Thursday, June 7, 2007

An information-support-network is what it is!

I've been mulling over my first post on here- why have a separate blog just for women? My answer has evolved in a rather round-about way.

Earlier this year I read Jason Kottke's blog post about the lack of gender diversity at tech conferences. There were different percentages, but by doing a quick scan, it seemed that the average amount of women speakers at tech conferences came out close to 17%.

Intrigued and disgruntled (although not very surprised), I went in search of more information.

According to Computer World in 2005:

"Only about 2% of the thousands of developers working on open-source software projects are women, a number that women already involved in the open-source movement want to see increased. That issue was the topic of a panel discussion here on Friday, the last day of the seventh annual O'Reilly Open Source Convention, as the panel discussed ways to reverse that pattern. The 2% figure was gleaned from several university and private studies, according to panel members, and is much smaller than in the proprietary software industry, where some 25% of all developers are women.

Then, I decided to explore the realm of "women's tech groups" on the internet when I came across groups such as (they also have a wiki group), Fedora Women, and others that you can find at the bottom of the Fedora Women wiki page. I quickly began to sign up for every list-serve that I could find- there were not as many as one might hope- but there were some.

The list-serves for the Linuxchix group are great (there are a couple of different list-serves for different purposes). By the second day, I had not only found out a lot of really interesting information but the conversations taking place within the list-serve were interesting, as well. One such example was finding out about an unConference taking place in San Francisco called Supernova 2007.

Thus, my conclusion evolved: a women's blogging group can allow for an aggregation of information that can create an 'information-support-network' (think of it as its own women's tag, if you will). It's not that I need emotional support- I can yell at my computer for that- what I need is practical, efficient, and applicable information as quickly as possible. Obviously, this doesn't just have to be tech information- it can be anything that provides knowledge or better understanding. Perhaps that's something that we can provide- better understanding of issues that might otherwise go unseen or unnoticed until brought to the light of a monitor. When I started talking to people about the 17% figure, they were shocked. The knowledge had passed on and suddenly it was not just my viewpoint alone- other people could see something that I see almost everyday. This dissemination of information had created a small information-support-network that now included both men and women.

-Agent Ska-


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a great idea! And thoroughly rationalized!

    This sounds like something great to be a part of.

  3. I just read an article a few days ago about women in the tech field. I'm pretty sure it was the current issue of Bitch magazine. I don't have the mag with me today, but I'll get some more info for you.

  4. Looked back through Bitch magazine last night, and the article wasn't there. So, I called a friend (we'd both read the article), and she thought that it had been in an issue of Time Out New York, but I'm not sure which issue. We were at the beach with about 100 magazines, and so I'm jumbling them all up. Grrr. If I track it down, I'll post the link.

  5. Hey Agent Ska, there's also now. And WikiChix isn't part of LinuxChix. They just liked the naming convention and borrowed it, I think. That's what DevChix did.

  6. If this is the Mackenzie I think it is, then I miss seeing you at ska concerts.

    well, actually, I havent been to a ska concert in a depressingly long time, but still.

    I hope d.c. is treating you well.