Chat Transcript – July 31, 2021

[​​Note: All questions from members and candidate responses appear in the form they were submitted and represent only the views of the individual who wrote them. Questions and responses are not endorsed by the Organization for Transformative Works.]

Sveritas
Hi everyone, and welcome to our 4th and final candidate chat for 2021! Today you’ll have the opportunity to observe 2 candidates: Kari and Antonius.

My name is Sveritas, and I’ll be hosting the candidate side today. On the audience/open_chat side, your host will be my fellow Elections Committee member disjointed. disjointed, can you wave so everyone can see you?

disjointed
Hello!

Sveritas
Thanks, disjointed!

A transcript of the candidate side of the chat will be posted publicly on our website. The open_chat transcript will not be posted there, but its transcripts will remain visible until after the election. During the chat, you may see candidates fix their typos; this is to make Elections Volunteers’ job easier later. As the candidates discuss each question, audience members can notify disjointed that you have questions for the candidates – either follow-ups or new questions – by raising your hand like this:
o/ (for new questions),
or o// (for follow-ups to the current question).

disjointed will pass me the questions, and I will ask them during appropriate pauses in the conversation between the candidates. disjointed and I welcome all questions, subject to the following restrictions:
– Specify who your question is for, or if it’s for all candidates.
– Refer to everyone in the room by their username in this conversation. Don’t use other names you may know them by.
– Please keep questions reasonable and polite, as well as under 50 words (these are our expectations: https://elections.transformativeworks.org/elections-process-behavior-expectations/).
– Make sure your question is not a repeat of one already answered in the platforms (https://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2021-en/2021-bios-and-platforms/) or the Q&A (https://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2021-en/2021-qa/). If it’s a follow-up to one of those, please say so.

Antonius Melisse
Hello, everyone! Looking forward to your questions.

Kari Dayton
Good afternoon for those of you who are where it is afternoon. For everyone else: good morning! good evening! and thanks for staying up late for the rest of the night owls!

Sveritas
Our first question today is: Can you tell us one thing about the OTW, in your perspective, that’s different from your experience at your day jobs and how that might affect your work as a board member?

Kari Dayton
Starting with the difficult questions, I see

Antonius Melisse
Good question. For me personally, I feel like the biggest difference is that when working a day job, it tends to be a corporation, and the level of passion/caring for the actual job tends to be… let’s say mixed. In the OTW, one thing you can be very sure of is that everyone cares. Not everyone probably thinks the same approach to things is the best way, but at least, everyone cares in their own way, and this makes the work Board does to keep the whole thing together all the more important.

Kari Dayton
One of the things that I find the most different about volunteering with the OTW versus my day job is that the OTW has a culture of transparency and respectful communication that I find lacking in my day job (and many previous jobs, too – it’s a difficult culture to cultivate and maintain, in general). Continuing that tradition is one of the things I emphasized in my platform and Q&A answers, so… I guess that’s how it would affect my board work, if I was elected. Making sure that we continue to be kind and respectful and thoughtful whenever possible.

I agree with you, Antonius – everyone volunteering with the OTW cares so much about the OTW’s success. It’s so lovely.

Sveritas
Thanks you both for your answers! Our next question is: What’s your favorite OTW project?

Kari Dayton
Oh I’m very biased – definitely the Archive. I spend so much time and energy there that I have to say it’s my favorite. But the more I learn about the other projects (like Open Doors, which I mentioned last time), the more affection I have for them as well. They’re all so great! (One of the things that excites me most about possibly joining Board is learning more about other projects!!!)

Antonius Melisse
Most of the people that are aware of the OTW will probably say the Archive, and it’s probably the one I interact with most. We don’t have unimportant projects, though, and I’m looking forward to learning more about especially Legal Advocacy, but all the others as well!

Kari Dayton
I have yet to learn about a project and go “ah yes, I project I dislike” haha.

Antonius Melisse
Yeah, TWC and Fanlore also do important work, and without Open Doors, some archives and works would go missing forever, so like I said, no unimportant projects.

