OTW Voters – check your email!

We’re a week away from the OTW’s first contested election for seats on our Board of Directors, and all eligible voting members of the Organization for Transformative Works have now been sent voting account information!

If you made a qualifying donation and became a member between 1 October 2009 and the end of our most recent donations drive on 25 October 2010, then you should have an email which includes a unique randomly assigned username, password instructions, ballot instructions, and a link to the 2010 ballot on the OTW Election website. If you have not received this email and believe you are a qualified voting member, please contact us! We will also be posting and sending a separate reminder email on the day of the election, prior to the opening of the polls.

At noon UTC on 17 November 2010 polls will open, and that ballot will become active. (What time is that here?) Voting will continue for 48 hours, and the polls will close automatically at noon UTC on 19 November 2010. (What time is that here?)

You won’t be able to change your vote once you have cast your ballot, so we urge you to think about your choices. We have four eminently qualified candidates standing for three seats on the board — three challengers and a single incumbent. Our candidates are Hele Braunstein, Francesca Coppa, Ira Gladkova, and Kristen Murphy, and you can read more about them and about the OTW’s voting process here, on our elections website.

Transcript for Second 2010 Candidate Chat

The following is a transcript of the OTW Board candidates’ chat, held at 9 pm UTC 24 October 2010. Current Board members Rebecca Tushnet and Allison Morris moderated the discussion; Hele Braunstein, Ira Gladkova, and Kristen Murphy attended; Francesca Coppa did not attend the chat.

To view a screenshot of the chat itself, follow this link.

Rebecca Tushnet

Please, let’s get started–open questions as last time, so anyone who has one please fire away.
If we run out, I do have some prepared! 😉

Zooey Glass

I have one 😀

Rebecca Tushnet

You have the floor!

Zooey Glass

I’d like to hear a little about how you see the role of Board liaison for in-org committees, and more generally how Board might support staffers

Kristen Murphy

ooh, good question
I see the board liaison as a resource; someone who can be there to support the committee chair or any of the staffers if they need it. It’s important to cultivate a friendly relationship so people feel comfortable coming to the liaison with a concern.
I also think the board liaison needs to be a bit careful not to step on the chairs’ toes — the liaison needs to offer suggestions but let the committee make its own decisions, unless it becomes clear that something is really dysfunctional/broken.

Ira Gladkova

Oh yes

Kristen Murphy

I think the liaisons can be really helpful as mediators in case there is any sort of problem between committees.

hele braunstein

true

Ira Gladkova

hat was really well said, Kristen: the liaison acts as a resource — and in both directions

hele braunstein

I think this is always the case in liaison positions — you’re not the chair, you don’t make decisions, you’re there basically to help. yep — I think the board liaison should understand how the committee works and represent the interests of the Board (which would the interests of the org at large), but at the same time support committee initiatives in the Board itself — the balance of which I’m sure it’s not easy.

Zooey Glass

*nods*

Ira Gladkova

Yes — liaisons are extremely valuable advocates in that sense, and are also in a position to spot issues that *should* be brought before the Board

Zooey Glass

Supplementary – how would you cultivate that friendly relationship?

Ira Gladkova

So that those can be discussed with the chairs and staff and represented fairly upwards into the Board

Julia Beck

(that’s a pertinent question, Zooey)

hele braunstein

well, I’ve found that actually participating in the committee as staffer and/or volunteer tends to make it grow naturally

Kristen Murphy

yes, hele

hele braunstein

most of the time, if I want to liaise with another committee I just jump in and volunteer

Kristen Murphy

If it’s a committee that the board member hasn’t been involved with before, then she should make a point of introducing herself early on and perhaps attend a committee meeting every now and then.
Although I think attending *all* of the comm’s meetings might be too intrusive (see: not stepping on chair’s toes).

