The so-called science of poll-taking

Pollka now has a logo (and has for a few weeks now actually), thanks to the always awesome Martin Owens.

The pollka logo; a purple ticket with a purple ticket floating with a trail of dots behind it, next to the words pollka polling software

The pollka project is still very new. Having good branding like this is, I feel, important to letting us build a name for ourselves as a project. Martin has pulled together something cheerful and relevant, and I don’t see us needing to confuse everyone by re-naming or re-branding any time soon.

Currently the project has 3 people who have committed: Nigelb, gchick and myself, and a few others have shown interest. Alan Bell recently used the software for polling the UK team about their new logo, and is due to feed some changes he made back in at some point.

Lastly, Nigelb has talked me in to hosting a session in the App Developer Week, where I envisage we will be giving a presentation of sorts about Pollka and also get feedback about the Ubuntu Women Mentoring Partnership program I am hoping to get up and going as a deliverable for the Ubuntu Women team in the Natty cycle.

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Dear Planet.Fedora Pyromaniacs

After spotting the silly pyromania on planet.fedora earlier today, I thought for a while; Am I on Team Evil, or am I on Team Stupid. Then, I decided.

I’m on Team Linux.

You?

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Proposing a mentoring partnership framework for Ubuntu Women

Back in December while starting to scurry about to pull together the competitions framework which I was hoping would make a few splashes, I was already thinking ahead to after the competitions, thinking of ways to kick the mentoring programme in to gear through which the target audience attention could be catalysed to participation.

A few weeks ago, as Alan Bell was poking me wondering about the code we’d used for the competition voting polls, it dawned on me. The result of that epiphany is my new pet project, Pollka, a php project that aims to build a quickly deployable, standalone, simple polling web application.

Pollka is not part of Ubuntu, and is not an Ubuntu project. It is however a real project which intends to partner with the Ubuntu Women Project to mentor interested members in the purposeful use of tools such as bzr, launchpad tools and packaging, and concepts such as reporting bugs and documenting. The aim being to give prospective women contributors a chance to gain confidence in methodologies that will ease their integration path in to activities that are considered “contributions to Ubuntu”.

I believe this real world project sandpit concept is a missing link in the current UW mentoring structure. Jumping straight in to a massive project with commercial responsibilities like Ubuntu is daunting, especially so for inexperienced people who feel an extra burden in proving themselves. I want UW to be able to help interested women break out of that self-fulfilling prophecy cycle.

I am proposing that a mentoring partnership framework be established to compliment the current UW mentoring pathways, and I intend to use Pollka as a proof of concept partner project. I’ve added the blueprint to the next UW meeting agenda and hopefully we can use this as a deliverable for the Natty cycle.

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Some people march to a different drummer – and some people polka

You may remember that over a few months earlier this year, the Ubuntu Women Project ran some competitions in which people voted; firstly a story contest, then a photo one.

The voting websites were powered by some (really quite messy) php that I put together over a few wee-hours sessions, after being unsuccessful in finding something that was functional but at the same time not more complicated than the purpose required.

After a few months and some prodding by Alan Bell as he wanted to build on it for deciding on a new logo for Ubuntu-UK, I did some refactoring of the code a few weeks back and pushed up to LP.

Originally I put it up in my junk directory, but then I had an idea <insert ominous music here>.

Why not use the project to mentor Ubuntu Women members who’ve benefited from and found the UW project via the competitions. I suggested this to others in #ubuntu-women and they agreed that it was a good idea, and decided it should be called “Pollka”. Awesome sauce.

The aim of Pollka is to have a quickly deployable simple web application for polling between a number of choices. It currently uses php and mysql, but ideally other database options will be catered for in the future. If you want to help out, more information can be found at the following locations:

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Tick tock…

Did you vote on the Ubuntu Women World Play Day Competition yet?

No? You only have a matter of hours.

You did vote? Here, have a hug! :)
cute baby animals - Hugs From Mom Make Everything Better

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