A few good men are moving on from some prominent positions of tech reviews. A few good women exist to take their place, but it’s unlikely that will happen.
Today I responded to popular tech guru Dave Winer on his blog on the decline (or non-existence) of critical tech review. I said that I could do such a job well, not only reviewing software and hardware but also critiquing it against our cultural mores and prejudices. As Mr. Winer said, it isn’t about the shiny cases or the fun features anymore. A good tech review needs to speak more to what the tech’s place is in our lives and how it influences our individual and group identity.
I should have just whipped together an insightful review of something recent and put that in a comment, because it is always better to show than tell. I listed my qualifications in a rant style, as I know I have no real chance of becoming a tech reviewer for any paper, let alone the Gray Lady, The New York Times. I’ll forgive myself for the rant. As a woman in the IT industry for many years, sometimes the passion overwhelms; it’s a professional hazard.
Dave Winer was nice enough to link to my comment on his well-followed link blog. This may mean I attract trolls, of course. But maybe someone out there will actually send me in the right direction toward writing about how tech affects our lives on a more national level. (BTW I went to the core seminar at The Op Ed Project this past weekend to learn some more clues on how to do this).
That all being said, there are scores of capable women who are already out there doing serious thinking about software. Here are some women I suggest that the NYTimes approaches to fill in some emptying seats:
Jenna Wortham, (OMG A woman, and a woman of color who ALREADY WORKS AT THE TIMES!)
I know some of you are thinking I should mention Sarah Lacy, but I think she’s best at the Silicon Valley thing. And you may think I should mention Xeni Jardin, but again, for what Dave Winer was looking for, I don’t think either one of these women fit the bill. You can put up your disagreements in the comments. Also, please turn me on to some women journalists I have yet to discover.