hele braunstein

but I’ve never been a board liaison — it’s just as a member of another committee

Ira Gladkova

Direct communication, outside of scheduled meetings, with the chair and staff members can often help, too — the dynamic depending on the committee

hele braunstein

yeah, it’s not even needed to be a staffer in the committee, I think — if it’s a committee with volunteers, one can just work there. Knowing what is actually the work can help enormously with communication in general

Ira Gladkova

Quick responsiveness to questions and concerns, and generally making oneself a clear and inviting resource, will generally encourage people to step up to you more anyway

Kristen Murphy

Yes! As a chair this year, my own board liaison has been enormously valuable as a shoulder to cry on. (<3s allison)

Ira Gladkova

(seconding, allison, your shoulder was my second home)

Julia Beck

right, but that’s because there’s an intimate acquaintance with the issues at hand

allison morris

(nawwwww ::blushes, rusts::)

hele braunstein

yeah — if one takes allison as example, being available pretty much 24hours O_O
(I’m not sure when she sleeps)

Julia Beck

(oops, sorry) which is why I think hele makes a good point that actual involvement may be key; but that places an even greater burden on poor board members shoulders :/

Kate Mollen

no kidding *throws sparkles on allison*

Zooey Glass

I have had some wonderful support from Board, formally and informally, so it’s something that is a priority to me

allison morris

<3 let's focus on the candidates :p

Kristen Murphy

I think casual interactions, like in the Water Cooler and in allstaff meetings, are also important for making people comfortable.

hele braunstein

also! Not making people feel they’re bothering you with questions, even if they’re kinda inane sometimes (I say this as a producer of inane questions myself)

Kristen Murphy

(Water Cooler = social chatroom for OTW staff)

Ira Gladkova

Yes! Just talking, outside of the formal context

Rebecca Tushnet

Other thoughts? I actually have some questions from copracat if we’re ready.

hele braunstein

I wish the water cooler was more popular with all the volunteers, actually — I get to know lots of people from ad&t and tag wrangling, but not so many from other committees. We should promote it more inside the org.

Ira Gladkova

Good point, hele

Zooey Glass

Thank you! These answers touch on some of my key concerns <3

Rebecca Tushnet

I’d like to know more about the candidates’ experience in managing either paid or unpaid staff and what they consider the key aspects of good communication between office and non-office holding volunteers (i.e. boards, committees and other volunteers)
(she can’t make the meeting but asked these questions via email)

Zooey Glass

(I’m going to skip out and catch up on the transcript, thanks all and yeay you!)

Ira Gladkova

I can step up to bat on this one, if no one else wants to jump in first!
(thank you Zooey!)

hele braunstein

go ahead, Ira

Ira Gladkova

thanks =D
I’ve had some experience in both paid and unpaid positions — the unpaid one right here in the OTW. In both cases, the key to good communication has always included keeping your people up to date and involved — and wise delegation that distributes work well according to strength and makes everyone feel valued
The paid experience I had was on a smaller scale, interviewing applicants for a newly-created position at my work (that my manager and I put together), and then supervising their introductory period
Getting people caught up to speed in a new position without making them feel overwhelmed is a hard balance — and I had this experience again in Support, where some of my staff were entirely new to the OTW
One of the most valuable things I learned, from these experience and from managers I’ve watched and admired (many of them right here!) is that showing trust in your volunteers and staff — demonstrating that you understand and value their abilities — has really helped both productivity and communication. A light touch, stepping in to resolve issues and conflicts.

Kristen Murphy

I can go next, if you’re done?
whoops. 🙂

Ira Gladkova

That trust has always felt amazing when bestowed on me, and I always want to try and give it to others. and done!

