tiyire: (Default)
[personal profile] tiyire
While surfing Fanlore I came across the List of OTW 2011 Board Election links again. (Should this be a subpage? No it should not, and I should read the talk page before asking.) Whoa, these are a lot of links. No wonder I lost so much sleep trying to follow the discussion. And I wasn´t even a member of the org yet! I don´t want to know how that time was for those who were, it must have been pretty terrible.

But reading the posts again also reminded me of the good parts: the OTW is still standing! And how. The AO3 gets more shiny every month and has over half a million fanworks by now (!!), Legal and OD and Journal are doing great work that not always gets a lot of attention, so do many other committees, and have I mentioned lately that Fanlore is fantastic? Because it is.

ETA: I just found an article with the first line "Is one of fandom's biggest organizations now in jeopardy?" The future is always uncertain, but no, the OTW won´t crumble because NN and FC are gone. Especially in light of the discussions around them at the 2011 election this is funny to read.

Sure, we haven´t solved the issues that came up over a year ago yet, but from what I can see we´re definitely on the right path. A long and slow path, with some wrong turns, but we´re getting there.
Some of the biggest problems that were named in that discussion were sustainability and volunteer burnout, transparency, diversity, management. It´s hard to say much because I of course have a limited perspective, but:
- I think VolCom´s new way of recruiting will help with volunteer burnout because new people know better what to expect, committees can get the people they really need, and VolCom makes sure the committee has training resources in place
- I didn´t follow the OTW closely enough to say how much they revealed before and of course now I see it from the inside, but I think several committees have made an effort to be more transparent (e.g. SP, Wiki, Board minutes etc.)
- I don´t have much contact with I&O; in Wiki we´ve decided to return to concentrating on outreach once we´ve solved our other issues, and I´m completely okay with that
- There´s an effort to improve volunteer management led by VolCom (I´m really looking forward to their chair training project!) I can´t say much about strategic management from the Board, and it´s probably not easy for them because of the many personnel changes, but I think the current Board members are smart and have good ideas and intentions, so I´m cautiously optimistic.
- As for communication within the org, I´m not sure if it seems better to me because it got better overall or just because I know more people by now and, as chair of my committee, I have more self-confidence to talk to other people/committees and say "how about we do X." I´m hoping it´s both.

I think this discussion, as messy as it was, was healthy for the org as a whole. Otoh I didn´t see all of the consequences and fall-out, and I´d be interested to hear other perspectives. I´m very grateful to the people who got involved even though it must have been extremely stressful.

That was a long post to say that the actual page about the OTW 2011 Board Election is still a mess. I´ve been telling myself that I´ll fix it one day for a year now, and I´m not sure I´ll ever get around to it, and in the meantime some posts have been locked. If someone were interested in cleaning up a paragraph or so (small steps!), that would be great.
I could have done that instead of writing this. Procrastination and I are old friends.

Date: 2013-02-07 01:32 pm (UTC)
agnieszkas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] agnieszkas
Being a chair did more for my confidence than being a co-chair, to be honest. Since there's nobody to fall onto when in doubt and you have to learn to make decisions on your own and analyzing the situations to pick the best solution. Sure you can consult with others and with your liaison and stuff, but you're doing so from the position of authority and you have to look out for the best of your committee and your minions staffers.

And maybe it's just me and my personal view of the situation, but I think there's a lot more conversation happening inside the org. Committeees are talking amongst each other much more, it feels (at least from my end of things). Unless I feel that way because I now know many more people and talk to so many other people outside of my initial committee...

The 2011 Elections were so intense (and they happened at the very beginning of my OTW career) that when the Election came around this year I was almost hesitant to see what would happen (in that way, very much like the end of the world on Dec 21st, it was pretty anti-climatic)

I feel like this is a very random comment. But what the hell, might as well hit submit :)

Date: 2013-02-07 08:37 pm (UTC)
agnieszkas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] agnieszkas
Agreed. The next contested election will be interesting to watch.I don't think it will be as charged as the 2011 ones, since a lot changed and I doubt it's going to be a high-stakes, but election always tend to start all sorts of discussion and I love meta in all forms.

Being a chair really does change the way you see stuff, doesn't it?

Date: 2013-02-07 10:38 pm (UTC)
hermitsoul: Archive of Our Own pirate logo icon (* ao3: stultiloquentia)
From: [personal profile] hermitsoul
And maybe it's just me and my personal view of the situation, but I think there's a lot more conversation happening inside the org.

This is so true. I became Support chair in 2011, and people were surprised (and in some cases oddly reluctant) when I asked to meet up and discuss setting up liaisons and ways to improve communication.

These days, people are emailing me to set up meetings before I even get a chance to email them! *g*

Date: 2013-02-07 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] crtsj
I started in the org in April of last year, and I would say I perceive more internal communication happening as well. I think one part of it is that it seems like people are generally more willing to ask each other questions. (I remember when I first started there were occasional implications that asking another committee a question might be perceived as bothering them when they're busy and sometimes our Board liaison seemed insistent on doing the asking of other committees on our behalf...) It seems to me there's been a broader effort by chairs to communicate more on the "what are our roles in relation to each other?" and "how can we better support each other's work?" issues across committees. This should help to minimize misunderstandings and struggles with "is that our job or theirs?" types of questions going forward.

Definitely knowing more people makes it easier. I got to interact with so many people across the org directly after joining VolCom. I think that, in part, has positively impacted my own confidence in reaching out to people now because I've already corresponded with them as part of an induction or in response to a question or issue. It would be nice to build in some new opportunities for people to get to know each other across the org to help with that sort of thing.

Date: 2013-02-09 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] crtsj
That's an awesome suggestion. Board manages those, so sending it their way might be a good idea.

Date: 2013-02-07 10:47 pm (UTC)
hermitsoul: online computer icon (* Online: unexpectedbox)
From: [personal profile] hermitsoul
I don´t want to know how that time was for those who were, it must have been pretty terrible.

Oh, there was lots of gritting one's teeth and smiling. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad within the Org itself - people were polite in public chat and emails and we still got stuff done. It was only in locked rooms and personal journals that things got really ugly.

I was hoping for a contested election this year, because I do think we can do with some more honest communication. However, I am happy with our current Board, and would likely have voted for most of them anyway!


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