Funkwhale Community Spotlight - Ginny

It's time to shine a spotlight on another of our awesome community members!

  • Name: Ginny McQueen
  • Location: Champagne, France (previously USA)
  • Pronouns: she/her
  • Links: http://ginny.today

How did you discover Funkwhale?

Fun story! Back in 2017, Eliot replied to a post I made on my Mastodon instance's federation policies and I ended up blocking him. A couple years later another member of the project reached out and Eliot extended an apology and an offer to work on the project. And I did!

What kind of work are you doing on the project?

I work on the people parts of the project, helping with anti-abuse, as well as the current podcast meetings. Really anything that doesn't have to do with code.

What is your favorite part of the project so far?

The people are definitely the best part. The core group, as well as most everyone who contributes time to the project have been so supportive and welcoming.

What do you do when you aren't Funkwhaling?

I study history, write, talk to my cats, and am currently trying to learn French since I'm living in France now!

Who's your favorite Funkwhale mascot?

Harriet, because she's the best color.

3 cartoon whales, a blue (Betty) and green (Harriet) on the left, a pink (Wanda) on the right

Describe your perfect Sunday

My cat Benny letting me sleep in to a leisurely 6 AM, a few hours with a book, perhaps a walk in the French countryside. Some dinner with friends would not go amiss, either.

What kind of things do you write? You mentionned history, is there a place where we can read what you work on?

I'm currently working on some historical fiction. Last year I wrote my childhood memoir, and this March I'm re-launching my history blog (with guest writers!). All of my Patreon supporters get to read my writing first and for free including any books I publish.

You have a lot of experience when it comes to building online communities, would you mind talking more about this?

I've worked with both large communities run by businesses and smaller private and non-profit communities over the years. The most obvious thing was that spaces run by white dudes simply don't work for anyone else. Most of your time and effort is spent on trying to placate those in charge, and you end up with a space only other white dudes are comfortable in. And that never ends well.

Abuse, harassment, and stalking are rampant in our online spaces yet so few communities are willing to address it to keep their members safe. The tech side of it, where you are creating software with better options for vulnerable members, will only get done when the people making either have the experience with abuse or are willing to learn. The social aspect of our communities will influence what we create, and we have to take care to consider that. The work starts and ends with how we interact with each other, and with tech spaces it's so important because we are responsible for influencing how people communicate and build communities of their own.

What's your favorite and least favorite things when it comes to France?

  • favorite thing: asthma inhalers that cost 5 euros
  • least favorite thing: bureaucracy

Thank you Ginny for answering our questions and for your great contributions to the project. It's a pleasure to work with you! See you next month, Funkwhale friends!

By @Funkwhale in