My week with We Are R-Ladies

From 17.02.2020 till 22.02.2020, I curated the @WeAreRLadies Twitter account. An account for members of the R-Ladies community to talk about what they do and an opportunity to interact with the wider community. I am writing this reflective post in the last few hours of my curation.

My goal for doing this was three-fold

  1. Talk about eye-tracking data – The data I work with and am passionate about, although extremely cool and immensely useful, doesn’t make it to mainstream discussions. I wanted to show people eye-tracking data, how it works and what can be done with it.
  2. Promote R within my field of work – I work with psychologists, medical professionals, social and behavioural scientists within and outside academia. There is a huge resistance to learning programming in the people around me. This week was my attempt to make R a little less scary and a little more fun.
  3. Interact with diverse voices in the community – The R-Ladies community is geographically and culturally diverse including all levels of R users. I wanted to create an environment that fosters learning between diverse groups.

How did I prepare?

Once I had my goals, I started making more concrete notes about the different things I would like to talk about, sharing my ideas with those around me and finally trying to fit my ideas into 280 characters. I created skeletons for each day, but the rest of it was done by the beautiful #rstats and #rladies community!

The curation works over Tweetdeck, so I did plan my week in a way that I have my computer around for at least a few hours every day. However, the mobile version of Tweetdeck, although cumbersome, does work better than expected.

Rolling out the week

I arranged the week topically – one day was dedicated completely to eye-tracking data, it’s hurdles and analysis, and another day to talking exclusively about how R can and has been used outside academia and data science positions, into real-world applicability, interdisciplinary work, teaching in English and other languages. Additionally, I initiated threads on starting, organizing and managing R-Ladies chapters and I spoke about the work at R-Ladies Freiburg. Experts were encouraged to talk about the experiences of being a novice and diverse groups of people via the R-Ladies chapters across the world exchanged information and participated together on this platform.

My personal favourites

There were some brilliant ideas and initiatives this week. Let me share just 3 of these with you.

  1. Owing to the large number of eye-tracking packages available a CRAN Task list was suggested. Volunteers, including myself (@DSeernani), already started interacting and seeking guidance on the eye-tracking thread.
  2. Taking inspiration from the Latin R community, which does a Spanish speaking version of #TidyTuesdays on Wednesdays (called #DatosDeMiercoles), the German community is now interested in hosting #DatenDonnertags – the german version of TidyTuesdays.
  3. I absolutely loved the Friday thread where the entire community came together to simultaneously be vulnerable and supportive! Around 40 comments on what was once difficult for individuals but gets easier (or not!) with time and practice. It was so lovely to see everyone open up about difficulties they had/have and help each other solve them. #rstats community at its best!

And that’s a wrap…

I’ve had a lovely time curating the @WeAreRLadies Twitter account! It’s been well received and I thank the 100s of people who showed their support this week in the form of <3, RTs, comments, inputs and discussions! I’ve learnt a lot from this community, even about my own field and the analysis I do. It’s been humbling to see what people all over the world are doing. It’s been fun to talk about shared problems and inspiring to talk about potential ideas!

A wordcloud made in {rtweet} from all the tweets this week….Thank You!


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