Sveritas
Thanks, everyone! Our next question is: Is there an aspect to Board work you’re particularly looking forward to, and any that makes you anxious?

Kari Dayton
I’m looking forward to learning more about how the OTW works – “behind the scenes”, as it were. But I like to Know Things, so that’s not a surprise. I’m also excited to work with the team – the Board (like the rest of the OTW, tbh) is full of such cool and interesting people! I think I’m most anxious about potential mean-spirited comments, but my hope is that the support of other OTW Board members (and other OTW volunteers) will help mitigate the hurt that they could cause.

Antonius Melisse
Hrm. I’m looking forward to learning more about what our committees need to be able to continue their work, and helping craft policy to enable that. As for one that makes me anxious… there will eventually be a Crisis (TM), that will require all Board to cooperate on solutions. Given that I’ve been part of the OTW for long enough to see some of those in the past, I’m kind of daunted by being in the middle of that when it happens. But that’s also the sort of challenge that seems fun to me.

Sveritas
Thanks you for your answers! Our next question is: What qualities do you admire about your fellow candidates?

Kari Dayton
I don’t know the other candidates as well as I might (but it’s been so nice getting to know them as part of this process), but I admire their persistence and willingness to put in the work to get to this point. It’s not an easy process, but they’ve stuck with it and remained kind and thoughtful throughout. This may sound weird, because I’m actively running, but I honestly believe that any of us would make good Board candidates. We all want what’s best for the OTW, and I think that means any of us would be good at the job.

Antonius Melisse
Well, I’ve obviously worked with Laure and Anna more closely in the past, because they’re also Translation volunteer managers, than I have with Kari, but all of them are very nice people, who care very much about the OTW. All of my fellow candidates have stuck with things thus far, and done their very best on their Platform, the Q&A’s and the chats so far, so yeah, I have to agree with Kari, all of us are pretty persistent. I agree that I think all of us are good candidates this year.

Sveritas
Thank you both for your answers! Next question is: What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge being elected to the Board would pose to you, personally?

Antonius Melisse
I can be a bit… overly direct at times. So I will need to keep working on being diplomatic, but I am sure some of my fellow Board members can help me with that if I need to draft some official communication.

And I’ve been working on that as a Translation volunteer manager already, shaving off the rougher edges of my mails is always a fun learning experience.

Kari Dayton
Oh, for me, it’s definitely going to be time management – my (paying) job can get overwhelming, and then with Tag Wrangling (which can easily take over hours of your day if let it) and Tag Wrangling Supervisory tasks… and being like, a human: doing laundry, making food, that sort of thing. But I’m also working towards managing this better, and I have better precautions in place than I have in the past. An exciting aspect of volunteering for the OTW is that I know that I have people who can help if I fall behind or need a break. I expect (and hope) that Board is similar.

Sveritas
Thank you! Our next question is also about life on board: Joining the Board can involve a steep learning curve and lots of new information. What would be your approach to handling that?

Kari Dayton
I would imagine I would handle this the same way I have handled learning new things in the past: taking lots of notes and asking lots of questions (for clarification and for more info).

Antonius Melisse
I’d probably dive in head first. I am the type of person that is good at soaking up new information, and loves doing it. And if there’s ever something that’s unclear, I’ll have to ask questions. It’s important to always keep learning.

Kari Dayton
high five We’re the “Asks Questions” squad!

Antonius Melisse
Indeed.

Kari Dayton
A teacher once told me to always ask questions because there’s a good chance at least one other person has the same question but they won’t speak up. So I do. (Fair warning: I ask a lot of questions.)

Sveritas
Thank you both for you answers! Our next question is: How would you decide how much money we should try and raise every year?

Kari Dayton
As much as we can!

Antonius Melisse
Haha, yeah, that does seem to be the obvious answer.

Kari Dayton
More seriously, our targets should take into account our budgets and projected needs for the upcoming year+.

What are things we will need to purchase, want to purchase, would like to have, etc.

Antonius Melisse
But more realistically, we need to take into account the past budgets, the needs of our committees/projects and the plans we have for the upcoming year that we’ll need to meet the funds for.

