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Re: DW (was: Re: [gnome-women] Getting a Web Site Up & Logo Contest status)

* Clytie Siddall <clytie@riverland.net.au> [2005:08:11 15:45 +0930]: 
> On 10/08/2005, at 10:25 AM, Erinn Clark wrote:
> >Well, one thing you fail to recognize is that there is a difficult
> >balance to maintain.
> No, I do realize that. That's why I joined in the discussion on gnome- 
> women (of which I am a contributing member), and pointed out that  
> some things were or were not working for D-W. We can learn from each  
> other's experience. There wouldn't be much to learn from if we didn't  
> make mistakes.

Yeah, but you didn't really point out what wasn't working, you just
vaguely referenced us not being nice to newbies (which I actually
disagree with).

> Erinn, I _have_ tried to bring up some of these issues, but the  
> response is so vehement, and ignores so much of what I said in the  
> original email, assumes so much of what I definitely _haven't_ said,  
> that I am not game to keep trying with the topic.

So let me see what I can find in my archives because I don't deal well
with hypothetical situations.

When you were new to the list, you posted several things about how
welcoming we were, how happy to have found us you were, and how you
thought the website was very informative, personal, and easy to navigate:


There were several discussions about the wiki and website translations
which discovered issues we were unaware of but appear to have been
rectified in a pleasant enough way:


I could see how not having appropriate technical infrastructure may be a
problem for newbies, but I'm not sure how situations like the above
could've been prevented.

The main issue (I think?) has been your trouble with baz for comitting
changes to the website:


Given the distributed nature of website commits and so forth, I think
baz is pretty OK, but darcs may be easier? We could think about that.

As well as people being curious about your reasoning for wanting a new


So fwiw, it doesn't seem like the issue of whether we're welcoming to
newbies has been approached in a very head-on way, so I'm not entirely
sure what you're talking about here. Indeed, your experiences differ
from what I'd expect from someone who's making these claims.

You also claimed a few times (in the baz thread) that some of the
problems were related to your illness -- so I'm not sure what level of
encouragement we should give to people across the board when their needs
differ so much.

And BTW, the responses do not seem very vehement to me, but YMMV.

> It does distress me that I could be assumed to be attacking D-W, when  
> I have evidently put a lot of my time into following the list, trying  
> to encourage new members, working on the main site and the wiki. It  
> doesn't make sense. :(

Eh? There was no assumption and no claim of an attack; and people insult
projects they happily contribute to all the time. Venting's OK, but
constructive criticism and feedback tends to be more appreciated.

> Let's look at what we are doing to encourage new members, people  
> lurking, who may not have enough confidence to take part here. Why is  
> this? What can we do to encourage them? How would they like us to  
> respond? Do they feel welcome here, safe to express opinion, and to  
> make occasional mistakes, or not to have the same level of experience  
> and knowledge as others?

So I'm wondering: how do we encourage people who have not expressed an
opinion? Is it really safe to cater to people we don't know rather than
the existing members who've spoken up? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm
all for doing stuff to get new people involved, but I'm unable and
unwilling to assume that I have any idea what kind of support they need
or want from us based on some close approximation of potentiailly
similar anecdotal experience. That way lies madness.

And to the lurkers who haven't spoken up: please do so. If you think it
is difficult to contribute or that we are not friendly enough or what
have you, realize that you have the power to change things.

off the chain like a rebellious guanine nucleotide

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