The Donald Trump Test for Wikipedia Relevance

I was writing a post about increasing the number of notable women in computing with Wikipedia pages (as part of this project) and was trying to articulate why it was important.

At the heart, it’s because I think all 160 women who are on this list of notable women in computing who don’t have Wikipedia pages are more important than Donald Trump. Donald Trump, racist, politically promiscuous, awful Donald Trump, has a 12,000 word article dedicated to him on Wikipedia. If Donald Trump gets 12,000 words, then every single one of those 160 women deserve at least 100 words describing the ways they’ve advanced humanity and technology.

If you want to take a stand against Donald Trump getting more digital ink than these incredible women, commit to writing a Wikipedia page for one of them. You can read tips on how here, final all the information you need, comment here to let me know you’ve done it and I’ll send some public brownie points your way. Because it’s ridiculous that Donald Trump has more visibility than this woman, who gave thousands of women from developing countries their first email addresses. Ridiculous, unnecessary, and fixable.

Inspirational Quote:

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” ― Virginia Woolf

Notable Women in Computing Card Deck Kickstarter is at 100%!

The Kickstarter I’ve been running and talking about since Thursday is at 100%. With 27 days left, I’m hopeful we can triple or quadruple the number of decks we’re sending out to the world.

It’s been an exciting week, getting a crash-course in ecommerce logistics and Kickstarter communication norms, even getting to know some folks who take card design very seriously.

If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a Backer for the deck, now is a good time to do it. You’ll still be one of the first 100 backers and still get a copy (or copies–a lot of folks are choosing the Give 1/Get 1 option). You can learn more about the project by looking through my archives or my Mom’s posts. Happy Saturday!


Inspirational Quote:

“If I am remembered at all, I would like to be remembered as my family storyteller. It has been a great life.” — Kay McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, who is remembered as one of the original six female programmers of ENIAC, software designer for BINAC and UNIVAC I,

Why We Used Creative Commons for the Notable Women in Computing Card Deck

Mock-up of card_Back
Every piece of our Notable Women in Computer Science card deck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 U.S. License. There’s a few reasons for that.

The first is ideological: the card deck is designed to help connect technical women and girls to the history of women’s leadership in computer science. Some women and girls who most need that connection may not be able to afford a deck: think a public high school computer science teacher trying to encourage teenagers to consider software engineering who wants to hand out 12 decks. $120 is a bit high for a public school teacher’s salary, but these cards might have a major impact in those girls’ lives.

That’s why we’re rolling all profits from our Kickstarter back into the project to fund sending cards to educators who can’t afford them. We plan to make $0 profit from this project. Backers can also select to Give 1/Get 1 if they’re interested in doing so. We’re enthusiastically accepting applications for free decks.

The second reason we licensed the deck under Creative Commons is practical: particularly in the first edition, a number of the photos we used to showcase notable women came from their Wikipedia pages. Some of those photos were in the public domain (like ones taken by the U.S. Department of Defense) while others are licensed through Creative Commons under ShareAlike and/or NonCommercial licenses. Those licenses mean that if we wanted to use the photos in a project, that project needed to be licensed similarly.

You’ll note that we include proper citations at the bottom of all of the CC-licensed cards. See a card without a citation? We have individual permission from the technical woman pictured. We’re heard nothing but positive feedback from the women honored in this deck, with some sending us updated pictures for the second edition.

The final reason is personal: I am a huge fan of Creative Commons. All 1000+ entries on this blog are CC-licensed. As a musician, writer, and former Electronic Frontier Foundation and Berkman Center for Internet and Society intern, I think Creative Commons is the best and use with whenever possible.

All of this is a long way to say: anyone who wants to can download the full first edition of these playing cards, and either print them through the vendor we used or another way entirely. If you want to make a Latinas in Computing, or an African-Americans in Computing deck, you’re welcome to use our files as a starting point. There are full instructions here. If you do it, let us know–I’m @JessiDG on Twitter.

Updated to add a link to the Kickstarter–decks start at $10 and you can see all of our budgeting on the page.

Inspirational Quote:

“I was told I’d never make it to VP rank because I was too outspoken. Maybe so, but I think men will always find an excuse for keeping women in their ‘place.’ So, let’s make that place the executive suite and start more of our own companies.”— Jean Bartik

18 Hours into Our Kickstarter, We’re at 75% of Our Goal (!)

The Notable Women in Computing Card Deck that Katy Dickinson (my Mom), and Dr Susan Rodger of Duke University have been working on for the past 2 months went live on Kickstarter last night at 5pm PDT (become a Backer here). As of writing, we are at 75% of our goal. One of our Backers plugged us into Kicktraq, which predicts some pretty mind-boggling final numbers for this project.

Here’s the video:

I spent much of this week ensuring our fulfillment and printing will be scalable. I’ve had some good conversations with a fulfillment vendor and leads on a possible new printing vendor. I’ve also been thrilled by the online support we’ve received. Here are some of the tweets:

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Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.09.48 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.10.14 AMThe Kickstarter is for the second edition. Dr Rodger is selling the first edition at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing at  booth 644. Last time we checked-in, she was at under 100 decks and that was before the deck was name-checked from the stage at the Plenary.

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The Kickstarter is open for another month, but some of the limited-quantity awards may run out before then, so if you’re interested, go ahead and chip-in today. I appreciate all of your support.

Inspirational Quote:

“Most engineers like to proceed from A to B to C in a series of logical steps. I’m the rare engineer who says the answer is obviously Z and we will get on with that while you guys work out how to do all the intermediate steps. It makes me a dangerous person to employ in IT but a useful one.” — Sophie Wilson, designer of the Acorn Micro-Computer and BBC Micro, BBC BASIC programming language, and the ARM (Acorn RISC Machine), a foundational technology for handheld computing devices.


Can you name 5 great women in computing?

The friends to whom I’ve posed the question in this title often begin confidently:

“Sure! Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, umm, Anita Borg, ummmmmmm. Um.”

Then follows an embarrassed silence.

Women have been a part of the history of computing from the very beginning, but our stories are rarely remembered and seldom told. Dr Susan Rodger, my Mom (Katy Dickinson), and other technical women have been working for years on a project to increase the number of notable women who have Wikipedia pages as one way to address this. Here is a list of over 300 notable women in computing; it includes notes as to who does and does not have a Wikipedia page. You can submit names to the database, correct information, and more importantly, you can learn to write a great Wikipedia article, then write one using information in the database.

I came late to this project but brought my graphic design skills and lifetime of card-sharking. I designed a custom deck of 54 notable women in computing to make it easier for my friends to name at least 5 next time I ask. Pending a few details, we should be launching a Kickstarter for the project in the next few days.


Women in the deck have received external recognition from multiple sources, are diverse, and beyond inspiring (learn more about selection here). The information on the cards and many of the images are in the public domain, and the entire project is freely licensed under Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 U.S. License. You can download all of the jpgs here and print them yourself using instructions that should be on this page in the next few days.

Dr Rodger will be presenting a poster with these cards at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing on the Notable Women in Computing project. Go by to ask questions during the poster session, if you’re at Hopper. While you’re there, you can also pick up a deck at the Duke table for $6 to cover printing costs.

More on this project soon!

Inspirational Quote:

“Leaders of the future will have to be visionary and be able to bring people in – real communicators. These are things that women bring to leadership and executive positions, and it’s going to be incredibly valuable and incredibly in demand”–Anita Borg