[UbuntuWomen] A champion for noobs?

Emma Jane Hogbin emmajane at xtrinsic.com
Thu Jan 24 22:31:28 UTC 2008

rihanha wrote:
> As an aside, I would like to champion the cause of the noobs in Ubuntu
> Women. Ubuntu is my first real foray into Linux. Further, there are a
> lot of things that folks who have been in the 'tech world' for awhile
> are accustomed to, that are utterly foreign to those of us just hopping
> aboard - i.e. Launchpad, Wikis, IRC and the likes. There are certainly

Launchpad, IRC and Wikis are also foreign to a lot of techs who are new
to the open source community. I definitely have "main stream" tech
friends who are absolute geeks, but have never used IRC or contributed
to a Wiki. (Launchpad is still awkward for me and I'd like to think I'm
pretty seasoned in using most on-line tools..)

> My first request is to add some links to the 'Get Involved' page, 'Join
> Us' section to point folks to further info on Launchpad, to the tutorial
> on IRC, to more info on the wiki, etc., so that if it is unfamiliar to
> them, they can get more on it right away.

Do you know what links you would include? You are absolutely welcome and
encouraged to edit any of the pages of the Wiki!! Pull up a couch, make
a cuppa tea and make the Web site work for you too! Of course you can
also email us with the updated URL to get some feedback when you're done. :)

> My second is to talk with someone about some potential
> additions/revisions to the page to address visitors who may have less
> technical backgrounds but want to learn more. I know that there is a
> forum for new users, and while I would certainly point new users that
> direction (though I haven't used it yet), I would like to have a 'safe
> haven' for women just getting their feet wet so to speak.

Personally, and within the Ubuntu framework, I don't think this needs to
be limited to a female-only haven. (Others will think it is necessary.
And I think it's fine that we disagree on this, but please read to the
end of this long rant before hitting reply.) Participation in UW is not
limited to women, and I think we can provide the appropriate leadership
to continue this tradition in a newbie haven.

Aside: Where is the "Ubuntu Newbies" type of forum? I don't see it on
the main list of forums: http://ubuntuforums.org/.

A local calendar of night school courses has just come out and includes
a workshop on, "Computers for the terrified beginner." It doesn't say
anything about gender, but I bet there are a lot of women who attend
this session.... I would be interested in considering this kind of
language instead of words like "newbie." I also like the idea of having
a gender-neutral sub-project of UW that is a safe haven for all new
users. And by gender neutral I want to omit "women" or "girls" or "chix"
(etc) from the title. How cool would it be to have knowledgeable female
role models for men as well? (I know my male engineering buddy just
installed Ubuntu and now considers me a demi-god for answering some very
basic questions for him.) I don't think this group should replace UW,
but I think it would be interesting if it was a sub-project of the
group... what do others think?

I have a second example for having a gender-neutral group (which doesn't
have to do with gender at all). When I was at university I was part of
the International Students Association even though I was going to school
in my home country. At one of our meetings the other members started
talking about isolation and culture shock. Even though I was in my home
country I was feeling those things too! The school had twice as many
students as my home town! It hadn't occurred to the international
students that a "domestic" could possibly have a similar experience. If
we could provide the leadership to give all new users a wonderful and
friendly (female-knowledge dominated) experience, imagine how that could
positively impact the core groups as the new users transitioned up the

> Personally, discovering UW and the Systers groups have made an enormous
> positive impact on dealing with feelings of isolation and inadequacies.

YAY! We're all inadequate in our own little ways but more importantly
we're all pretty frickin' amazing too! :)


Emma Jane Hogbin, B.Sc.
Founder, xtrinsic
phone: (519) 371-2665
web: www.xtrinsic.com

More information about the Ubuntu-Women mailing list