Finding More Women on Social Media

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate

DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009  DATA BASE is an Oxford English Dictionary with the word "DATA BASE" cut into it with the laser cutter.

Credit: Flickr / Michael Mandiberg

Every so often I find my twitter handle in a list that forms a response to some guy saying “who are some women I should follow on social media?”. Do these things work? I don’t know. I’ve compared notes with other women on how long it lasted when a prominent VC asked that question (for me, <24 hours), which tells me at least sometimes they are ineffectual.

Besides that, there are different types of engagement, you can follow someone, but do you listen to them? And you can listen to them, but do you engage with them or their content? Typically we all go back and forth through these different modes, but if you just ignore, or perhaps worse, think “oh she’s moaning again” then this strategy clearly isn’t working.

I think the best way to increase the number of women you encounter on social media is to seek out women whose opinions or work you are interested in.

  • Women developers of your favourite products.
  • Women contributors to open source projects you use.
  • Women who have written articles you liked.
  • Women who have given conference talks you enjoyed.
  • Women who have been retweeted into your timeline.

This is harder than someone giving you a ready made list. For each one of these, there is a reason why:

  • There are few women developers, and some hide their affiliations for fear of threats.
  • There are even fewer women contributing to OSS, and many of them do so under gender neutral pseudonyms for safety.
  • Women’s content is shared less, and more likely to be (or be thought) women-focused.
  • Women are not fairly represented at conferences.
  • Women get retweeted less.

But these aren’t insurmountable. And moreover, for me at least, it’s vastly more flattering to be noticed because of something cool I’ve built or written than because I’m female.

As a cis-white-women I’m trying these strategies, and slowly improving the diversity of my feed, too.


(no subject)

Jan. 28th, 2015 08:38 pm
pendency: dog (Default)
[personal profile] pendency
Fenris woke that morning to the news that Qarinus was being bombed. He turned off his radio, he remembered, because the roiling emotion at the newsreader's words made him feel as if nearly a decade of expensive therapy was worthless. In recent months, he had finally begun to remember how he felt about his life before the torture, though it did feel more like a dream than his history no matter how hard he tried.

He remembered, because while he was quietly sitting in the current sharehouse's kitchen, breathing long, slow breaths and thinking the taught paths of anger control, nursing a mug of coffee long since gone cold, Dorian picked the moment to start hurling his belongings down the stairs, yelling at him all the while for using an aerosol deodorant, didn't he know what he was doing to the ozone.

Read more... )

Reading Wednesday

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:41 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
I said when I was looking ahead to 2015 I might try a new way of talking about books here, so I'm going to have a go at reading Wednesday, which seems a really nice tradition anyway.

read more )

What a difference ten years makes

Jan. 28th, 2015 09:19 pm
starlady: "They don't play by the rules, why should we?" (dumbledore's army)
[personal profile] starlady
I suppose I'll have more to say about this after Festivids reveals, but I realized the other day that I've been making fan videos of one sort or another for a decade now. Ten years ago I spent a month in Greece and for that entire month obsessively planned the AMV that became Yuna's Vertigo, though I didn't start editing until I got back to the States in February and I didn't actually upload the video to until March.

For obvious reasons, I don't think gets half the credit it deserves in the fannish circles I tend to move in now, but it sure deserves a hell of a lot of credit. Aside from the great Evanescence debacle of--2007? ish?--they have never caved to Big Content companies in terms of take-downs, and the site is still entirely user-supported. As a consequence, every single one of the AMVs I've uploaded there, all 17 of them over five years, is still up and freely available.

You know what else was created in February 2005? A certain video-sharing service that you may have heard of called YouTube, which is now a Google platform that has successively strangled everything that once made the site fun and now has its sights set on the currently thriving indie-music scene. Cory Doctorow says it all with his headline, Google strong-arms indie musicians into accepting brutal, crowdfunding-killing deal for streaming service, but you should go read the whole article. If you're starting to suspect that this streaming service's grossly abusive terms are (among other things) a backdoor through which what's left of the major music labels are trying to choke the thriving indie music scene, take 10 points for Ravenclaw. The great indie cello musician Zoë Keating has posted a verbatim transcript of her conversation with her YouTube rep about the service's terms after Google's PR team called her a liar.

