mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
Mark Smith ([staff profile] mark) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2014-12-31 01:40 pm

Dreamwidth news: 31 December 2014

Hello Dreamwidth!

Happy Holidays and happy New Year if you happen to be in a place further ahead of the timeline than me (hello [personal profile] fu)! It's been a pretty awesome year over here at DW HQ, and now we're wrapping it up.

One thing we haven't done yet, though -- and totally remiss of us! -- is to talk about our end of the year giving. Most of you probably know that we typically make an end of year charitable donation of some kind.

  • In 2011, we supported the Ada Initiative.

  • In 2012, we split our donation between the Ada Initiative and then gave some to several different groups we appreciate: Doctors Without Borders, Heifer International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

  • In 2013, we didn't do an end-of-year gift to anyone, but we did a mid-year sponsorship of YAPC::NA 2013, a Perl conference we attended.

Here in 2014, I'm happy to say that we're back up to our old tricks. This year's end-of-year donation is one that's particularly important to us, so I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about what we're doing and why. But first -- what!

Dreamwidth's 2014 donation is to the Stumptown Syndicate, the organization that does -- among other things! -- the Open Source Bridge conference we've been to two years running now. We have pledged to complete [personal profile] brainwane's matching pledge drive. This means we'll be donating approximately $7,000 USD to the Stumptown Syndicate.

Why this group?

Well, let's talk briefly about the state of diversity in Open Source. It's pretty fucked up, historically; the participation rates of people who don't look like me is really bad for many reasons. One of the biggest ones -- and one that Dreamwidth cares a lot about -- is toxic/hostile environments.

One of the reasons we created Dreamwidth was because we believe that if you created an environment that encourages and welcomes participation by everybody, of all kinds of backgrounds, then you'd get exactly that -- diverse participation. The desire to build and create (and design and code!) is not limited to straight white cisgendered males and our project demonstrates that. In fact, I'm quite in the minority around here -- happily so!

Unfortunately, that's not true of the greater technology industry. Every company I've worked at is struggling to hire and retain people from non-traditional backgrounds. There are many facets to this problem, but a big part of it is a supply problem: there just aren't as many engineers who are women, or people of color, or trans, or.. etc!

Open source (and related: the maker movement) is a huge part of the supply side of my industry. People can learn about software, about building things in groups, and then turn that into a career. To do that, though, they have to be able to get into these projects and stay around. They have to be welcomed, they have to be encouraged.

The Stumptown Syndicate recognizes this, and their Open Source Bridge conference is a gathering of people who broadly care about the problem, who get together and say: you are welcome, you are wanted -- and you are not alone.

Building inclusive groups is a cause I support, and I'm really happy that Dreamwidth is in a position where we can fiscally support it, too. The world won't change for the better unless people make it happen.

Thanks for reading. :)

(Comment notifications may be delayed for up to an hour or so after this post, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 1345 PST: see in your time zone.)

retsuko: (Default)

[personal profile] retsuko 2014-12-31 11:06 pm (UTC)(link)
What an awesome cause! Thanks for donating, and letting us know about it. :D

Also, thanks to everyone at DW for being responsive and helpful. Hope you all have a fabulous 2015!
dil: (Default)

[personal profile] dil 2014-12-31 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Than you for the good work!
Happy New Year!

[personal profile] ex_lockcade543 2014-12-31 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I must echo [personal profile] retsuko in that that's an awesome cause, and thank you for not only letting us know about it, but for your donation as well.

Have a happy New Year!

[personal profile] jazzyjj 2014-12-31 11:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Ditto from me. I hear open-source projects are good for accessibility as well, so thank you so much and keep up the awesome work. I'm so happy to be on Dreamwidth! It is really gratifying to know that you not only have a very accessible service, but you're constantly tweaking stuff behind the scenes to make the user experience even better than it already is. Have an awesome New Year!
eagle: Me at the Adobe in Yachats, Oregon (Default)

[personal profile] eagle 2015-01-01 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for keeping the site running and working to create a development culture we can all support, participate in, and believe in.
runningrampet: {Cars} - SubaruLove (Default)

[personal profile] runningrampet 2015-01-01 03:06 am (UTC)(link)
This is so awesome! I happen to be a female network engineer and I'm super interested in the open source stuff so this is a wonderful cause IMHO.

Thanks to all of your staff for being so awesome around here! Happy New Year to you!
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2015-01-01 03:12 am (UTC)(link)

If you're an engineer, even if you don't do OSS stuff yet, Open Source Bridge is a great conference to attend. (Also, it's not just about programming; there are talks that cover the whole gamut. And the best hacker lounge ever; there is always a table full of Lego, and when I say 'a table', I mean, a huge-ass table full of Lego.) And hands down, no holds barred, it's the friendliest and most comfortable conference I've ever been to. I said to the person from Stumptown Syndicate who wrote to us to thank us for our donation, it's wonderful having a conference that we can bring the team to without having to worry about the kind of treatment they'll get there!

Anyway, we'll probably be there again this year, so you should come and hang out with us. :)

runningrampet: {Cars} - SubaruLove (Default)

[personal profile] runningrampet 2015-01-01 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
OMG - that is freaking awesome!! I love the conferences and people who are friendly and make for a comfortable environment. One of the struggles I've encountered being a female in the IT industry, specifically the "hands-on" networking/engineering part of it, is that many people are quick to judge and be rude. I welcome all friendly environments! Haha.