Kristen Murphy

🙂
Besides my OTW work, I have some experience supervising undergraduate student employees. In one case it worked really, really well; in another, not so much. It worked best in a situation where I was able to give the person substantive, interesting things to do that fit with her strengths. (The other person was basically filing things — not much opportunity for challenge or creativity there.) It’s important to delegate well and to trust people to deliver (while giving them the support they need to be able to do that).
As Ira pointed out, good training/orientation is really important. I got some good experience with that this year in the Webmasters committee, when I led the development of a training curriculum for our new members. One of the things I would like to see happen next term is for all the committees to develop strong training programs for new recruits (if they don’t have them already).
It’s really handy to have training materials already prepped so that committee chairs don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year.
I think one’s management approach also needs to be flexible depending on the number of people involved. For example, the committee I chair has four members who know each other well and have worked together for a long time, so I am able to be pretty laid-back about it.

Ira Gladkova

Oh yes, thank you Kristen!

Kristen Murphy

With a larger committee, a different approach would be needed.

hele braunstein

yeah, in IO we have task groups

queenfanfiction

*tries to sneak in quietly* Did I miss the time for the Yuletide open chat thingy? >.>

Kristen Murphy

(and I’m done — take it away, hele!)

hele braunstein

you kinda did 😉

Rebecca Tushnet

This is actually the elections chat right now!
I will look up the Yuletide info for you forthwith!

hele braunstein

if you’re interested in testing in general: http://transformativeworks.org/contact/volunteers%20and%20recruiting
write there and clarify you want to test
well, most of my experience comes from the org, actually — I’ve been a volunteer and then a staffer, and Translation in particular is a committee that runs on volunteer level effort. I think transparency is one of the keys — anything that will impact on the volunteers work should be communicated quickly and clearly; and giving as much liberty to do their work as they feel it should be done as possible.

Rebecca Tushnet

Thanks, hele. Sorry, queenfanfiction!

hele braunstein

Also, being available and, basically, well, nice when one is available. And lots of patience, because people in general tend to get overwhelmed really quickly, so one should start intros slowly and making sure everything is clear before moving on — this has also to do with types of communication; finding out what types of communication and work the volunteer(s) prefer is really important.

Rodo

Hele’s translation team happens to be the best we have too.

hele braunstein

(types of communication: chat or e-mail, that kind of thing)

Ira Gladkova

hele, that’s a really good point — it’s not just what *work* is best for volunteers, but what kind of *communication* works best

hele braunstein

like, there are translators that really better follow the initial explanations on how everything works if you’re in chat with them writing them
others prefer to get an explanatory e-mail and doc and work on it at their own pace
basically, one has to be flexible and transparent

Rebecca Tushnet

Any more, hele?

hele braunstein

I’ve learned a lot about working with people and directing people and liaising with the org, really — I’ve only been a lowly employee in meatspace. Working in the org has been one of the best experiences I’ve had.
and done

Rebecca Tushnet

Thanks, sorry for jumping the gun.

hele braunstein

no problem

Rebecca Tushnet

Copracat’s second question: I’d like to know about their interest in or commitment to non-technical professional development for board and staffers (i.e. learning skills other than the technical skills necessary to build the archive/websites.)
RT in here: for example, we did do some communication training at the very start.
And there are sometimes opportunities to do things like learn more about development (grant-seeking).
End question!

Kristen Murphy

wow, that’s a great question.

Ira Gladkova

Yeah, wow

hele braunstein

Well, I’ve been very thoroughly trained for chairing (i.e. leadership) by my translation and IO chair (lian), and I think all staffers have the opportunity (if they want to) to learn to do that.
and our translators are almost all non.professional people learning how to translate
though that may be technical?

Ira Gladkova

Working in Support, too, has involved learning a lot about this very particular kind of work — how to communicate effectively with people not involved in your project

Kristen Murphy

Honestly, this is something I haven’t thought much about except in reference to myself, i.e. “wow, as a board member I will really need to read up on best practices in volunteer management!” But people-management skills would be useful for all committee chairs. Another useful area for training would be public relations/communication with the media, particularly for our Communications and DevMem folks.
Yes, Ira, cross-committee communication is really important.

hele braunstein

yeah, liaising with other committees in general teaches you a lot about communication

Kristen Murphy

I wonder if it would be useful for chairs, particularly of large committees, to get together once in a while and just talk about the challenges of chairing and the solutions they’ve come up with.
just sort of a chairs support group. 🙂

Ira Gladkova

That sounds like it would be amazing >.>

hele braunstein

it also sounds like it would be great for inter-committee transparency

Kristen Murphy

yes

hele braunstein

I think the org is in general a great environment to teach yourself lots of different skills — some may be technical and some may be less so — and that’s an important part of its purpose.

