Information Officer

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The Information Officer is an at-large executive member position. Currently, it is renewed at the same cycle as the other two at-large positions. It was inaugurated on the 2012 cycle. Prior to that, the office's duties were part of the Secretary's portfolio.

The Information Officer (IO) portfolio includes integration of the different ACL-wide activities that are related to information dissemination; including the Anthology, website, wiki, portal and archive. The Information Officer does not manage nor do the day-to-day operations for the Anthology, ACL Wiki or website, but has the purview to dictate policy for it. The Anthology is managed separately by Anthology Editor (currently as of 2015, Min-Yen Kan) and the primary ACL Wiki is managed by the ACL Wiki Editor (currently as of 2015, Peter Turney). For other information services (other Wikis, the website and the portal), the current webmaster is in charge, but needs to have strong direction set by the Information Officer.

The IO also has the charge to assist the Secretary and Business Manager officers with the maintenance and smooth operations of the ACL Executive board. This often includes timely posting of minutes, policies, resolutions. On a yearly basis, it also entails the running of the ACL elections using the ElectAssist package that the webmaster assists with (mailing the entire membership, and running the election site), and maintaining the good standing of the ACLs internet and Web interests (web hosting, domain registration contracts). Package installation to the ACL website as well as maintenance of the software systems (patching, upgrading, spam fighting) also remain duties of the IO officer to oversee the webmaster's execution.

Long-term goals for the IO include long-term maintenance of the aclweb.org and mirror conference other sites, and to be cost-neutral through sponsorship by corporate interests or membership levies.

Accomplishments

  • 2012-2015 Plan
    • Migrating the webhost from 1and1.com to shared hosting on bluehost.com
    • Upgrading the webhost to shared pro bluehost.com hosting
    • Providing the integration of logins (through OpenID and OAuth; IN PROGRESS);
    • Update the ACL Portal and ACL Website to be on Drupal 7. Integration still in progress.
    • Back up of all conference archive websites and to establish a policy for this to happen.
    • Physical backup of the entire ACL IO portfolio onto USB drive, to be safekept by the webmaster.
    • Running the ACL elections for 2013-15.
    • Liase with ACL Anthology Editor to get DOIs injected for all materials.
    • Establishment of an access-controlled monthly report log for the webmaster in the ACL website [access restricted]
    • Establishment of a new domain [[1]] for possible long-term disassociation of the ACL Anthology from the ACL website.

Current and Past IO Officers

IO officer

  • Jing-Shin Chang (National Chi Nan University, Taiwan) - 2016-2018
  • Min-Yen Kan (National University of Singapore) - 2012-2015

Associated assistant webmasters

  • Pranav Phalgun (2014-current)
  • Joshua Herring (2012-2014)
  • Ali Hakim (-2012; as assistant to the Secretary)

FAQ

Current Information Officers should read this section carefully as it concerns the specific details and duties of the IO. You are also encouraged to continue to update and refresh this resource, to aid smooth successions/transitions of the IO office. Any password information should be stored entirely offline and should be passed to the respective officers as securely as possible. These items are in no particular order, currently.

