Notes from She’s Geeky

This is my notes post for She’s Geeky. Instead of doing a separate post for each session, I’m just going to keep adding to this post as I go to things.


Introductions – talking about our experience / fanaticism in gaming, etc. Some serious gamer geeks here, woo. Every sort of gamer from Go to SCRABBLE to table-top gaming to Magic to Rock Band to Warcraft… excitement about Diablo 3
What do we want to talk about?
SCRABBLE is awesome but lacks community, even on Facebook, wtf?
Casual gamespace is perceived as aimed at women and a lot of the sites are scammy. Ew.
– Ei-Nyung has young nieces and it’s so hard to find games that aren’t condescending!
– Tabletop board gaming is often gender balanced but hasn’t made it online, most of it.
Companies don’t want to take a risk, and somehow female-friendly stuff is a risk.
A ton of new games are basically clones of what has gone before. Disappointing!
Girl gaming movement was so lame, people are glad many of the lame companies have gone out of business.
Conversation about the effort people of whatever gender put into avatars – changing hair, etc etc. Even guys do it!
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have something like the IMDb but for gaming??? that would be great. – great content, crap design
defectiveyeti – game review site
best communities are the heavily-moderated ones
Flash games – because they’re free and short, how many review sites are there?
– It’s now part of kid culture – they have a game engine going into open beta, great for the casual game space!
Kongregate – aggregates flash games from other sites. Can rate and rank ’em, do reccommendations, etc.
Cheaper to be a gamer than go out, even with the cost of a console and the games.
Harnessing games for good, making them awesome but also educational! How to do that without messing up the lore of the game?
– First person shooter: antibodies vs viruses, frex.
– “Adventures in Synthetic Biology” graphic novel passed around. Awesome!
Spore – thoughts?
– Creature creation seemed really awesome when it was first announced.
– Lots of people boycotting it because of the DRM
Advertising in games?
– Good if the user gets something (like lower price of game or something)

Geek Feminism – lots of pages!
– Looking for people to help out and add things about topics that are light – anime fandom, gaming, etc. Kirrily isn’t an expert in every subject.
– Also includes form letters for things like “why don’t you let women in your group?”
– Looking for lists of women in various geeky fields
– Want a set of guidelines for inappropriate sexual crap – website and mailing list for women in computing/tech
Anita Borg Institute Wiki:
– Another resource, mostly focused on tech – hardware, software. More specific than the one.
Some discussion of the infamous Linux Journal blowjob ad. FAIL. “In August 2007, Linux Journal ran an ad from QSol, a Linux server company, showing an attractive woman wearing red lipstick, and text saying, “Don’t feel bad, our servers won’t go down on you either.””
Discussion of Twitter and other social networking tools – huge database with all kinds of info – wiki but not quite. Pretty spiffy!
Short discussion, everyone splitting off to attend other sessions. :)


Intros – people interested in advertising from all sorts of angles! Looking to advertise themselves or their organizations,advertising as a means of income from a blog, etc.
Google Ads – placement is important
For adwords, etc, Google is the place to start (if you’re looking to advertise your own stuff)
Know your demographic if you’re looking to make money via advertising — what kinds of services other than yours might they be interested in? That way you aren’t taking competitor’s ads or ads that might taint your blogging/journalistic integrity.
To make money on your blogs, go with ad networks like Google, Tribal Fusion — places that give you a lot of control of what ads show or don’t show, etc.
Google ads are better if you’re a very targeted website with a pretty good following, but it doesn’t give you individual approval/rejection of ads (so if you don’t like a particular ad, it’s hard to block it)
when you’re looking to advertise your service: complaints that getting an estimate is tricky.
Advertising cheaply is really really hard. Adwords are good as long as you go really targeted. Be very diligent about using an analytics tool to make sure the people who come to your site via ads stay and actually find what they want.
Driving traffic – forum signatures, contests (Veronica ran a thing where folks could enter a contest and get their friends to vote for htem, and the person with the most votes won. Cost her company $500 and drove millions of people to their site).
I totally want to do something with this for Aiki Zenshin. Maybe a button for folks’ sigs? AZD could host the image.
Metadata on web pages is really important to help your Google ranking, which helps drive traffic!
Secondary Twitter update account for Tweets about your company

