i guess i'll start


so i'm really that is sort going to actually be reading a lot of that

so this is that so

first i should introduce myself my name is mike ford i'm a you know foundation

member i got involved in you know with the women's outreach program in two thousand

eleven and i and contributing chick you know since then i'm also working on my

master's in computer science in chicago so this talk is basically about a group that

jim campbell who is not documentation contributor

in you know

i started in chicago

and also for so i'd like to explain the title generally when i talk about

free and open source software i call it three the free software can or for

us community are the flask

well i'm calling at the open source community

because in chicago we have a tiny for yourself

and so in order for us

to our reach out be and our small twenty member community we needed to learn

how to engage people who we have things in common but by maybe didn't embrace

all of the all the

the ideals

i that free software this


so has a chicago is the third largest city you know

so we have a population of almost people

and we have a pretty large czech by our free software community address that is

really small

so when we were starting out a lot of what the challenge that we face


how do we get people to be interested in free software how do you know

the community around give when most people have never use windex

or have heard of free software


we started out

basically looking at our community

and seen what is the larger community that surrounds free software which are and we

found that we have three basic groups of people who were knowledgeable about free software

and to might possibly be interested in learning about you know


so are the three basic ribs we have

we have a pretty active python community and we have a hacker space with a

lot of people who tend to run macro last

and we have a nonprofit it's hardware recycling

that installed linux on laptops and dot tops and either don't make seven or sells

them at low cost

so the i community is we have around thousand active members of the pipeline on

that's a sad often times they turn round hole

so they don't use linux

but they have a lot of knowledge that can help them to learn about linux

so that the basically the learning curve for that is not just it would be

for someone coming from microsoft

also they a lot of the people the pipelines maybe ten should use both front

end and back and development and so they have a lot of understand things like

line and concept second hope to become active you know


i hope so

also there are people from the python community for involved in the next one of

the all this in

the chicago area in the suburbs is run by a number of the type and

community and then six of our members are actually chicago python community members as well

so we also have a packer space

with around two hundred members that actually probably i think that's the official number and

they probably have actually i five

and we have a they have a lot of a printer which is aegean you


people use wonder in state for their projects and also they there are people who

are using free software but maybe not necessarily

there is also a pretty active people were hacking on michael microcontroller projects

and they

the people who go to the hyperspace range from startup see you know is to

hobbyists to just come in and how come we can't

no they mentioned there's also for each card which are is the is i'm not

a you know that recycles computers and one's a installs want to look next

and they also have weekly have nights but they're actually acting on their website which

i think is in java script

so we wanted to create

i community problem you know and there we have to be people in chicago who

work on you know a G able

right here

have the baroness at least and chris webber also decided that would help us


this actually lives in a different city so he was just five you often to

help us a but in the two people most organisation trivia J

you probably does most of the he does our website updates and a lot of

our social media posts

so initially we decided that we would have meetings where we would go to the

newcomers tutorial and try to teach people to happen you know and are most of

the meetings i was the only person who actually had a

and i found that

me myself trying to teach twelve people to use G H build up once

different distributions was it with choose difficult i could actually really be productive in the

whole so because of that

we moved trying to have a broader for

for the group

i'm not saying that we encountered a lot first with that P we people

generally when we brought up you know people had a negative reaction

and on a people would say things like you know thank you know unit easily

this they don't care about their user

people didn't like you know three

and thinking chicago for example we have are some people there who is that what

we hit you know we have to switch to access see because we're using old

hardware we can run get a three on it why don't you care about the

people we're donating use machines to

and also because we had a manual focus just on you know people seem to

see as that's kind of

and maybe that's partly my fault on having to just as people were only focus

on you know

we're not really concerned about building a community around free software in general

another issue that we ran into where was a

diversity issues



so i

so we actually and it out of putting a diversity statement on our website at

a certain point in time and the main reason why we ended up doing that

was because

and well at the women some people did not like the fact that i was

representing the which is

and so i ran into some issues with people being anything that i was in

a position of authority as a woman in the past community and so we did

end up having to diversity statement and we sort of came up with a way

to deal with people on it's actually pretty common in chicago for people to i

for people to feel that

women are not involved in the next because it doesn't interest



one thing that we've tried to do is have discussions with those people we tried

to engage them and keep them in our community and we have some failures doing


and we did have one person laughter

but it's

we tried to be as inclusive as parts


so in general what we feel is if someone doesn't agree with that adversity balls

that's totally fine

and we welcome that person to be community anyway

just that people don't for us for having the balls


the basic way that we deal with that issue in

we've tried to engage the larger linux community and we found other people were sort

