Why I’m going to Fem2pt0

On Monday, I’ll be at the Fem2pt0 conference in DC. While not quite an “unconference,” the “point” of the conference has been a little vague. But AAUW was a co-sponsor and it sounded interesting, so I signed up.

My background for the conference (which I guess I am thinking of as mix of web 2.0 and feminism) includes

  • Working on web minus 1 strategies for using technology to connect people since 1982.
  • Using web 1.0 strategies to connect feminists, in particular, since 1996
  • Using web 2.0 strategies for feminists and other organizations since 2005.
  • Supporting the NC Women United coalition with web/virtual office strategies since 2002 when the nonprofit that had been managing that organization’s projects lost its funding.

I’m a fan of WordPress and Facebook. I’m a twitter dropout (but for limited use of twitterfeed). I’ve been a noisy advocate for better use of technology at AAUW since 2001, and am currently serving as admin of the largest AAUW Facebook group which is about to pass 1000 members.

I hope to connect with new folks and learn new strategies to

  • promote AAUW’s mission and feminist goals
  • learn how to better use 2.0 strategies for fundraising
  • engage volunteers, particularly feminists (of all generations)
  • keep up with the whirlwind pace of new techniques that help us all share information without succumbing to information overload.

So, as you can see, I’m a “work on the plumbing” kind of person — not much feminist theory in my background, and I’ll let others do the heavy lifting of crafting positions that I’m glad to help publicize.

I’m looking forward to the day!

New Facebook and Del.icio.us

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my list of Facebook applications… One quick note on del.icio.us.

Having the items you bookmark show up in your minifeed (old Facebook) or on your Wall (new Facebook) is a quick way to share your interests with your Facebook friends. There are del.icio.us applications, but they end up putting the links on the “boxes” tab — they can be found by someone poking around for information about you, but they won’t (I think) show up on your friends’ news feeds.

It turns out that the new Facebook interface (http://new.facebook.com if you haven’t tried it yet) has a built in way to put del.icio.us links on your wall.

  • Click your name in the upper left to get to your profile
  • Find the menu item “Settings” near the top (to the right of the menu items “All Posts”, “Posts by You”, “Posts by Others”
  • Click the del.icio.us icon in the “Imported Stories” section.
  • Enter your user name, and you’re done.

Note that there’s no need to enter your password – only your public links will be pulled into your Facebook profile.

Script to work with list of members in Facebook group

Okay, I’m now the administrator of a largish Facebook group and facing the problem of finding a particular member when I want to add them as an admin. The following script may be helpful to convert the list of all members to a delimited text file that can be imported to Excel, and used for that purpose or other metrics.


  • You can get the list of all members from the “edit officers” page.
  • My version of Excel (2002) isn’t working too well with non ASCII characters in names. If anyone knows a UTF-8 converter that could be used here (to, say, remove diacritical marks and such — we’re not dealing with huge amounts of non-ASCII data), please let me know.
  • There’s nothing but name and network here. But if you’ve got another list of stakeholders, it might be able to match your Facebook supporters with that.
  • Networks don’t show for some folks. It may be a problem with people who are in more than one network — haven’t really investigated.

# convert list of members (most recent to earliest) from a facebook group
# format
# First{additional} Last {(Network)}
# to the format
# Number:First{additional}:Last{:Network}
# where number is earliest to most recent

sed 's/make officer//' | # delete cruft
sed 's/^ *\* //' | # delete more cruft
awk '{printf "%s\t%s\n", NR,$0}' | # number lines
sort -nr | sed 's/^[0-9]*.//' | # print in order of last to first then delete numbers
awk '{printf "%s:%s\n", NR, $0}' | # renumber in the order folks joined the group, with number as first field
sed 's/ \([A-Z][^ ]*\) (/:\1:/' | # if a network, put separators before last name and network
sed 's/ \([A-Z][a-z]*\)$/:\1/' | # if no network, put separator before last name
sed 's/)//' # delete trailing ) for lines with a network

Using Facebook for AAUW

These documents were publicized through standard AAUW channels about a month ago. There may be some interest from folks who aren’t in that loop.

Dear AAUW Webmanagers and AAUW Newsletter Editors:

I am pleased to announce the release of the second paper in the series “Facebook for AAUW”.

The links for these papers are:

#1: http://docs.google.com/View?docid=ddzhjjgr_41fmk9jr
#2: http://docs.google.com/View?docID=dg5fnwtg_0c7srw2wx

The first document addresses “what is Facebook” and gives brief instructions on how to get started. The second document is a more in depth discussion of why AAUW members are finding Facebook a good platform for connecting with each other and how they are using it to advance the mission.

The documents have been authored collaboratively by a completely unofficial group of members from across the country who came together in Facebook. Many of them have found Facebook a comfortable place to exchange information on a wide range of topics — personal and professional as well as AAUW. We invite you to join us to find out if Facebook would be a way to expand your network and amplify your voice.

The documents are written for the “digital immigrants” — those of us over a certain age who may want some background information before jumping into this new environment. However, if you’d rather just explore on your own, feel free to skip the papers and go straight to exploring Facebook. Once you’ve joined, please do also join the AAUW group that you’ll find at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2419848109

At least one state convention will be using this information as part of one of their workshops. You may wish to use the link to the AAUW group or these documents on your web sites or in your newsletters to let your members know that there is an AAUW presence there.

Thanks, all.