Letting Go and Saying No

BJ Wishinsky has a lot of stuff online about this topic. Slideshow
Identifying tasks and prioritizing – letting go of things (saying no to ’em) to have time for the important things
Build a personalized toolkit of ways of saying “no!” using savvy catchphrases in ways that sound authentic.
Create an action plan for what to let go of and how!
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have it.” Alice Walker
Four steps for saying no without feeling guilty:
1. Stop! Before you say anything, take a deep breath.
2. Look! Look at your situation, your needs, etc.
3. Listen! to how you feel about it. Acknowledge your feelings.
4. Go! Go on with integrity, whether to say yes or no.
(from Collette Carlson)
Book: Coming up for Air Beth Sawi
“Six Easy Ways to say No” is one of the sections.
– Prioritize “I have too much on my plate”
– Delegate “Ask so and so…”
– Simplify “I can’t give you everything you’re asking for, but I can give you this little piece”
– Procrastinate “I can’t do it now because I have no time, ask me in a few weeks”
– Eliminate – just a simple no.
– Set Time Limits “I’m tight on time but can give you 20 minutes”
Good exercise: pick something you need to say no to and try these six ways to say it
Letting go buddy: someone you pair up with and check in with each other on things to let go of. “How’s it going, did you tell that person no? Did you stop that one thing?” etc.
use yes AND this is what is needed to make it happen (for example, “Yes, we can do that. We need X, Y, and Z from you to do it.” sends the asker away with a to-do list. Makes ’em less likely to follow up and actually require you to do it, too, heh.)
Cultural thing: do women have more trouble saying “no” than men? Bj and I say yes, Claudia says no! cultural thing probably. Claudia is from Mexico where women are trained to always always say yes ,and she perceives American women as saying “no” easily — maybe because American women say “no” more easily than Mexican women? Cultural stuff is slippery. Brief discussion of dealing with other cultures — Japan, etc. “We need more research!” says Claudia! for sure.

Geek is the new Chic

Such a tiny group! Where is everyone?
Geek girl perceptions/chic over time
All of us here are the same age range, feh.
In high school, geek girls were schlubby tomboys.
Now there’s the stereotype of the hot geek girl – camgirls, etc.
It’s less weird for teens now to know geeky stuff — it’s not nerdy to know HTML anymore, for example.
Geek community is becoming more everyday and similar to artist communities
Next wave of jobs after the recession is going to require a ton of technology
There’s a certain geek chic now among hipsters — and yet there’s still conformity to the overculture requirements for what’s attractive. Hot geeks are hot people who happen to be geeks.
OTOH, there are a ton of geeky culture things going on now — loads of comic book movies, etc.
Talking about Twilight, grah. Twinkie effect – it’s bad for me but I love it kind of thing.
Observation: geeks are PASSIONATE! We either LOVE things and pour a lot of energy into them (fansites, etc) or HATE things, and pour a lot of energy into HATING them (like anti-Twilight people)
Awesome book about geekness: The Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao
Are blogs dead? Eh, depends on who you ask. in terms of becoming a blogging celebrity? probably — most of that ground is covered now. But as a medium, no way.
Nerd vs Geek, definitions? Geek = passion, positive, etc. Nerd = good grades but bad social skills, pejorative. Geeks as computer nerds? Gotta have a tech aspect to be a geek?
Geek gals as lone wolves — we’re used to being the lone girl in a pack of guys, makes us more individualist
Discussion of dressing up and down in professional aspects — one gal has to be careful to dress right so that clients and potential clients will get the right impression. Lot of stereotyping from physical appearance.
“The odds are good, but the goods are odd!”
being one of the guys, blending in, etc. Geek girls can fit in as one of the guys — like having a bunch of brothers.
NERDCORE RULES! Discussion of nerdcore hip-hop, artists, culture.,, etc.

Closing Discussion

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