Oct. 21st, 2011

julia_beck: Rectangular cake with white frosting and yellow inscription "AO3= <3" (Default)
There's been a flurry of talk after the Oct. 17th candidate chat, so if you're looking for a one-stop overview, check the information digest compiled from candidate statements & chat [personal profile] facetofcathy created. Highly recommended, also: unbiased.

A look at the OTW Board of Directors elections and the candidates.

My other recommendation for you, after facetofcathy's digest, would be to read read OTW Board member [profile] hele's OTW Election post, because it articulates very well what the current challenges inside the org are by giving a candid high-level overview from an inside perspective.

I think the org is coming (has been coming) at a crossroads. It's growing, and it's really big already, and diversity and sustainability are becoming Issues. I mean this seriously. There's a lot of talk, and I want you, if you care about the org (and I know this sounds patronizing, sorry, but yeah), to pay attention to what is said by each candidate, because it's true that there's a limit to the org's resources, but that's a given, and the fact is, if the org doesn't start pulling itself together on those issues, it will only become harder. Failing at it not only will weaken the organization, it also means that it will be failing at its mission.

My post, though, is inspired by my tl;dr reaction to [personal profile] elz's comment in [personal profile] jennyst's journal. Different perceptions of the state of OTW, basically.

what codes of conduct have to do with diversity. )
julia_beck: Rectangular cake with white frosting and yellow inscription "AO3= <3" (Default)
Quick rec to a couple highly critical (in both senses of the the word) posts:

[personal profile] via_ostiense OTW Election stuff

We are not just an archive, and fandom is about more than reading fic, and if the OTW is to be an advocate for fans, we have to first of all respect our members and fandom enough to think that they care about the organization that purports to represent them and to which they donate, and then we have to prove ourselves worthy of their trust by being open to dialogue with people outside of our staff and volunteers.

[personal profile] troisroyaumes OTW Elections

I've been involved in volunteer organizations offline that had this same problem: it is extremely frustrating and often leads to implosion and leadership vacuum when the one key person burns out or gets sidelined by other commitments. There needs to be collaboration, delegation and procedures for transferral of leadership. To put it abstractly, a robust network needs to build in redundancy and crosstalk in order to tolerate perturbations. That's why biological systems have paralogs and epistasis, people!

[personal profile] facetofcathy Further to the OTW election post.

But worse than that, worse than utilizing the content providers' creations largely unrewarded and unacknowledged, the OTW itself has rarely expressed any interest in the input or ideas of the masses since the first blush of public discussion back on LJ.

I'd just like toss out there: you're a random fan who likes the idea of giving back to fandom a little through volunteering. You get involved in the OTW. You evolve to the level of staffer! (Score!)

But then you realize you have even less say than before because you've traded in the right to publicly criticize it openly for a chance to make things better. But the structure is not set up in a way that allows you to effect much change.

So. What do you do?

This is why critical outside voices (or bold internal ones like via's) like these are so vital at this point.

I'm not saying I have all the answers, or that I agree with everything they wrote. But I don't need to -- I just need a willingness to listen, to take this very, very seriously, and take a lot of notes.


julia_beck: Rectangular cake with white frosting and yellow inscription "AO3= <3" (Default)
Julia Beck

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