Tag Archives: She’s Geeky

She’s Geeky 2009!

It's time again for She's Geeky, the unconference for women who identify themselves as geeks for technology — whatever they do, however they play.  I really enjoyed the last one out here.  So if you're in the Bay Area, check these links and come and join us.  If you're in other parts of the US, make sure to visit the website, where you'll find information on She's Geeky unconferences around the country.  They're spreading like wildfire.  The good kind.

And you'll love the price, especially the early bird:  one day [$59] or two days [$108].

Website: http://www.shesgeeky.org
Blog: http://shesgeeky.org/sg/blog/
Wiki: http://shesgeeky.org/wiki/

on site: http://shesgeeky.org/sg/register/
on eventbrite: http://shesgeekybayarea.eventbrite.com/

Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=5010135719
Event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=53885344492
LinkedIn Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=39189

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shesgeeky


She’s geeky, not angry

You know, Mike Swift of the MERCURY NEWS did some work yesterday talking with participants in the unconference.  He was here almost all day, so I don’t understand how he got the impression that the spirit of this gathering is anti-male.

THEREFORE:  I’m repeating here what I shared with Mike yesterday.  As an alum of a women’s college, I can tell you that the last thing women are thinking at all-women gatherings is that we don’t like men.  What we are doing at She’s Geeky is talking about work.  How to develop products, what we think of the Web 2.0 and now 3.0 labels, trends in Open ID, running a Linux server, how to work with the government, user interface design.

Here’s the real scoop, guys:  this unconference is not about you.  IT’S ABOUT THE WORK.  People like me — and by the way, venture capitalists and scientists — do not have the time to get together and sing your praises or kvetch about how you distract us.  We are launching startups, writing books, inventing.

AND:  I would not attend anything aimed at men.  Critical or supportive.  On principle.  I happen to like men.  Some of you, anyway.

She’s Geeky. And grounded. And performance-ready.

She’s Geeky is an unconference that continues tomorrow.  It’s for women. 

There are many attendees blogging their observations in real time.  Journalists visited today, and answering their questions revealed as much about those in attendance as it did the gathering.  Which is the point.

She’s Geeky is a beautifully spontaneous, productive and business-oriented exercise.  Most critically, the unconference is about the women on the technology playing field — not about making a splash, building a database of targets or being "where the elite meet." 

There are women from every walk of tech life, at every level and at various shades of visibility.  The result?  Down-to-earth dialog, unscripted and unrehearsed, between people who want to work and contribute as true players in one of the most exciting industries on the planet.

Last week, we had several splashy startup announcements coming out of one of the industry’s glittering events, here in San Francisco.  As I read the coverage and the company blogs, it strikes me that we are still plagued with a sort of self-centered, look at me-aren’t I brilliant approach to building visibility for startups.  Some of these startups are already funded to the tune of millions of dollars rounded up via connections as opposed to merit, bloated with employees and laying claim to the highest levels of innovation.  Yet nowhere do their leaders illuminate the underlying functionality.  Very little airtime is given to the customer experience — and what’s there is self-congratulatory hype that treats customers as props in the startups’ march to fame and fortune.

It is so refreshing to participate in an alternate experience, stripped of artifice and dedicated to facts.  She’s Geeky relies on sharing what we know with others just for the pure pleasure of the interaction.  On discussing performance, strengths, weaknesses, wins, losses — all in the context of making sure that we can contribute to the industry and own the contributions.  On showing how reason is the foundation of fairness, not the exclusive province of the connected caste.

Think of it this way:  if two heads are better than one, why not make at least one of them a woman’s?  More than likely you’ll see a fact-based result that considers all parties and possibilities.

One week until She’s Geeky

I’m looking forward to She’s Geeky.  It’s an "unconference" — which means a few scheduled talks, informal breakout sessions and an opportunity to hear and digest the perspectives of just about anyone who comes.  This year it’s for women only. 

If the stars align, I’m going to livecast some conversations from the site, using Ustream.tv.  This way, those who can’t come this year can have a quick look into the subjects that bubble to the surface. 

If you can break away, She’s Geeky begins Monday afternoon and ends Tuesday afternoon.  This will be a good way to gather data on the technology experience to the benefit of all.

She’s geeky — are you?

I’m excited about a brand-new gathering scheduled for late October:  She’s Geeky.  The plan is for women who are geeky, think they might be geeky or want to be geeky to get together outside the traditional conference box.

There are lots of interesting events planned for geeks these day — so many that we lose count.  The ones that are focused on attracting more women into the industry are certainly worthy of notice — but this one is going to be different.

First, it’s an un-conference

If this is the first time you’ve seen this term, it simply means that the detailed agenda will form at the event with the attendees contributing topics, participating actively in discussion and leading sessions.  This makes it possible to be flexible around emerging developments as well as help the cream of thought and experience rise to the top.

Second, for the first year at least, it’s going to be only women in attendance.

Normally, a lot of people, yours truly included, shy away from this protocol.  If the guys did a conference and said men only, we’d be up in arms, right?  But the fact is, without anyone even wanting it that way, it’s pretty much what is happening these days in technology.  And even though it’s not a conspiracy, until this day and age, a lot of girls never even thought to study engineering or computer science — or to consider going into a business that’s technology centric.  It’s been a man’s world because that’s who is mostly there.

This has an impact on how ideas are floated as well.  Which is why I’m looking forward to She’s Geeky

Today, many conferences follow established forms of communication — speaker to audience — and content determined by a few people.  It’s the command-and-control model.  Many of us are used to it and accept it as the best way to go. 

The women-only thing of She’s Geeky will expose and leverage another way of brainstorming and learning — something at which women excel:  conversation.  Insights and strategies will emerge organically, out of conversations that to the naked ear may seem random.  In the ensuing moments, however, attendees capture specific results and practices — and tailor them to their goals and vision.

So:  if you’re in or interested in technology and you’re female, come to She’s Geeky.  Join the conversation that is technology.