteers around the org, especially people working on projects and committees that I didn’t have a lot of interaction with. I chat with them informally about the work they do and asked what types of challenges they run into. I do plan to continue to do that through my role as a liaison and independently, so my IM and email is always open.

 

 

What does transparency mean to you personally, both inside the organization and between projects and between the organization and fandom? How do you value it and how would you make it a part of your service?

My approach to transparency is the same as my approach to design: iterative and user/audience centric.

It doesn’t matter if it is a feature, a layout, or an internal policy: ask early, ask often. Start and end with your audience whenever possible. This is why I’d like to see a better design process for OTW projects. This is why the open board sessions was a great idea. I’d like to see the organization that gets better at actively asking and seeking commentary, and at figuring out ways to accept internal and external criticism. We have already done some progress on these points, but we can get even better. This is partially an issue of organizational culture, but it is also an issue of inefficiencies that makes communication look like one extra hurdle in the middle of a sea of emergencies. This is why in part why reforming our structure and to make our work more efficient is important.

 

 

What does diversity mean to you personally, both inside the organization and between projects and between the organization and fandom? How do you value it and how would you make it a part of your service?

As a middle eastern fan I do notice first hand how US and Western centric OTW can be at times. It is why I decided to join I&O. It is not that OTW doesn’t want to be more diverse and that there isn’t any effort toward it. Quite the opposite. The problem, what it boils down to, is a mistake in approach. Diversity is not something one can add on top once the US-centric or western-media centric default is set in place or something the organization should only prioritize when noise becomes loud enough to become bad PR. Instead the focus to stay in equal distance to as many cultures and communities as possible has to be there from day one. It is tough but we need to start somewhere.

I do plan to continue to advocate for all forms of diversity in the organization whether it is regional, fannish or other in the organization as a board member and prioritize supporting any initiatives that comes from committees toward this goal.

 

 

What do you think the key responsibilities of a/the board are? Are you familiar with the legal requirements for a US-based nonprofit board of directors?

The key responsibilities of the board is to set overall course and goals of the organization, keeping in consideration its role as a non-profit serving fans. Another key responsibility is to oversee and support the work committees do toward these goals. One place of improvement would be are the decisions of when to intervene with a committee, when not to, and to clarify goals, expectations and accountability so that it is more clear which case is which.

I am familiar with legal requirements for a US-based nonprofit board of directors.

 

 

How would you balance your Board work with other roles in the org, or how do you plan to hand over your current roles to focus on Board work?

Right now my current works include Survey workgroup co-chair, I&O staffer and Category Change workgroup staffer. Time requirements of my staffer roles are flexible enough to not cause conflict with board work. Thus, right now the main concern is my position as Survey co-chair. The situation is a bit tricky in that we only took over in August, and didn’t have a lot of opportunity to start mentoring anyone to replace us. I have been discussing the situation with my co-chair through and we are looking at our options. I do plan to gradually hand over my management role there, over the next few months if at all possible.

2012 Candidate Manifesto – Franzeska Dickson

Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?

We are at a delicate moment in OTW’s development. Much of the initial enthusiasm has flagged, but we’re not yet a mature organization. I am running for the Board because I have the stamina to help see us through what will likely be a difficult period. Truthfully, though, I view myself less as uniquely talented and more as uniquely situated: I have always used my real name in fandom, and I have the time and life situation needed to serve on the Board.

 

 

What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?

I’ve been involved with OTW from the beginning and have experience in several parts of the organization. I’ve been in fandom for my entire adult life, through a lot of different online platforms, innumerable social changes, and many different types of communities. That kind of broad perspective is critical in Board decision-making to avoid unnecessarily narrowing the group of fans OTW is useful to.

 

 

What is your vision for the direction of the organization over the next year and how do you see working with your fellow board members to accomplish it?

Delegate, delegate, delegate. The Board needs to both guide committees in good management practices and serve as an example itself. I see significant room for improvement in our liaising, mentoring, and training practices. Some of that will happen at the committee level, but the Board needs to do its part. I think the next year should be a time to focus on broad issues of usefulness and accessibility across diverse groups of fans. I would like the Board to particularly focus on supporting our staff and volunteers involved in translation and outreach.

