julia_beck: Rectangular cake with white frosting and yellow inscription "AO3= <3" (Default)
[personal profile] julia_beck
There are some recent discussions about OTW Board work and meetings by [personal profile] jennyst (Tired, Clarifications and news) and [personal profile] ira_gladkova (Goals Update + Types and Visibility of Board Work).

I wanted to flag why I'm not weighing in on this in any substantial way: I'd like to save that for official communication. It's not that I don't think writing in our private spaces doesn't have value, and I know that keeping things personal is often crucial, but I'm keen to see more of this information in our official settings. Specifically, we're trying to create a series of blog posts by Board members; unsurprisingly, because of recent absences and trouble, this has been floundering, but I'll get on it again this week. (So, basically, if I feel an overwhelming urge to talk about those things, I better make sure I help create a framework where I can do that in an official capacity, too.)*

There's one thing I wanted to add as a tag to the "Board work" part of Ira's post, though: I specifically understand this Board as one for transitioning OTW into a more stable and sustainable place, where, for example, chairs have more structural support and training from the get-go, and less Board liaising is needed. So what Ira is talking about isn't necessarily meant as a recipe for Board work going forward; it's a description of what we're currently using to get to that more structured, less improvised place.


* well, okay, one thought. More power to efforts like [personal profile] unofficialotwnews. Why? Because I agree that it's addressing a shortfall on our side, namely, the lack of a community space for people to compile or talk about OTW issues. Right now, people flock to anon memes, which -- sorry -- tends to breed and perpetuate misinformation. So I'm all for establishing open and less self-selecting spaces, and we're actually at the preliminary stages of creating OTW-wide forums, but it's a ways off. (First step: set up Fanlore forums. Open to Fanlore users. Iron out kinks. Then expand those to general forums.) So yeah, I'm fully behind forums, and will do my best to facilitate them, even if it will take a long time.

Date: 2012-07-10 08:02 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Could you give an example of misinformation being spread by anon memes? I want to know what to look out for, which is sort of hard, when one doesn't have an information baseline to work from.

Date: 2012-07-10 12:14 pm (UTC)
scribblesinink: QR code in orange (neutral qr code)
From: [personal profile] scribblesinink
Why not assign someone to correct any misinformation right there on the anonmeme(s)? Engage with users where the actual discussion is taking place.

Preferably while identifying themselves as officially being from OTW, but I can see that might come with its own issues. If it's done consistently and honestly and correctly, people will recognize it as "official voice" soon enough, even when posting anonymously. Eventually, even trust might be built, though that'll take time. After all, trust departs on horseback but comes on foot, to (badly) translate a Dutch saying.

Instead of asking people to come to "your channels", go to them. At the very least, have someone drop a comment on the anonmeme with a link to the official explanation for whatever the topic of discussion is. You don't even need to editorialize the comment.

Even better yet, do both! Correct the misinformation on the anonmeme (factually, professionally, no \o/), point people to your own channels, like [community profile] ao3some and copy the information there as well. You won't stop the spreading of misinformation completely (people being people) but every instance you can nip it in the bud is another plus, and at the same time you're building a resource with the most often spread misinformation and its corrections in one place.

Date: 2012-07-10 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So what is the solution here? Only discuss AO3 or OTW issues where you (general OTW-you) prefer but where you have no intention of interacting and dealing with our concerns? Even to post links? I honestly feel like I would rather not participate with the organization on any level if that is the situation. It seems like this is less a thing for fans and more an exercise for you guys. That's great and all, but clearly not for me.

Date: 2012-07-10 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
My apologies, I was unnecessarily terse and frustrated. I want to see more officially lead discussion too and I thank you for taking time out here to answer questions.

Date: 2012-07-10 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Except here (http://archiveofourown.org/comments/949313) on an AO3 admin post when people are talking about kudos batch emails easier server strain, that misinformation isn't corrected by anyone involved in the organisation.

Here people asked about options for batching or not batching kudos emails by user preference and were told not at this time because of server strain concerns: http://archiveofourown.org/comments/933972 Which probably muddied the waters some.

I understand if you don't want to wade into anon memes to white knight yourself, as that would probably be counterproductive but if misinformation being spread is a pet peeve of yours then not letting it stand on official posts would be a good first step.

Date: 2012-07-10 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
...If kudos emails aren't batched because of server load, you may want to tell your support people to stop saying that. I can count half a dozen instances of support people saying that exact thing in posts where people ask about it.

This is what people mean when they say you people need better communication: the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing and nobody ever improves it. At least anon memes will have someone come along behind people making strong assertions and saying "actually, no, it's this instead". The official OTW channels just insist that we've always been at war with Eurasia.

Also? If the information is "right there on the website" and yet large numbers of people miss it, maybe the problem isn't with them "ranting". Maybe the problem is that your website's searchability sucks and there's no way to actually discover the information in the places that anyone who isn't part of the OTW hive mind would think to look for it.

Date: 2012-07-11 03:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hmm... while I think the OTW's front page is kind a mess - specific OTW news should take priority over general fannish news and their projects should individually be part of the subheading to give noobs and potential donors a more immediate idea of what they do - I'm not sure how helpful ranting is. At best, it seems to be putting people in the OTW's backs up. Real change is gonna have to come with money or volunteers, I suspect.

Date: 2012-07-10 12:32 pm (UTC)
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] foxinthestars
So yeah, I'm fully behind forums, and will do my best to facilitate them

Thank you for this! I have been wanting forums, partly because I'm not so good with chat and e-mail lists always feel like too much of an imposition on people's inboxes to chat in them, and I think just a place to build social cohesion would mean a lot to volunteers and for members to feel belonging and ownership, as well as the pluses you mention, so I'm really glad to know that this is on the horizon.

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Julia Beck

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