Quick notes from Women Who Tech Telesummit

4/2 update: See housewifery.wordpress.com/  for live blogging on these and other sessions. [If the telesummit’s no longer on the front page, start at this post and look for earlier ones.]

Earlier today, I virtually attended four sessions from the Women Who Tech Telesummit. This free series of webinars brought together some amazing folks thinking about Women and Technology from a number of points of view. Check out the sponsors and organizers on www.womenwhotech.com, and thank those that you know!

The slides and audio will be available on the website, but here are a few highlights from the sessions I attended.

I. Build An Online Campaign And Save The World

  • Graphic tip: use faces and eyes
  • Lists of tools: TechSoup.org, Idealware.org, SocialSourceCommons.org
  • TODO: check out networking at Care2.com
  • Message rates: Encourage at least one advocacy action per month [What does this mean for the list alerts@ncwu.org which goes quiet for months at a time between sessions?]

II. Women and social capital

Tara Hunt, the moderator has an upcoming book that addesses this issue. She framed the conversation with some “big ideas”

  • Mentioned Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone and the distinction between “bonding capital” and “bridging capital”. Women build more of the first, while men create more of the second. [I think I missed that on reading it. But the book is one reason I’m so engaged in AAUW.]
  • Pew Internet Research: Women’s use of social networking is (understandably) more anonymous. Men are more likely to be open, hosting an audience, more likely to mentor/support each other.

The session then was a conversation with Joan Blades and Arianna Huffington. I’ll need to get the podcast and relisten.

III. Women and Open Source

  • Included a discussion of “hacker culture” which, though I’ve been working with Open Source since 1982, I’ve never really embraced. Developers lists tend to have blunt talk about how code can be improved — but the suggestion was to learn take criticism as encouragement. It’s when you’re being ignored that you need to think about finding a new community: if your comments aren’t worth criticizing …
  • This leads to a discussion of “finding the right community”. Open Source work can be seen as participating in a “karma bank” and it’s not often obvious how to choose the right community where your contributions can be effective (and so you can repay what you’ve received from other projects). There was a suggestion that open source projects evolve and that later in their life cycles they are more accepting of work like documentation, user interface analysis, etc. If that’s your area of expertise, you might also choose “end user friendly” projects instead of those like coding the kernel. Another example was the Drupal dojo community where “newbies train newbies”. [There’s been a recent discussion on the Systers list about women in open source. The recording of this session may be of interest there.]
  • See FlossPols.org for information on policy issues related to open source.
  • LinuxChix was mentioned in a couple of contexts. In particular their courses include “Spineful Living” (as opposed to Spineless). I think the archive for that course can be found at http://mailman.linuxchix.org/pipermail/courses/2007-April/thread.html.
  • A slide with a list of resources, included PHP women, DrupalChix — see the recording for others.
  • Ended with a discussion of nonprofit open source: Larger involvement in women, very friendly, respect contributions other than code. CiviCRM, Organizer’s database, were two projects that were mentioned.

IV. Web 2.0: Hot Or Not?

Beth Kanter’s slides are posted on her blog. I made the following notes.

  • What’s new is ease of creating content, ease of shaping audiences
  • Choose tools that match demographics and “technographics” [I think we’re considering this with Facebook for AAUW.]
  • Slide from Forrester Research — demographics and use of social networks gave an interesting picture of age vs. ways of participating. [Click through to the version on slideshare, then go to slide 12 and hit Full Screen in the lower right.]
  • Learn techniques for listening — case study from Red Cross
  • It’s about conversations
  • Be careful with staff roles – need those who are familiar, but all need to understand; define a box — discussions about the downside. [Easter Seals — written policy on social networking, code of professional behavior.]
  • Thoughtful experimentation. Different messaging on different networks.
  • How do we make it safe to fail? to learn?
  • It takes time — 2 hrs/day minimum; Sisyphean task to see ROI

Connie Reece: Case study of the Frozen Pea Fund

  • Amazing story. From first tweet to engage a community (12/5/07) to 501(c)3 formed (2/20/08).
  • Dollar investment may be small. Consider ROI in terms of “return on involvement,” “return on influence”.
  • Social media: intersection of sociology, media, technology. New tools to do what’s been done for some time.

Heather Holdridge, Care2.com

See the recording to her answers/comments on some of these topics:

  • Web 2.0 meeting human needs
  • What makes campaigns work?
  • Who should try social networking campaigns?
    Lots of volunteers, huge email networks, dedicated staff, max’d e-mail marketing
    Not free – will need dedicated resources
  • 1.0 vs 2.0 – Save Darfur; $415,000 in 10 days through e-mail (M&R consulting) vs. $15,000 in 6 months from 1 million “friends”
  • Compare/contrast Social network, website
  • Goals (success?) – Awareness and Outreach (yes), Advocacy (some), Fundraising (minimal)
  • Social network ROI calculator – frogloop.com/social-network-calculator
  • What metrics? Might not be money or actions taken. [For me and our small Facebook experiment, I think the key metric is the number of members moved from the periphery of the organization to real participants in significant communications projects.]
  • IFAW – case study; campaign specific pages


  • Digital natives vs. digital immigrants: check Pew Internet studies, Forrester, the digital native wiki – how young people are using social media
  • Go deep on one platform – allow friends to spread to other platforms

Beth: beth.typepad.com
Connie: everydotconnects.com
Allyson: www.radcampaign.com/blog/
Heather: www.care2.com/politics