maia_bob: OTW Logo with text "OTW Board 2013 (wtfpolarbear)" (OTW Board WTF)
[personal profile] maia_bob
454 emails this week of which 303 are labeled OTW - !General and 134 are labeled OTW – Board. The proportion of emails to IM chats is moving towards more chats. My calendar says ~15 hour week. I didn’t make it to a single official committee meeting which kind of blows my mind because it feels like this whole week has been All-OTW, all the time. *reads transcripts*

One of things I couldn’t talk about last week (Six weeks so far…) and the week before (Five weeks so far…) was Meta and you're lucky I only joined the board recently or I would have been not talking about it for over six months. if you're interested, my personal decision making process went a lot like this:
AO3 Meta according to Maia v2

I would like to emphasise that this is a Board decision, and while AD&T, Support and Comms are receiving the feedback, they are not the instigators. Keep communicating, this is important. Be kind, this is important too.

I am also open to continuing discussing it, this is an invitation to comment or PM me if you want to talk about it with me.

ETA: Also! HUGE thank you to J. who got up when I called him at 1:35am his time because the AO3 was down for logged out users. THANK YOU!

Date: 2013-02-18 02:16 am (UTC)
transcendancing: Darren Hayes quote "Life is for leading, for not people pleasing" (Default)
From: [personal profile] transcendancing
wow - that's an impressive map! Nicely demonstrated.

Date: 2013-02-18 02:25 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
I just wish, on reflection, that a certain post made it more clear some of the reasons we're considering it in our wheelhouse, and that this _is_ the start of the public discussion for implementation, not that it's a completely done deal and already planned.

/sigh. Alcohol and caffeine.

Date: 2013-02-18 04:42 am (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
I think, "We could have done this better," is a t-shirt I need, because it describes accurately something like 90% of what every organization ever does.

Date: 2013-02-18 06:14 am (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
The past board president at one of the nonprofits I manage, who very strong-willed person...well, at the other nonprofit SHE was involved with, they have a road going straight up a hill. Their board has a running joke about how they should name it the [Past Board President] Way.

Date: 2013-02-18 07:18 am (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
Yeah, me too. *G*

Date: 2013-02-18 08:17 am (UTC)
zooey_glass: SamWinchester - 'I lost my shoe!' (SPN: Sam - I lost my shoe!)
From: [personal profile] zooey_glass
A certain post could only have made that clearer if that was, er, true. But since the communication from Board made it clear that this was a done deal, there was only so much that could be done vis-a-vis external communication.

Date: 2013-02-18 09:37 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
I was wondering about that. Why the decision not to have more input from elsewhere?

(Not attacking here, I can think of several reasons for such a decision. But I find it odd that absolutely nothing was mentioned about it.)

Date: 2013-02-18 02:10 pm (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
Thanks for the detailed explanation, that makes sense! I don't see any problems with the Board making a reasonable decision after extensive debate. We all want to have our say all the time, but there also comes a point where you have to trust the people you elected to make intelligent decisions on your behalf.

FWIW, I agree with the decision about meta so I obviously don't mind too much how we got to it. But if I'd been of the opinion that meta doesn't belong on the AO3, I imagine I'd be a lot more cranky now. Maybe it would have been nice at some point to see a list of the issues the Board was considering, so that everyone could feel assured that their Important Personal Opinion was already among the things under discussion - or make a comment if they had an objection or argument that wasn't on the list yet.

I guess for me, it was just a little weird and frustrating to hear "We're talking about it" for months and months and months and have absolutely no idea on what part the Board was stuck ;)

Date: 2013-02-19 03:28 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's what I learned in a PR degree (- Random Subtle)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
This. I was actually even confused by the original message from Board: until all this elaboration (and elsewhere), I had received that the message was along the lines of "we shall welcome everything you call meta, starting tomorrow!" Having had that clearer in the first post...ah, well. Learning experience for Board, and for us: howl louder, next time! ^^

Date: 2013-02-19 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] crtsj
One thing we've already noted that needs doing from a Communications perspective is putting together clearer guidelines for major announcements like this. We haven't had one of this scope since I've been on Communications (that I can recall) and our regular guidelines for committee posts don't seem to quite cover the scope of this - which requires more advance notice and collaboration in crafting the announcement, anticipating responses (and either integrating them into the post or making note of how we'd like to reply), and clarifying who is responsible for responding to feedback (or different types of feedback) ahead of time.