I fucking love Zoë Keating five million times more than I did now, and I loved her a lot before this, let me tell you.

As a result of this latest travesty I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer in good conscience continue to post my vids to YouTube--assuming they'd even let them be uploaded, given the content-matching algorithms that are now in place. Indie music matters a great deal to me, as do the principles of fair use and transformative works, and YouTube and Google are against all of them. I'm voting with my content and taking it somewhere that the owners aren't opposed to my creativity while attempting to profit off others' unfairly.

Unfortunately, it's a hard world out there for vidders who don't have their own hosting (I have this image of us like something out of Mad Max or Nippon no Apachezoku, roaming through an apocalyptic landscape on motorbikes in search of mirage-like refuges), and it shouldn't be the case that we need to have our own hosting to engage in an activity which is demonstrably protected within U.S. copyright law and which should be legally protected worldwide. After reading this discussion hosted by [personal profile] shati, I've come to the conclusion that Critical Commons is our best (last?) hope in terms of hosting for vids. From other people's remarks, it seems fairly easy to sign up for an advanced account, which allows video uploading.

I invite you all to join me.

This Has To Stop!

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:30 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

Sitting waiting for a blood test at my GP's surgery and the woman next to me starts ranting to the guy opposite that the receptionists are conspiring to let the non-white people waiting jump the queue 'I heard them talking in their language". It runs on a ticket system and I think what happened was the receptionist was helping a (non-white) wheelchair user and grabbed him a ticket while his wife was getting him into his wheelchair. I'd guess a good third-to a half of the people in the waiting area were non-white, they would all be able to hear her, and she was less than ten feet from the people she was railing against for being "foreigners". I bit my tongue the first couple of times, but eventually had to point out that there might be a very good reason behind it and there was no need to jump to race as the issue, which shut her up (after ranting at me that she had a good reason too).

This is what UKIP are doing to us and it has to stop.

My 14 Bitcoin predictions for 2015!

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:28 pm
reddragdiva: (trolldad)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

(Inspired by this euphoric fever dream.)

  1. There will continue to be nothing that Bitcoin does better than existing systems, apart from money laundering and purchasing illicit goods.

  2. No, not remittances. The expensive bit of Western Union is in fact that last mile.

  3. It will remain difficult to turn your Bitcoins into conventional currency (which is the only reason there's such a spread between exchanges).

  4. It will get even harder to turn your conventional currency into Bitcoins, as any exchange not being run by blatant crooks puts you through the anti-money-laundering mill.

  5. The protocol problems will continue not to be fixed, unless most of the hashing power and Mircea "socks and cocks"* Popescu can be convinced to go along with the Bitcoin Foundation. No 20-meg blocks for you!

  6. 99% of current hashing power came online in 2014; this will be very price-sensitive, and much will go offline as the price drops, maybe coming back next hash adjustment.

  7. Miners will continue to sell their coins immediately to cover costs: we are circling equilibrium, where the cost of mining 1 BTC is about 1 BTC. The pool of money to pay for them comes from new Greater Fools.

  8. Transaction irreversibility will remain Bitcoin's sticking point, as speculators who are insufficiently computer-savvy keep getting burnt. "No chargebacks" will continue to repel customers and not attract businesses.

  9. More exchanges will get hacked and/or just take everyone's money. (So far just this year: BitStamp, 796, LocalBitcoins, EgoPay.)

  10. Everyone who bought in the last year and held is a bagholder. Their claims and speculation will get increasingly frenzied. Ask for numbers supporting all claims, particularly the ones in this infographic.

  11. The bagholders and gambling addicts will continue to be taken by obvious scams, e.g. the two Ponzi scheme sites in just the last month.

  12. Altcoins will continue to be even scammier than the Bitcoin ecosphere, boggled as I was to realise this.

  13. The price is presently being held up by speculation and wishful thinking. No new reason will come along. The "fundamentals" are a castle in the air.

  14. Nobody actually wants smart contracts. They know that the plot of Dr. Strangelove is literally an unstoppable smart contract going wrong. Real companies want to retain the option of lawyering out of a stupid deal. The only people who would want smart contracts are businesses looking to screw over their customers even more than "mandatory arbitration" clauses do. This is about as appealing to customers as no chargebacks, for the same reason.

