OTW Election Candidates – 2011

The OTW is happy to announce that we have six highly qualified candidates who have stepped forward to fill the four seats open on the Board at the end of the 2011 term.

The initial candidates’ chat was held at 1900 UTC 17 October 2011. Read a transcript or view a screenshot here.

The second candidates’ chat was held at 2000 UTC 26 October 2011. Read a transcript or view a screenshot here.

Julia Beck
Read all of Julia Beck’s chat responses here.

Julia Beck is a fan from Germany. She is studying for a degree in media and communication studies and works as a communications and quality supervisor in customer support. Although her fannish origins can be traced back to a childhood spent re-reading The Lord of the Rings, her initiation into organised fandom was sparked by Zetsuai: Bronze and German yaoi fandom, from which she moved into international media fandom. Most of all, she identifies as a hardcore RPG gamer: when she’s not lamenting the state of the “Tales of” series, she’s worshipping at the altar of Jennifer Hale.

She cut her volunteering teeth by co-founding her university radio programme, but was enticed away by the emergence of the OTW. She has served on the Translation committee since 2008 and founded International Outreach (IO) in 2010. Managing translation volunteers made her highly sensitive to issues of volunteer motivation and recruitment, and IO’s role as a cultural advisor to other committees helped her develop a more comprehensive perspective on the OTW.

Julia’s priority is to help increase the OTW’s diversity and accessibility to fandom, broadly conceived. She knows from her own experience how it feels to be “geoblocked,” and she wants the OTW to increasingly reflect the realities of fandom as an interconnected, international community. She wants to advance diversity efforts by strengthening collaboration across committees and boosting internal and external transparency.

She also plans to focus on keeping the OTW sustainable in the long term, not only by recruiting and training volunteers, but also by keeping them invested in the organization. She believes the OTW’s potential is constrained only by the limited time and energy of its volunteers and that sustainable staffing is closely tied to diversity. Just as increasing our human resources will help us carry out our diversity goals, increased diversity will result in improved volunteer recruitment and retention. She understands this as a joint effort and is looking forward to working on sustainability with fellow Board members.

Naomi Novik
Read all of Naomi Novik’s chat responses here.

Naomi Novik is the New York Times-bestselling author of the award-winning Temeraire historical fantasy series, and a founding member of the Organization for Transformative Works. She has been active in online fandom since 1994, publishing stories and vids in more than forty-nine fandoms and founding several fan-run institutions: a multiuser online role-playing game begun in 1995, a vidding convention begun in 2002, and an annual cross-fandom story exchange begun in 2003. She created the open-source Automated Archive software used by many fanfic archives and has been one of the senior architects of the Archive of Our Own since it began.

She is running for the Board after a year off to have a baby (Evidence! \o/) to finish seeing the Archive through to the shining grail of the 1.0 release, and to provide a technical voice on the Board across various other OTW projects. She has spent the past year in the organization coding madly on various major Archive tools including tag sets and nominations, to give challenge moderators more control over the tags used in their signups while reducing the burden of work on tag wranglers, and a revamp of the archive css and html and skins design intended to improve accessibility and make skinning the archive easier.

Lucy Pearson
Lucy Pearson withdrew her candidacy for the OTW Board on 12 November 2011.
Read all of Lucy Pearson’s chat responses here.

Lucy Pearson has worked on the Archive of Our Own from the first code commits through to the present day. As 2010 chair of AD&T she saw the AO3 through its first full year of Open Beta, during which the number of users and fanworks on the site trebled! She helped establish the Support Committee, which she still serves on, and supported the Tag Wrangling Committee through its transition from subcommittee to full committee.

Lucy also does double duty on the Communications committee, keeping users informed about the Archive’s progress: you’ve probably seen her posts about AO3 progress and AD&T meetings on the OTW blog and communities, and her regular tweets on the @AO3org Twitter account she started. She loves giving fans an insight into what goes on behind the scenes and is excited about the idea of bringing those skills to the Board.

Lucy is Lecturer in Children’s Literature at Newcastle University, UK, so it’s appropriate that she stumbled into fandom via Harry Potter (and never looked back). She works closely with archives and special collections, and is passionate about preserving fanworks and ensuring they remain accessible for the future.

As a Board member, Lucy would bring the same judgement and organisational skills that served AD&T well through hectic growth, as well as an international perspective on the OTW’s activities. She believes in Sam/Dean fic, the wonders of the Oxford comma, and the awesome power of fandom!

Betsy Rosenblatt
Read all of Betsy Rosenblatt’s chat responses here.