of in senior positions in the linux community more willing to speak up and support

of diversity and that's kind of changed data to a lot of

a lot of the people involved in our group

and we try to give people a reasonable chance to talk about how they feel

about first i think ye

you know not everyone has the same how political ideas like

so i tried to

try to engage people and give them a chance to talk about what they feel

is important that we do and conversations what we're so productive


i do emphasise in this

so we do things like try to use just for like which some people like

that that's important talk

and we do have maybe writes to i have expressed about this

click there are but


the one that we ended up with is we have at our meetings one someone

the first two hours we have a harness and we invite members of the community

this sometimes people will approach us

ask you talked some topics

that is that we all the topics are related to free software and since gemini

our we don't community members we tend to talk about things that are happening you

know so when we go to know that will usually

give people gonna talk about it so that people kind of feel like they're involved

you know what's go what's going on

so we want people to feel like

we are part of the fast but at the same time they can be in

the gonna buy belong to our organisation and then we spend the remaining three hours

of our meeting sorry one

the remaining three hours we have


generally we invite people to bring whatever project they're working on

so some people drink it all related projects


no some people drink they don't they do projects and some people just bring whatever

they are working on at the time

we hold our meetings at the local hacker space

at this point we're affiliated with chicago

so we have a share need a page we have a lapel once in the

chicago area where the only linux related in the city

we have a social media presents that we actively poster twitter little plus

i tended to see a we actually

and we have a website that we maintain a mailing list

there's you channel and then the me to start

so what we provide for members

we try to provide an informal space for people to talk about three

software related topics

and we try to provide people with some tech support so we have people who

use linux or we try to install it if they aren't you know we try

to help them or how

and we have an o'reilly book just now so people can purchase textbooks you know

and also they do reviews they can get

chequebooks for free and then we specifically try to help with again so help you

work problem G H bill

learn out right

so some of the talks that we had we had an intro to you max

talk to chris webber gave and we went that michael there about came and talked

with about our system D

do you confident she studies open show showed and then i do what

is that we had in brussels

and we have a lot of times

but in general maybe half or two thirds of them are gonna like it

some of the project that people have worked on and we have one guy respond

working on the G object bindings go programming language i didn't work on documentation and

we had someone who are actually does that models

i don't know does a lot of our video he recording for a free and

open source work for inferences and so he was working on the system so we

can streamline video and then i worked on documents we've had someone working on you

know music and i'm working on some more right point had from that

another percent working on this decay bindings

we've also had thank you some of our members become involved in we are just

about a two are actually participating in P W

we see more people who are interested in you know open to the idea of

using you know we don't get people generally have kind of move past

a pass

a huge you know and they

we see a lot of people who actually

actually what are the things that it really big difference was the introduction of fast

and as much as i hate to say that was something that people would completely

given up i'm going on using you know it was something that need them feel


so it actually have made a pretty big difference in terms of perception our community

east i don't some of our members also become friends

the community of people who we have all we actually have a lot of systems


cool come to our because which i was actually kind of surprised about actually didn't

realise that a lot of sysadmins use linux on the desktop for

and so what i was trying to teach people to cool for development in what

they're like an extra

i thought it was because i was a student make been using linux problem turn

turned out that actually a lot of them were not about

so i was surprised but i suppose

like to

we do have a lot of hype on community members

we have students from local universities to come and the hackers

so what we found is as we've kind of moved

having a slightly broader for this

that people are able to sort of contextualized you know basically it last as a


that is working they don't see as are working in isolation and making decisions

just based on what we want to do they see us as people who are

contributing to the larger

as well

also we found that people who may know something about free software for example allows


but i don't really know much about you know more about linux desktop

are able to express interest from to our meetings and learn some things without feeling

like i have to be axed

so in the past we plan doing meetings monthly since september and to be as

i said we started out with four members we have about fifteen people who are

actively engaged in organising is

and then we have various other people from not sure how many met members of


it's probably right

and we've also found that the community feedback that we've gotten have become a lot