 

 

What is your experience of the org’s projects and how would you collaborate with the relevant committees to support and strengthen them? Please include AO3, TWC, Fanlore, our Legal advocacy work and Open Doors, though feel free to emphasize particular areas of the org you’re interested in.

I edit Fanlore and have run a challenge on AO3 as well as using it for posting fic and vids; I am also working on an oral history project. My experience of other projects is mostly as an interested bystander. For the majority of our projects, I would like to see the Board take a hands-off approach, allocating resources as needed but leaving decision-making to committees and workgroups. Some of these projects, especially Fanlore, would benefit from outreach and greater name recognition among fans, but I see that more as a committee (or a multi-committee) project than as a job for the Board.

The Board’s top project-specific priority over the next year should be improving the committee and management structures surrounding AO3. It is our most popular project with the most complicated arrangement of OTW staff and volunteers, and it has suffered in the past from a severe confusion of duties, priorities, and authority. Like all software development projects, it needs good project management and greater attention to different types of users. The Board needs to explore the various proposals to have an AO3 committee, to split AD&T, and so on.

 

 

What does transparency mean to you personally, both inside the organization and between projects and between the organization and fandom? How do you value it and how would you make it a part of your service?

Nonprofit transparency is about making the organization’s goals, values, and handling of money as clear as possible, even to a complete outsider. The type of transparency people usually talk about when criticizing OTW is slightly different: it’s more about not being able to find information and not feeling like people listen. It also clusters very heavily around certain issues: the media categories on AO3, tags, realistic projections for when items on the roadmap will be finished, etc. Improving how we manage AO3’s development will make such issues automatically clearer and will allow us to set more realistic goals and give more accurate date estimates.

The transformativeworks.org website should serve as a clearer introduction to OTW, and there are many areas where our FAQs could be improved. However, I feel that the Board should leave most of this to committees, especially in cases where the topic falls directly within the purview of one specific committee (e.g. tag wrangling).

I will make transparency part of my service by focusing on the root of the problem (bad management) rather than the symptoms (specific instances poor communication). I was initially dubious about the idea of an OTW forum but have come around to liking it.

 

 

What does diversity mean to you personally, both inside the organization and between projects and between the organization and fandom? How do you value it and how would you make it a part of your service?

Experience has shown us that lack of diversity has serious consequences. My personal pet topic has been “original work” (that means things like original slash, not non-fannish writing), which we used to ban from AO3. This made AO3 an unacceptable hosting location for a number of fandom communities and made people feel unwelcome without providing AO3 and OTW any significant benefits in exchange. While we can’t be all things to all fans, we need to stay aware of this type of tradeoff and weigh it against our mission and values. I fought hard to make original fannish writing better understood among OTW staff. The experience showed me that both consensus and straight votes have significant drawbacks for OTW at present: they are desirable on some issues, but on others, the Board or specific committees need to take a firm stance that future openness to a broad range of fannish cultures is more important than catering to the needs of current AO3 users or OTW supporters in the short term. As a board member, I will continue to defend fans’ right to define “fanworks” how they wish, whether they are from a part of fandom well-represented within OTW or not.

 

 

What do you think the key responsibilities of a/the board are? Are you familiar with the legal requirements for a US-based nonprofit board of directors?

The key requirements for a board are to be ethical and to be responsible. As applied to OTW, I see this as a need to be realistic about the time commitment involved in board work, doing work promptly and being available when needed, and working to further our goals of protecting and preserving fanworks and fannish diversity.

 

 

How would you balance your Board work with other roles in the org, or how do you plan to hand over your current roles to focus on Board work?

I have already retired from Abuse, and I plan to leave the Tag Wrangling Committee at the end of the term. I am currently on the Category Change Workgroup as a representative from the Tag Wrangling Committee; we are still discussing whether I should be a part of the workgroup next year or not.

