Michelle S’s Bio & Platform


Michelle S stumbled upon fandom in high school and refused to let go of it. Mostly they stick to video game and tiny book fandoms and write a lot of fluff fics about their favorite characters. They’re a co-chair for the AO3 Documentation team, and have been part of the Tag Wrangling committee and the Support committee in the past. Outside of the OTW, they work as an assistant manager in a retail store.


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

I’m very passionate about the OTW and all of its projects. I’ve been a volunteer for almost six years now, and I’ve seen a lot of what the OTW does as part of my various roles. I’m very dedicated to helping our organization continue all the work that it has been doing. I’ve run for election before, and so I know the commitment and responsibilities involved in the process and what I’m signing up for. I believe I’m once again in a position where I can devote the time and energy to the OTW as a Board member.

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

I have been a committee chair for the AO3 Documentation committee for three years, during which I’ve learned how to train and manage people remotely. My work as a chair has also led me to learn more about the other committees AO3 Documentation frequently works with.

I’ve also worked in customer service for fifteen years, and so I’ve learned how to work with a diverse set of people and how to balance everyone’s expectations and goals in order to get tasks done. I have a degree in business administration and accounting, so I also have knowledge of the American financial system and non-profits. I also bring with me a love of reading and writing documentation which has helped me learn about the other committees in the OTW and what they do.

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 my longstanding goals is always to increase the amount of documentation available. It’s important to me that the OTW communicates well, both with its volunteers and with its users. Internally, it helps keep each committee accessible by having information available for other volunteers to learn about their processes and what they do. It also assists in keeping things running smoothly in case of volunteer turnover. When communicating with the external public, transparent and accessible documentation can help people understand how we work as an organisation, and what to expect from us.

In addition, I think it’s essential to continue working on making resources—and eventually, the Archive—accessible in as many different languages as we can. The Translation team is doing amazing work so far, including translating FAQs and news posts, and I’d very much like to be able to support and assist them in any way possible as the scope of their work evolves to suit our growing needs

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.

The vast majority of my work has been with AO3, as the committees I’ve been a part of have all been part of AO3 specifically. However, during my time as a volunteer, I’ve also been able to keep up with several other projects, wherever possible, whether that’s reading the monthly newsletters, staying in touch with other volunteers, or participating in internal spaces to see what everyone is currently up to. I continue to believe the best way to collaborate with committees is to have open and meaningful communication so committees can advise the Board on what is most needed to strengthen and support them.

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?

At the moment, I don’t anticipate having any issues balancing my Board work with my AO3 Documentation work, as my working schedule should be flexible enough to allow me enough time to dedicate to Board work. If needed, I’ll be able to either take a short hiatus from chairing or step down from chairing and retain my volunteer role with the committee, relying on my co-chairs to share the load.

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