[Techtalk] The Techtalk list

Jenn Vesperman jenn at anthill.echidna.id.au
Thu Jan 10 00:54:21 EST 2002

I've come to some tentative decisions and conclusions about Techtalk.
These ARE open to discussion - I'm going to make some changes, but
they're experimental. I don't want to harm the community we have here,
but I do want to improve it.

Issues & facts I want to deal with:
1. There are people who are put off or intimidated by techtalk being
apparently male-dominated.
2. While computer-geekhood is male-dominated, good technical discussion
lists will always be naturally male-dominated.
3. The guys we have here are -good-, and friendly, and generally a
welcome part of the community.

I'm reluctant to try to create a strictly female-only list, for several
4. This is the 'net. How could we tell?
5. If we try, I expect to be trolled and slashdotted and generally have
idiots deliberately messing with us.
6. See point 3 above.

I'm going to try to deal with the problem - and I *do* see putting
people off as a problem - in a time-honoured Internet way: I want
someone/s to write a FAQ. 

* I want it to cover the issues in this letter.
* I want it to explain the primary purpose of the list - as a place
where female geeks can discuss technical issues with other female geeks.
* I want it to explain to potential new male members that while they're
welcome, they can inadvertently overwhelm the original purpose of the
list - and that that purpose is valuable.
* I want it to explain to potential new female members that it IS a
mixed-gender list, and that the gender balance in geekdom is such that
it WILL seem to be male-dominated.

If you want to write the FAQ, Mary Gardiner is the current FAQ
coordinator. (Mary, if you don't want to coordinate this, say so and
I'll do it.)
I know there's a techtalk FAQ in progress. This is a supplementary
meta-FAQ, about the list rather than about technical matters.

* do we want a supplementary technical list? An explicitly mixed-gender
one? An explicitly female one? Might it help? Is it worth trying one,
and seeing if it -would- get trolled/slashdotted/whatever?
* does anyone have other ideas?

Jenn V.
    "Do you ever wonder if there's a whole section of geek culture 
        	you miss out on by being a geek?" - Dancer.

jenn at anthill.echidna.id.au     http://anthill.echidna.id.au/~jenn/

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