lucyp: OTW logo in red, surrounded by fireworks (OTW: Fireworks)
This will have to be a super-hasty post, because RL work has been NON STOP and I haven't slept in what seems like forever, but voting is now open for the OTW elections! \0/ I am very sorry not to still be a candidate, but given the way work has been kicking my ass in the past couple of weeks I feel like I made the right call in stepping down, because there's no way I could manage to do all the things I'd want to do on the Board while doing this amount of work (and it's not looking like it will calm down any time soon).

ANYWAY! This post not actually about me, but a last-minute yeay for two particularly awesome people! I'm sure whoever winds up on the Board will do some great work, but there are two candidates who I have direct experience of who I would like to give a shout-out to!

Julia Beck is a smart, thoughtful, and sensible person with great people skills. I really respect and value the specific mission she brings to the org in terms of outreach and diversity: I think she is spot-on when she says a large part of this is about recognising where there are barriers for people who want to come in rather than about stomping into other communities and proselytising about how they should want to come in! I've really valued the times she's pointed out specific things I can do better, like including a range of different fandoms when I give examples in docs or communications posts - a simple but effective way of ensuring it doesn't look like the OTW is all about specific fandoms (this is especially important given I handle a lot of the public posts, so if we just went with personal fannish pleasures that would be pretty limited!).

I haven't always agreed with Julia - in fact, more than once we've wound up on opposite sides of a debate. Or, more specifically, I've started out on the opposite side, but one of Julia's great gifts is to convey her passion and belief while also keeping a debate calm and productive. The result is that even when things are getting heated (as fannish debates are wont to do!) Julia reaches out to the other people involved, shows she respects their opinions, and presents her view clearly and usefully. I've almost always wound up sharing common ground with Julia even when at the start we seem to be polarised, and she's been good at finding a new way forward in situations when it was clear that a consensus was unlikely, and that's a direct result of her skill for productive discussion and disagreement. I think this is a really, really valuable skill to bring to Board. I think a vote for Julia will be well spent.

Naomi Novik has been really important to my work in the OTW - and clearly important to the org as a whole! She is a great mentor and spent unbelievable amounts of time and energy in the first couple of years of the org building the coding team. I came in as a newbie with zero coding experience, and Naomi's dedication to helping, supporting and encouraging me was absolutely astounding. Having been on the other side of the equation (albeit I will NEVER have the skill Naomi has) I can say it can be very challenging to support someone through the initial baby steps of coding, because they need a lot of feedback right away and you don't want to spoil their momentum by having to back away at a crucial moment! I can truly say that Naomi's mentoring not only gave me coding skills, it transformed my whole idea of myself: if you had told me in 2008 that by 2010 I would be chair of AD&T I would have been astounded! I think some people who joined more recently haven't seen Naomi's mentoring skills in action quite so much, partly because she's been busy with minor things like having a baby, and partly because she did a great job and some of the people she mentored are now doing that task (or have even passed it on another level). That's a huge success!

I really respect Naomi's ability to combine getting stuff done (and boy, does she get stuff done) with a willingness to hand things on - she was chair of AD&T for just two years, including the startup year, 2007, and then passed it on to the awesome awesome Maia who moved the project on in the ways it needed to be moved on (Maia passed it to me, and I passed it on again to the current chairs Elz and Amelia <3). She was really supportive of me when I was AD&T chair even though it would have been really easy for her to take over on some things (since her technical knowledge far outstrips mine), so I know she is good at bringing her expertise where it is needed while being sensitive to other skills and roles. As a member of AD&T, I do feel like right now it would be really really valuable to have someone with high-level technical expertise on the Board, because so much of the work of the OTW is built on a tech foundation (not just the AO3, but also Fanlore, the website, some of the work of Open Doors - even Journal needs tech backup). As a member of AD&T, I've definitely felt like the lines of communication between the Board and AD&T were not always that clear this year (though I LOVE our liaison hele and think she has done a great job) - it would be helpful to have at least one Board member who could bring the technical perspective.

I could ramble on a lot because I've worked with Naomi extensively so I know all the things she brings, but I fear i may be descending into incoherence as my lack of sleep kicks in! So I'll just end by saying I think she is great and will bring a lot to the Board. :D

The other candidates all bring something valuable, but I wanted to give this rather belated yeay for Julia and Naomi specifically because I have direct experience of how great they are, and because I think they would make for a great balance on the Board - they have differing concerns but a similar great ethos, and that kind of productive difference on the Board is very very important.

Now going to pass out because the sleep! It has not been a feature of my life! Offline for the next several days so I will not be about in chat (OTW folks) or probably answering comments.
lucyp: Cartoon picture of a duck wearing wellies and holding an umbrella, with text 'OTW Founding Member' (Default)
As most people will already know, I have withdrawn from the OTW Board election.

