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Re: DW and LinuxChix (was: Re: Welcome to DW)

Howdy ya'll,

While on the way into work today, I was thinking about the various groups of people who decide to involve themselves with Linux, Debian and/or any volunteer organization where there is a lot of work and absolutely no monetary payback. At any rate, as some of the posters in this thread have indicated, it does stink when a single given user chooses to leave a given group. With that in mind, I was wondering if anyone has done a personality inventory or personal history of the people who are in Debian Women or any other subset of the larger group? I wonder if from that basis if we could extrapolate some common themes that got you interested in Linux or Debian. From this we might be able to find ways to make certain that we minimize the amount of people who wander astray going forward and/or find new ways to encourage more people to join in the future. I dunno, I realize this is probably far from a new idea, but I just hadn't noticed anything that seems to cover that sort of stuff. I realize it may seem akin to the sex field in the LDAP database controversy, but I would be more curious how people that are involved, got involved and from that how can we encourage more to get involved.

I know that there must be someone among D-W (or Debian at large) that has some sort of statistics/psychology/sociology based background that could devise a survey and compile the results. It would only be worth what people put into it, but I think it might be a good tool to determine what does and doesn't work in attracting people to the cause.


On 8/17/05, Jenn Vesperman <jenn@anthill.echidna.id.au> wrote:
On Thu, 2005-08-18 at 03:34, Erinn Clark wrote:
> * Miriam Ruiz <little_miry@yahoo.es> [2005:08:17 18:46 +0200]:

> > I've been a member of LinuxChix lists for some time (I joined them even before
> > I've heard of D-W) and I've often found a very polite and friendly environment
> > there. I do not write a lot there anyway, but I think it's a great group :)

Thank you, Miriam.

> I'm not sure that a LinuxChix vs. DW conversation is entirely
> productive. There's not a huge overlap between the two groups in terms
> of membership (AFAIK)

There may be more than is obvious, precisely because the purposes of the
two groups are different.

>  It's entirely
> possible or likely that people who desire a community like LinuxChix
> will not feel DW is appropriate for them and vice versa. I don't think
> anyone should be terribly bothered by this either

Debian-Women and Linuxchix are similar, but NOT identical organisations.
I actually like the ski-lodge vs office analogy.

Linuxchix is the ski lodge.
Over in that corner, there's a group of people discussing exactly what
waxes to use on their skis for different types of snow, how to do an
alpine vs cross-country turn, and other technical details.
In this other corner, there's a group talking about helping newcomers
who are interested in skiing have the best chance of getting into the
sport and enjoying themselves.
In another corner, there's a bunch living it up and discussing global
politics over their irish coffees.
Over there, two experienced skiiers are commisserating with new skiiers
and helping them get past the 'I keep falling down!' stage.
And at that table, a small group are working on maintaining the ski
lodge and making plans for a rental shop.

Debian-Women is more like the office.
Several people at several desks doing things, a few clusters of people
resolving problems at larger desks, five or six discussing office
politics and interactions with other offices around the water cooler,
and a bunch of people in the lunchroom rambling about everything under
the sun.

Both environments are useful. Both environments are necessary.

I -like- that D-W exists. Sure, I believe Linuxchix still serves a
necessary purpose (though I hope it will be redundant one day), but
there's plenty of room for D-W too.

>  -- I know that often
> in groups like this, it seems like a terrible loss if even one woman
> wants to leave since we're so focused on getting more women involved and
> as a result, every conflicting discussion seems way scarier than any of
> the subject matter it touches, but seriously. It's not the end of the
> world.

But it isn't, really. Especially if the woman leaves because (a) they've
found a complementary organisation that serves their needs better, or
(b) they've got the confidence, skills and experience to fly on their
own. Especially since many of those who 'fly on their own' will
eventually turn around and help someone else.

> It's also terribly unfair to judge an entire group of people by
> experiences with one person -- given the size of LinuxChix and the
> massive variation of conversation topics on their many lists, not to
> mention the amount of people who contribute to them, no real conclusions
> can be drawn about their environment. It varies way too much.

In fact, we encourage the wide range of environments. It makes it far,
far more likely that we'll meet the needs and wants of a wide variety of

D-W is just another environment for another variety of women, that
happens to not be under the Linuxchix banner. And I'm not greedy. I'd
rather see needs served by SOMEONE, than have all the women's groups
around Linux under the LCX banner.
Sheesh. Think of the WORKLOAD that would involve!

Jenn V.
Linuxchix Coordinator
    "Do you ever wonder if there's a whole section of geek culture
                you miss out on by being a geek?" - Dancer.
   My book 'Essential CVS': published by O'Reilly in June 2003.
jenn@anthill.echidna.id.au     http://anthill.echidna.id.au/~jenn/

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