Date: 2013-02-19 03:38 am (UTC)
hermitsoul: I'm not anti social I just can't stand people text icon (* anti-social: hermitsoul)
From: [personal profile] hermitsoul
*sends all the love* Just so you know, Support adores Comms so much right now.

Date: 2013-02-20 05:57 pm (UTC)
facetofcathy: four equal blocks of purple and orange shades with a rusty orange block centred on top (Default)
From: [personal profile] facetofcathy
Hi Curtis, I hope you (and maia_bob) don't mind me dropping this comment here, but frankly, trying to find official contact info for OTW people makes me cranky. I wanted to give you some feedback on the form of the post, not the content.

When I read the post the first time, I got to the line, "use of our resources is consonant with our purview and mission," and I burst out laughing. Sorry, but I did. Then, because I'm a bit cynical, I started wondering what truth you were hiding in the jargon weeds.

Today, I stumbled across a readability tool today:

It uses the standard formulas most writers are familiar with and gives instant results.

So I tried the post in that readability test and it came out with a grade level of 11 and a reading ease of 56.

I tested the most recent news post about the support chat and it was a bit lower grade/higher ease.

Then I grabbed the first fic I could find on the AO3 with more than 1,000 kudos and 30,000 hits. Grade 5/Ease 86. I tried another and got Grade 3/Ease 87.

I think this a real problem with official communications. The posts are long, complex, often shy away from making points bluntly and plainly and do hide things in the jargon. Posts are also written like the expected audience is a US anglophone college grad.

I believe this is contributing to the form and amount of angry pushback you're getting sometimes, and this time in particular.

There are varying levels of language skills in your audience, non-anglophones, people like me who are very much not college grads, young people, etc, and I don't think this post hit anywhere near even the median reading level of AO3 users.

Put that together with the Hi! So glad you commented!! Here's some boilerplate text in response!!! replies and the post is bound to piss off and alienate people who are much less cynical than I.

I'm saying, therefore that not just straight talk, but some straight-sounding talk is needed by users.

Thanks for your time Curtis, and I wish you all the best.

Date: 2013-02-18 12:12 pm (UTC)
enigel: Christian Bale hugging an axe, text 'have you hugged your axe today?' (axe (by me))
From: [personal profile] enigel
Hm, so to me it looks like the cons still outweigh the pros in sheer... weight, but even if they don't, then some / more consideration should have been shown (as in outspoken acknowledgement; as in formal, not private) to those most affected by the cons. Instead, in-org communication has... glossed over the affectedness of some of the committees most affected by the cons.

I'm not even sure how much I *can* comment? And how much we're actually *supposed* to only do in private messaging / rants?

(Yeah, I thought I was done after ranting at you in private, but it seems I do have ~feelings spilling over.)

Date: 2013-02-18 01:18 pm (UTC)
tiyire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tiyire
I am selfishly extremely glad that Wiki doesn´t have to care about the meta-on-ao3 discussion at all. Whew. I only looked at it from a safe distance, but it seemed like such a messy discussion. It looks to me like principles (our mission includes meta, meta is cool, let´s have meta) vs. practicalities (what does that mean for the committees involved, how do we define it, can the archive handle it, can we handle it), and while I´m fine with principles winning, I wish there were some better answers for the practicality concerns.
A discussion about what the role of the Board is would fall directly into this and of course make it much more difficult.

