Girls in Tech Launch, The Cutting Room, New York
September 17, 2008
Ok, ok, I'll keep the sorority nudges and estrogen level references to a minimum. I mean, isn't this what we women have fought against since the 1800s? Aren't we at a place where a huge group of women won't get the "chattering," "gaggle," "henhouse" grammar treatment? Come on; don't take yourself so seriously. I don't. Especially if I'm at an event for "Girls in Tech" where the sign is pink and the dudes were sparse. Well, this wasn't called Dudes in Tech now, was it?
I walked in and filled out my lovely nametag and immediately saw my pal and party wrangler, Matt Caldecutt, emerging through the pond of women like Sasquatch lumbering through the Mantua, Ohio marshes. It doesn't take a master of espionage to deduce that Nichelle Stephens would be nearby.
My +1 was the always lovely and currently alcohol-abstaining Gail Hilton, Director of Sales and Marketing for Qwikker, and Rebecca Reyes, Internal communications specialist, IBM, my old employer and tech-savvy giant. Both women are good people. That's right, I said women, not girls.
Which reminds me, I saw @nwjerseyliz observing the crowd. Our relationship is based in Twitter. We debated the name "Girls in Tech" and she brought up some great points, like, who's the target here? Are they aiming at the 20-something crowd? Would someone in his or her 50s feel a welcome, comfortable, part of this "movement"? There is a lot riding on a name. To me, Girls in Tech feels like a high school tech-fostering program. And that's not bad, if that's their aim.
The look and feel of the logo/signage supported the youthful feel. I cringe at a lot of pink. Not punk-rock pink, hot pink, or even magenta. Light baby pink makes my endocrine system uncomfortable. There's a chance the creative minds were poking fun at the old vacuum commercials of the '40s and '50s. Who knows, it's a cute sign for sure, and the founders seemed proud of their work and the women present, so party on.
Amanda Bird, Marketing Manager, Margot Inzetta, Digital Publicist, Ashley Wolf, Account Manager, and a cardless (tsk tsk!) Michelle Shildkret, the foursome from 360i, were in the house, gabbing it up with me over the banging of the band in the backroom. Zahra Stavis, Executive Consultant, Thinking Sage, and Stephen, another Sage thinker, held down the center of the room. I might go into consulting next. People pay you to boss them around. Sounds fun as hell!
Matt Trigg of hi5 was a good find. Rebecca Reyes was positive she had seen him before and had one of those dead-brain-pocket moments where she just couldn't place him. Trigg was patient with my need to know everything about ad networks and publisher networks. My main point of contention was that, unless you're in the industry, you're not saying "Oh hey, Chauncey belongs to that ad network." No typical user knows that they're even clicking through and around a site or sites or blogs that are part of a specific ad network. It was fun to talk nerdy.
The petite Natali Del Conte, anchor for CNET's Loaded, trickled in and offered a few words of encouragement for Girls in Tech. Sarah Austin, Pop 17, followed her with a giggly, girlie, rah-rah speech encouraging girls to teach other girls to teach other girls to teach other girls. Yeah, I prickle like a group of porcupines at that stuff. But I guess if I had better ideas, you'd be writing about me, not the other way around, huh?
As I felt the end of my evening looming, and without tab-skipping intentions, I met Roger Wu, who said he was from Klickable (sounds like Clickable!), to which I said "Oh! Then you know Max Kalehoff." Wu shook his head, "Not that Clickable." Standing nearby was Seth Hidek, Associate Principal, Milton Alexander, which sounds like Milky Alexander in the dark.
Sitting by the space invaders machine was David Blumenstein, Co-founder, Managing Partner, Venture Collaboration, The Hatchery. His involvement in that expo that denied me a press pass is figuratively to hunt, shoot, and bag startups. Someone with such heavy involvement in startups attending the Web 2.0 expo would probably get the value of social media -- like, say, blogging. I could barely control my social venom when his response to "Oh, do you guys have a blog?" was... I can't say it. OK, no, I have to. "I hate blogs." Good luck.
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