If you know nothing about Bitcoin and find the above largely confusing, here's the short FAQ and the RationalWiki article (which I started). I'm not such a fan.

* Technically this is blatant ad hominem, but it's definitely a post so amazing it should be linked anywhere his name is mentioned, ever.

highlyeccentric: A woman in an A-line dress, balancing a book on her head, in front of bookshelves (Make reading sexy)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
Currently Reading: Working through HP7 in audiobook; slowly progressing through Alexis Wright's 'Carpentaria' (good, but Slow Literature) and picking up 'The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window And Disappeared' for some variety.

Recently Finished: Most recent, a bio of Barbara Baynton; a Dawn French novel; and a detective story with a protag who has dementia.

Reviews, mostly from early Jan:

Earthly Delights (Corinna Chapman, #1)Earthly Delights by Kerry Greenwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very *fun* book. It features Corinna, a fat divorced gourmet baker who finds a junkie close to dead on her doorstep one morning and from there becomes involved in a quest to figure out who exactly is feeding almost-pure heroin to the vulnerable of Melbourne. Meanwhile, someone is leaving death threats about HARLOTS to al the women in Corinna's building.Along the way she semi-adopts a recovering junkie, discovers the bdsm scene, and shags an attractive and mysterious soup kitchen security guard.

What bugged me here was Daniel, a widower and ex-Israeli army turned detective. His characterisation, and the impact of his service time on his character, was not fully explored - it only comes up to, I think, make him more attractive? And it seems to work for Corinna, but in a completely uncritica way totally at odds with her thinking on everything else. He speaks of having shot down a young boy and compares 'such evil' to her, 'now such good', and Corinna just... preens. Congrats you're less evil than palestinian insurgent? What? It's just *not explored* and Corinna has no qualms or even real interest in the dubious ethics and mental gymnastics any serviceman has to engage in regardless of allegiance.

It bugged me all the more because the book was peppered with leftie bait - in-jokes about John Howard and the victorian government and whatnot. We're supposed to believe that Corinna has *no thoughts whatsoever* about the fact her new squeeze admits to having shot down young boys (a terrorist, he says, but Corinna has *no thoughts whatsoever* about the circumstances that lead to young terrorists, etc etc). I think I would have rathered Corinna articulate an explicitly pro-Israeli logic than just... not think about it at all. Urk. More on this topic, and on kink and gender )

Mateship With BirdsMateship With Birds by Carrie Tiffany

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a very bad book. It gets two stars for sparks of literary flair in places, but overall: blergh.

This is a book about masturbation and dairy farming. The birds are actually a pretty minor role, and the poems about the birds get dreadfully boring.

I have nothing against writing about masturbation or dairy farming. By and large I thought the cow-related passages in this book were pretty tight. The sex ones, though? UGH. This author is way too carried away by the fact that she's writing A Book About Sex. The sex and sexual reflection passages drag on, frequently without adding to character or plot. It's like everything pauses while we hear about some long-ago sex scene, or Harry's opinions on pubic hair, or whatever.

The book raises some difficult notions about consent and power: for instance, Harry is oblivious to the weird pressure he's putting on his teenage neighbour by providing long reminiscent 'sex ed'. That's creepy! We can tell the lad is creeped out! But the book *does nothing* with that - the boy fades into the distance, after a brief scene where he's a dick to his girlfriend and then bangs her. That's not a resolution! It's not even character development. The boy's mother is, rightly, angry at Harry; then abruptly changes tack when she needs Harry's help getting rid of a dead owl. I think there might have been supposed to be something there about needing a Man Around The House, but it's not *explored*. And the book ends with a real-time sex scene, far less explicit than the reminiscences, which is mostly physical description and *doesn't answer any of the character questions*. It's infuriating.

This is a crappy book. I am sorry, for the sake of the national literary dignity, that it won the inaugrual Stella Prize. I would like to sentence the author to a year's hard labour in the erotica mines, in the hope she learns how to write sex like any other character development opportunity.

Heavenly Pleasures (Corinna Chapman, #2)Heavenly Pleasures by Kerry Greenwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was also pretty fun! The circle of characters widened compared to 'Earthly Pleasures', and it was nice to see Jason (Corinna's teenage sidekick) developing in character and skills. I *really* liked the badass older lady character and her eventual Big Reveal. Rawww. Do not mess with scary old ladies.