Date: 2013-02-18 01:49 pm (UTC)
elz: ao3 logo with pirate hat and sword (ao3 yarr!)
From: [personal profile] elz
I love meta, and I've certainly written a lot more of it over the years than I have fanfic, but I'm really, really worried about the sustainability of the archive at our current rate of growth, and I'm concerned that "we don't have the resources to do this" can be trumped by "we want to", especially without staff or users having input. :(

Date: 2013-02-19 07:59 pm (UTC)
ghost_lingering: Crichton got hit with a television set (fandom: we have DOLLUCKS!)
From: [personal profile] ghost_lingering
We already have an active art, podfic and vidding posting presence despite not having the functionality to support it.

This concerns me: the larger the presence of art, podfic, and vids on the archive before the archive has the functionality to support them, the more issues I see down the road. IMO, meta will be easier to fold into the archive than art, podfic, and vids simply because it is text based, but the fact that those have already been welcomed without the functionality necessary to sustain them long-term is a concern to me.

I'm a vidder, and just yesterday I was looking at if I want to put my vids on AO3, and I decided not to because the archive just isn't set up with anything but fic in mind. It becomes really obvious when you go to "post new" and everything is tailored to posting fic. I sent a message to support with feedback -- a vidder wishlist really -- about what I'd want before I put my vids there (which in retrospect maybe wasn't the best timing if they are currently getting slammed with support tickets regarding meta), but the whole thing makes me nervous if AO3 becomes the place to post everything before it's been tailored to fit the needs of anything but fic writers.

(It also doesn't help that, while I know that the Torrent of Our Own is somewhere down the road, it's never been clear to me if the OTW/AO3 had any plans apart from that for making the archive vidding friendly. Not to mention, "somewhere down the road" is a timeframe without reference.)

Anyway, I know that you guys are working hard and dealing with a slew of other issues right now, and while I'm concerned about it as a vidder, I'm also not angry or upset with the OTW/AO3/you/anyone about it. It's just that I hope that the OTW/AO3 is aware of the issues moving forward and is working to find ways to actively fix them so that everything that isn't fic doesn't continue on the archive in this weird out-of-place limbo.

And, for the record, I'm happy that meta is allowed on the archive (my concerns above, aside) and I'm finding your posts very interesting. Sometimes it's hard to get a sense of how and what the OTW is doing from the outside, so I really appreciate it when people commit to making posts about their work in the org and their experiences with it.

Date: 2013-02-20 01:11 am (UTC)
ghost_lingering: Crichton got hit with a television set (fandom: we have DOLLUCKS!)
From: [personal profile] ghost_lingering
I've definitely seen the vidding roadmap. That's part of my frustration, actually. While embedding (#4) and resources (#1) are available, the other steps seem to be entirely in limbo, at least from my view on the outside. Additionally, I haven't seen any official discussion of tweaking the AO3 interface to make it more accessible to vids, though I have seen it in the periphery in discussions of both art and meta on AO3. I also haven't really seen any official discussion of updating/revising/keeping current vidding resources (#1), though that doesn't surprise me, as the resources deal with only a limited number of vidding concerns (legal, technical as related to the AO3, academic) that largely won't need constant updating.

As for volunteering ... it's not that I would be opposed, I've definitely considered it, but at the moment it looks like volunteer intake is paused indefinitely. In the past I hadn't tried to volunteer because I didn't have the time and then, later, because there were so many stories of volunteer burnout that I was pretty wary of getting involved. (Plus I don't really care about all parts of the OTW equally and many of the parts I care less about seem to be at the forefront.) By the time the OTW seemed to have gotten a better handle on the volunteer burnout situation, the intrest form was closed. Soooooooooo. That's the story there.

And, for the record, this is the wishlist of things I sent to support:

1. I'd really like to be able, when I go to "Post New", to be able to first choose if I am posting a fic, a vid, or (though these don't apply to me) podfic/art/multimedia/other.

