Archive for Community

Check out the cool talks coming up at the "Free as in Freedom" miniconf

If you’re attending in Hobart later this month, I strongly recommend you look at the lineup of talks which Brianna Laugher has organised for the Free as in Freedom miniconf on Tuesday, 20 January.

I’ll be speaking on journalism in the age of citizen journalism at 1.45pm (“It’s all fun and games until someone wants to sue you”). I’m also really looking forward to the other talks, especially Matthew Landauer from, who was recently voted best speaker at the Open Source Developers Conference in Sydney. Matthew won’t be speaking at the main LCA conference – so this will be your only chance to see him speak  – so make sure you come along to Free as in Freedom. 🙂

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Launching Geek Girl Dinners Melbourne

Not strictly Open Source, but I’m hoping that we’ll get lots of support and interest from the Open Source community. 🙂

Anne-Marie and I would like to invite each and every Melbourne geek woman to join us for the first Melbourne Geek Girl Dinner on Thursday, 29 May.
We’ll be meeting at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Dinner is at 100 Mile Cafe, Level 3, Melbourne Central, 211 La Trobe Street.
This is the first dinner for the Melbourne Group, so we’re calling it 0.1 – a planning dinner. The usual format will be an informal dinner with a technical talk by one of the members or guests. The first dinner won’t have a speaker, we’ll be brainstorming and planning what we’d like to do with the Melbourne group – and most importantly creating a list of the technical women who are based in Melbourne who we’d like to invite to speak at future dinners.
If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to sarah.stokely AT by Thursday 22 May. Feel free to contact me with any question you might have too.
Oh and by the way – guys who are interested in coming along are welcome to do so if they have a female geek to escort them. 🙂
The group’s blog is here, and if you’re on Facebook, join the group! 🙂

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Pia Waugh on Volunteering in Open Source and IT

Another interesting event coming up is an event being hosted by the ACS which will feature Waugh Partners consultant Pia Waugh talking about her involvement in volunteering in IT and the Open Source community and how it’s helped her achieve as a business person.

Pia’s talk will cover her experience with Open Source, One Laptop per Child, technology in developing nations, encouraging girls (and Generation Y across the board) to get into IT, and the experience of starting her own IT business in Australia.

The event is being held on Monday 28 April from 12pm – 2pm. It costs $20 (free for ACS members) which includes light lunch and refreshments included. It’s being held at The Mitchell Theatre, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.

For further details or to register go to

ICT volunteerism: driving career and personal advancement!

ACS-Women – Level 1 280 Pitt Street, Sydney – Monday 28/4/08 – 12pm –
2pm – Light lunch and refreshments. Go to to

Pia is a technical woman working with Linux and Open Source. She has a
global reputation and has spoken all around the world on topics ranging
from women in ICT, Open Source business benefits and opportunities, the
digital divide and more.

She always wanted to somehow apply herself to making the world a better
place and at one point was going to leave the industry in order to do
this in the traditional sense by going to a third world country to feed
the poor. She she quickly realised, however, that the best way she
could benefit the world was by using the skills she already had and
apply them in new ways to help others.

In her experience, volunteerism has brought so many opportunities
including career, travel, personal satisfaction and she believes her
participation in communities such as the Open Source community has got
her to where she is today.

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Gina Trapani on 'Crowdsourcing a better Gmail'

Gina Trapani is well known for her work as the Editor of Lifehacker US – I met her when I became the Editor of the Australian version, Lifehacker AU.

Lifehacker publishes tech tips, tricks and hacks – and is known for favouring FOSS apps over paid ones. It also features apps written by the Lifehacker team itself. Probably the best known of these apps is Better Gmail – a Firefox extension rooted in the Greasemonkey code base, which aggregates a number of Gmail-related user scripts into a single interface.

Gina recently gave a talk at the Web Directions North conference in Canada in which she told the very cool story of how Better Gmail came into being. She called it “Crowdsourcing a better Gmail“. In Gina’s words: “Suddenly I found myself leading a distributed software project that involved dozens of developers without even intending to! ”

She’s kindly made the transcript of her talk available through Lifehacker, and I highly recommend you read it for an insight into how an idea to use Greasemonkey to create a Firefox extension turned into a “crowdsourced” open source development project which involved liaising with developers across the world – including Google itself. The app ended up translated into over 20 different languages, thanks to the efforts of FOSS volunteers worldwide. Incidentally, the talk also makes the point that APIs are so important – kudos to Google for releasing a GMail API suitable for use with Greasemonkey to encourage open source development with its product.

Congratulations to Gina, and thank you for sharing this very interesting insight into open source community development and community management!

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