BSFA AGM 2020

This year’s British Science Fiction Association Annual General Meeting is being held online on Discord. The Agenda and links to attend are included below:

BSFA Annual General Meeting

23rd of August at 2.30pm until 5.30pm. To be held online.

Discord Link – https://discord.gg/hfaHTWV

Agenda

1. Chair’s Report.

2. Proposal of New Constitution.

New Constitution Proposal (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CLsAdk_78wlghU0oi_5O0Qy6T3lmU9vv/view?usp=sharing)

Old Constitution Original (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ImXd3RQtTK_SJ4M8YTA2ZOtnQOZOyTWc/view?usp=sharing)

Old Constitution (OCR) – https://drive.google.com/file/d/148CfS2lTQrV5L_up6yLNdnWuvj3-gE7s/view?usp=sharing

Guide to New Constitution Changes (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wj-OKX33yhBeSJj277B_EmbSWI_rQJtu/view?usp=sharing)

The new constitution is being proposed for adoption and acceptance by the Association with immediate effect.

3. Submission of BSFA Accounts.

Agenda item to be led by the BSFA Treasurer.

4. Nomination and Election of Membership Officer – Luke Nicklin.

Elected a BSFA Councillor under a temporary mandate at the EGM. Luke Nicklin has been performing the duties of the membership officer over the last six months and is overseeing the transition to the new website and new database.

5. Nomination and Election of other roles.

These roles to be specified as indicated.

6. The BSFA President.

7. Diversity and Anti-Racism Motions. Proposed by Jo Lindsay Walton.

Introductory document: (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NLK7OPP5djoJfQ9dVO9d84WfdjQlSfGk/view?usp=sharing)

List of motions under item 7:

i) This Association resolves to offer support-in-kind to BAME fans of science fiction.

ii) This Association resolves to offer financial support to BAME convention-goers.

iii) This Association resolves to consult with BAME members of the UK science fiction community.

iv) This Association resolves to create the role of Diversity Officer, and for this to be an elected role.

v) This Association resolves to make charitable donations to anti-racist causes.

8. Proposals of Thanks and Acknowledgements

9. Any Other Business.

We will be conducting business using Discord’s audio channel, with a text chat channel also available for members to ask questions if they would prefer to type rather than speak.

We will be using a dot system (..) to recognise members when they want to ask a question and we will be recording the proceedings for ease of producing the minutes afterwards.

The procedure for this is below:

Standard etiquette in these meetings is to stay on mute until you’re the one speaking.

We’ll be recording the audio channel for the purposes of getting the minutes right. Everyone will be made aware of this. The recording will go to Luke for doing this and then deleted.

We’ll be operating a dot system on Discord. This means you type a dot in the chat room and that indicates you have raised your hand to ask a question. As soon as there’s a moment for that question, I’ll give you the floor. You can either say it in the audio channel or type it out and we’ll read it out and try to answer it.

With regards to motions, the process is fairly straightforward. Things are proposed, then seconded. If there is no objection, the motion is carried. If there is an objection, we go to a floor vote. To poll these I’ll be asking people to indicate their vote in the chat channel. If there are questions about a specific area of the BSFA that someone wants to answer, again, dot system. Type two dots and I’ll give you the floor.

Mailchimp Problems

As many of you will know, we’re currently in the process of establishing our members newsletter. This will go out every month and communicate to members their membership number and renewal date.

We intend to continue the non-members newsletter, which will contain similar content.

Unfortunately, during the transition, some issues have come up, most notably a problem between the BSFA’s Mailchimp account and several mail servers, one of which appears to be Gmail. This means when we write the newsletter and send it, Mailchimp tells us it has been sent and got through, but members report that they have not received it.

This problem is clearly not the fault of the sender or the receiver. The technology is failing us somewhere along the line, so we will continue to try and fix this.

Interestingly enough, despite this, there has actually been a reported 7% improvement on the opening of the emails with the newsletter in, which is encouraging, but lots more needs to be done.

In the meantime, the non-member’s newsletter for September will be sent out today and a link to the contents will be posted here on the website so all interested parties can access it.

The link is here – https://mailchi.mp/08c47eb2073d/bsfa-newsletter-august-3615262

Apologies for the reference to ‘August’ in the above link, that is my error.

We will continue to post the newsletter up in this way along with other website updates until we are confident the matter is fixed.

Allen. 

Registrations re-enabled, spammers blocked (with any luck)

Hi all. You may remember that I disabled self-registration on the site not long before Christmas. Well a few days ago I had three or four new members asking me how they could register on the site (welcome, new people). So I decided it was time to activate registrations again.

We got over two hundred registrations in the following three days. Two Hundred! I like to think that the BSFA has a popular site, but, come on.

So I researched WordPress plugins, and found that the plainly-named Stop Spammers plugin should be our friend. I’ve just installed it, and we’ll see how it goes.

Now, the plugin describes itself as “very aggressive”, so there’s always the danger of false positives. By which I mean, it might detect an IP address as a source of spam, when that address is in fact perfectly innocent.

So if you find the site behaves strangely; if you find you can’t log on; if you try to register and are stopped (and you’re not a spammer): please let me know.

You can email me via webadmin at bsfa.co.uk.