2. After choosing "Vid" I'd love if there were some different options that are tailored to vidding instead of fic. Since vidding includes both visual and aural stimuli, it's a pretty integral accessibility feature to have an option under warnings for "Physical Triggers". There are certain things that are epilepsy or migraine triggers that can appear in vids. Festivids, which is a vidding exchange similar to Yuletide, has a warning system that is basically what I would want ( -- scroll down it's at the end of the rules in the bio section)

I would also want a field for the song/audio source, a field for the length of the vid, and possibly a field for additional/outside footage. The current "add co-author" check box could be modified to say "co-vidder". Content notes also often take the place of ratings in the land of vidding, so I don't know that the ratings would be necessary (unless they are there for legal reasons).
This would also mean that someone posting Art could get a set of art fields, someone posting Podfic could get podfic fields, someone posting Fic could get the current fields, etc.

3. So this one is much much much less important, but I'm mentioning it anyway. I've gone to at least one page on AO3 where the embedded vid no longer worked. I'd love if there was a system -- similar to the kudos system perhaps? -- where you could click to let the vidder know that the link was dead. The same could be true for art that is indexed on the archive but is hosted elsewhere. There would probably be some false positives, since a person's set-up could stop the video from playing back properly, but as a vidder it would be really useful to know and as a vid-watcher it would be great if I could see that the link was dead before I clicked. (Of course there would also have to be a way to reset it to show that there was working link after it was fixed.)

The first two points are really the main ones; right now this just isn't a place that is set up for posting vids. I know that I could use tags to demark what is a vid and what is not, but I'm not really a huge tag person and the lack of user consensus on how AO3 tags are best used* makes me wary of relying on them as a way to mark out something as important as vid vs fic (vs something else), especially since right now it seems like there's quite a bit of user confusion over filters. (Not to mention that only using filters to sort out fic vs vid vs whatever isn't something that makes sense to me anyway.)

*I want to be clear I'm talking people who post things to AO3, not about the work that tag wranglers or AO3 coders do re: tags. I just find it frustrating that one writer will use them like tags on tumblr and the next will use them like pinboard (or delicious of old). /personal issues with tags

Thanks for taking the time to answer -- I know that the org & board has a lot on its plate. On the one hand I think it's totally understandable if vidding or what-have-you has fallen through the cracks amidst the rest of the stuff that's going on; on the other I don't think any part of fandom -- particularly not my slice! -- is less important which is why I said something.

Date: 2013-02-21 07:02 pm (UTC)
ghost_lingering: Gonzo wants to take your picture (say CHEESE!!!)
From: [personal profile] ghost_lingering
Yes, I sent the wishlist to AO3 Support on the 18th under the Feedback/Suggestions label.

I'm definitely going to keep an eye on the volunteer recruiting form, but I plan on going in cautiously. I know that many people have great experiences with the OTW, but there are several things that make me want to take things slow -- burnout, my doubts about some parts of the OTW, my issues with some of fandom-at-large outside the OTW, and just general time management in life. It would be great if my caution ended up being unnecessary, but juuuuuust in case, you know?

Anyway, thanks again!

Date: 2013-02-19 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] crtsj
I think one thing that would have been of benefit had there been more internal discussion among staff before the Board decision was announced is that staff across the org could have been better prepared to step up as part of the public announcement. Right now since many staff and committees are still reacting to the announcement themselves, the responding and public face of the decision has fallen to those who can't pass the task onto anyone else, even if they wanted to, with limited knowledge about some of the technical aspects and possible implementation avenues.

But, at the same time, I'm so glad a decision is announced and we can move onto determining implementation steps and going forward as an organization.

Date: 2013-02-19 03:56 am (UTC)
hermitsoul: woman wearing a corset (* color outside lines: unexpectedbox)
From: [personal profile] hermitsoul
I do wish that we would have taken things more slowly. I know I've been bugging people about the decision for months, but once it came there was no time to get a handle on things internally before everything went public. I am a big fan of involving the users in decisions, and wish we could have done that here. (mostly because support gets less tickets that way!)

However, my main focus now is moving forward and getting things figured out so we know where we are going from here!

Date: 2013-02-27 08:01 pm (UTC)
metanewsmods: Abed wearing goggles (Default)
From: [personal profile] metanewsmods
Hi, can I link this at metanews?


maia_bob: Me posing on a pink canon (Default)

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