Kati Eggert works in project management, predominantly in cross-departmental projects with a focus on IT and Digitalisation.
She fell in love with science fiction and fantasy shortly after she learned to read. She joined organised fandom in the era of printed zines and monthly paper newsletters after stumbling over an ad for a Star Trek fan club in the back of a novel.
She enjoys cosplaying and volunteering at conventions, especially small fan-run cons. While Kati is still into Star Trek, she has also branched out to a multitude of other fandoms and enjoys reading meta about fandom and fanworks.
Kati followed the development of the OTW from its beginnings in 2008. She finally joined the Policy & Abuse Committee in 2015, followed by Translation (Team German) in 2019.
1. Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
Fandom has been a huge part of my life and has led to friendships lasting more than two decades. As I am not a creator of fanworks, I decided to volunteer for the OTW as my way to “give back” to fandom.
Over the years, fandom has suffered multiple content purges on popular platforms, smaller archives were irrecoverably lost due to hosts discontinuing their services or owners losing interest, and the anti-movement is driving creators out of fandom. I strongly believe in the OTW’s mission to preserve all legal fanworks as well as our fandom history.
Due to my years of working as an OTW volunteer and learning about the organisation and its projects, as well as the experiences I have gained in my professional work, I have reached the point where I feel confident in taking on the responsibility of serving on Board and ensuring that the OTW and all its projects can continue to be sustainable long-term.
2. What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
During my career, I have worked on multiple projects with cross-functional teams and a focus on IT and Digitalisation that required organisation-wide collaborations. This has helped me gain a greater understanding of cross-departmental cooperation and successful conflict management. Additional skills from my professional job that will support me as a Board member are my experience with process optimisation (and documentation), risk analysis, information and knowledge management as well as the implementation of change management to name just a few.
As a volunteer for the Policy & Abuse Committee I have a lot of direct contact with the users of AO3, our biggest project, which gives me insight into the concerns our users have. While Policy & Abuse does work closely with other committees like Support, Translation, AD&T and Legal, branching out to Translation as a second committee has given me an even broader perspective of the OTW’s inner workings. Both committees have also given me the unique experience of working in a multinational team.
3. Choose one or two goals for the OTW that are important to you and that you would be interested in working on during your term. Why do you value these goals? How would you work with others to achieve them?
One of the goals I’m interested in pursuing is to broaden the internationalisation of our projects, making them more accessible to fans worldwide, some of whom are literally defying their governments to access our websites.
At the moment, we already translate news posts and tickets submitted to AO3 Support and Policy & Abuse from and into dozens of languages, but that’s just a first step when it comes to welcoming non-English speaking fans on the Archive, and we still have a long way to go.
When it comes to Fanlore and Open Doors, content and archives from communities primarily in languages other than English are underrepresented in both. This means the OTW could, for example, reach out to members of fandom communities who may not be aware that these projects even exist and build bridges so that they, too, can make use of the OTW and its infrastructure should they want to.
If we truly want to be an international organisation, we also need to make the Archive’s interface itself available in other languages and preserve content from a wider range of fandom traditions and origins. Each of our different projects has different needs in this regard, and I know that huge amounts of resources are necessary for improvement, especially when it comes to implementing a multilingual user interface. But I feel that this is an essential part of our mission as an organization, and as a Board member I would provide all the support possible to the committees furthering this goal.
4. What is your experience with the OTW’s projects and how would you collaborate with the relevant committees to support and strengthen them? Try to include a range of projects, though feel free to emphasize particular ones you have experience with.
Thanks to my work in Policy & Abuse, the AO3 was the project I was most familiar with for the first few years of volunteering for the OTW. After joining Translation I was able to contribute to a greater variety of OTW projects. Being a member of those two committees has given me the opportunity to work with Support, Tag Wrangling, Legal and Open Doors, and gain some insight into their areas of focus, workflows and challenges.
I’m not much of an editor, but I spend a lot of time reading up on Fanlore when I’m about to dip my toes in yet another fandom or when I want to learn more about specific parts of fandom history. The Transformative Works and Cultures journal is dear to me because I love meta-analysis of fandom. I am grateful for all the archives Open Doors has already saved and I wish Open Doors could have been around in the early days of the internet. And I hope that Legal will continue to successfully defend transformative works and give guidance to all committees.
In general, the switch to our current internal chat platform has led to a great increase in cross-committee communication, collaboration, and a decrease in committee silos. I have learned much about the different projects and committees by chatting with other volunteers.
As a member of the Board I intend to learn more about each project and committee’s inner workings as well as their current challenges by talking to chairs and volunteers to learn what the Board can do to facilitate their continued success.
5. How would you balance your Board work with other roles in the OTW, or how do you plan to hand over your current roles to focus on Board work?
If at all possible, I would prefer to continue serving in my two current volunteer roles since I would like to keep up with the practical side of running the OTW. I have recently finished getting an additional degree while working in my professional job as well as serving as a Policy & Abuse staffer and a Translation volunteer. The time that was formerly reserved for studying and writing a thesis is now available for a possible Board commitment. In addition, my current volunteer roles both allow for a certain degree of flexibility. For example, scaling down Policy & Abuse work to the minimum ticket requirement or even taking a hiatus, in case the workload on Board is rising unexpectedly, is always an option. Furthermore, my professional job requires a high degree of time management and organisational skills which allows me to juggle my private, professional, and volunteer roles.