Next candidate chat and transcript

Our remaining chats with our new Board members, Andrea Horbinski, Eylul Dogruel and Franzeska Dickson are coming up. The meetings are open to all of our members and to the public. They will be held in the OTW public chatroom.

Transcript of the previous chat is now available on the elections website. This is unedited except for formatting. We reserve the right to edit, in case fannish and legal identities are accidentally linked, but this is our only reason for editing. Both members and candidates are encouraged to comment on them here.

The date and times of the remaining chats are:

Wed 3rd Oct 0500 UTC Franzi & Andrea (What time is that where I live?)
Sat 6th Oct 1500 UTC Andrea & Eylul (What time is that where I live?)

The candidates’ personal bios are now available on the OTW Elections website, and their manifestos will be up soon. You may also feel free to contact our candidates unofficially to discuss the OTW and their views. They have asked the OTW to make available the following personal accounts:

Eylul’s Dreamwidth
Eylul’s LinkedIn
Franzeska’s Dreamwidth
Andrea’s Dreamwidth
Andrea’s Twitter

Franzeska Dickson does back office work in finance. Always a geek, she was introduced to fanfiction by alt.tv.x-files at the tender age of 13 and has been in fanworks fandom ever since, first as a reader, then a writer and beta, and now a vidder. Her favorite venues and events are pan-fandom ones, including her own rare Asian fandoms exchange. She has previously served on the Content, Abuse, Webmasters, and Tag Wrangling Committees as well as filling various other volunteering positions within OTW.

Eylul Dogruel is an artist and an MFA candidate at Marmara University, Istanbul. She has an eclectic background combining computer sciences and art. Her knowledge and interests cover a range of topics including new media, sci-fi, customer support, web technologies and usability. Eylul is a lifelong fan and has moved through various media and gaming fandoms. She is a fanfic reader, fanart appreciator, an MMO roleplayer and, occasionally, a meta writer. Her current fandoms include Warcraft, Doctor Who and The Longest Journey/Dreamfall.

Andrea Horbinski is a Ph.D. student in modern Japanese history at the University of California, Berkeley. She was previously a Fulbright Fellow to Japan and was a founding member of the OTW’s Internationalization & Outreach committee. She joined online fandom in 1999 after writing her middle school graduation speech on her love of Star Wars, and soon became involved in anime and manga fandom as an AMV editor and later a fan translator. She has discussed fandom, anime, manga, and Japanese history and folklore at conventions and conferences including Otakon, Sirens, WisCon, and the Popular Culture Association, and as well as writing for the Symposium blog of the Transformative Works and Cultures journal, she continues to actively produce fan translations, fanfic, and vids

Transcript for Initial 2012 Candidate Chat

The following is a transcript of the OTW Board candidates’ chat held at 1800 UTC 29 September 2012. Elections officer Jenny Scott-Thompson moderated the discussion; candidates Franzeska Dickson and Eylul Dogruel attended.

Claudia R. has entered the room

Eylul has entered the room

Lady Oscar has entered the room

Lady Oscar has left the room

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Franzeska D. has entered the room

Franzeska D.

Hi

Eylul

hey 🙂

Jenny S-T

Hi!

Lady Oscar has entered the room

Jenny S-T

As a reminder, transcript of this chat will be posted publicly. If you’d like us to exclude your name or a particular comment, please let me know.

We’ll start officially in about 5 minutes

Franzeska D.

No, no, anything off color, foolish, or off the wall I say should be preserved for posterity, clearly.

Eylul

actually Jenny, question. if that is the case. can we link our fannish info and real info here without worrying about google?

Franzeska D.

Hi Lady Oscar

Jenny S-T

yes, just make it clear which bits you want me to exclude

and remember that the full transcript will be visible to everyone in the org

Eylul

fannish side, if it happens.

Lady Oscar

Hi!

Eylul

I just don’t want it tied in google and public internet if it comes up. I think most of the people in org who know me knows my DW anyway 😉

Tuulia has entered the room

Franzeska D.

There are actually people here! Yesss!

