Dan Lamson 2015 Q&A: Other Questions, Group 2

Note: Dan has withdrawn from the race, but he completed his answers before withdrawing, so they will be posted to the site.

Can you say something positive about three of your fellow candidates?

Very easily.

Matty – is getting my first vote. She is an amazing worker and has done awe-inspiring work everywhere she’s gone in the org. She was the chair I served under when I was on the Abuse Committee and she was a joy to work for. If anyone deserves to be elected to board, it’s her.

Aline – I haven’t known her long, but she has served as the Translation/DevMem liaison. In the last few months she’s been coming to our meetings, offering ideas not just on translation stuff but also great stuff for the regular work of DevMem. She’s been an asset to have on the committee and I wish her all the best in this election.

sanders – I got to know sanders over a year ago when she was treasurer for the org. We both liked talking about numbers and started talking. She’s been a good friend and while we may not always agree on org stuff, I trust she has the org’s best interests in heart.

Also—I haven’t worked as closely with the others but they are all are great candidates! Several people have said to me that it will be difficult to figure out where to rank everyone. No matter who wins, I am sure they will be a great help to the org going forward, and I wish them all well.

A lot of the current problems seem to come back to a lack of scalability, especially with the massive growth of the Archive. A) What are your short-term plans to make this growth spurt work, B) What are your long term plans to avoid this problem in the future, when there’s another massive increase (of traffic, users, and/or fanworks etc.), a.k.a what structural changes would you strive for to make the OTW, and especially the Archive more sustainable.

Keep the archive, the archive. That’s my basic thought on the matter. The archive does what it does very, very well. Growth is good, and can be planned for and readied for. It’s a logical assumption that the OTW (and also AO3) will keep growing. It will be a challenge to figure out how we can keep the spirit of the organization while experience rapid growth.

Imagine it like a small town, all of a sudden, there’s a huge stream of growth and the town can either sprawl outwards and have its character forever changed or it can manage that growth.

I think we can keep the archive and the OTW’s atmosphere and appeal without sacrificing growth and change. It will take careful planning and working hard with relevant committees, but I believe we can do it.

Whenever internationalisation is brought up in relation to fandom, I often hear the argument that it’s not needed yet, since there isn’t an “insert country/language/non-English fandom” presence in the OTW/on the Archive. Personally I feel like this is a chicken/egg situation. Is the OTW/AO3 so American/English language focussed because there isn’t enough of a non-English fandom interest, or is there no interest because there’s not enough non-American/English accommodation?

A) Where do you fall on this? What should come first?

B) If the next growth spurt is of a non-English, different fandom culture nature, how will you accommodate that?

This is a very interesting question, and a valid one. I do not know much about the technical side of the Archive, but I do think that we are ready and able to welcome and accept non-English/American fandoms and fans en masse. I do not see it as a problem, or something to be concerned about. I think it would be amazing and lovely. I would want to encourage the growth of the fandom, making them as comfortable as our current fandoms are.

As to why (American English speaker, here) it is so English, I am not sure. I think there are sites for various non-English fandoms and fanworks out there. Perhaps they haven’t had the same tumultuous history that English fandom had with the purges of LJ and FFN, etc.

I am not sure what kind of alternate means of accommodation would be needed, but that is mostly my ignorance. There are things that could be great, different language landing page on AO3. That sort of thing, to make them feel more welcome. I’m sure there’s a ton of other stuff, and I’d love to talk about it more and learn more about this issue.