so that's all i feel is even though in some ways i feel like we're

not really have much to you know directly we are making a difference in the

king in our in terms of how is see so

so our plans for the coming year are owns some of our members want to

start doing some packing only events

we're going to do you to work that how we should and building the community

and encouraging and supporting interesting often channel


you said i should talk to about starting



so i would say that you last i think a free open source software is

not as popular as it is in here

so you may be starting from scratch that we that we were or you may

have a all the next user group in your area you can get involved in

any sort of

actively talk about it will work

of course you know

so out there is a on linux user group then i would recommend that you

probably try to start with a broader focus if you have a really small

like we have website it you can go and set up pretty easily probably take

about twenty minutes to start it up

we use our mailing list a lot for a communicating with numbers for starting dates

of our meetings for asking members to get a

and the other thing is that you should convince your friends

well just

starting out especially we found that we had to give talks a lot

and it was pretty hard at first to get people in the in the group

to present

and so you

i would be willing to step up to back whenever there's an these five

and just share your knowledge and trying to form so that people are become you

know comfortable contributing what thing

so the other thing that we think

is that we see free software as something that people can use

to enhance their

if they can on learn they can use it so vertical they can read the

source code you can modify it on they can provide they can distract through using

and developing free software

well one thing that we do it's not is that oftentimes people why and write

your software

at work

first social media et cetera and so

we try to not be basic we try not to be judgement

we try to encourage people and keep it


that's our so

you are the links

and i give i talk really that's why

we have any spend

i but most what we use for which use should we have the existing more

so actually but what happened was that there had analogue in the chicago area that

had become that had that was no longer act

that started that i at which is that

school area and then it not and at the for a number of years and

so we started out just doing they can you know

and as we kind of found that was working as well we sort of resurrected

a lot and so we did end up having some people who had part of

a lot of what which was where i hope

but we did and that fill sort of resurrecting like the philly sound that in


so this point you to or we just to

we should what was no i would say i mean someone is i that hesitant

about giving this talk to the you know

because we started out really need don't focus and that was kind of my interesting

being involved but in the and what we what we are doing is we're doing

two hours of talks about three hours of have

and the hacking events

we have people work on you know and during the talks we do a lot

of you know related talks and it's know that the people organising are gonna

so i would say that in some ways

we are exactly part of the you know

we've sort of we've sort of had to broaden our for us because we have

such a small

well it's a will which will almost

so we use

you could use G really male


so what advice would you give to people were you know sort of you know

from your experience

starting out new groups and then you give a little bit of space already but

which you

would use you were to do it all over again which you start with how

to focus on them

i think

for me the focus it'll kind of the reason why got involved

and that's and something that spend really important to me and that i

try to

keep going

and so i don't

i don't think i will

lose the focus on you know i think that is something that i feel is

an important


but i do you think that

i mean it it's hard to get people involved in software

it's kind of at a help that a lot of ways we

and so

we sort of try to do whatever works

is all

making people interested and excited about

just the gina project and just saw for in general

so as a result of that i think you know i mean you know

if you look at

all of the projects that are


you know and

these are

and do you buy these are things that people outside i can do you

and so explaining how we fit into the larger

free open source community has that really interesting thing i have sort of helps people

to sort of


just sort of what you know in a certain place and there

as a group that isn't just isolated


making decisions kind of without listening to you

but so are a group that's providing

second used by

thank you for your told to i everything that you to say that there's been

some pictures used some possibilities for know quality about two works generally able to see

how do you do you do face a to discreetly seasonal and how would you

try to do these group of course try to do that to change the point

of view a the altar for you

so i think i think things that we did were first it's a

a three stopper in general are the other thing that we try to do is

to help people or how to use get a three and to talk about you

know three and what's happening in the ghetto project and what people are working on

and how the vision of the ball and sort of present what we want to

have happen in the future and you know how to get project use itself

and i think in a way that's sort of where we've seen a change

and how to is when people start to see that this is something that

we all people are working on

and that this is something that we are actively contributing to because we have a

passion for free software

a passion for development and then we seen people's attitude share and become more open

minded about saying well you know they'll tell us

this doesn't work for me but they don't see that as being something that will

not for me

it's you know something that

someone is form

i'm not you know maybe three months in the future will be different and there

will be improve

any other

thank you