Eylul

hee

Jenny S-T

So, welcome! I’m the OTW elections officer and Secretary of the Board. We’ll be using our usual in-org convention here of asking people to let me know if they have a question, I’ll let people know when to go so we can follow conversation easily, and please type /done at the end of any comment that spans multiple lines. We’ll have some more free-form chat at the end.

foxinthestars has entered the room

Jenny S-T

Does anyone have particular questions that they’ve brought? I’m aware the bios and manifestos aren’t yet up, so there will be more information when those are posted next week, but we’re open to questions in the meantime.

Either about the elections process or for our new Board members

Lady Oscar

o/

Jenny S-T

As a reminder, transcript of this chat will be posted publicly. If you’d like us to exclude your name or a particular comment, please let me know.

hele has entered the room

Jenny S-T

Franzi and Eylul, do you want to each give a quick introduction of yourselves as people arrive?

Eylul

sure 🙂 *typing*

Jenny S-T

and Lady Oscar, go ahead with your question when you’re ready

Lady Oscar

I just wanted to make sure that I understand correctly–there won’t actually be an election, in the sense of any vote being held, right?

/done

Jenny S-T

correct, yes

we have the same number of candidates as seats, so it’s uncontested this year

Eylul

Hi, I am Eylul Dogruel. I am an artist and a grad student from Istanbul, Turkey. I have joined the org about 3 years ago. I worked in AD&T and now currently am an I&O staffer and and work with 2 workgroups, as co-chair of Survey, and a staffer of Category Change. Looking forward to answering questions here, or feel free to poke at me later. 🙂

/done

Franzeska D.

Sure. I got into fandom on Usenet in the 90s. (Specifically alt.tv.x-files during the end of the first season, so that would have been early 1994.) In high school, I did a lot of reading in stuff like Highlander, but I wasn’t on mailing lists or active in those sorts of fandoms. At the same time, I got heavily into anime, and I was on a billion and one yahoo groups for every possible combination of gundam wing characters. (*sigh*) I was also in Harry Potter around that time, and while I moved onto LJ in 2002-2003, I really missed the big archive era and the kinds of megafandoms that have multiple archives like HP does (did? I have no clue these days). More recently, I’ve gotten into oldschool zine fandoms and vidding. I go by my real name online and always have. If you find a ‘franzeska’ blathering about fandom, that’s almost certainly me. (And I use my name as my username most places if I can get it.)

In OTW, I was on Content and then Abuse. (And Webmasters, but let us not speak of that dark time. Drupal: my nemesis!) I work in finance right now, but I’m hoping to go back to school.

Eylul

(AD&T -> Accesibility Design and Technology committee, that is responsible for AO3 development, and I&O -> Internationalization and Outreach Committee)

Franzeska D.

And the Tag Wrangling Committee (oh god, where is my brain). Yay, AO3 tags.

Eylul

*grins at Franzi*

Franzeska D.

…and the Category Change workgroup…

foxinthestars

::raises hand::

Jenny S-T

Franzi, you done for the moment or anything else to add?

Tiyire has entered the room

Franzeska D.

When talking about me, there’s always something else to… err… yes, I’m done unless anyone has a biographical question?

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sanders has entered the room

Jenny S-T

Foxinthestars, go ahead, then 🙂

Enigel has entered the room

Radka has entered the room

foxinthestars

Thanks. Since you’re both on the Category Change workgroup, could you talk about the problems you see there and what your priorities are in addressing it? /done

hele

:raises hand for after:

Lady Oscar

:question after hele:

Eylul

request for clarification about the question. foxinthestars are you asking about problems of the AO3 categories, or the workgroup or both?

/done

foxinthestars

The problems of the categories, but anything you want to say about the matter would be good. /done

Franzeska D.

Oh my. Well, let’s not beat around the bush: anime & manga is what we’re really talking about here.

Eylul

*lets Franzi finish speaking first*

Franzeska D.

The workgroup has mostly done setup stuff so far. We have not gotten into the meaty part of getting feedback or discussing our own views, but it looks to me like there is some support for tweaking things like what goes in ‘Other Media’, making one single RPF category, and so on. I doubt any of that will be hugely controversial, but the workgroup will be looking at lots of opinions, not just our own, so hopefully, we’ll be able to come up with something that pleases most people.

