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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.
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Tiyire

January 2015

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