Ira Gladkova

Definitely.

Kristen Murphy

yes!

hele braunstein

but that has been the case with most fan-run things, in my experience!

Ira Gladkova

we like sharing *g*

hele braunstein

heeh, yeah, I think that’s it

Julia Beck

(cross-comm chair meeting: Kristen, I suggested that at the start of the 2010 term)

hele braunstein

sharing knowledge in particular is very satisfying, and very much part of the fannish culture

Kristen Murphy

(good thinking, Julia! *g*)

Julia Beck

(I feel it would absolutely be useful. Chairing can be, uhm, hard.)

Kristen Murphy

More questions, RT?

priusplural

i have one, if we are waiting for questions.

hele braunstein

I think we are? So shoot

priusplural

fanlore has a bit of an image problem in some circles of fandom, and is plagued by controversy and bad word of mouth (in the form of negative fannish journal posts etc) and there have been complaints that the wiki committee is largely absent or silent. i see a lot of stuff about outreach and inclusiveness and whatnot in your statements, but only one of you seems to have had anything to do with the wiki at all and it was mentioned only in passing in her bio (Francesca, who sadly is not present today). as someone who has done some edits and would love to see the wiki thrive, does anyone have any thoughts on fanlore in general? 🙁

hele braunstein

It’s a good question
and as someone who has done edits and would also like to see it thrive, I totally agree with your concern
priusplural
(also, to be clear, not asking you to address specific situations or controversies!)

hele braunstein

I think the wiki faces a lot of problems that the other projects don’t
and as I’m not part of the committee, I can’t really _say_ I know how they will get resolved, but I can say I’ve total trust in the committee as it is
I don’t think I can really comment on most things — I’ve never been involved in it more than as a sometimes wiki editor

Kristen Murphy

I have not been involved in Fanlore at all, so my knowledge of these issues is mostly derived from reading the DW comm, the OTW newsletter, etc. I think Fanlore has really delicate ground to tread on, perhaps more so than any of our other projects, as hele says. I think it is important for the Wiki comm to listen closely to users’ concerns and to respond in a way that demonstrates they are doing so, no matter what they end up doing in terms of policy. Transparency and communication are really important, imo.

hele braunstein

I’ll say that I’m deeply interested in international outreach re:wiki (other languages specially), and I’ll be involved in trying to work on it in any case

Ira Gladkova

I, too, have not been involved in the wiki, but from what I do know, yes, the wiki, and the wiki committee, have a pretty unique situation. Better communication, which we’re all learning and working on, is a first step to helping the wiki thrive, and I know they’re working on that already — so I second the trust
which hele said better =P
And thank you, Kristen, yes

hele braunstein

they are

Kristen Murphy

I think it’s important to keep in mind that different segments of fandom have different standards of etiquette developed over long periods of time, and none of those are going to change quickly, so it’s really important to communicate with diverse groups and try to address those viewpoints as best as possible. Keeping in mind, though, that it’s impossible to please all of the people all of the time. Unfortunately. :/

hele braunstein

and sometimes it’s too easy to forget that from the outside the org is not, uhm, as transparent as when one volunteers in it

Rebecca Tushnet

This is actually a very important topic, and I don’t want to cut off discussion even though our promised hour is up.

Ira Gladkova

Heavily outward-facing projects straddle that line; it makes it hard =\

Rebecca Tushnet

I have to do childcare, though–can I ask someone like NN to step in for a bit?

