She’s Geeky Recap

The She’s Geeky UnConference – I’d go again. Great people. REALLY. And it was an interesting way to structure a meeting. The organizer, Kaliya Harmon, would probably dislike the fact that I called it structure. A few Flickr pics here.

Looks like I should spend more time at BlogHer. There were several interesting women at She’s Geeky who hang out there. I always thought it was too female oriented and I’m not that much of a softy but I’m going to have to go look again.

Two Things I learned:

1. We need to be creating more assistive technology. The boomers are losing their eyes and ears. Dragon Naturally Speaking can bypass the arthritic fingers better these days, but the sight and sound problem is going to be more critical more immediately.

MSN article

2. OPENID appears to be the wave of the future for authentication on the web.
The idea behind this is having one secure place to hold your identity that can authorize you to login to member only sites. You choose who you share your information with. You don’t have to give all the signup information to websites you want to join, you just have them (the relying partner – LiveJournal is one example) authenticate you through your Open ID identity provider.

This all sounds great but not that many places are doing their authorization that way yet. WordPress has a plugin for it that I’ll be installing shortly. So does Firefox. It looks like a good solution to keeping at least some of your personal data to yourself. [And remember: Lie about your birthday, but remember what lie you tell. Use Jan 1 and your birthyear, or maybe April fools day, or whatever your favorite holiday might be. ]

Find an Identity Provider
We looked at Vidoop which uses pictures to foil phishing. It was a nice website, I’ll probably sign up there. Verisign has one, too. You can sign up at more than one, or do different personas for different purposes, i.e., I’d have a work persona and a personal persona.

Other Open ID reading:

Social Networking Bill of Rights:
Augmented Social Network (ASN) at


Cool people I met and talked to/listened to with cool web sites:

  • Elizabeth Perry – she talked about teaching tech to girls, and defining art as real versus digital. She’s a wonderful communicator and made me feel like less of a dork at one point. 🙂
  • Dee Adams – a seriously good minimalist artist with kinesthesia – if I was rich she’d be on my walls
  • Danese from Craft Magazine – wants to give big money to people with projects that can transform ordinary girls into geeks – to bring girls into the Make loop-
  • Debra Roby – a disciplined, energetic crafter boomer on BlogHer
  • Sally from who does diagrams while she talks and turns them into art on the Xerox. She said, “I am replicating the idea of Xerox”. HAHA! Her stuff, what little I saw of it, was great. Somebody stole most of her work on the web, so she’s stingy about what she posts now. Can’t say as I blame her.
  • Ryanne from Ryan is Hungry – a crafter and performer, has a vlog/blog about green things and hacking every day life from which she makes actual money. She said, “Culture is commodified now” which was an interesting idea. We’d all best remember that Love of Money is the Root of All Evil.
  • Roxanne Darling, another literate techy boomer who shoots videos every day from Hawaii. Beachwalks with Rox
  • Ealasaid was another smart woman there I got a big charge out of, but I’m not sure why. Okay, she was funny and friendly and had tastes a lot like mine and thus we attended many of the same sessions. But younger by at least 20 years. Probably 25. So just starting to do it all. I’m trying to link her in because she works at TiVO. And I think TiVo is the best thing since bagel sized toasters.
  • Cheryl Colan from – an irresistible teacher with a true gift for explaining things. I just loved her, she made me feel safe for some reason.
  • Heather Gold, a stand-up comedian and former Apple employee who made me feel not-so-safe. She was so weird and did something strange to me that will probably change my life. A very perceptive person. I went to her class on how to engage audiences in hopes of picking up a trick or two to combat nervousness when speaking in front of people. She said I needed more than a trick or two to get any better, and she’s right, damn her. Having said that, she said I need to find a safe “container” to speak from, figure out a physical ritual to relax me, and remember that talking to an audience is really just like talking to a friend. Pick someone out in the front row and talk to them. If they’re engaged, everyone else will be, too. And don’t use powerpoint except as a backdrop – pictures only if possible. The idea is to engage the audience so that you’re getting feedback from them and not thinking about yourself.

*Other thoughts/notes to myself:

See “My Kid Could Paint That” documentary recommended by Dee Adams
Learn to knit again. Knitting is grounding, and gets you back in your body if you’re a computer geek, yet has a certain amount of geekiness in it in the patterns.

Small is seen as feminine, large is seen as masculine. Cat Allman talked about a project where she knitted a giant roll of cellophane with her arms as knitting needles into a mobius(sp) strip. The guys loved it even if it was knitting.

Crafting is communal, and crafters are always willing to teach the process. Fine art is personal and a much more private process that is NOT really teachable but of course has to be learned.

Painting is a peaceful process and I should get into it again.

Find more Elder Bloggers, er Boomer Bloggers, er whatever the hell I need to connect to.

Get hair like Liz Henry’s (which would REALLY piss her off, I’m sure)

Look up RickOMatic and delve into


Read and figure out how to get my work people into Wikis.
This is going to be a big deal, right after I get the damned website redone. It’s only 5 years overdue, which is like, what, 100 years in web terms? Jeebus Gawd.

Get more girls heading toward technology. Return Susan (from SAGE) Wheeler’s call and see what I can do locally.
ideas: Amy Jussel – this is a strange PR effort and I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not. I think she talks too much but that’s her raison d’etre if she’s PR. I don’t talk enough….

Find Anna from the Science Education foundation and tell her she rocks
Digigirlz – Lynn Langit, a visible presence for female geekiness from Microsoft runs this. She had kind of a chilly demeanor (my impression, anyway), but was incredibly well-spoken.