Kari Dayton
I think I brought up something similar in our last Q&A. ^^;

I agree, Antonius!

Antonius Melisse
And I think it’s always a good thing to make sure we have some funds we can hold back for a rainy day.

Kari Dayton
Yes! Definitely!

Sveritas
Thank you both! Our next question is: if you had the time, what other OTW committee(s) would you be interested in joining?

Kari Dayton
Any that would have me!

More seriously – Fanlore, I think? I edit and maintain a small section of my work wiki (which also uses MediaWiki) and it seems interesting. One of these days I’ll start editing pages and catch someone’s eye.

Antonius Melisse
Hrm. Given my day job, I’d probably be able to join Webs if they need people. If I focus on learning more Ruby than I currently know, AD&T could be interesting as well.

Kari Dayton
I also think Fanlore and Tag Wrangling make sense as two committees that do a lot of overlapping work

Sveritas
Thank you! Now, on a lighter note, tell us a cool fact about yourself!

Kari Dayton
A cool fact about me is that I am very uncool, haha

Antonius Melisse
I’m a pretty decent bass singer XD

Kari Dayton
I recently amazed my new work team by my number of books read in a year, but given everyone else/the prevalance of AO3 readers in here…. I doubt that’s very interesting or cool in this crowd. XD

My bog standard response is that I lived in Japan for two years (I’m a native USian), but again – this is such a multicultural organization that it’s not very cool. XD

Sveritas
Thank you for sharing a bit more about yourself there! Our next question is: What advice would you give to people thinking of running in the future?

Antonius Melisse
Take your time to research things, talk to people who know more than you. Get some good beta-readers for your bio & platforms and the Q&As. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people to learn new things and make sure you get information right.

Kari Dayton
I would advise asking for as much feedback on your responses as possible – I was incredibly lucky in that I had several very very cool people who helped me refine and edit my responses to make them as clear and “good” as possible, but that only happened because I didn’t wait until last minute. So I guess: don’t wait until last minute, and get people you trust to help you with your responses.

Oh hey, same hat, Antonius high five.

Antonius Melisse
high five More information is never bad.

Sveritas
Those are all great advice. Next, we have follow up questions for both of you: Antonius, how would you work on maintaining a diplomatic tone in rapid discussion? And Kari, what tools do you use, or are you planning to use, to help with your time management issues?

Kari Dayton
I have a planner and a calendar (they are for different things)! And I like to make lists. And I am learning (s l o w l y) to ask for help before I burn out.

The planner is for day-to-day, 1 week at a time, while the calendar is for month-to-month, 1 month at a time.

Antonius Melisse
I have held a position in a customer support function in retail for a while, so I tend to manage to stay polite, even if I vehemently disagree with people in a rapid discussion. As I said, the issue tends to be that I get a bit too direct at times, which in a rapid discussion means that I weigh my words before pressing the enter key. This means that I’m not always as quick as I’d like to be, but it’s better to give things at least a second read given who I am, than being too quick.

Kari Dayton
Another thing I use is chat platform notifications – I’m getting quite good at creating those. XD

Sveritas
Thank you for your answers! Here comes our next question: Some situations that come to Board are time-sensitive issues that require moving relatively quickly in order to give those directly affected the support they need. Do you have experience dealing with fast-paced issues like these, and how would you respond to this sort of situation?

Kari Dayton
Oh, I would defer to more-experienced Board peeps if something like this came up, and follow their lead. Generally I am more likely to follow a manager’s direction in my paying job as well, simply because I don’t have the weight to do much without buy-in from them.

But I tend to poke people – A LOT – if it’s something that needs swift responses/moving quickly.

I am very good at that. (Perhaps I was a cat in a past life?)

Antonius Melisse
Yep. Translation sometimes also deals with posts that have a deadline they need to be up by, and in my day job, I also work with deadlines. I tend to be available on various communication tools during the day, so discussing something like this with other Board members and acting on it wouldn’t be an issue for me.