Anime & Manga on the other hand are a pain in the butt because we have groups who strongly prefer opposite solutions there. (If that weren’t the case, the Tag Wrangling Committee would have taken care of this a million years ago when the wranglers first discussed it.)

I think everyone, inside and outside of the workgroup, is pretty well aware by now that our one-tier system is an extremely poor way of capturing the fandom categorizations people use in fandoms of East Asian media. (Tokusatsu and kdramas and things also come up when discussing anime/manga fandom, naturally.)

That problem extends to other areas of fandom, but it’s extremely pronounced there. I really cannot say what we’ll ultimately decide on for the Anime & Manga category. It will depend on technical concerns too.

Personally, I think it would make the most sense to have a Sequential Art category and to have BD, anime/manga, manhua, komiks, Marvel, etc. under that.

If anyone wants my personal views on comics/sequential art and categorization, I have an endless ranty post in my DW from a couple of years ago I can dig out the link to. But I really have no idea where the workgroup will end up on this issue, and I may well leave it next year.

(Currently, the workgroup has representatives from various committees. Since I am planning to leave all committees to focus on board work, that would make me an awkward fit for the workgroup unless it’s decided that it will be a consistent team of people from now on rather than committee representatives. That’s not up to me though.)

done

Jenny S-T

thanks, Franzi

Eylul

I think that Franzi explained the summarized the situation. I do also personally think that Sequential Art category would be a good candidate as a final solution to this part of the problem.

Another reason I like this solution is because it can be generalized to the other categories that has issues. Basically my point of view on this topic as someone who focuses a lot on the diversity of the organization and its projects is that an ideal solution shouldn’t just firefight but find community-neutral and region neutral solution that will keep working.

What I am trying to mean here is that we shouldn’t just be US-centric and western media centric until causes noise enough to become bad PR. 🙂

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Eylul

Putting my category change staffer hat this is what I plan to push, but putting on future board member hat, I think that it is not the place of the board to just express opinions over a workgroup, so what I will do in that capacity is to support that workgroup as well as all other projects.

/done 🙂

Jenny S-T

thank you, Eylul

Jessica S. has entered the room

Enigel

q

foxinthestars

Thank you!

Enigel

(after people who’ve already registered to ask questions)

Jenny S-T

foxinthestars, does that answer it, or do you have any particular clarifications you want to ask for?

sanders

o/ after enigel

foxinthestars

No, that’s good. Thank you both!

Jenny S-T

okay, hele next

hele

ok! Self interest here as a staffer, but: what do you see as your role as board liaison for committees, and are there particular things you plan to change on that capacity?

/done

Eylul

I think it depends a lot on the committee

some committees are well established and has chairs who are experienced as staffers. With them I think the board liaison’s main job is to support the chair by being a sounding board, giving advice if asked, be also available to the rest of the staffers if they wish to discuss a concern or have questions, to be a resource. I think that a liaison’s job is also to be the link between the board and the committee, as obvious as that sounds.

If the committee is struggling through, especially a chair who needs more mentoring or needs help, board liaison can do that as well. (hopefully with the chair training the volunteer committee works on, it will be less necessary). I am not sure how to answer the part about changing because it seems so far different board members have different approaches to this. This would be my approach as a board member.

/done

Franzeska D.

I have found the liaison role less than ideal in the past because it’s all too easy for that board member to get overloaded or to be ill or away when they’re needed. I would like to see more of a split between general mentoring activities and the flow of information/requests (and maybe this is already happening elsewhere, but it’s not what I’ve done/seen as a committee member or chair). The current way of liaising is good for building social ties and for some kinds of mentoring. I would prefer to see more instances of committees sending a representative (not always the chair–more like whoever’s available/in the right time zone) to the open part of board meetings.

Or contacting the whole board directly if it’s really urgent.

(I’ve seen too many cases of urgent things falling into a black hole.)

As for what I personally will do, I think leaving all committees during my time on the board will give me the time to be a liaison.

