Useful Links: Gender equity, flippa a site, Vine

The brilliant Lauren Bacon wrote a list of fantastic resources to explain What Men (and Everyone, Really) Can Do To Support Gender Equity in Tech. This includes help for conference organizers, employers, managers, team leaders, investors and just about anyone. I support what Sheryl Sandberg said to women in Lean In, but it has to be a systemic effort for things to change.

Want to buy or sell a web site? Look at I learned about this site from my buddy in New Zealand, Miraz Jordan, who is selling her awesome site Mac Tips. So much good content on Mac Tips, and now someone can buy the whole site.

Vine Is the Show, and Vine Records the Show. I wrote about Vine yesterday on BlogHer and explained how disruptive I think this new six-second video app that works through Twitter has been in just 4 months. What are your thoughts on Vine?

Useful links: Sexism defined, assholes moderated

Two posts that complement each other well caught my attention. I hope you’ll read both of them completely, they aren’t too long.

Yup. That's my man. In an apron, cooking japchae. :)

First there is What is sexism? by Lea Verou. Lea explains the idea in simple terms.

Both prejudice and gender-based discrimination are sexism. Prescriptive gender stereotypes are sexist (e.g. women have to be nurturing, men have to be tough) as they oppress the part of the population that doesn’t conform to them. Statistics aren’t sexist (e.g. “Many women are nurturing” isn’t a sexist statement, “Women are nurturing” or even worse “women should be nurturing” both are).

The second post, from Anil Dash, is If Your Website’s Full of Assholes, It’s Your Fault. Anil discusses a set of principles that will keep your website from turning into a morass of bad behavior. He introduces the principles with,

As it turns out, we have a way to prevent gangs of humans from acting like savage packs of animals. In fact, we’ve developed entire disciplines based around this goal over thousands of years. We just ignore most of the lessons that have been learned when we create our communities online. But, by simply learning from disciplines like urban planning, zoning regulations, crowd control, effective and humane policing, and the simple practices it takes to stage an effective public event, we can come up with a set of principles to prevent the overwhelming majority of the worst behaviors on the Internet.

Logical, clear-thinking words from two different sources that can help Internet communities that suffer from a plethora of assholes change to more productive and useful environments.

Useful links: Africa in infographics, Digital Classroom, Pycon item

Here’s a whole series of infographics about technology in Africa that detail how mobile technology is helping prevent the spread of HIV, growing corn, and many other intresting ideas.

Wylie Publishing announced a new venture called Digital Classroom. It’s a plethora of videos and tutorials for learning web design topics. As with the books they publish, the videos and tutorials cover all sorts of web education topics including Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I didn’t go through any of the courses to see how different they are from those offered by, but you may want to check them out to see if what they are doing will help you learn the next thing on your list.

Regarding Forking and Dongle Jokes Don’t Belong at Tech Conferences. Two things:

  1. GO ADRIA! You rock!
  2. Good guys in tech award to the Pycon organizers

Useful links: keywords, shading, diversity

Here’s a comprehensive post on keyword research that would be good to share with students.

I’m always fascinated by stories about what women in the gaming and animation industry do. (My 16 year old grandchild wants to have a career in the field.)  Here’s an interview with Brave Shading Art Director Tia Kratter.

Nick Disabato talks about how he works to achieve gender diversity in his industry.

Right vs. Wrong: Who’s Holding up Half the Sky?

Doing it Right

Stubbornella announced the CSSConf – The Selection Process will judge your proposals according to this plan:

The most important part is that we have eliminated all identifying details when we are evaluating the quality of your proposals. We won’t see your name, your company, or whether you have spoken before or are brand new to speaking.

This gives everyone an equal opportunity. Kudos to the team at CSSConf for doing it right.

Doing it Wrong

Mari Huertas worked on the Obama election tech team was just one of many women on the team, some of whom she names in not a beard. Yet when the media reported on this wonderous technology team who helped elect a President, women were absent from the story and hairy bearded men were emphasized.

Yet some articles skipped mentioning women almost entirely. Rolling Stone named one; Mother Jones listed zero before backpedaling under scrutiny and adding a handful at the bottom of the article.

Raspberries to the media for not recognizing who holds up half the sky.

Useful links: Sexism, Job Hunting, Color Contrast, Blog Takedown

A Primer on Sexism in the Tech Industry at .net magazine is by Faruk Ateş. For quite some time, I’ve been impressed with the quality of content appearing at .net magazine. I’ve linked to quite a few articles here. So here’s a belated +1 to .net magazine for being such a great resource.

How do you look for a job in an industry known for biases against women? is an informative post for women looking for work.

Here’s a wonderful addition to color contrast testing tools. Lea Verou created a contrast checker that she describes in Easy Color Contrast Ratios. Here is what this innovative tool can do:

  • Accepts any CSS color the browser does, not just hex colors. To do this, it defers parsing of the color to the browser, and queries the computed style, which is always rgb() or rgba() with 0-255 ranges which be parsed much more easily than the multitude of different formats than modern browsers accept (and the even more that are coming in the future).
  • Updates as you type, when what you’ve typed can be parsed as a valid CSS color.
  • Accepts semi transparent colors. For semi-transparent backgrounds, the contrast ratio is presented with an error margin, since it can vary depending on the backdrop. In that case, the result circle will not have a solid background, but a visualization of the different possible results and their likelihood (see screenshot).
  • You can share your results by sharing the URL. The URL hashes have a reasonable structure of the form #foreground-on-background, e.g. #black-on-yellow so you can even adjust the URL as a form of input.
  • You can adjust the color by incrementing or decrementing its components with the keyboard arrow keys until you get the contrast right. This is achieved by including my Incrementable library.

You’ll find a link to the new contrast checker on Lea’s site (it’s currently on github). I think it deserves a URL of its own, don’t you?

This is one of those “I can’t believe they did that” stories. Textbook Publisher Pearson Takes Down 1.5 Million Teacher And Student Blogs With A Single DMCA Notice. That’s Pearson as in Visual Quickstart Guides and a bunch more books you probably own. Pearson that I’ve worked for several times as a writer or tech editor. I hope something in this situation changes soon.

Useful links: Decent Men, Google Fonts, Building Responsive Layouts

A Call to Arms for Decent Men by Ernest Adams is at It’s a great post, very long, very well-written. Here are a couple of quotes:

Guys, we have a problem. We are letting way too many boys get into adulthood without actually becoming men. We’re seeing more and more adult males around who are not men. They’re as old as men, but they have the mentality of nine-year-old boys. They’re causing a lot of trouble, both in general and for the game industry specifically. We need to deal with this.

. . .

Use your heavy man’s hand in the online spaces where you go – and especially the ones you control – to demand courtesy and punish abuse. Don’t just mute them. Report them, block them, ban them, use every weapon you have. (They may try to report us in return. That won’t work. If you always behave with integrity, it will be clear who’s in the right.)

Let’s stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the women we love, and work with, and game with, and say, “We’re with you. And we’re going to win.” 

A very nice resource indeed: Google Fonts Reference Posters.

The exceedingly awesome Zoe Gillenwater released her slides from a Building Responsive Layouts talk. You can find them on slideshare, and see them here:

Deborah Edwards-Onoro was present at Zoe’s presentation and created a Storify version of it with tweets and images as well as the presentation.