Betsy Rosenblatt is a law professor at Whittier Law School. Her teaching and scholarship focus on intellectual property law, and she is the director of the school’s Center for Intellectual Property Law. Before joining academia, Betsy graduated from Harvard Law School and spent nearly a decade as an intellectual property and entertainment litigator.

Betsy was “born into” fandom, in a way, as both of her parents are dedicated Sherlockians—and, deep in her parents’ basement, there are photos of her as a baby in a deerstalker cap to prove it. More recently, she’s been involved not only in Sherlockiana, but also in a wide range of TV, film, and anime fandoms, as a creator, beta reader, and appreciator of fanworks.

Having served on the Legal Committee of the OTW since January 2010, Betsy has enjoyed responding to legal inquiries from fans and helping the OTW craft its policies. She looks forward to being the “resident lawyer” on the Board as well as being involved in all other aspects of the OTW. She is proud to be part of the OTW and is eager to advance the organization’s missions of providing an inclusive community for the diverse and interrelated worlds of fandom, a high-quality platform for archiving and sharing fanworks, a thoughtful scholarly journal, a wealth of information for fanwork creators, a thorough historical resource, and—perhaps closest to her heart—a strong voice of public advocacy for transformative works

Nikisha Sanders
Read all of Nikisha Sanders’ chat responses here.

In three decades, Sanders has been a zine maker, slam poet, Anthropology and Sociology student, author of a thesis on gender representation among queer women, activist for AIDS awareness and education and union rights, nonprofit fundraiser, avid Little League supporter, and fanfic writer. She’s lived in Louisville, London, Albuquerque, and Richmond (the one in Indiana, not Virginia). She’s traveled to Amsterdam and throughout Ireland, spent absurd amounts of time in Brooklyn, Seattle, DC, and in online chat rooms, and made a home in southern Indiana. She’s dabbled in procedural fandoms, become a committed Browncoat, stood in line for more midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show than she can count, and written over a million words of drawer fic with her Mac-obsessed iWife.

For the past three years, Sanders has been an active member of OTW’s Finance Committee, chiefly responsible for the shark-related puns in the committee newsletter. She has also helped produce the organization’s annual report, ensured compliance with state and federal filings, developed meeting agendas, and taken charge of drafting policies and procedures for organizational budgeting. Additionally, she has provided material for Fincom’s required close of meeting worship of Shemar Moore.

As a member of the Board, Sanders will continue her work with Fincom, shark jokes and all, as well as prioritize opportunities for cross-training and cooperative learning within and between committees. She has a strong personal interest in examining the demographics of the organization and working to ensure that OTW represents the interests of fans across lines of race, class, ability and access. Ideally, she will be able to combine those interests and priorities to maintain the financial stability of the organization and expand support for international fundraising and membership activities.

Jenny Scott-Thompson
Read all of Jenny Scott-Thompson’s chat responses here.

Jenny Scott-Thompson is a IT consultant, lifelong fan, and advocate for sustainability and diversity of the OTW. Jenny works for a major international firm and has several years of experience in systems implementation and technology projects. She lives in the UK and studied maths at the University of Cambridge. She volunteered for Dreamwidth before and during Open Beta, during which time she acquired first-hand awareness of diversity and accessibility issues. She’s been a fan ever since she learnt to read, with a range of book, TV, film, and RPF fandoms.

Jenny will use her time on the Board to advocate for the sustainability of the OTW, transparency, accessibility, and diversity of all types, but particularly international and fannish sub-culture diversity. For the past two years, Jenny has served the OTW in many capacities, first on the Volunteers & Recruiting committee (VolCom) and then on the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee (AD&T), and has performed a mix of coding, testing, support, tag wrangling, design and training tasks.

She values the OTW’s whole mission and range of projects, including legal advocacy, Transformative Works and Cultures, Vidding and Fanlore, but believes the Archive of Our Own (AO3) is key to our mission. It offers a protected server owned by fans and supports Open Doors, thus providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan cultures. She wants to see the OTW continue the great work it has been doing to become more international, more representative, and more accessible to a wide range of fans. She’d like to make it easier for people to volunteer, and to increase our support our existing volunteers, as this work will result in a more sustainable organisation (as well as making people happier!)

In the next year, she’d like to see the AO3 translated into multiple languages, fanart hosting, a public update on the Torrent of Our Own (TO3), and more improvements to searching and browsing for AO3 readers. She’d also like to see the Code of Conduct project for volunteers completed, and training and support for volunteers improved. For any questions and conversations you can find Jenny on Dreamwidth and on LiveJournal.