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USENIX 2004 Annual Technical Conference, FREENIX Track — Abstract

Pp. 193–197 of the Proceedings

Building and Maintaining an International Volunteer Linux Community

Jenn Vesperman, Author and Consultant, and Val Henson, Sun Microsystems


LinuxChix was founded in 1999 by Deb Richardson as a Linux community that would be friendlier and more welcoming than the average Linux user group. By June 2001, Deb was ready to hand over the reins of LinuxChix to someone else, and Jenn Vesperman volunteered for the job. Two years later, LinuxChix membership had grown significantly, gained a new, frequently updated web site, doubled the number of mailing lists, and in general had become a large, successful, all-volunteer international Linux community. This paper details what we believe were the key elements that turned a moribund Linux community into a dynamic, active force for promoting Linux and recruiting new members of the Linux community. What we learned can be applied to any international volunteer community with a technological bent. We also discuss extra hurdles for women's groups and some ongoing problems we are currently working to resolve.
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