The Best of Systers Blog Welcome to the “Best of Systers” blog!
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This blog is being started to share some of the conversations/discussions that go on at Systers, a technical women-only email community. Systers has long been known for the interesting and provocative discussions that go on behind our doors. While the community remains open to technical women only, we are experimenting with a way to share some of those discussions with the broader world.
Systers is a community of 3400 women (as of early 2012) in technical computing. It’s a space to discuss many things at the intersection of women and computing. Systers operates as a “safe space” where women can talk about their problems (as well as their joys and triumphs) without that information going outside the list. For that reason, our archives have never been public. However, there have been many conversations on systers that would be valuable to women who join the list later, to others who haven’t joined, or to those who do not qualify for membership. This is an attempt to make the conversations where anonymity is not an issue or where we are able to preserve anonymity visible to people outside of systers.
These posts are the work of many systers. First, there is the woman who poses the question to the list, then the many women who respond, both privately and publicly, with diverse opinions — as you can imagine in any group of 3000+ women from all over the world. The initial poster works with a volunteer editor to collect all the comments and turn them into a blog post. The final post is reviewed by the commenters; sometimes they tell us that they want all or part of their comments removed, because the information is too personal. We also anonymize the names of all commenters and the initial poster, so that there is no distinction between those who want privacy and those who are less concerned.
While the posts are longer than the typical blog post, they have been condensed from the original discussion, and to be helpful to readers, there is a summary at the top, with links into that part of the discussion. But we wanted more than a summary; we want to make readers aware of the nature of the discussion itself, so lots of details have been left in.
As an attempt to extend the reach of these discussions beyond systers’ walls, we invite you to add your own comments on the topic. The strongest rule of systers is “no flaming”, and similar politeness standards will be applied to the comments.
These posts will appear irregularly, but we hope at least twice a month.
Her Systers’ Keeper