24 March 09

Women In Tech: Gina Trapani and Tiffany B. Brown

I’ve been trying very hard to figure out who to profile for Ada Lovelace Day. I know I’m supposed to choose one woman who has influened me in some realm of the tech world and write about her, explain why I chose her above all the other women.

And it’s really hard, actually. There are so many women I could have written about, and I’m honestly blessed that I have so many to chose from. I could choose Mena Trott who helped create Movable Type which revolutionized how people blogged and therefore my IRL life. Seriously, it was through MT 2.0 that I met many of the people that I now consider friends who are local and friends who are not local, but meatspace friends, flesh friends, IRL friends, real honest-to-gosh people.

I could also write about Anne-Marie Concepcion who is one of the top 2 InDesign Geniuses who have affected my daily work life. This woman has taught me far more about this Quark and InDesign than I can even begin to quantify. I owe her many beers or something because she has made my daily job easier.

But my job is not my life. And I’ve decided that I want to write in more detail about two women who have written about tech issues, and who have been writing about tech issues for 5 years or more. I know I’ve known about them for about that long. They’re two women who I met very briefly at my very first SXSWi, and I gushed to both of them about how they were both super-cool and I adore them and they’re awesome and like OMG, I totally ran away after going all fan-girl crazy on them after panels. I’m sure they both turned to the person beside them and said “Who was that crazy red head?”

Gina Trapani, creatrix of LifeHacker, writer of books, explainer of tech shite, expander of worlds, smacker-downer of unnecessary bs, expunger of sexism, and all-around super-fantastico amazingatrix! I don’t know how much more glowy fan-girl I could be. Seriously, this woman created a website that I continue to read daily (even though she no longer writes for it). I’ve learned about Firefox plugins, and Safari shortcuts, and time-saving tips that have helped my work-life and my non-at-work-life. And she’s written about super-techy stuff without the jargon. Even if I have no idea what Python is, and I so very much don’t, I’m convinced she could explain some command line that would make me say “Oh! I see now!” in my head. And that voice that she created at Lifehacker continues now. I admit I rarely read the comments. But in the beginning, when I had time, and when there were so many fewer websites and blogs to read, I did. And there were several “Oh come on, boys! Grow up already or get out!” comments that she would make in return to Beavis-style idiocy. And I feel that she did an amazing job of creating a female-safe tech-corner. And I thank her for that. Thank you, Gina! Thank you from the bottom of my geeky, geeky heart.

Tiffany B. Brown is the other woman in tech that I would like to point attention to. I first found out about Tiffany through a blog she kept about being a black feminist. At the time she also wrote another site about wine and she had her own personal site where she compiled all kinds of code and alphabet soup acronymy stuff that totally went over my head. But at my very first SXSWi conference I realized that I was able to parse CMS, CSS, and other web-related acronyms all because I was reading Tiffany’s posts about web-related stuff that I swore meant nothing to me, but some of it was was sticking and before I realized it, I was learning stuff I didn’t realize I knew. This woman still has a far more intense and complicated job than I’ll likely ever even consider, and I know there is so much of what she writes about that I truly don’t grasp. But, by reading her posts about code and actionscript and javascript and other stuff I’m not only able to keep up when my friends geek out on me, I’m honestly feeling like I understand it well enough so that this future of javascripting thing that may be looming on the day-job front is not so scary. I’ve also learned about several Firefox and Gmail tweaks and adjustments I could make that have seriously made running the DIY Trunk Show and Poise.cc so much easier. She’s saved me buckets of time, and that’s invaluable, people.


  1. you are so awesome when you go all fan girl.

    carolyn on Mar 25, 04:42 am

  2. Awww shucks.

    I’m not a beer fan, but you can always treat me to chocolate or coffee. ;-)

    Anne-Marie Concepcion on Mar 26, 01:46 pm

  3. thank you. i just came across this today and … THANK YOU.

    tiffany on Mar 30, 09:07 am

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