Report from the State of the 'Chix chat, May 28

Mary Gardiner, LinuxChix coordinator, reporting!

I held the first State of the 'Chix coordinator chat on our IRC channel (#linuxchix on irc.linuxchix.org) on May 28 at 1000 UTC. The idea was to informally give the community a chance to chat about ideas for the community.

First I reviewed my plan for my two year period as coordinator, in which the first three months (which will end at the end of June) will involve solidifying existing stuff: mailing list and IRC governance, new website and maintainence of that. My opinion is that it's moving along fairly well, but that towards the end of the period I want to re-visit it and hand some more things off.

After that, my focus will be on building LinuxChix up, particularly having stronger links with the chapters and some of our sister groups (Debian Women etc):

  • helix asked about any ideas for strengthening links with Debian Women and I suggested that a joint course on, say, Debian packaging, might be one way of doing it.
  • jarich suggested that LinuxChix should host or start a directory of women in IT groups, to help people find their local women's groups, even if it isn't a Chix group.
  • Br3nda, mishti and I discussed how to enliven the chapters mailing list so that chapters talk to each other and I suggested monthly reports from every chapter that can, and that we should start.
  • we talked a little about DevChix, which is now hosting a channel on our IRC server, but none of us really understand their charter. A few people joined their IRC channel.

We discussed whether #linuxchix can remain both social and technical and the consensus was that it can, but with possibly some unresolved issues about whether intense emotional support of members can co-exist with technical chat.

People liked the idea of more chats like the State of the 'Chix chat, perhaps for courses or similar. The idea has since been raised independently on the volunteers mailing list.

Br3nda asked whether young girls should be told about or invited to the channel. This has come up a few times recently, and so far the consensus seems to be that while the channel is open to under 18s, we are not prepared to limit discussions in order to make the channel palatable to parents, and that we're not setting ourselves up to transform into a group for teenagers. Provided people understand this, they could invite particularly interested girls to the channel.

Towards the end I raised a couple of ideas that I'm hoping other people will run with:

  1. an interview series: one woman interviews another woman, once a month or so
  2. a monthly newsletter sort of thing, summarising the cool stuff we're up to

Br3nda also had a good idea, which is some LinuxChix-themed desktop artwork (backgrounds and so on).

valorie started a discussion of having an IRC nick -> real name page somewhere, but keeping it up to date was an open question.