Kristen Murphy

Yes; Fanlore relies on contributions from non-staff users in a very different way than the other projects do.

hele braunstein

so sometimes there’s a _lot_ of work behind the scenes, and people have just forgotten to communicate on it because there are no results to present

priusplural

has there ever been consideration of publishing edited minutes?

hele braunstein

which is not trying to excuse lack of transparency — just to explain it

priusplural

of the meetings?

hele braunstein

of the wiki committee?

priusplural

of all committees, and the board.

hele braunstein

ad&t does something like that

allison morris

ad&t does updates, not minutes
to break in

priusplural

i understand they are on your other wiki, and viewable to staffers (not sure if this is accurate).

hele braunstein

we try!

allison morris

i think that our newsletter is very much meant to serve that purpose
and some committees keep minutes, not all
it’s up to the individual committee and their work style. that said, all do present digests of their work in some way
i see what wiki has been doing recently on their dreamwidth comm as much like this

hele braunstein

yeah

allison morris

i mean — similar to ad&t’s digests
a lot of our committees, the minutes would be pretty opaque, or entirely redacted
or just really boring
🙂

hele braunstein

also, it’s not that people don’t want to be as transparent as possible, really. That type of documentation would add a lot of work.

priusplural

understandable!

Kristen Murphy

We could, perhaps, do more to encourage people to ask questions. Say, a note at the bottom of the newsletter inviting questions.

hele braunstein

that’s a good idea

Ira Gladkova

Yes, there’s only so much we can feasibly do in terms of output — but when we know exactly what people want to hear more about..!

Kristen Murphy

It’s hard to know what people are interested in, yes.

priusplural

thank you for your answers!

allison morris

thank you!
okay, we should wrap this up
as i recall these chats being a bit exhausting
🙂
there will be a transcript and screenshot up in a few minutes
for anyone who missed part or all of the chat
thank you, everyone, for attending

priusplural

i had a question specifically for Francesca. can i paste it here for her to answer when she has time (as previously)?

allison morris

and for your awesome questions and answers

Naomi Novik

(sorry RT, I was in other window coding, ty for jumping in AM)

allison morris

could you send it to rebecca?
moment, i will get you the link

Ira Gladkova

Thanks everyone for being awesome to do this with!

priusplural

sure.

hele braunstein

(thank you, allison and RT, for moderating!)

allison morris

and then everyone can prepare an answer to it
🙂

priusplural

i would like to thank ira, hele, & kristen for taking the time to meet with us 🙂

Kristen Murphy

yes, thank you! This was fun. (And much less stressful after having been through it once!)
you’re welcome. 🙂 Thanks for attending and asking questions!

Ira Gladkova

thank you, priusplural =D

priusplural

it was actually specifically about something Francesca said in her statement and doesn’t apply to the others, so no need!

allison morris

ah

priusplural

good luck to all!

allison morris

in that case, rt can pass it to francesca

hele braunstein

thank you all for attending and asking questions

allison morris

http://transformativeworks.org/contact/elections
and she can email you
🙂

OTW 2010 Board Candidate chat begins soon!

Our second one-hour chat with our Board candidates, open to all of our members and to the public, will begin very soon!

We start at at 9 pm UTC 24 October (What time is that where I live?). If you are unable to attend but have questions for the candidates, we encourage you to submit them via our contact form to our elections officer, Rebecca Tushnet, who will present them on your behalf.

The chat will be held in the OTW public chatroom, accessible at this link: https://fanarchive.campfirenow.com/28473

As a reminder, voting is restricted to current OTW members; this includes anyone who has made a donation of US$10 or more between 1 October 2009 and the end of our current donations drive, to best accommodate all time zones. To renew your membership, visit http://transformativeworks.org/how-you-can-help/support before then (What time is that where I live?).

