From IndieWeb

How can we encourage diversity on the IndieWeb? was a session at IndieWeb Summit 2018.

Notes archived from: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/changetheratio

Video: โ–ถ๏ธ45:40s

IndieWeb Summit 2018
Session: How can we encourage diversity on the IndieWeb #changetheratio
When: 2018-06-26 15:05



Jean MacDonald has been through a year of micro.blog now and has the tech issue, but also an overall issue of voices from different backgrounds. Wants to grapple with things each of us could do right away to make some progress, rather than fighting big institutional issues.

Will share some things she has done and enourages other to do.

  • invite your friends! let them know they are specfically wanted, at least by one person.
    • will share a link to a piece with suggestions.
    • helps at events to know that there is someone they can have lunch with.
  • Nate: bring people on IWC making day
    • Chris Aldrich: has seen web experts help people start from zero on IWC hack days.
  • Lillian Karabaic: as a gen2 person who doesn't build projects for others, feels that the community has made progress that raises barriers to entry. 4 years ago "i belong here because i have a website". now with websites talking to one another, it's more complicated and it can be intimidating.
    • also suggests more beginner focused events with "build your website day(s)". those are the people that we need to grow. they might feel more invested in the community and more like they belong.
  • Chris Aldrich: Wordcamps have been doing an extra half/all-day session before the camp to help beginners spin up new wordpress sites and learn how to make basic posts.
  • Dori: I have many things! Long background in tech (started coding 41 years ago), this web stuff is new. couple of ideas.
    • invite women to speak at events (especially about something that isn't diversity).
  • Jean MacDonald: if you're asked to speak, you can ask about the diversity of the panel or speaking line-up โ€“ refuse to speak if it's not diverse!
    • Chris Aldrich: if you are a privileged/overrepresented person, give that speaking opportunity to someone else
  • William Hertling: when a conf works hard to make speaker lineup representative, the attendees will be more diverse. gave example that i missed where a tech conference w/ a good speaker lineup had 40% female attendees.
  • Lillian Karabaic IWC community is getting better at attracting people, but most of the new people are the same demographic.
    • asks: if you're a developer and you're new to indieweb (started coming in last ~2.5 years) how did you get interested?
      • Hertling: IndieWeb has principles. what if one of the principles was to support a more diverse web?
        • Aaron Parecki: IW principles page is about things that define our what makes our community unique. (others: isn't that unique?)


Lillian Karabaic: indieweb allows to delete crappy comments and control identity and interactions. the web is sometimes a great place for queer and other communities. wants a "drag queens build your websites day" -

Lovi: i am brand new and i am surprised that i have things to say! first: fix your website (indieweb.org)!

  • it's terse. needs more pictures. more accessible language. make it personal (e.g. to the hazards of using facebook, infographics about everyting, including "dangers of vertical silos"). Use-cases more accessible from front page
    • seconding suggestions for "get your own website up in a day" for (drag queens, etc) usergroups
  • Jared: looks like a suburban gaming league website
  • jgmac1106: i am doing UX research on our website. 15-20 minute interviews. wants more participants!


jmac: i recommend VM Brasseur - "Importance of an Ecosystem" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySWez59lhH0

  • "you can't computer a solution to everything"
  • Jacky Alcinรฉ - what is it about easy-to-adopt tech like trello (which "non-tech" people use for all kinds of things)
  • chrisaldrich - IWC attendees tend to be in a certain age range (no kids, teens, few older folks)
    • start a Homebrew Website Club with them!
  • Dori: for teens it seems like this kind of stuff is exactly what they are *not* interested in
    • Jacky Alcinรฉ: when i was growing up tools like tripod were cool and exciting, a gateway.
    • Dori: they don't want to leave their friends now
    • Greg McVerry: i teach kids at this age. teaching them about how FB works and manipulates them is a good catalyst to get them onto the indieweb. most of them don't stick with it after the class
    • Chris Aldrich: indieweb can help core groups of friends build totally private spaces!
    • Lillian Karabaic: i was in the "build a website" group growing up, even though used livejournal. misses blogrolls! blogrolls were amazing for discovery, putting a new entry in your blogroll was a big deal. still value there!
    • Jason McIntosh: friends-locking posts was a big deal ( Lillian Karabaic and it got real political)
  • Greg McVerry: tries to engage w/ people, biz, churches in his local community people use FB because it's easy and where customers are. when bridgy still worked, was able to have at least more gender balanced people trying out indieweb.
  • Jean MacDonald: catching comments that need review is a lot of work. trying a positive tack: model a community where people treat each other as human beings and not as accounts.
    • don't leave it to underrepresented groups to defend their space. it's not okay to be silent when harrassment is happening. go beyond: it's important to make a safe space where people can be themselves.
  • Jamey: tooling can solve *some* problems. not everyone wants to build a site from scratch. tools that can be picked up and used are important. development process for those tools should include people from diverse backgrounds.
    • https://www.outreachy.org/ - funding for individuals from groups underrepresented in tech to work on open source projects.
    • Greg McVerry: do we need to rethink the one-day-hack-day thing?
    • Jamey: hackathons are pretty intimidating.
    • Jared: have hosted many hackathons. unveil a domain name, people break off into teams and build something around that domain name. started out all dudes. the more push for inclusive language (don't need to be a coder, bring designers) started bringing gender balance - and often women with technical skills who found the language of the event let them know they belonged.
  • Chris Aldrich: sometimes the web is baggage. sometimes goes to wordcamps without a laptop.
  • anomalily: who wants to sponsor Drag Queen Build a Website Day? Jared of name.com does.
  • Jacky Alcinรฉ: has friends that wouldn't be interested in the IndieWeb for itself, but what they could build on top of it, like publishing poetry and more.
    • not enough poets publishing on the internet.
    • indieweb could be a great place for poets to publish in a way that they are in control.
  • Greg McVerry: watch for #ds106create hashtag on twitter. 100s of new things come out every day, students learning to publish on the web.
  • chrisaldrich: we document some use cases on indieweb.org but should do more, like poetry.
    • jgmac1106: i get asked all the time if there's an indieweb for bandcamp

Jean: we should take this discussion forward to future events. just because we can't fix the whole damn thing doesn't mean we can't get 3 to 4 more people here to increase representation. it's up to us to do the work.

Some interesting ideas here: https://boffosocko.com/2017/06/16/valerie-alexander-on-how-women-can-succeed-in-the-workplace-despite-having-female-brains/ Interesting Art Communities https://twitter.com/search?q=%23dailycreate&src=typd https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ds106&src=typd

See Also