Model View Culture Launch

kate losse:

surveillance technologies have become palpable—white men have become the watched, when they were the watchers

true transparency in the tech industry would be about power across the board - who has it, who uses it

Amelia Greenhall:

@shanley and I are cofounders of Model View Culture


I've been in the tech community for the last 5 years, but never again. I'm excited to be in tech media

Amelia Greenhall:

Last year Bustle launched a media site for women with $6.5M. @shanley and I were furious

When women can't get money from VC, why can men get $6.5M to write about women?


Mainstream technology is funded by VC, and it is toxic. They cover women as special interest and linkbait

Amelia Greenhall:

Conferences are adopting codes of conduct; @transhack @blackgirlscode and more are building community


we see a massive need and a massive market for a new kind of tech media for diversity in tech

if you look at one of these communities it looks pretty small, but when you add them up it is huge

Amelia Greenhall:

56% of women leave the tech industry within 10 years, and we were reaching that point


a picture of the 300 pages of paperwork we did to get incorporated - being a startup isn't as glamourous as they say

we had to make sure we couldn't have our home addresses looked up in the state registries

we had to make sure we couldn't be DoS'd by the hate groups

we paid our Authors a week late as our Bank spelled Feminist as Femenist

We tried to do interviews with mainstream media, and they wanted to know what our site did for white men

Amelia Greenhall:

despite it all, 2 weeks ago we launched our first issue, and it went really well


we spend a lot of time working with writers. We have mobile offices

Amelia Greenhall:

what I like about DIY is that we get to cook lunch - we spend our money on authors

we don't have fancier equipment than our laptops and we take public transportation


we don't think we can maintain our editorial independence if we take VC or mainstream ads

Another thing that is really important is that we pay our writers

if you're marginalised, people try to get you to write for exposure. We need more than that, bro.

Amelia Greenhall:

we're excited and dedicated to producing lots of print media - that you can leave on the table at work


We pay writers. Send us your ideas - we will have themed issues, but send us contributions

Amelia Greenhall:

If you have impostor syndrome, please contribute anyway


we will walk you through impostor syndrome, it's a speciality of ours

Amelia Greenhall:

our next issue is exploring all the making happening outside the tech world

we have a microphone now, so Model View Cast is coming


we'd love to do an art exhibition of 'shit men say to me on the internet'

Amelia Greenhall:

there are unconfirmed reports that we are putting together a conference later this year

our first print edition is going to layout tomorrow -15.000 words of not-before-published writing

we're getting it printed at 1984 media in Oakland which is a woman-run printers


Buy it Buy it Buy it -

Amelia Greenhall:

thank you all for coming out


and thank you to all our writers

Dr. Kortney Ziegler:

I wrote the article on Mark Zuckerberg in MVC, and I work on TransHack

Mattie Brice:

I'm at and write on games and inclusion

space feminist:

A lot of the ideas of my writing is based on the DRY principle - Don't Repeat Yourself

a lot of my writing comes form things that happen that I don't want to happen over and over again

Dr. Kortney Ziegler:

I work in music, video and write form my lived experience in tech or queerness -it's about me

Mattie Brice:

I do a lot of creative, fiction writing - being on twitter is the easiest idea fount ever


critique and cultural criticism can be emotionally charged - can you talk about the responses you get?

Mattie Brice:

you have a blur between activists and those writing their lived experiences, and majority culture reacts

it's hard to get it write - when you do it goes viral, when you don't it goes viral against you

Dr. Kortney Ziegler:

most of my writing has gone viral when I'm being oppressed; when I'm positive it's less well received

space feminist:

I've had so many people come to me at conferences that invest trust in me as someone who will listen

by being mad about things on the internet, people trust me. Which is not to say that you shouldn't

on the other side I've had rape threats, death threats, been denied jobs, hand my friends attacked

it's so difficult because so many people wnt to be better, but are invested in not having to change

there is a very vocal minority of people who are scary. I'm actually shaking now remembering it


so many of may friends are being affected by internet threats every day

one fo the biggest problems we face is financial stability

gittip and patreon really inspired me - how do you fund your work?

Dr. Kortney Ziegler:

when I founded transhack I did a crowdfunding campaign, but I wasn't know as legit in tech

it took months to raise $6000, and taught me a lot about who gets funded

people who look a certain way are supported, and it's not me

I also invest my own money into projects - thats a way to be a leader

Mattie Brice:

I very recntly started to community funding as a writer

online writing is very hard to get a livable wage

to pay my rent I would need to write 30-40 1000 word articles a month - and that doesn't cover food

video games publishing is even worse- game journalism is shrinking

I turned to crowdfunding - I use Patreon. It allows people who do have a following to make money by writing

you can't just go on there and get money, you have to already have a following

how do we have a collective of writers, when we are seen as lone wolves

we need a new way of collective funding

space feminist:

I make money two ways - a lot of people give me money on gittip, which gives money weekly

I'm the top earner on gittip at the moment - it pays for catfood and trips - travel expenses

I did an indiegogo to fund some other conference travel and got over $6000 from that

I am probably the most privileged here


I'm interested in gittip and other funding models like this - we can take gittip money for MVC

Mattie Brice:

In games journalism there are 5 or 6 main publications; I've been told my writing is too feminist, risky

it's hard to exist in a system that sees you as risky and weird. Games magazines are funded by men

I've had publications like The Guardian that did not cite me reliably for my writing

games journalism is already a niche; adding social justice makes it a niche of a niche

space feminist:

I haven't done any writing for mainstream things, but a lot of journalists follow me and take our ideas

this validates our ideas, but it doesn't give you control of your ideas


the day we launched every editor of a mainstream outlet followed us but only 1 wrote about us. Damn you.