Transcript for Initial 2010 Candidate Chat

The following is a transcript of the OTW Board candidates’ chat, held at 2 am UTC 21 October 2010. Current Board member Rebecca Tushnet moderated the discussion; Hele Braunstein, Ira Gladkova, and Kristen Murphy attended; Francesca Coppa did not attend the chat.

To view a screenshot of the chat itself, follow this link.

Rebecca Tushnet

Does anyone have any questions they want to start with?
Okay, I’ll start! What do you most want to see the organization do in the coming three years?

Kristen Murphy

I’ll start, I guess…
I would really like to see our vidding projects, like the TO3, get up and running — because it will be AWESOME, and because it will broaden our inclusiveness and help us gain more support from within the vidding community.

Ira Gladkova

Oh yes!

Kristen Murphy

I think the things we’ve done so far with vidding have been really exciting, particularly some of the legal stuff that intersects with it
so we have good momentum there.
And I’d like for it to keep going and be really successful. 🙂

Ira Gladkova

Hear hear!

hele braunstein

yes!
the legal stuff has been awesome — at least from a non-legal person perspective

Ira Gladkova

May I pick up and ride on that?

Kristen Murphy

go for it. 🙂

Ira Gladkova

Thank you!

Ira Gladkova

I definitely echo this, Kristen — and I would so love a general expansion of multimedia interest, particularly multimedia support on the archive

Kristen Murphy

yes!

Ira Gladkova

I’m ridiculously excited about the archive’s potential to provide a home for a wide variety of fanworks, and I think wider multimedia support will also help broaden our fandom diversity

hele braunstein

that’s one of the most important aspects of it, for me
(of the multimedia support — we’re panfandom, but we could be much more so)

Ira Gladkova

Yes! This is super interesting to me — I’m really hoping we can bring in even more awesome fandoms, and even more fans from fandoms already on the archive but not as strongly represented
hele, I would love to hear more =D

hele braunstein

I would like to see all our tools/resources available in at least as many languages as we’ve translation teams, and the AO3 in particular in more languages than that (getting volunteers to translate that interface is easier than to do almost anything else). I would also like to see things like the Vidding projects acquire a more panfandom approach.
but that’s probably obvious, since I’m all about the translations >_<

Kristen Murphy

yay, translation!
I think another really important goal for the org has to be sustainability, because all these neat things we’re talking about will require server power and people power.

Ira Gladkova

Oh yes Kristen, good point

hele braunstein

indeed

Kristen Murphy

So we have to continue to be effective in getting the word out to potential supporters and volunteers, and also making our work as efficient as we can and taking good care of volunteers so they don’t burn out.

hele braunstein

perhaps here we should mention the money, given the drive in process 😛

Rebecca Tushnet

And if I can follow up on that–what are everyone’s ideas about outreach in particular? this can be an issue because there’s something of a norm of “don’t walk up to someone’s space on the internet and start pushing your agenda,” so it can be a hard line to toe.

hele braunstein

well, I think it really will depend on our volunteer base

Ira Gladkova

and the fandom cultures in question

hele braunstein

you can’t go in and offer your finished project and expect it to fit that fandom culture you were not taking into account before
we’ve a very varied volunteer base, but I’m not sure that’s impacting our structure as much as it should be — I would like to work on that, and hopefully get even more diversity in our volunteer base in the process

Ira Gladkova

That is an excellent point, hele
It’s reciprocal, a feedback loop
if we can focus on making great use of our existing volunteers to broaden the applicability of our project, we can hope to bring in more volunteers from more diverse fannish backgrounds

Kristen Murphy

yes
It would probably also help to know more about our current volunteer & supporter base.
I mean, there’s this perception that it’s largely journal-based, Western media fandom, etc., etc., but have we ever really surveyed people to know that for sure? I don’t think we have.
We need to find our unsung mailing-list denizens and harness their knowledge. 🙂

allison morris

(we tried to survey last drive, but ran out of time to do it exhaustively)

hele braunstein

well — that is an interesting idea, actually. I wonder how many of our volunteers are reaching out and bringing their own fandom culture into the org, and what’s happening in that process
like, say, tag wranglers is an excellent place to look for, since there are lots of things we vote about