Tiyire has left the room

Franzeska D.

It’s more time-consuming than people think. A lot more!

/done

hele

thanks both! (and yes!)

Jenny S-T

hele, does that answer it, or any follow-on questions?

hele

(and I don’t have any follow up questions)

Jenny S-T

LO, you’re up next. Enigel and Sanders, if we run out of time, drop me your questions in email and they’ll go first next time

Claudia R. has entered the room

Lady Oscar

That leads into my question (which I think Franzi’s mostly answered)–Since Board is obviously a huge time commitment, what are your plans for dealing with this with respect to your current Org responsibilities?

/done

Franzeska D.

I’ve already handed off Abuse. I plan to leave the Tag Wrangling Committee at the end of the year. I’ll probably continue to wrangle since that is quite flexible. And I don’t know about the Category Change Workgroup. I’ll *probably* end up leaving that, but we’ll see.

Eylul

*waits for franzi to be done*

Franzeska D.

oops

sorry

/done

Eylul

heh

I am currently an I&O staffer which in itself is manageable with board. The 2 workgroups I am part of: the category change is not a huge time commitment. My concern there currently is, as I mentioned above, is to not be influencing the group in a board member role. Survey… I am exploring solutions to drop it. It is a bit tricky because I took it over with my co-chair Aja in August, and we didn’t have a lot of time to think on successors yet. So work in progress? 🙂 /done

Jenny S-T

LO, does that cover it, or anything else you want to add?

Lady Oscar

I think that covers it, thanks.

/done

Jenny S-T

Enigel, you’re up 🙂

Enigel

for both candidates who are present: what are your top two priorities for the Org, that you will push for as board members? (top one is too restrictive, but top three is too wide 😉 I know it’s early so it’s fair to say that you want to think more about it, or that it will be in the manifestos)

/done

Lesann has entered the room

Franzeska D.

Ha ha ha. I am less technical than Eylul, so I am not a good person to give details in live chat, but I think the suggestions about AD&T and the general structure/workflow/management of improving AO3 and coding new features and such is worth looking at. That was a good post. My top priority is management in general. We are bad at it as an org (like most young orgs), and we spend too much time with our managers doing the work instead of managing. No finger pointing: it’s been everyone the whole time pretty much, as is normal. /done

Eylul

Yes it will also be in my manifesto but I see no harm in writing here a bit 🙂 1) Seeing the organization transition from an organizational equivalent of a start-up to one that is a larger organization. I think that we outgrew our structure and that it is causing a lot of symptoms, everything from some of the transparency issues to volunteer burnout.

I know some of you know the blog post I wrote few weeks back, that franzi also mentioned above. 🙂

that is part of that thought process.

Enigel

follow-up question

Eylul

2) Diversity. As a middle eastern, I do sometimes notice how US-centric and western media centric the org comes across, even when not intending to. My goal is that diversity doesn’t become some thing that is just

something we add after we get the US-centric default done, but instead that we stay at equal distances to many cultures and communities as possible. I am aware it is a tall order but we need to start somewhere right? 🙂 /done

Jenny S-T

We’re just about at our time limit

Enigel

thank you! 🙂

Jenny S-T

Sanders, can you mail me your question for next time, please?

Franzeska D.

WE CAN TYPE FAST

Jenny S-T

Enigel, do you want to drop your follow-up in here?

Franzeska D.

;P

Enigel

I’ll pack my follow up q in an email then

hele

heeh

Eylul

yes we can 🙂

sanders

i can, yeah.

Enigel

or ok

how do you plan on making this startup-to-big-org transition?

Scott S. has entered the room

Enigel

using existing – tutorials, i guess, or devising a process specific to this org?

to account for the fact that it’s still volunteer run, even if the size is larger

/done

Eylul

Enigel, I think some of that change is happening already. Several committees are going through documentation and revision of their processes. I do think that we do need to look at our committees and identify bottlenecks and find solutions. My blog post on AD&T (which concerns AD&T and web directly, as well as any other project that uses technical resources) was identifying a bottleneck and proposing a solution. This is less about people working more “professionally”, it is about setting in structures so that more detailed and fleshed out processes don’t depend on individual processes. I am not sure if that helps answering or confusing more /done

Franzeska D.

