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(CANCELLED) PSU Tech Talk: Text Lacks Empathy

Portland State University Fourth Avenue Building (FAB) Room FAB 88-09
1900 SW 4th Ave
Portland, OR 97201, US (map)
Public WiFi

Access Notes

Building is at 4th and College. Room 88-09 is in the basement, take the elevator or stairs down to basement and follow the signs.



Have you ever written a nice friendly email and gotten a reply that seems like they read a whole different email?

In Open Source communities we write to each other all the time, but we’re not really writing, we’re speaking with our fingers. Text is our primary way to communicate, but text has problems. Speaking conveys subtle emotional cues that as social animals we rely on; text strips them out. A thoughtful correspondent can put those emotions back, but we’re often not thoughtful.

This talk is about the special problems of textual communication: mitigating them; ensuring that what you mean to say is what is understood; interpreting messages that seem totally out of whack; and increasing empathic bandwidth.

About the speaker

Nóirín Plunkett is a jack of all trades, and a master of several. By day, she works for Eucalyptus Systems, as a geekEnglish translator, and general force multiplier. She's passionate about community, communication, and collaboration.

Her open source work epitomizes the saying “if you want something done, ask a busy person”: Nóirín cut her teeth on the httpd documentation project at Apache, but soon started running conferences for the Apache Software Foundation . She was involved in setting up the Community Development project, is Org Admin for the Google Summer of Code (with more than 40 students!), and continues to contribute to projects as diverse as Infrastructure and Incubator.

Nóirín was the first woman on the board of the Apache Software Foundation, and continues to sit on the board of the Open Cloud Initiative. She's also an advisor to The Ada Initiative, supporting women in open technology and culture.

When she’s not online, Nóirín often found on the dance floor or down at the pub, although she’s also a keen harpist & singer, and an excellent sous chef!