When Katie Frederick, Chair of the Board of Publications, called the meeting to order at 9 p.m. Eastern on September 6, 2022, all BOP members were present. Also present were ACB President, Dan Spoone, ACB Media Manager, Rick Morin, and ACB Braille Forum Editor, Sharon Lovering. The agenda was approved.
Minutes from the August BOP meeting were unanimously approved following Cheryl’s motion and Penny’s second.
Penny will take the lead for editing blog submissions during September, and Cheryl will serve as second. Katie plans to post articles which have originally appeared in the ACB Braille Forum, possibly on Fridays (and possibly labeled “Forum Fridays”), to acquaint people who may not be regular Braille Forum readers with the publication and to expand topics covered by the blog. Sharon has already recommended several articles.
Dan suggested that we might also want to highlight a story from the biweekly “Dots and Dashes.”
Katie gave all BOP members access to the Dropbox where Anthony will be sharing his “Minute at the Mic” blog contributions, and the BOP expects to receive the first of those in advance of our October meeting.
Cheryl suggested that we post announcements promoting the blog, directing people to new entries, encouraging contributions, and subscriptions, on our ACB e-mail discussion lists and possibly at the end of the Community calls daily listings. Cheryl will reach out to Cindy, especially if we have a particularly interesting blog article to highlight.
Deb suggested that we might want to schedule a community call to bring attention to the blog, sharing information regarding how to subscribe, where to find the blog on the web, how to submit articles, and so forth.
An editors’ workshop is another possibility for providing training to people who might want to submit articles for the blog.
Paul Edwards said he would be pleased to make Tuesday Topics available for discussions about the blog.
The Writing Works Wonders community program and web site are other good options for promoting the blog.
Community Daily Listing
Penny said that she has heard complaints from more than one person who uses magnification to read the Community Calls Daily Listings e-mail messages. Although we praised Community for adding the three asterisks (***) as a navigational aid for people who use screen magnification at our last BOP meeting, they have removed the asterisks. Fonts and colors continue to vary, depending on how they were displayed in primary documents from where they were retrieved and pasted, making it difficult for people who use screen magnification, not only to navigate between items, but also just to read the items which are sometimes displayed in difficult to read fonts, colors, and sizes.
Deb and Katie will work with Community to address these issues.
The Leadership List
Deb expects to post changes to the rules governing the ACB Leadership e-mail discussion list before our next meeting. Then, at our next meeting, she will share proposed changes to ACB-Conversation for purposes of discussion and approval. The proposed changes make sense because of the changes which will, by then, have gone into effect with respect to Leadership.
Carla Ruschival, who was a guest, expressed the hope that we might impose a limit to the number of posts a person can post on Conversation in any given 24-hour period.
Deb responded that imposing such a limit is difficult because it requires a moderator to devote a lot of time to counting posts. We have tended to address the issue of there being too much list traffic with respect to a particular topic by simply closing down discussion on a topic that is generating too much list traffic. Moderators try to moderate from the standpoint of what is happening with respect to a given topic overall. A moderator might contact individual list members to suggest that they should send fewer posts. Or, a moderator might bring discussion on a particular topic to a close. Discrete list moderation tends to take place in the background without most list members’ being aware that moderators are contacting individual posters.
Members of all ACB lists will benefit from training, and we should schedule a training session on Community in the near future.
Rick said that all of the virtual ACB and affiliates’ convention sessions that took place in the week prior to hybrid events in Omaha were converted to podcasts by the end of August. He said that he expected remaining convention sessions to be converted to podcasts by the end of September. Video recordings from sessions where audio content was missing for people who were listening on Zoom fortunately include excellent audio content, and so ACB Media will be able to use audio content from the video recordings to create podcasts with excellent audio content.
Rick said that ACB received 560 responses to the convention survey, 80 percent of which were complete. Ninety-two percent of the survey responses were submitted by people who had registered for convention. This represents an excellent return rate. Upcoming analyses will examine responses from various sub-populations of survey respondents.
Rick and Cindy are working together to create an All-Community channel with pre-scheduled programming.
San said that he is getting very close to finalizing the membership of the ACB Media Support Committee. Once the group membership is finalized, their first task will be to present the proposed ACB Media Affiliates’ Engagement Policy to members and affiliates for their feedback, with the goal of having the board approve a final policy at the Fall board meeting.
Rick is also working with Fred Brack to clean up the ADP web site. They have made good progress updating the web site design, but there’s still lots of data clean up to be done.