The first step is managing rather than doing. (Which is why I’m entirely leaving committee work.) I am definitely thinking more tutorials (or the published literature) than just making up something org-specific. We are different for being 100% volunteer, but we’re not *that* different. These issues come up with every organization in very similar ways. /done

Eylul

don’t depend on individual processes -> don’t depend on individuals.

Jenny S-T

thank you both

we’re at our time limit, but the transcript will soon be posted publicly

and in the meantime, you are welcome to continue discussing in the comments to the OTW election posts, on either the OTW site, DW or LJ – Comms will try and notify us of comments there so we can respond

or email me any questions for next chat – my contact form is on the OTW website

thank you all for coming!

Candidate manifestos and chat dates

We have now scheduled three one-hour chats with our new Board members, Andrea Horbinski, Eylul Dogruel and Franzeska Dickson. The meetings are open to all of our members and to the public. They will be held in the OTW public chatroom, accessible at this link: https://fanarchive.campfirenow.com/e79cc

While we would like to vary the times and days to allow better global accessibility for our membership, combining schedules in order to allow all candidates to attend posed a challenge. Transcripts of the candidate chat will be made available on the elections website shortly following the event, and both members and candidates are encouraged to comment on them. Each chat will be with two of the new Board members, which is actually more realistic for board meetings anyway, now that we’re spread more equally around the world.

The date and times of the chats are:

Sat 29th Sept 1800 UTC Franzi & Eylul (What time is that where I live?)
Wed 3rd Oct 0500 UTC Franzi & Andrea (What time is that where I live?)
Sat 6th Oct 1500 UTC Andrea & Eylul (What time is that where I live?)

The candidates’ personal bios and manifestos will soon be available on the OTW Elections website. You may also feel free to contact our candidates unofficially to discuss the OTW and their views.

Given that we won’t be holding an election, our new board members will begin their overlap period early. They’ll be attending the open session of board meetings, discussing issues, and handing over their other staff responsibilities to their successors. They will take formal office and become full voting members on 1st November, so for a short time we will have 10 board members, until Jenny’s term ends on 1st December.

There will be another election next year, when three board members’ terms expire (Francesca, Kristen and Ira). Any member of the OTW who has also been an OTW staff member on a committee for a year will be eligible to stand – see the elections site for more details on our policies and the reasons behind them.

All other information for 2012 or any past election activity can also be found on the OTW Election website.

Election Officer Neutrality

One of the important considerations in any election is that the people running it should not allow their personal views to affect how the candidates are treated, and should not abuse their authority. To help make this clear and prevent any confusion, we’ve laid out a few guidelines for the various staff involved behind the scenes.

Besides facilitating everything for the candidates and liaising with the current board, the Elections Officer has a very public role as they are the interface between voters and the OTW. The Elections Officer is allowed to post their thoughts on the direction of the org up until the deadline for candidates to declare they are standing, but cannot do so during election season. The Elections Officer must not endorse particular candidates in private or in public, and the Elections Officer will not comment on the strategic direction of the org or other hot topics once election season starts, excepting any statements required as part of their other org roles. Once a week during the election season, the Elections Officer will discuss with the board which are the hot topics and areas where the Elections Officer should remain clearly neutral. Election season is defined as beginning with the candidate declaration deadline, and ends after the possibility of an election recount has passed.

The same rules about not endorsing candidates either in public or private, and not commenting publicly on the direction of the OTW or hot topics, will apply to the two Webmasters staff involved in counting votes. These staff members will also not be named outside of the Webmasters committee, the Elections workgroup or the standing Board, so that they cannot be put under external pressure to falsify results.

Board members other than the Elections Officer are free of these restrictions, and may endorse candidates publicly and comment on issues affecting the org just as they would at any other time of year.

If you have any other concerns about the neutrality of staff involved in the election, or how things are run to give a level playing field to all candidates, do contact the Elections Officer or the current Board.