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book, I liked it a lot. It was odd coming to it *after* watching the show - the set-up is quite different. (And Dorothy's surname is given as Bryant, although by googling I see that's an error Greenwood wants retconned - i *thought* her name was Wiliams in the later book I read.)

One delightful discovery that had been ommitted from the show was special police constable Joan whasthername. I'd forgotten that there were special female police in the period. She's a bit-part but quite well characterised. Ten points.

Interesting Links for 28-01-2015

Jan. 28th, 2015 11:00 am


Jan. 28th, 2015 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds ... to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation." -- Ellison S. Onizuka (b. 1946-06-24, d. 1986-01-28), Challenger Astronaut

indecision alley

Jan. 28th, 2015 05:57 pm
wyomingnot: (bonk by sithdragn)
[personal profile] wyomingnot

I call it a Decision Making Disorder. I have a seriously hard time making up my mind.

Not that this is exactly that.

Still waffling about what I'm going to vid.

Not Empire Strikes Back, though I probably should do that next, while I'm out of school. ;)

Thought I had settled on the Asshole vid. But I'm just not convinced. I want to do it, but I'm not feeling that I must do it now. It's a lot harder to get through the slog of clipping when you're not running on MUST MAKE IT NOW.

I'm toying with something else. Terribly retro on the music. Trying to figure out the focus. MCU, definitely. I was leaning towards just the Avengers movie, but I think I need more than that for this song. But how much more? SHIELD was actually my first thought for the song, but I haven't watched in forever, and the thought of trying to slog through hours of unknown-to-me source just... no. Winter Soldier? Haven't seen more than a few bits of it.


Use bits of all of the above? That might be the answer. Anyone want to recommend a good Shield ep with lots of action-y team-y well-lit goodness?

Meanwhile, down to the last few lessons with my favorite student. We've been doing private lessons for almost a year now. Seeing her every week, more during break. But her family's moving to Beijing for father's work and our last five sessions are this week. Two more. I am sad. She's not clever or really good at English, but she's cheerful and sweet and focuses and does her homework and keeps trying. She's awesome.


Still at least five weeks left of break. Need to get some stuff done.


A high compliment

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:51 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
(linkdude has linked a thing where some straight person seems to be performing poutyface about having overheard some queerfolks blow off steam about "the straights" or whatevz, and is being all "LOOK IF YOU'N REALLY TRULY *WANT* ALLIES...". Channel has taken a digression or two. Highlights-involving-me with some context follow.)

Read more... )

Wednesday Reading, January 2015

Jan. 28th, 2015 09:40 am
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila
I’m finally beginning to tackle the pile on my bedside table that’s mostly been gathering dust for the past year. I managed to finish less than ten fiction books in 2014, and only have strong memories of two: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho, both of which I loved. This is mostly because my attention span is shot to hell by the combined pressures of house maintenance, toddler care and an extremely full schedule at work. The latter is temporarily off and although I do now have an infant to look after, that actually affords me some time to practice my now-rusty reading skills. It’s better to pick up a book in the middle of the night than to refresh the Economist or the Guardian on my phone and get worked up about the latest injustice. So! Here we go.

Just Finished
John Scalzi’s Lock In. Now that was good fun and a very quick read. I enjoyed the crime-solving process. Then there were the added bonuses. The gender of the protagonist is never specified and doesn’t matter. Likewise, their (non-white) race is only mentioned once as part of a tangential plot point. It is heavily implied, thoughminor spoiler ). Racial diversity is evidenced through the use of names rather than physical descriptions. There are plenty of female characters in professional positions of authority. All of this is presented deftly and integrates smoothly with the plotline and the wry, witty dialogue.

I enjoyed this offering more than Redshirts, which is the only other book of his oeuvre that I’ve read.

In Progress
Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword. I had more difficulty getting into this during the first sixty or seventy pages than I did the first book in the series. Perhaps it’s because Breq’s motivation - the overriding sense of anger - is subsumed somewhat by her* need to play her cards close to her chest, as the political game she’s now playing requires. Even though it’s not spelled out as explicitly as in the first book, the sense of her non-human-ness feels stronger, as well. I found myself wishing for an occasional switch of point of view to a character I have more ease in sympathising with - Seivarden, for instance. Now that I’m nearly a third of the way through**, this desire has abated and I’m fully immersed in the action. I try to slow myself down to savour Leckie’s loaded dialogue and meticulous world-building, but it’s getting very exciting.