Kristen Murphy

right. Word of mouth is one of our best promotional tools, and we don’t really know where all that word of mouth is reaching.

hele braunstein

I’m sure the impact of that diversity can be seen in the decisions there

Ira Gladkova

An active effort to know and welcome the diversity and backgrounds we already have would probably make volunteers from backgrounds that don’t fit the expected mold — however correct or not that perception is — feel more welcome to bring their different viewpoints into the org structure

Kristen Murphy

Yes, the tag wranglers are probably the most diverse group in the org.

hele braunstein

exactly, Ira

Kristen Murphy

yes
I think we could also try to take better advantage of that diversity in more cross-committee ways.

hele braunstein

how do you mean?

Kristen Murphy

Like, before a fund drive, we could ask all staff: who can reach out to X country? Who can reach out to mailing lists?

hele braunstein

ah, yes

Kristen Murphy

We may have contacts in communities we never even thought about.

Ira Gladkova

I’m almost certain we do

Megan Westerby

If I may be so bold — what about external outreach?

Ira Gladkova

Can you elaborate, Megan?

Kristen Murphy

external as in outside of fandom?

hele braunstein

please, be so. What do you mean by external?

Megan Westerby

heh
it sounds like we’re discussing exploring the demographics of our existing members — what about non-members?

hele braunstein

well, members and volunteers

Megan Westerby

or people who might be fannishly inclined but don’t think of themselves as ‘in fandom’
(labels make some people uncomfortable!)

Ira Gladkova

I think we were trying to think from ways to work from the inside out — but we definitely would want to reach further

hele braunstein

uhm, I think fannish people and fannish inclined people not in fandom would probably need to be reached out differently
but I think the reason we always think of our volunteers first is that there is a certain danger in coming to a community you know nothing about, with your project — it can be of no interest to them, or your approach can be all wrong (And even insulting!) and thus spoil any interest they may have
I think we’re all thinking on trying to get a sort of… insider perspective first, in each community

Ira Gladkova

Yes, I think so

hele braunstein

and besides — the project is defined by the volunteers that make it

Kristen Murphy

Yes – I think an organic approach is best for outreach within fandom.

hele braunstein

that’s why we’re by fans for fans — that holds true also for different parts of fandom or different fandoms

Kristen Murphy

For truly external outreach (outside fandom), I think our legal work and TWC are probably the best things to promote

Ira Gladkova

Yes, though even in those communities, it helps to have an inside approach

Megan Westerby

awesome! i know it’s a nebulous question — it’s a nebulous concept figuring out how to represent fandom!

Ira Gladkova

Academia is particular — to my knowledge; I admit straight off to knowing less of the legal community!

Kristen Murphy

likewise, Ira. 🙂

hele braunstein

I’m not even sure we will ever ‘represent fandom’, though we can be more inclusive of that nebulous concept 😛
and even those communities are not _one_ community
i.e. surely legal issues are different in different countries, for example

Kristen Murphy

right

Ira Gladkova

Representing: Ha, yes. And I know some people don’t want to be “represented”, either in general or by the OTW
and I think the best we can do there is make ourselves a resource
both for people working from the inside out, and for those looking from the outside in

hele braunstein

yeah, I think that’s what we are, ira — and after all, fandom as such doesn’t _need_ representation

Ira Gladkova

And backing up a bit — good point about international different in legal communities (and I assume, academic ones and other fandoms we’ve been discussing in an “external” sense)

hele braunstein

I’m really interested in the otw itself and its projects becoming more of a point of contact between the different parts or cultures in fandom

Ira Gladkova

(though again, it’s interesting to note that there is intersection, and a lot of it)
yes! hele!

hele braunstein

heeh

Rebecca Tushnet

I have a very different question, this one from my interviewing days: what is your style when dealing with a personnel issue (a volunteer who isn’t doing what she promised or has done something that needs to be corrected)?
again as an all volunteer organization that communicates almost entirely in text messages, we have special needs
and it’s hard to get right!

hele braunstein

what type of something that needs to be corrected? Like, a professional error in a translation, or a social/interpersonal issue?

