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December 3rd, 2015

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 05:31 pm
The Wiki Committee has been busy the past two months! We apologize for missing the November newsletter, but we now have a number of updates for you:

Changes to the OTW Board of Directors

As some of you may have heard, the current OTW Board has resigned, effective December 15th. Despite these changes, all of the OTW's projects, including Fanlore, the Archive of Our Own, and Transformative Works and Cultures are operating normally. The Board certainly plays an important role in the management of the OTW, but their role is more focused on oversight and administration – it’s truly our volunteers who keep Fanlore going, and we’re all eternally grateful for their continued dedication and hard work!

For more information, you can read the most recent update from the 2016 Board members-elect, and the Fanlore article on the 2015 Board Election and aftermath, which provides a great background. Thank you to everyone who has been working on it! Further additions and perspectives are welcome, as always.

Fanlore technical issues

Some editors may have noticed slowdowns and error messages on Fanlore at the end of October. These were further symptoms of the site issues that affected AO3, which the OTW's hard-working Systems team were able to identify and resolve for the time being. You can read a report of the incident here at AO3 News.

There have also been issues with Fanlore's search engine recently - thank you to those who brought the problems to our attention! Unfortunately, it looks like our search index auto-updating isn't working as it should, so some search results have been out-of-date. We're still looking into the cause of the problem, but for now we've set the search index to fully update once per week. This means that you won't be able to search during the 2 minutes per week that it takes to update, but at least the index won't ever be more than a week out-of-date.

In other search engine news, we've increased the maximum number of search results returned from 1000 to 3000 results. The limit is to prevent undue strain on the servers when e.g. people search the wiki for "fan" (this gives 15,682 hits in the main namespace, if you're curious!). We believe the new limit will be more than enough for the majority of searches. For more about searching Fanlore, see Help:Searching.

Fanlore editing projects & category discussions

Earlier this month, editors started a discussion about renaming the Celebrities & Real People category. There is no consensus yet and more input is welcome.

Fanlore also has a shiny new Statistics category for Fandom Statistics and editors have been working on documenting a massive meta discussion on Tumblr about the history of fandom. In anticipation of the new Star Wars movie, editors have also been working on the Star Wars The Phantom Menace pages because back in 1999 it was the fandom that ate fandom. So if you are in the mood for a walk down memory lane, check out the pages in the Star Wars TPM Websites, Archives or Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan Fanfiction category.

What other Fanlore editing projects have you been working on?

Monthly editing chats

The Wiki Committee would like to to hold and attend more regular public editing chats, in order to increase transparency and communication between the committee and Fanlore editors. To this end, we will hold an editing chat before at least one of our twice-monthly committee meetings going forward.

The next editing party will be on on Sunday, December 13th at 17:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?) in the Fanlore chat room.

We know that these times might not work for everyone, so we encourage Fanlore editors to arrange their own editing parties! Anyone is welcome to choose a time for an editing party and announce it by posting to this Dreamwidth community. You can also ping [twitter.com profile] fanlore_news to re-tweet editing party announcements. We hope that this way editors in all timezones can be accommodated!

What's to come?

In December, the Wiki Committee will continue to work on outstanding tasks and respond to outside queries, and hopes to finish up some other behind-the-scenes projects before the new year.

As of December 3rd, 2015, Fanlore has 36,785 articles which have undergone 635,750 edits. We hope to see you on the Recent Changes page!