Sharon submitted the following report:
Editor’s Report, September 2022
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 49
Email distributed: 5,132
Email bounces: 68
Return rate: 1.3%
Email received: 5,064
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 48
Braille distributed: 641
Cartridge distributed: TBA
Large print distributed: 2,165
Email distributed: 5,136
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 48
Deadlines for the Next Issues
November (hard-copy): Diabetics in Action; deadline: September 23rd
December (electronic): International Relations Committee; deadline: October 24th
The requests for proposals from large print, braille and audio producers went out August 26th. One producer (large print) has already gotten back to me that they don’t have the capacity to do our magazine.
Tom Tobin tells me the articles are pouring into his email inbox for the November issue. I have two articles left from the ADP issue that also need to go in November, one regarding cruises and one about doing audio description as a blind or visually impaired describer, which got lost in the pre-convention shuffle.
I continue to put together the Dots and Dashes newsletter. The next issue will go out September 12th; the one after that, Sept. 26th.
I’m still working with the archives committee on preserving and digitizing old recordings and documents from ACB events, and identifying people in photos. Chris Gray has agreed to give a presentation to the board at the October meeting regarding the activities of the committee.
As part of that work, I continue to work on cleaning up and modernizing old issues of the Forum to the large print standards and organizing them on our Sharepoint drive (at the moment, from the 1990s through today). I’m including Word, text, and BRF file formats in the Forum folders on Sharepoint. As of today, I am done with 1995 and working my way through 1994. I should be able to make my goal of getting through 1993 by the end of the month.
The awards committee met last week, and during discussion, the suggestion was made that the committee work with the BOP regarding getting the word out about awards. We may be hearing from them soon.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
Sharon added that, once all of the proposals are in, it will be time to get the ACB Braille Forum cost estimates ready for the ACB Budget Committee, in advance of the fall board meeting.
Zelda and Penny expressed surprise that, since newly accepted guidelines for large print went into effect, the size of the magazine has remained at a page count of 48 pages. They wondered if the page count might be able to be increased to 64 pages, considering that the new guidelines for large print would imply there would be room for more content. Sharon, Katie and Deb explained that the word count has remained consistent, and further, that increasing the large print page count to 64 would result in a significant cost increase.
Sharon said that word count for a 48-page magazine is approximately 10,000 words.
She continued, since the beginning of the year and through the October 2022 issue, we have produced 99,958 words. The largest word count was in April (11, 657), and the smallest word count was in July (8,449).
Dan said that, even with the recently implemented large print guidelines, we will end up with a monthly average of 10,000-11,000 words in each issue. The July issue at around 8,000 was an exception, not a new norm.
Sharon said that the total word count for 2021 was 124,907 – which is roughly equivalent to what we can expect for this year.
Sharon had reported that she had received so much content from the ADP committee that there were too many articles to fit into a single issue. Dan suggested that in the future, when we ask an affiliate or a committee to adopt a month, we might want to give them an idea of what kind of word count we are looking for. In June, we suggested requesting a minimum of six articles from an affiliate who wants to adopt a month.
Penny wonders if “High Tech Swap Shop” continues to be useful to readers now that there is so much buy-and-sell information available on the Internet and through e-mail discussion lists, and considering that, by the time a “swap shop” item is published in the magazine, it may well be likely to be unavailable. This is information we can pursue if we do conduct a Braille Forum survey.
November has been adopted by Diabetics in Action, and the International Relations Committee will be contributing articles to the December issue. The BOP is pleased by the number of affiliates and committees who have stepped up to provide content for the magazine, and we need to focus on monthly themes and reaching out to affiliates, beginning at our next meeting.
The next workshop will take place on October 14.
The BOP has planned a Zoom meeting to get together socially and get to know one another better.
The BOP agrees that we need to begin an awards discussion soon, to possibly create new awards or revise criteria for existing awards. Katie will send current awards criteria to the BOP e-mail discussion list to get us thinking about next steps with respect to BOP awards.
The BOP agreed to begin our October meeting (October 4) at 8 p.m. Eastern, and to evaluate whether we should permanently move our start time to 8 p.m. for future meetings. We will need to rearrange the meeting agenda to accommodate Rick’s arrival, which will occur later because of his participation on Tuesday Topics.
The next BOP meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Eastern on October 4. The September meeting adjourned at 10:37 p.m.
Penny Reeder, BOP Member