1 Why did Deb start LinuxChix?
This was Deb's answer in the original FAQ:
There are two answers to this question. First, I started LinuxChix because I thought it would be fun. Happily, I can report that my suspicions were correct. The second answer is a bit longer.
I started LinuxChix because I got tired of seeing new users being browbeaten for asking "stupid" questions. I got tired of seeing people respond to perfectly valid questions with "RTFM", or "we're not a Linux help channel", and other such not-terribly-useful things. I got tired of the locker-room mentality of the more popular online Linux forums.
I started LinuxChix as an attempt to create a more hospitable community in which people can discuss Linux, a community that encourages participation, that doesn't allow the quieter among us to be drowned out by the vocal minority.
There is a growing misconception that this vocal minority is representative of the Linux community in general, and I wanted to do my part in making sure that new Linux users realize that this is not the case. The vast majority of the people in the Linux community are good, friendly, helpful, generous people. These people don't have time to sit and post on a web-based Linux forum, however, because they're too busy out there trying to get real work done. The result is that the popular web-based forums tend to be populated largely by people who have little better to do with their time.
And that vocal minority has a strong tendency to be brash, harsh, and intolerant of people who know less than they. This scares new users off, and reflects badly on the Linux community as a whole. LinuxChix is one attempt to offset the damage done.
I'm also happy to report that it's working. One very telling quote: "The large egos are what turned me away from seriously running linux for years. It's only once linuxchix came along that I felt comfortable enough to really dive into it."
And that's exactly why I started LinuxChix. To give women who use Linux a comfortable environment in which to discuss the OS they love; to create a community that encourages and helps new users; to make others realize that the vocal minority does not necessarily represent the Linux community in general.