The Girly Geekdom blog posted a cry of despair today, reacting to the face of Julia Allison on the cover of last month’s Wired magazine:
Well Girl Geek’s could there (finally) be a leading lady in technology and with enough kudos to be on the cover of Wired? Prestige indeed. In short, no is the answer that you are looking for.
Of course not. I hope Ms. Allison has all the success in the world, it looks like she has figured out how to use Web 2.0 to gain notoriety. If she’s happy about that, then I’m happy for her, I’m sure the Wired cover was quite a coup.
Wired is a publication that requires readership. Julia Allison as a commodity caters to that. Is it possible to be on the cover of Wired without some kind of PR engine? Seems unlikely to me. The women I know who could be on that cover aren’t interested in the self promotion it takes to get there. Of course, perhaps there have been many women on the cover of Wired; I am unqualified to judge, and unwilling to research.
Geek girls don’t generate traffic, at least not in and of ourselves. We are a minority. Small. Not to be catered to, even in a tech magazine. Case in point the “Women in Tech: hear us roar” O’Reilly book: Tim O’Reilly himself said that the series drew very little traffic, which is why it was shelved.
It’s true that we are a small group, but I believe we make a large impact. Maybe we can’t sell out a magazine edition, or justify the printing of a book. We can, however, change the world in our own way, and we will continue to do so with or without a poster child.