I haven't been talking about my OTW work much — and I feel like I should. It would increase transparency, particularly of the OTW Board, which I know can seem really opaque. There are two reasons I don't talk about my OTW work: one is that I don't want OTW concerns to permeate my entire fannish life; that's why I created a separate real-name journal, to keep the two separate. But I still haven't used it, because of the second readon: I am just plain damn tired. Besides depression and life in general, I'm also just too exhausted from doing org work to talk about my org work.

I'm still too tired, really, so I apologize if the following reflects that — but I felt this issue to be too important for me to not talk about it, however tired I may be.


Fannish Diversity; Transparency and Disclaimers; Timeline; Analysis )

In the end, I think we should have done better with this poll. Maybe it's a small thing, but small things still count. I want us to be the change we want to see. So we say here, at the OTW, that diversity is important to us? Then we need to embody that desire. If our current userbase is not representative, why is that an obstacle to guiding our public materials towards being more representative? Do we think so little of our current userbase that we believe they will resent representative diversity when we explain what happened, why we did what we did? Why continue to acclimate people outside the org to a limited subset of fandoms?

For that matter, why acclimatize anyone, inside or outside the org, to a limited subset? Even if these results are never posted about in public again, some small set of people inside the org would still use them. Why get people inside the OTW used to seeing such a limited set of names?

I want to emphasize that I am not alone, that fans like me are not alone, in the org or in Board, and I invite those people to come and talk about their experiences too, both inside the org and publicly.

I also know that transparency is a big issue, and could have illuminated our thinking during this process if we had let fans talk to us about what they think we should do in such a situation. Transparency has been on my personal docket ever since my term began: I knew Board had to be more transparent in particular, and the org in general. But I kept putting it off in favour of things that were more on fire, more urgent, demanding a deadline. Well. April is almost over. It's not the beginning of term anymore. And as the thread I linked to above demonstrates, it seems, and I agree, that transparency is on fire now. And I will be doing my best to push it up the agenda and keep it in the forefront of our thinking.

I don't know. I am definitely grateful for all the work everyone has done on this, for putting this together and putting it up; to Board for taking the time to listen and deliberate. I'm grateful to everyone who voted, to everyone who left their mark, to everyone who celebrates the results we published. It's your history, your present, your fandoms; it's important.

But to everyone who is unhappy with these results because they see nothing of themselves there, I want to say: I'm unhappy too. I'm sorry I did not do a better job. I want to hear what I can do better — please, please tell me. I want to tell you that I'm not the only one listening — of course I'm not. I want to apologize for being so tired that I never said anything before. And if you're frustrated with the OTW, if you want to believe it can be better but are not sure it can happen, if you're ambivalent over your welcome here, I want to tell you that you're not alone — but I also know that I'm not alone in hoping that it can be better, too.

These are my actions as well as I could explain them. I welcome commentary and discussion here, but I do ask that you please keep OTW-related stuff in this journal and not my fannish one. I also want to warn everyone that I continue to be exhausted and may not respond quickly, but I will do my best to respond to everyone. Thank you for listening.


[ETA 2011-04-30] I'd like to address a trend I've seen in several comments below that I find really troubling: I am far from the only person inside the org or even inside Board who is interested in and actively working on the issues above. I tried to make this clear in my post, but it seems I did not emphasize it enough — I'm sorry. I value working with my numerous colleagues, some of whom share my views, and some don't — and it's the variety of voices that makes us strong. While I definitely acknowledge that the OTW's visible output has largely focused on one set of voices, I do want to emphasize that I'm not alone. Our work is exhausting, and posts may be rare, but we are far from alone, and within the org, we are far from silent.

Notes )



September 2012

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