Dr. Kortney Ziegler:

to have our own platforms we need to be funded by the community -it doesn't work in tech

Mattie Brice:

write now in Games Social Justice, dealing with anger is a big problem - people burn out

when you are asked over and over again by ignorant people about rape culture, you do burn out

people only want to talk to us when we eviscerate someone online - it becomes a blood sport

I could really use people who want to talk more about healing

space feminist:

a lot of people ask me about self care, but I'm really terrible at it. I have cats, they help

pulling yourself out of the situation is hard

the hardest thing is when I am upset about something, and no-one else is upset about it too

having other people who understand about why I am angry, without having to tell them

I get a lot of people who dm me on twitter saying "I can't talk about this but someone has to"

Dr. Kortney Ziegler:

As I get older, I am finally starting to figure out that I need people in my life who hold me up

My form of self care is growing my community of friends and people who love me


how can people support you?

Dr. Kortney Ziegler: needs funding and support, and funding. help us

Mattie Brice:

there is a thing called 'support games criticism' - find them and help support us and promote us

space feminist:

my website is The best thing is having conversations you don't have to have and gittip


we're sponsoring sign language interpretation tonight

I remember being interviewed with an interpreter who couldn't understand me, and had to use body language

that experience taught me a lot. Many deaf people go through this very single day

I'm sure you've heard about the Mandela fake deaf interpreter

would it make sense that your communication needs would be brought by someone you don't know

a lot of interpretation agencies are run by hearing people, not by deaf people

with Linguabee we have an agency where the deaf people have access to all the information on the platform

diversity is first and foremost, and people who have the same experience can link up to help

Liz Henry:

I work now for Mozilla as a dev person, and I founded DoubleUnion, a feminist hacker/maker space

Jarvis Sulcer:

I founded the level playing field institute that works to bring students of color into STEM

we have a bridge between students aspirations and college - they don't have access to AP classes so we bridge

we also run innovative computer science programs and hackathons

think of a student in East Oakland who built an app to help them walk home from school safely

I was an engineer for Hp and Agilent, now I run a non-profit in Oakland

Ingrid Avendaño:

I worked with @hackbright to be part of tech companies and hackathons

Amelia Greenhall:

what are the big successes we're having in social justice?

Ingrid Avendaño:

getting women and minorities into tech is hard- I recently dropped out of school

I didn't even realise that I didn't have connections - there was such a barrier

now there are so many opportunities for companies to partner with these institutions

Jarvis Sulcer:

there are a lot of STEM focused programs - we want students to use tech to solve problem in their community

for example, to get students thinking about diet and food in their own community and what is available

rather than just being consumers of technology, but creating tech too

we have 56% of our students getting into college, compared to 23% overall

don't just think about the big tech companies, but think how you can influence your local community with tech

Liz Henry:

there are a lot of different pathways people can take, and I want people to start new projects

people have to be inspired to connect with something for them and their community

whatever you start, people will want to use it for something else - to recruit or steer you

with DoubleUnion we wanted to serve the community of adult women who are inventors and makers

Amelia Greenhall:

what surprised you most about your organisation growing?

Jarvis Sulcer:

one thing to think about when you start a new company is how you think about sustainability form the beginning

the non-profit sector is about relationships in a mutually beneficial way

Liz Henry:

the speed that we grew surprised me, and the amount of community support that meant we had hit a nerve

use the strengths you have to help things happen

information infrastructure matters - we learnt from open source communities about how that works

Ingrid Avendaño:

I joined code2040 I had a great internship, but I couldn't go back to school as I lost my scholarship

i earned too much money on my internship and lost the $16000 I had to support my education

hackbright became an opportunity that opened up for me to get a job out here

I never thought I'd have the opportunities I have today -

mentors that believed I could hold a job out here made all the difference

a lot of my peers had parents who were engineers who taught them what to expect. I didn't have that

I had no idea what I was getting myself into - that there were no women in tech

my first computer science class was really miserable, but I built something at the end of it

Jarvis Sulcer:

we have teenagers who are away from home on campuses in a dorm for 5 weeks together

safety is number 1 for them to learn and fail comfortably

they're used to getting the answers at the back of the book -it's OK if you find another way

students come with different beliefs and values- they learn not to ridicule each other

the stickiness of the program is the community these young people build

Liz Henry:

it is really important in starting an organisation that you communicate expectations

and once you have established the values you have to keep to them, and kick people out to enforce

having a safe space for women shouldn't be revolutionary, but it is

Ingrid Avendaño:

lots of women and minorities get shorted when negotiating salaries you need peers to talk to

Amelia Greenhall:

how can people support you?

Jarvis Sulcer:

in kind tech services help a lot- build a website, volunteers and speakers, tours of companies

there are students who live in Oakland who have never been to Berkeley, or East Palo Alto and Stanford

and funding is also something we can use

Ingrid Avendaño:

for both the programs that I went through, we need mentors who can translate students interests

both hackbright and code2040 partner with companies - get involved with them

Liz Henry:

any kind of funding is great, but look for organisations doing work you respect and support them

don't got in and tell organisations how you want them to fix the world

asking and listening is good, don't tell them how to work

Amelia Greenhall:

Chris Dancy has a piece published in the next quarterly

Chris Dancy:

the tech community of Sf today was built on the rainbow blood of the gay community that died in the 90s

in the 2000s we had a new closet on social networks like facebook - we had to come out again

most 20-30 year olds have never met anyone who has died from HIV