Rebecca Tushnet

More the latter, though if your experience dealing with the former helps, then please talk about it.

hele braunstein

I’ve had lots of experience with the ‘not doing what she promised’ area in translation (not that my teams aren’t great, but we all have issues and volunteer work usually comes after school and family, etc)

Kristen Murphy

I think for me, it depends on whether it’s a one-time thing or a pattern of behavior. If someone is too swamped to meet a particular deadline, for example — well, that happens, especially in a volunteer org, and probably my approach would be to find help for that person so that the project still gets done, while trying not to make her feel too bad about it.
If it is a continuing pattern of failing to get things done, then I would talk with the person privately about it.

Ira Gladkova

I think one more important thing to consider, especially for social/interpersonal issue, is to check our assumptions — it might be a different way of social interaction
we’re a diverse group, and sometimes we have to learn each other that way

Kristen Murphy

yes

hele braunstein

Usually, I contact the team or member, and try to find out why it is and if it’s something I can fix — like, say, the original text is not comprehensible or has a really difficult to translate tone — and then do it. If not, then I try to get a realistic prediction on the outcome (i.e. find out if the volunteer wants to quit but hasn’t felt up to talking about it, or is just very busy at the moment)
it’s volunteer work, and we can’t force people to do it. Make them feel guilty about it is not only bad for the person, but also doesn’t work; we can only work around it

Kristen Murphy

Yes. If someone’s having trouble keeping up, I try to offer alternative ways they could stay involved with less

hele braunstein

exactly

Ira Gladkova

thirded!
and returning to your earlier point about burnout
we have to take care of each other

Kristen Murphy

yes

Ira Gladkova

We wouldn’t be in this is we didn’t have love to share, and it’s a tremendous insult to imply that that love is not enough. Learning more about our volunteers (as already discussed, if in even more dimensions) and being aware of the variety of work in the org
can help us find best fits for different skill sets, ways of interacting, and amounts of time and resources available

hele braunstein

yep — also, appreciating the work they (we!) do

Megan Westerby

::holds up an ‘i am not a number!’ sign happily::

Kristen Murphy

🙂

hele braunstein

translators for example, do an enormous amount of work, and it isn’t the kind of thing you get lots of kudos from outside — acknowledging they’re working a lot is essential, because otherwise it can really feel like it’s all kinda pointless

Ira Gladkova

which is so so so far from the truth!
oh gosh
translating!
There are a number of committees whose work is like that — volcom comes to mind

Kristen Murphy

yes!

hele braunstein

yes!
They’re awesome

Ira Gladkova

Haha, oh gosh, suddenly I want appreciation parties for all the committees
throughout the year
it’s volcom appreciation week! go tell the translation folk they are awesome; it’s their week!

Kristen Murphy

Communications used to do “spotlight” posts on the different committees and their work; perhaps it would be fun to start that up again.

hele braunstein

heeh

Ira Gladkova

Our last party was awesome; obviously I want more >.>

hele braunstein

it _was_ cool

Rebecca Tushnet

I promised an hour, so I want to make sure that no one is hesitating to ask a question–Bueller?

allison morris

(insider info! io is all over this! they are going to restart the spotlights!)

Ira Gladkova

(omg yes!)

Kristen Murphy

(yay!)

hele braunstein

that could also help with transparency, Kristen

Kristen Murphy

yes, hele, and with recruitment

hele braunstein

(cool!)

Ira Gladkova

definitely

Rebecca Tushnet

Okay, thank you so much for coming!

Ira Gladkova

Thank you for hosting!
and asking =D

Kristen Murphy

Thanks!

hele braunstein

what Ira said