Zoë Tucker is a grad student in STEM. She started out in fandom reading original works on FictionPress and wrote her first fanfiction in a wide ruled notebook that was (thankfully) never to be seen by the world. It took her another three years to realize that other people also had strong enough opinions on the endings of books to write new endings themselves and started out reading fix-it fic on fanfiction.net. She migrated to the AO3 when she found its superb filtering system. She is a fandom-trawling multi-shipper and wants your OT3 recs.
Zoë started keeping an eye out on applications for Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) volunteer positions that suited her in 2017 and decided to apply as a tag wrangler in September. She joined the Support committee the following June (and could then resolve her most recently submitted Support ticket on her own!) and the Tag Wrangling Supervisors team in late 2019. One of her main goals is working to improve the user experience on AO3. Zoë especially enjoys answering support tickets about wrangling, and prefers to wrangle small fandoms where she gets to make the new character and relationship tags that users want. In all areas of her life she works to leave things at least a little better than she found them.
1. Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
Fundamentally, the reason I want to be on Board is that I love the OTW. While my skill set and available time does not allow me to join every committee, I would still like to do as much as I can for the OTW as a whole. Being on the Board of Directors would give me another opportunity to help. I believe in the mission of the OTW and both the internal community of the organization and its place amongst fannish communities. I’m confident the skills I’ve acquired here could be put to use in helping the organization at large, outside of the work I can do within my committees. I want to be on deck to help when problems come up for the OTW and I hope to lighten the load on the chairs of our committees while understanding and respecting their committee-specific expertise.
2. What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
My strengths lie in communication and attention to detail. I view myself as being able to effectively convey information without causing any undue tension. I was president of two organizations my last year at university, having been secretary, vice president, and treasurer in the years before. I know how it feels to be among the first people in line to deal with issues as they arise. While leadership can be stressful, I find it to be worthwhile because it gives me a deeper understanding into the foundations and underlying work of an organization. What I hope to have the opportunity to bring to the Board is a willingness and capacity to listen deeply, the desire to do more good than harm, and the ability to speak thoughtfully and completely even in times of stress.
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?
I am wary of making wider goals for the OTW outside of my own experiences within it, but I would like to see us, as an organization, working towards updating committee-specific and organization-wide documentation to provide more transparency on the underlying foundations of the decisions volunteers make every day. In order to achieve that goal, we will have to update our internal documentation, a continuous and underappreciated task. As a Tag Wrangling Supervisor, I am very familiar with how much simpler objectives can appear before one sees all the nuts and bolts of the internal workings. Although every committee must prioritize its specific tasks, I would like to help the OTW garner some enthusiasm for developing documentation that can be easily accessed by our community and staff. Good internal documentation will make our committees more efficient and will lead to clearer external documentation and a better user experience.
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.
Most of my experience is related to the Archive, but through our internal chat platform I have been exposed to the work of other committees related to many of the OTW’s projects. I believe that the people who best know what will be helpful to each committee are the people within that committee. In general, I think the best supportive action the Board can take is to ask what a committee needs to run more smoothly and try to provide that assistance as much as is possible. That said, cross-committee work is necessary for all OTW projects, and I believe the Board can be a helpful resource for facilitating that communication.
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?
My current responsibilities to the OTW are as a Tag Wrangler, Tag Wrangling Supervisor, and Support Committee member. I don’t feel that my current workload is overly burdensome or incompatible with running for or being on the Board, but if that changes I would consider handing off my larger wrangled fandoms or even retiring from support. Many things that have slowed down due to quarantine in my regular life will slowly pick back up, but I anticipate being able to incorporate potential Board responsibilities into my routine as life returns to something approaching normal. I do not foresee having a major problem balancing Board work with my other responsibilities to the OTW or my external responsibilities.