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Jabber Election Meeting – The “women issue”…

I survived our “Meet the Candidates” jabber meeting. It was about two or three hours of me and Björn answering questions by fellows. No matter how well-prepared you feel or don’t feel in the run-up of such a discussion there’s always questions you can answer only roughly if you can answer them at all. This can be difficult sometimes because you had never been confronted with the issue before, sometimes because it would take a lot of preliminary information and thinking to give a really sophisticated answer. I hope I could at least reply to peoples’ questions in a way that shows them that I respect their criticism and topics.

It indeed felt a bit funny to be one of the very few women in the MUC when it came to a specific question. Someone asked what I was planning to do to attract more women as fellows. The only answer I could give this person was that I will try to show women that everyone in FSFE has a voice and every contribution is appreciated no matter if it is expressed by a woman or a man, an expert or a newbie. And I would like to show this by my work in the GA.

But how does it feel for me to be a woman in FSFE? The answer is simple: It feels normal. And I hope I can convince more women about that.

My conclusion about this jabber meeting is that I would do it again anytime! I hope next time we are having an election jabber meeting again there will be even more people present. Thank you for your participation all your questions.

Valentine’s Day Campaign

I love Free Software!

Hug your developers, give them a present, show them your appreciation!


Last weekend I was on FOSDEM for the first time. Although I haven’t seen a single talk it was very interesting and a lot of fun, because it felt like the ‘cool’ version of CeBIT.

FOSDEM booth - I'm the person on the left ;-)

FOSDEM booth - I'm the person on the left 😉

As far as I can say this year’s FOSDEM booth was a big success. We sold lots of T-Shirts with the new designs and colours and rumour has it that there will even be new womens’ T-Shirts soon (I will fight for the longsleeves ;-)). We also introduced our cute and funny Valentine’s Day Chocolate Hearts saying “I love Free Software, but I love you more.” that can be ordered now. I had a look at the drafts of our Valentine’s Day logo and it was very pink.
Additionally, we have won several new Fellows – even one from Greece!

On Monday before FOSDEM I talked to José Marchesi of GNUpdf who told me Richard M. Stallman would come to Frankfurt/Germany in the beginning of March. So we started thinking about a speech by RMS. On FOSDEM-Sunday we even dared to make first plans for possible locations for such a speech. In case we can talk RMS into giving a speech during the time he will be in Frankfurt we will have a Fellowship Event there, too. But don’t worry, we will announce it before!

Then I would like to have some critical discussion after his speech e.g. about what happens to the work for Free Software when he passes on the torch. And I wonder if in his opinion there is already someone who to carry it. I think it will be interesting to hear his prediction about the coming development of Free Software and how it matches or collides with the European view.
I really hope it works and that we will have lots of convergent and divergent opinions in the discussion!

OpenRheinRuhr 2009 – my first booth…

For those of you who might drop by to take a look at the proceedings of the booth on ORR there is news! I have just sent a notice to our homepage admin to put it into the events section on Below you can read the notice before it finally reaches the homepage.

(2009-11-07 to 2009-11-08) OpenRheinRuhr, Bottrop, Germany

OpenRheinRuhr 2009 in Bottrop is the largest exhibition concerning Free Software in Germany’s Ruhr Area. Some of our German Fellows help to organize this convention or present Free Software projects they are working on. Hence FSFE will not miss the opportunity to contribute to this event with a booth. On November 7 and 8 we bring the idea of Free Software and its related topics to the public again.

This time we intent to cross the border from IT into the Arts by providing a discussion lounge to broach the issues of “Software as a cultural technique” and “Coding as an art”.

In addition to the booth a social event for Fellows will be held on 2009-11-07.

Further information about the booth and how to volunteer can be found in the wiki. Coordination is handled via booth mailing list.

My first booth…

The first time I booth-volunteered for FSFE was at this year’s CeBit. Standing around and talking to people about 9 hours a day from Friday to Sunday was demanding on the one hand and really exciting on the other hand. And I’ve met so many interesting new people…

At this year’s OpenRheinRuhr on 7. and 8. November in Bottrop I’m going to manage a booth myself for the first time. So there’s lots of things to plan, to think about and to remember: What does the location look like? Where do I stay for the night and how do I get to Bottrop and when exactely??? And the crucial question: Who will help me at the booth? Luckily Jo, who is a Fellow, too, is going to help me. But we still need at least two other people to increase our operating range around the booth.

Within the next days I will send a CfV – a Call for Volunteers – to find helping hands and brisk minds for the largest Free Software event in Germany’s Ruhr Area.

But work all day and no play makes Jack a dull boy as the saying goes. To make ORR interesting not only because of its exhibitors and its interesting speeches and discussions but as well in a social regard there will be a Fellowship Meeting on Saturday!

So whoever you are, dear Fellow, and wherever you live in “Ruhrpott” or near the Dutch border (on both sides), come over to OpenRheinRuhr to meet other Fellows. In the end it’s us who help to keep the Free Software world turning and I think it’s nice to meet people who share the same idea.

Hello world!

Well, things are slowly getting serious for OpenRheinRuhr. I’ve seen the pictures of the location in Bottrop ( thanks to Rainer Kersten. Att the moment I try to develop some ideas to make our booth at ORR not just a booth where people gain information about Free Software, but also point to discuss things like “Is Free Software a cultural asset? And if so, what does that mean for the world and for us as Fellows?” and to meet different people and (hopefully) many other Fellows to socialize with.