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Re: DW

On Thu, Aug 11, 2005 at 05:01:50PM +0930, Clytie Siddall wrote:

> I had a small group, some of them not feeling confident about posting  
> on the main list, and we had a lot of specialized stuff to discuss.  
> It made sense to me to combine the specialized aspect with mentoring  
> the less-confident people. It beats me why it _was_ a contentious  
> issue. It never seemed to me that the people who responded, and I,  
> were talking about the same things. :(

> I have encouraged new people to post here, and I've been disappointed  
> with the response to those posts. Does anyone say, "Welcome to Debian- 
> Women, X! Great to see you here. I can see that Y is important to  
> you, and I'm sure there will be someone here with the expertise you  
> need, or who can refer you to it. ;)"

So, hmm, you may be right that this is a strategy that debian-women needs to
adopt in order to scale up much beyond its current size; for my part,
though, that seems to demand a greater mental commitment than I'm able to
give for tracking of who is or isn't a newcomer.  I guess there may be a
culture gap as well; the sort of reception you describe is certainly one I
would expect to see (and be inclined to offer) in response to a "first-time
poster" post introducing oneself to the list, but if I posted to a new list
with a technical comment (which is what I remember seeing from new posters,
as I try to reach back in my memory to recall those posts that prompted
vague reactions of "hmm, I don't recognize that name"), I would expect a
technical response.  A lack of pleasantries wouldn't phase me in the least.

And I'm sorry if this comes across as being overly clinical, but I also have
to wonder whether something like this is scalable and sustainable.  I'm all
in favor of people being friendly to one another, and I think debian-women
has been a shining example of how Debian *could* be in this regard; but I
also think that a "welcoming committee", as it were, is very hard to scale
to a list like debian-devel, so if the desired outcome is that debian-women
is a gateway for getting women involved in the larger Debian community, then
I think it's important that we focus on strategies that *don't* lead to
making debian-women a much more warm-and-fuzzy place than we can ever hope
to see happen on (e.g.) -devel.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                  to set it on, and I will move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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