I don't have a lot of time right now, so a long, thinky post about this will have to wait until later. But I just wanted to reiterate I said in my formal withdrawal statement - all the discussions surrounding this election has made me realise that the coming year will be a really complex and challenging one for the incoming Board. If I were elected, I would want to be 100% dedicated and able to contribute constructively to all Board work, and able to mentor and support other people across the org fully. In light of the tasks facing the Board this year, and the fact that my own real life work is ramping up faster than I had anticipated, I just don't think I can do the job I want and need to do as a Board member without significant costs in the rest of my life. If people are going to vote for me on Board, they deserve to get my best work, and I don't want to risk finding that I can't keep my promises.

I have a lot of feelings about this election, but ultimately this was a personal decision based on my assessment of my own resources. I don't rule out running again sometime in the future, and I won't be leaving the org, so I hope I will be able to act on the ideas and policies I've talked about with you all in other ways.

I'm extremely grateful to the many people who supported me on this journey, and sorry to have to disappoint those of you who hoped to vote for me.

ETA: I'm up against some deadlines right now, so if people comment here I may not be able to respond right away - I'll get to you at some point though. <3
lucyp: Cartoon picture of a duck wearing wellies and holding an umbrella, with text 'OTW Founding Member' (Default)
Belatedly, if you missed the candidate chats for the OTW Board election the other day, or you want to remind yourself what was said, the transcript is now up on the OTW website (link goes to the concise version, which strips out all the general chat so is a bit easier to follow). For bonus noms and information, you can also check out the follow-up questions which we answered by email after the chat, since we ran out of time.

I have to say that the candidate chats are always one of my favourite bits of OTW elections, because I love seeing people talk about the org and formulate their ideas for how things could be even better. It's a bit scary being on the side of actually answering the questions, but I also really value having the chance to HEAR those questions and think about what is important to other people inside and outside the org.

There'll be another chat on 26 October 2011 from 8pm to 9pm UTC (see when that is for you) - as before, it will be held in the OTW Public Discussion room (Link teleports you into the thick of it!). If you can't make it, or you don't feel like asking questions in public chat, then you can send in questions via the elections webform. And of course you should feel free to drop comments here or PM me if there's something you want to her from me specifically!
lucyp: Cartoon picture of a duck wearing wellies and holding an umbrella, with text 'OTW Founding Member' (Default)
The first of the OTW Board Candidate chats starts in around three hours - see when this is for your timezone. They'll be held in the OTW Public Discussion chatroom (link takes you directly into the room). Come along and say hi to me and my fellow candidates!

This is a chance to ask us the important questions, like why was Firefly cancelled and when are the OTW going to launch an upload-from-brain interface for the AO3, and maybe something about our respective philosophies on the OTW and Board membership. :p

Be there or be a rectangular thynge! (Or if you can't be there, you can show up to the next chat on 26th October or send in some questions for us via the elections contact form.)

W00t!
lucyp: Cartoon picture of a duck wearing wellies and holding an umbrella, with text 'OTW Founding Member' (Default)
I'm Lucy Pearson* and I'm running for a seat on the Board of the Organization for Transformative Works this year!

The Board of the OTW oversees the general activities of the org, providing support to committee chairs and taking care of the big picture. When one of the committees wants to spend some money, or launch a new project, or wants to bring a new staffer onto their team, the Board discuss and decide that. While the work of committees is really at the heart of the org, the Board makes sure everything is tickety-boo and helps to give some overall shape and direction for what's going on. It also has a certain legal role - since the OTW is a 501(c) registered non-profit, there has to be a group of people who can legally represent it (and be held accountable).

I joined the OTW way back in 2008, when it was just a wee baby organisation - this is my fourth term as a staffer! I've had my finger in a number of pies - beginning as a coder (and I really was a beginner), I have done testing, support, communications and served as the chair of the Accessibility, Design and Technology Committee. Right now, I am a staffer on the AD&T, Communications and Support committees. Serving in these various roles has given me a chance to interact with lots of different parts of the organisation, and with the users of some of our tools (mainly the Archive of Our Own). In addition, having been around for a while, I've had the chance to see what works well in the org and what could be even better. So, running for Board seems like the next logical step!

I'll be posting more updates on the OTW and the Board election here as things progress. You might also want to follow the OTW blog for official updates.

If you have questions, I'd be super happy to hear them. Comment here or feel free to PM.

Wheee! Exciting times!

* I'm probably better-known under my fannish id, which many of you will be able to guess. However, please don't link it to this id publicly, as I prefer to have a little separation between the two.

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lucyp: Cartoon picture of a duck wearing wellies and holding an umbrella, with text 'OTW Founding Member' (Default)
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