  • Domain Name Registration - The domain names of both the ACL static websites (aclweb.org, aclanthology.info), their subdomains and the yearly conference sites (e.g., acl2016.org) are administered through Network Solutions. Check this resource at least once every six months. The Business Manager pays for the accounts, but the IO has to decide which services to use, maintain and drop. Currently, the ACL Exec uses Network Solutions purely as the domain registrar, and uses its DNS (Whois) to point to the webhost for the sites.
  • Web Hosting - For yearly conferences, typically the conference organizers host their own website and you will need to add the appropriate redirect to the actual host as referred to by the general chair of the conference. For the general website, we currently use bluehost.com's shared pro account, which is good for static hosting but does not serve programming (i.e., CGI) needs for ACL custom applications such the ACL Anthology (which is administered by the ACL Anthology Editor separately anyways).
  • Backups / Archives of key conferences - Every year, we need to ensure that the last year's series of conferences are archived in our website, as local organizers of the conferences tend to abandon their sites after a number of years (or even months). You may want to coordinate with the Conference Officer on this policy. We typically ask for a zip copy of the website's static information to be hosted on the aclweb.org website at aclweb.org/mirror/acl20XX (e.g., aclweb.org/mirror/acl2011). You will then need to edit the conference information page to point to the mirrored copy.
  • ACL Wikis - The ACL currently uses MediaWiki for its four instances of the ACL's user generated content. All Wikis are hosted on aclweb.org and as such you will need to use the command line to maintain and patch these tools periodically when security releases come out:
    • The ACLWiki is the public wiki which generates a lot of traffic and spam. The ACL Archive's materials (aclweb.org/archives) should be eventually folded into the ACL Wiki for long term maintenance, the archives made defunct. The ACL Wiki is large enough itself to demand a part-time volunteer staff, the ACL Wiki Editor, to maintain it. The IO is only responsible for patching and installing extensions at the request of the ACL Wiki Editor.
    • The AdminWiki is where the ACL Exec posts information from (half-) yearly reports and official content such as resolutions. This Wiki is public, but membership is restricted to ACL officers. We don't currently do anything with past officers whose appointments have lapsed (we just keep their accounts). This may present a security risk in the future, so you may want to revisit this policy. The IO maintains this Wiki.
    • The ExecWiki is where the ACL Exec posts information that is private to the Exec, and sees relatively little use. This wiki is password protected. The IO maintains this Wiki.
    • The NMLWiki is used by a third party group, the National Museum of Language, and is not actively used. It's not clear whether we need to continue to administer this website. You may need to check with the ACL Wiki manager or the Secretary about this. The IO maintains this Wiki.
  • ACL News and Websites - This is one aspect of the IO that needs a lot of improvement. Our subchapters (especially NAACL) seem to be much better at this than us. You will need to get content from the ACL Exec, and firmly insist on getting material to populate the webpage (and/or social media) such as the ACL Facebook page (not started by us) and associated groups in LinkedIn. Election results, (Major) conference announcements and people in the news are important to post. I will also recommend that you establish an ACL Twitter account and have it retweet feeds from the member chapters and SIGs (needs to be done). The website also needs to be updated periodically with information about the main chapter and SIG conferences as listed on the conference page.
  • ACL email accounts - There are only a few email accounts at the aclweb.org bluehost site (use Bluehost's CPanel to get that them). Do check on them periodically, and change their destination to the appropriate person when a relevant officer completes their term.
    • (nml|acl|admin|exec)wiki at aclweb dot org: these are admin accounts that are not actively monitored for each Wiki (with the exception of the aclwiki one.
    • secretary at aclweb dot org: this routes to the Secretary.
    • portal at aclweb dot org: this routes to the webmaster and to the IO.
    • acl at aclweb dot org: this routes the Business Manager.
  • ACL mailing lists and email aliases - The ACL hosts certain specific mailing lists for the executive committees and for the yearly conference organizations. These are typically set in the bluehost.com's email mailing list utility (actually instances of the well-known mailman utility). We currently administer these purely from Bluehost's cpanel and mailman frontends, although I believe you can do it through the command line as well. [[2]]. Mailman is by default set to archive mailing lists, but we typically use these as group email forwarders/aliases, so you may want to set the archiving function off, make the lists be unadvertised and allow third parties to send posts and to allow the messages to be fairly large in size (mailman has very restrictive default limits). Previously some of the mailing groups were hosted at University of Michigan, so if dealing with very old lists, please check with the Secretary at that time, Drago Radev, for more information and records on this.
  • ACL Anthology - The ACL Anthology is a large enterprise, and has its own officer to administer and operate it, the ACL Anthology Editor, which has a five year term. The Anthology runs its own domain and incurs costs as it needs to assign DOIs to materials (inclusive of the TACL journal). We recommend that you liase with the ACL Anthology Editor as to their projected costs (for DOI assignation as well as web hosting) and legislative needs. Officially, the Anthology Editor reports to the IO and the Anthology is a specific part of the portfolio of the IO, but as it has larger, and more long-term needs, we would suggest that you treat both positions with parity where possible.
  • ACL Elections - Around September and October of every year, the ACL secretary will call for the elections, after the ACL meeting. We use the ElectAssist package to run the election, which is configured on the web host through the command line. At the document root for the aclwebor user, find the ElectAssist package. We recommend creating a copy of the install from the previous year and customizing it accordingly. Due to the shared hosting, there are mailing limits associated with the ACL account, so we recommend using the settings as-is (i.e., don't try to blast all of the election emails in one go). The Business Manager will need to provide the webmaster (typically the webmaster runs the actual systems operation) with the list of all members eligible to vote by a certain date, and
  • Portal / Website administration - The ACL Portal and the ACL website were started as independent projects but we have (hopefully by now) unified them under a single content management system (CMS), Drupal 7. The Portal is the membership database and is what the Business Manager uses to compile actual correct and current lists for financial and bureaucratic reporting. You need to have the webmaster also periodically check for updates and apply security patches in a timely manner (zero-day exploits will likely obtain all of the ACL members' password data, so be careful).
  • Posting Reports and ACL Resolutions - The bi-annual collation of reports from each officer in ACL is a key duty for the IO officer to administrate. Since the reports are to be issued in the ACL AdminWiki, you will need to help the webmaster dole out user IDs to new officers (following as best as possible the CamelCase convention for usernames) and assisting them with getting the reports on-line, on time. Some reports require some specific formatting (i.e., tables) and you may have to be familiar with MediaWiki markup to assist officers in putting these reports online. Additionally, the ACL Exec operates and passes resolutions to be post online at the ACL Resolutions portion of the AdminWiki [[3]], so you will need to add an appropriate subsection each time this is done and check with the Secretary in case any clarification is needed.