Kari Dayton
I agree – I’m on the OTW chat platform most of the day, so helping with time-sensitive issues would not be an issue, most of the time (obviously work emergencies will come up – but I would be sure to give others a heads-up if/when those occur)

Sveritas
Thank you both! Our next question is: If you could add one feature to the Archive what would it be?

Kari Dayton
This is extremely selfish but I’d like to be able to search my Marked for Later list, but I know that that is unlikely to happen soon (ever?) given how it’s inextricably linked to my history.

Another thing that could be possible (and might be, but I’m unaware) would be pulling data about my reading habits for a length of time. Or an Open API that lets you pull data for things like reclists. :slight_smile:

Antonius Melisse
I’d love to eventually see the ability to host podfic directly on the Archive, but I’m well aware that that requires new code to support, new servers to store this on, new rules in the Terms of Service to make sure that this added form of content stays legal and enforceable. So all in all, not an easy thing to do, but I feel it would add something to the Archive in the end.

Kari Dayton
I agree! I brought up this idea last chat session and I stand by it: hosting podfics seems like a logical next step for the Archive, at some point in the future.

Sveritas
Thank you for your answers! Our next question is: Have you learned anything about the Board or the OTW so far that has surprised you?

Antonius Melisse
Honestly, how much time and effort everyone is willing to give you if you have any questions is something I (should) have known about the OTW for a while, but it was definitely reaffirmed by me running. :heart:

Kari Dayton
I have to agree – it wasn’t really a new thing or even a surprising thing, but everyone’s been incredibly supportive and helpful whilst I’ve been running, and it’s so lovely to be running in an environment that’s just so kind. Sounds trite, but I mean it.

(not a serious answer, but it’s a little surprising how many OTW people are cat people!)

Sveritas
Thank you both for your answers! Our next question is: What does the OTW mean to you?

Kari Dayton
Found Family. Oops, sorry, I mean “Families of Choice” (that’s a tag wrangling joke).

I have made so many friends as a result of joining the OTW as a volunteer. I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Antonius Melisse
Hrm. I’ve been part of the OTW for several years as a volunteer at this point. And yeah, there is a bit of a feeling of family. But more importantly, we’re there for all the fans and creators and their works, in all the ways our projects provide for.

Kari Dayton
The OTW also has had such a positive impact on the fan community as a whole, in the best possible way – I have to agree with you, Antonius!

Antonius Melisse
I introduced some new people to the OTW and the Archive as a result of me running too, so that was… interesting. :laugh:

Sveritas
Thank you both! It appears we do have new questions from the crowd: To the candidates, what is your secret for being so efficient with question responses?

Kari Dayton
I suppose it’s something to do with being Always Online and being ready and willing to discuss anything over chat at a moment’s notice? Something like that, haha.

Antonius Melisse
Hahaha. I’m part of the first generation that grew up together with a PC at home (first desktop was an 8088). So I also grew up together with the internet, and I’m just used to typing out responses to what’s being said in multiple channels at once. XD

Sveritas
Alright, now for what appears should truly be the last question: Tell us one of your favourite tropes!

Antonius Melisse
Enemies to Lovers.

Kari Dayton
I sneakily already did, but I guess I can tell you about another – Getting Back Together!

Although I adore Fake Relationship and Arranged Marriage as well

Sveritas
That’s all the questions we have for today! Thank you to our audience for being so supportive and for submitting questions! :heart:

Thank you also to our lovely candidates. Thanks to disjointed, for modding the open chat. We’ll have the transcript of this room up on the website within a few days. Have a great day, everyone!

Kari Dayton
Thanks for modding, Sveritas! And thanks Antonius for the great chat!

Antonius Melisse
Thank you, Sveritas and disjointed for leading the chat! Thanks to Kari and all the other candidates for being lovely people I’ve had great chats with!

Kari Dayton
Thank you to the others who were less visible and thus I didn’t think immediately (thanks for the reminder, Antonius): dj, briar_pipe, and Jenny and Marion, who I believe are in completely different timezones from me :joy:

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