I will definitely keep you guys in mind, that would be awesome to come hang out with you all and attend the conference! :-) Thank you so much for your reply!
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)

Open Source Bridge

[personal profile] brainwane 2015-01-19 11:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I hope you will also consider submitting a talk to give at OSBridge! The deadline is March 7th.
runningrampet: {Cars} - SubaruLove (Default)

Re: Open Source Bridge

[personal profile] runningrampet 2015-01-20 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the suggestion! I'm horribly bad at public speaking and writing speeches, unfortunately. Some practice wouldn't be that bad though. . .
ninetydegrees: Drawing: rainbow donkey piñata & rainbow background (piñata)

[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2015-01-01 03:08 am (UTC)(link)
Wow awesome overload: awesome news about awesome people supporting awesome people doing awesome things!
(this message was not sponsored by Lego...)
lot: (tv on the brain)

[personal profile] lot 2015-01-01 03:18 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the info, and a very happy new year to you all!
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)


[personal profile] brainwane 2015-01-01 07:00 am (UTC)(link)
I am so grateful to Dreamwidth, to the Stumptown Syndicate, to the advantages I've had that have allowed me the extra income that I could funnel into this cause, and to all of us who are working on these shared goals.

Thank you.
nik_adams: (Default)

[personal profile] nik_adams 2015-01-01 09:22 am (UTC)(link)
Happy new year! My best wishes to all users of Dreamwidth!!!

[personal profile] ratfan 2015-01-01 10:15 am (UTC)(link)
Awesome post. I'm a transguy but also completely useless as regards coding, so I raise my tea mug in salute and cry, "Carry on!"
misskat: Dreamwidth is powered by *disco ball* (Dreamwidth is powered by Disco!)

[personal profile] misskat 2015-01-04 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
If I can write and submit a patch, anyone can do it. If you're interested in learning to code, just speak up!
wytchcroft: dalek movie (who ever)

[personal profile] wytchcroft 2015-01-01 10:27 am (UTC)(link)
great cause, great timing.

i hope it gets great publicity.

as ever - you are made of awesome.
cordykitten: (Happy New Year)

[personal profile] cordykitten 2015-01-01 03:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Happy New Year!

I hope this year the issue with not being able to import LJ to DW will be solved; it still doesn't function and the support request is still unanswered.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2015-01-01 05:56 pm (UTC)(link)
There's no overall issue with importing -- any issues you're having are affecting your account only. Unfortunately, that means something that's very hard to troubleshoot, which is why your support request hasn't been answered yet, and it's possible that we might not be able to resolve it at all.
cordykitten: (awmp Buffy "uhuh")

[personal profile] cordykitten 2015-01-02 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Uh-huh.. it's only related to my DW/LJ? This are bad news.
I don't have a lot of knowledge about that stuff so I hope someone can figure it out, it's been over a year when it started to fail. *sigh*

*fingers crossed* (And thanks for answering, at last now I know that something is very wrong.)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Crutches)

[personal profile] davidgillon 2015-01-01 04:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm the proverbial 'straight white cisgendered male' (and you can add middle-class to that as well), but becoming disabled, and then being forced out of the industry over it, by a multinational that has the nerve to claim it's a leader on diversity and equality, served as a real eye opener as to the reality many people face from day one.

I'm still comparatively new here at DW, but one of the things I'm absolutely delighted at is the diverse set of people I've met (and all the stuff I'm learning as a result), and how safe an environment it is.

Both of which mean I think that's a great cause to be donating to, keep up the good works!
starsinyourwake: tea (Default)

[personal profile] starsinyourwake 2015-01-01 06:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Awesome cause~ well done :)

business models and generosity

[personal profile] babysprite 2015-01-01 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)

These generouse donations to worthy causes are also a sign of the sucess of the DW business model.

It proves that the voluntary support model works!

Edited 2015-01-01 21:26 (UTC)

[personal profile] theplotbunny 2015-01-01 11:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi Mark, I am a blind trans girl, hehe guess I'm in two communities and I have to say when I read your post, I felt a surge of emotions and almost cried as I was so happy to read your post. I know how tough it is for many of my close trans friends in Australia and it is far worse in certain parts of your country. I hope efforts like yours help anchor our global trans community in love and strength with courage and creativity. I wish I could find more ways to find people here, but it might be my fault as I am very shy, but I admit that even here I feel a little alone, even before I came out, wondering if it is my holding me back. Ihave so many friends on FB in a group there called GenDA Gender Diversity Australia, and lots of people who post on their frustrations re this topic of access to secure careers in ITS etc,. My personal addendum is off topic, but because I am feeling a little lonely I am no longer afraid of saying so publically. I don't wish to guilt anybody into being my friend, only saying it is harder in the blogosphere for me as LJ I only have two friends who respond to my posts so in effect both communities serve at the moment as person journals as few respond. Maybe I'm boring! LOL Forgive me, but yes, I want to share this with my trans friends on GenDA so they too can explore perhaps setting up models in Australia similar and or participate in some way to DW's work and links. Happy New Year to you Mark, Denise, Sarah and Fu and everyone and the energetic Kat XXX
azdraik: Garfield hanging from a branch (HangInThere)

[personal profile] azdraik 2015-01-02 12:46 am (UTC)(link)
Great cause to support; go, DW!

And happy new year to you all!!!
selki: (Default)

[personal profile] selki 2015-01-02 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
I gave to them too. I'm an East Coaster and doubt I'll make it to OS Bridge but I like Stumptown Syndicate's approach.
cordykitten: (vampkiss  happiness)

[personal profile] cordykitten 2015-01-03 10:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Wonder never cease - not long after my comment someone found out what happened to blog the import, never would have guessed what it was because it was nothing new in my LJ.
*is thankful*
mrbumblepants: (Default)

[personal profile] mrbumblepants 2015-01-05 07:20 am (UTC)(link)
Huzzah for inclusivity! Thanks for supporting the Stumptown Syndicate.