Alex Bayley, best known as Skud in online and technology circles, has been involved in open source and more recently open culture, data and similar areas as a open source developer, advocate, and community manager. In the past she has been active in the Linux, Perl, and Freebase communities and a number of other projects. In recent years she has disassociated herself from the open source community, preferring to refer to her area of interest as "open stuff".[1]

Technical career and projects

From the late 1990s to 2007 Skud was an active Perl developer, employed mostly as a backend website (LAMP) developer for various employers and working on open source projects as a sideline. She wrote a number of Perl modules, including WWW::Automate, the foundation for the very popular WWW::Mechanize. She is the founder of and the originator of the Perl Survey.

From 2007-2011 Skud worked for Metaweb and subsequently Google as the community manager for Freebase, and was involved in a number of open data and related projects connected to this, including early involvement with the Wikimedia Foundation's Wikidata project.

In 2011, she quit full time work in the IT/tech industry, planning to study sound engineering. However, she has continued to be involved in a number of projects related to open technology and culture or "open stuff".

In 2011, she founded the Save Australian Music project, an attempt to use crowdsourcing and techniques/technologies from open source and related movements to increase knowledge of and access to independent and hard-to-find Australian music.

In 2012 she founded Growstuff, a project to build a website for food gardeners to track and share information about their edible gardens.

Geek Feminism and other activism

Skud is the founder of both the Geek Feminism wiki (in 2008) and Geek Feminism blog (in 2009).

In 2009, she spoke widely at a number of Open Source conferences on the subject of women in open source, with a talk called Standing Out in the Crowd, which was widely shared and commented on.

In 2011, around the time she left employment at Google, she became heavily involved in activism against Google+'s so-called "real names" policy and ensuing Nymwars, and founded the website My Name Is Me (now in archival mode) to advocate for the wide variety of people who have legitimate needs for Pseudonymity, including a range of marginalised groups. Her suspension from Google+ and related activism were widely covered in the mainstream and technology media, including Wired,[2][3] ZDNet,[4] and The Atlantic.[5]

Since 2011, she has served on the advisory board of the Ada Initiative.

She is also involved in Fandom and particularly in the aspects of creative fandom through which (mostly female) fans create and share works outside of formal/mainstream publishing processes. She has volunteered with the Organization for Transformative Works and advocates for fan-friendly copyright reform. From 2009-2010 she co-ran the WisCon vid party, showcasing Fanvids which expressed feminist or women's views on science fiction and fantasy texts.

Skud has also been involved in LGBT activism, sex radicalism/sex-positive feminism/sex education and activism, fat acceptance, anti-censorship work, and a number of other social justice and activist movements online and offline.


Skud's birth name was "Kirrily Robert", however, few people called her by this name, and she was known almost universally as Skud online and in her professional and social life (as documented on her website[6] during the Nymwars).

In 2011, Skud changed her legal name to Alex Bayley,[7] citing professional and personal reasons.




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