View Full Version : Making LUGs co-ed

October 6th, 2007, 04:42 AM
So, the fact that we have 1 active female in an organization dedicated to open source software (and she's a Windoze user...) got me wondering if there were any good places online to meet like-minded free software women. I did a Google search and got some software for setting up a dating service and some people talking about using blogs as a dating service, but there's got to be some Match.com wannabe that caters to the tech crowd, right? The women seemed to love the Firefox posters we gave out at Software Freedom Day, which say "please don't hurt the web" and have a cute pouty looking firefox on them (generously provided by Mozilla) but no new women on the listserv or at meetings since then. So, I guess there is another question embedded in the dating question. How do we get women more involved in open source software? The president of our Free Culture group on campus is female and one of lasts years presidents was female, so the interest in open information is there, but the leap to FOSS has happened yet.

October 6th, 2007, 04:54 AM

As for the dating thing... I have no idea. Similar ideology and philosophy can be nice, but...?

To each his or her own...

October 6th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Great! I had heard of Linux Chix, but had forgotten about it for the time being. The other one was total news to me. I added both links to our organization wiki: http://www.ibiblio.org/cosi/wiki

October 6th, 2007, 04:15 PM
Moved to "Ubuntu-Women".
What are your goals?

October 6th, 2007, 04:40 PM
Well, as far as COSI goes, our goal in this regard is to get more female involvement. My ex-girlfriend and one of our officer's girlfriends both make fun of the organization being a guys club, though my ex did come to a few events just to support me. We did have one female speaker at Software Freedom Day, but that was 1 out of 5. Out of our table sitters, we had two women; one was the president of the Free Culture org on campus and one was with Red Hat Magazine. We had tables from Mozilla, Dell, Ibiblio and Technology Without Borders along with others from our org and more guys from Red Hat, so clearly the female set up a small minority. Our one female active member, who happens to be an officer, is graduating in December. What the hell do we do then?

Our upcoming events are:

Bob Young (Red Hat founder) is speaking on October 30th.
We are watching Hackers on November 13th.
We are doing Open Source Gaming on January 26th.

I don't know that those events will particularly draw women. I mean, Hackers stars Angelina Jolie, which is sure to pull in a few extra guys.

October 6th, 2007, 04:50 PM
I mean, Hackers stars Angelina Jolie, which is sure to pull in a full extra guys.
So is your thread title.

Here are the US LinuxChix chapters:
May be get in touch with the Texas, Pennsylvania or DC chapters ?

October 7th, 2007, 01:13 PM

Getting women involved in F/OSS is the whole point of entire projects such as the one bapoumba mentioned, Ubuntu Women (http://www.ubuntu-women.org). There are several projects throughout the F/OSS world, the Ubuntu-Women Links Page (http://wiki.ubuntu-women.org/Links) links to the ones I know about, many of those sites get into exploring "what you can do." But as you've probably guessed now, since there are whole projects devoted to it, there are no easy solutions.

I've been an advocate for getting more women involved with Linux about 5 years, founded the Philadelphia area Chapter of LinuxChix (http://www.phillychix.org) in 2003, and just this past summer became the primary coordinator and contact for the Philadelphia area Linux Users Group (http://www.phillylinux.org). Having women like myself in leadership roles helps to attract more women, but they still don't come in droves.

The HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux (http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Encourage-Women-Linux-HOWTO) document is very good, especially for local groups such as yours, their section on Do's and don't's of encouraging women in Linux (http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Encourage-Women-Linux-HOWTO.html#AEN168) is particularly relevant.

And I'm going to add that locker room humor and sexual references in computer groups go a long way to turn off women from participating (and plenty of men too!). Starting a forum thread with the topic "ubuntu is for lovers" with regard to your want to attract more women is counter-productive (in fact, I groaned and thought "troll" when I read the topic, and was pleasantly surprised that you actually were trying to attract women).

October 7th, 2007, 02:54 PM
I know there's an international audience here, so maybe the "Virginia is for lovers" reference got lost in there for some.

Well, originally I was just curious about dating sites and then as I was typing things realized there was a reason that it was impossible to meet anyone through our events...no one was there. Which, of course, is a greater problem.

The head of Free Culture (whom with we work closely) here on campus is actually a Women's Studies major, and I proposed the idea to her about bringing someone in to speak on the issue after our January 26th event (or maybe some time before if someone wants to put a lot of planning in). We'll see where that goes. It's always good to partner with organizations to help broaden the audience, women or no women. I'd like to get some partnerships with Poli Sci going to bring someone in to talk about Open Voting. I contacted to DC Linux Chix rep, but if anyone here is interested in actually being the person that comes and speaks, let me know.

October 9th, 2007, 09:04 AM
It would have probably been a better move to leave out the dating stuff, the lovers reference and such.

Here is a related article:

I am always amazed how some in IT communities react when talking about integrating more women into tech and FOSS groups.

I think "integration" is the key word, and I have only seen "attraction" so far :)

October 9th, 2007, 09:35 AM
From the article: :(

With all the losers out there, it seems like lots of ladies would be happy to meet someone who could give good tech support. (I know, there are numerous non-PC assumptions in that statement. Just as many guys need technical help. And relationships aren't just about who has the most powerful processor. I could go on, but I've said too much already.)

It is not about men or women seeking technical support. Nor about CPUs.
[dis]Information Week's mission is to distort an issue relating to FLOSS, and imply that Linux is hard to use.

October 9th, 2007, 12:51 PM
It would have probably been a better move to leave out the dating stuff, the lovers reference and such.

Well, I didn't post here to start, I posted in general (or something). Someone moved it to women.

October 9th, 2007, 01:33 PM
Here is a related article:

This is only tangentially related, but since in the spirit of keeping people up-to-date here's article from today featuring yours truly and some others from our organization: http://media.www.dailytarheel.com/media/storage/paper885/news/2007/10/09/Features/Finding.Freedom.With.Open.Source-3019961.shtml

February 12th, 2008, 03:26 PM
This is an interesting thread :)

I myself have used Linux since 2002; but I have yet to find an organization or a means to connect with other women with similar interests. The thing is, I am not a programmer and I do not work in IT (I'm a simple bookkeeper, trying to "move up" to be an accountant). I'm slightly "tech-savvy" in that I have an Associates degree in electronics technology...but I've moved away from that.

I used to be involved in a LUG in Florida that was sort of fun because it was very large and I found a small core group to talk with. However, I'm not too motivate to join the LUG up here in Pennsylvania because it's based at a university and I don't know if I'll be able to really connect with them. Again, I'm approaching Linux from an end-user standpoint; and I'm mostly interested in the deployment of various open-source programs...not the development of them. I'm especially interested in open-source web design & management programs.

I think the Mac community has more resources available for women; hopefully Linux will get there one day! :)