* I use the pronoun in the same gender-neutral manner as in the books.
** I wrote most of this entry yesterday. The baby had a very disturbed night, so I’m now twenty pages from the end.

Up next
Ben Aaronovitch’s Foxglove Summer. I missed out on Broken Homes (see: 2014: the lost year) but I’ll acquire it if I enjoy this offering sufficiently.

The loonpills, they do nothing!

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:21 am
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (headset)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
04:22 Sunday, 25 January, 2015
This weekend is being much less exciting than last weekend. So far, I have: gone on a minor Costco run Friday night, slept, slept, gone out in semi-fruitless search of sourdough bread (the good sourdough at Sprouts vanishes quickly), and now re-indigoed my hair.

00:58 Wednesday, 28 January, 2015
Tuesday: didn't get as much sleep, slogged into work. Had a fascinating hallway chat with Mr. Wizard Beard, who has pruned his formerly glorious facial tresses back down to a reasonable inch or two of starting point. Lunch was nice even though the sandwich was uninspiring. Purple and the guys were talking about heat sinks. (A lot of times various of the guys will ask Purple to explain a thing. It's great.) I googled up illustrative pictures.

The Dean has made the jump from Extra Special Groundskeeper to HR (Parties Division). I think it's a good change for him. He wandered through on his way back from lunch. We are trying to pin down a date for the kickoff of the You Haven't Seen That?!?!? movie night series. On his way off, he made some casual reference to the contents of Blade Runner. I indicated confusion and unfamiliarity. "You haven't seen that?!!??!!" he asked, proving the relevance of the series title.

I do like taking notes on a nice large sheet of paper. I should make sure to do the Printout of Things for the 1:1 more often again, as it's a helpful framework. My manager said some reasonably encouraging things, even though they were not the sunny-day path. Also, some projects! Whee!

Among many other small items of the day, there was a fellow bemoaning the lack of jam in his building on [off-topic]. One of my unofficial duties is to make sure that random stuff that comes up in [off-topic] gets properly handled, so after mentioning that I had seen jam in my building (today, with no boom), I cracked open the user console for the helpdesk. After a few false starts, I selected the category most likely to correspond with jam tomorrow, even if there was no jam today.

"Jelly in [off-topic-guy's-building] invisible. Jelly in [ajlunatic's-building] visible. Please look into this." File on behalf of: remove ajlunatic, insert off-topic-guy, submit.

Watch confirmation page load. Look for link to ticket to add ajlunatic as cc. Realize that last week's overhaul of user-facing console removed the module containing the most recently filed ticket link from the left-hand side, perhaps because it was too fucking wide on a page with generally shittastic use of space. Realize that because some fuckhead thought all Facilities tickets (kitchen issues included) should be fucking private as all fuckery, I can't jump over to the terrible blue-and-white interface to add myself (or, well, grab the ticket number and whine to helpdesk).

Write up the newly fucking discovered goddamn bug involving the workflow of the fucking assistant, and file it the fuck against the goddamn system.

Call helpdesk. "Hi, I need to be added to a ticket I just filed on behalf of a colleague."
"No, I don't know the ticket number, and I can't find it, it's in Facilites."
"Let me spell his name."
Two minutes pass.
"No, it wasn't technical, it was in Facilities. Under Food & Drink, I think."
Another three minutes.
I spell my own user ID, and I am at last added to the ticket.

I am still cursing in IRC when Purple shows up to drag me away from the computer for the night. (My dad is much better about praise and constructive criticism.)

Chapter 50: Page 5

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] gunnerkrigg_feed
Humans are responsible.
Hey! Did you know that I'm writing a comic for BOOM! based on the Munchkin game? The first issue is out TODAY apparently, and you can see a preview of it right here!

Call the Midwives 4.02

Jan. 28th, 2015 08:58 am
selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
[personal profile] selenak
In which Sister Julienne meets the road not taken, and the series tackles grief in several ways.

Read more... )


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