My sister and I used to play Lego when we were girls. It was a favorite game until mid-teenage, if not later. We used to build cars, helicopters, statues, trees, bridges, gardens, castles, even animals. Today, I've been looking for a Lego set for my daughter (age six). What a surprise! Apart from the 1-4 years old mixed parts (sold in pink and blue boxes), there is a whole range of Star Wars, Ninja, Disney Cars, Super heroes sets. What if she is not into all this (yet)? The alternative is the barbie-like sets (Lego Friends) for sandwich-making, hair-styling and meeting in a cafe.
Now that's disappointing. What happened with the most favorite and liked company specializing in creativity and imagination for kids of all kinds through construction and building skills? And why is Lego messing up with considering what is Lego for boys and what is Lego for girls? How so it is decided that boys would like playing with ninjas, but not girls? And that only girls like to prepare sandwiches? Ah, and what do sandwiches have to do with building things?
Female hacker Taylor Levy, a newyorker working for CW&T was invited at the first for the season Montreal Girl Geek Dinner event.
“At Girl Geeks, we love code. It can be clean, messy, expressive, boring, useful, idiotic, thoughtful, interesting, horrible, elegant, slow, fast, frustrating, copied, shared, hilarious, obsessive, expensive, free, infinite…? If you’ve ever written software, you know that code can be so many things. And for Taylor Levy, it has transformed the way she sees the world, and the way she designs.”
In Argentina, women older than 60 years, are 15% of the population. Out of 6 million elderly, they represent 53%. For these women, many things have changed over the years. For example, they do not stay in house to maintain their families, but looks for ways to get involved into socially valued activities. For these women, Wikipedia could be an option for spending the free time they have, to get involved into an interactive comminity, and to contribute to the global knowledge sharing.
After three das of discussions at WikiWomen Camp 2012, there is a long list of possible "reasons" or factors that would possibly influence female participation and contribution to Wikipedia. The big question: why just 9-10% of contributors tend to be women? The fact that women represent about half of the Internet users, and yet, about half of the Wikipedia readers, leaves us surprised about the fact that very few of them feel concerned into building, maintaining and enriching the knowledge collected by Wikipedians.
Digital art & photography professor Lila Pagola from the University of Villa María, has figured an interesting way to make the work of students valued, visible, and most importantly - useful.
While they are having mid and end-term assignements, related to history of photography in Argentina, their tasks are to research, study and summarize a complete biography of Argentinian photographers from the past centuries. "This leaves a trace of their work, and made in the right way, creates important archive on the web about people who are historically known in Argentina, but their work and life are not visible on the Internet."
WikiWomen will be organised as an OpenSpace. The open space is a special type of (un)conference, focussed on a particular topic, where all the participants are actually contributors & decision-makers. There are no special guests/speakers, no passive listeners. The aim is to stress on the skills and expertise of the participants, and to involve all of them in an equal way.
Between 23 and 25 May 2012, the first WikiWomenCamp 2012 will be organized in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The conference is a three day women-only conference, aiming to discuss the gender issues concerning the Wikipedia contribution and growth. Facilitated by Anne Goldenberg in English and Spanish, the format of the conference will be an open-space.
WikiWomenCamp initiated as an initiative aiming to open up opportunities for women to get together, learn from each other's experience, network with other women who can assist them in meeting their goals and share passions, and discuss issues related to being women involved in the wider Wikipedia (and wiki) community with similar like-minded women.
A collaboration between articule and the Artifact Institute, this interdisciplinary event will explore perspectives on the consumption, use, disposal, repair, re-use and obsolescence of electronic equipment. The forum will consider how the Montreal community is responding to the ever-increasing volume of electronic equipment that is perceived as obsolete, valueless or disposable, and engage the wider contexts of these issues.
While I was preparing my presentation "Critique féministe de la production des technologies de l'information et de la communication" for the 80'th congress of ACFAS (held this year in Montreal), I was called by the Devoir journalist Hélène Roulot-Ganzmann who considered that the topic was particularly interesting, and wanted to know more.
Why are women minority in the ICT/IT field? Why is the gap widening instead of reducing? Where are women in the I(C)T sector? We discussed in detail all these questions. The journalist, rarely informed before calling, was well aware of most of my work, and also of the technical definitions. I was afraid the article will be over the top, too difficult to explain the basics in such a short time. But I was gladly surprised for the result.
Many of my undergrad students ask me about reading tips - how to read academic texts and how to get the most of them. I've heard and read a lot on critical reading, and have made a long list of suggestions that I often refer to when such questions come to me. This time I decided to publish them, so that more people can profit from these tips. Learning how to read strategically, helps students and scholars in general to build good habits of studying and also facilitate the writing of papers works (based on tons of readings).
When Virginia Eubanks visited Montreal a couple weeks ago, she stayed at my place. Before she left, I asked her to sing her book for me. At the end, she said: "And thanks for teaching me what hacktivism is."
If I were to sign a book for Virginia, I would say: "and thanks for teaching me what popular technology is". I'd rather explain.