Allison O

Becoming Aware by of Social Media

During this semester in Women and Technology, we would start most classes off with “Women in the News,” where technology and women specific news that students sent in would be shown and talked about with the class. For many students in the class, this would be there first time hearing of this story. The Internet is a massive entity with millions upon millions pieces of content being posted daily. With this clustered market, how is one message distinctive from another? Think about the most well known posts on the internet. Gangnam Style, the Most Interesting Man In The World, and the Keyboard Cat can attribute their success of viral fame due to being highly shared. With dozens of compelling stories of women in the technology being told everyday in niches of the web, a lot of it may not get the opportunity to reach it’s full potential. Without a centralized location to find all the stories, many do go lost and do not provide the whole story of women in technology.

On social media platforms, millions of people are liking and following various of themed pages. From the “Do Something” page to “The Carpet of the Portland Airport” page, people are gathered and exposed to messages for a whole spectrum of subjects. Social media is becoming an extension of people’s identity. As people become who they are on social media, there is not a place to identity, support, or simply agree with the idea of women in technology. With this absence of exposure, this leaves another opportunity for women in technology not to get their voices heard.

Why is social media where society is finding out about things? Social media platforms act as hosts for word-of-mouth to takes place. In place of face-to-face human interaction that word-of-mouth traditionally placed by,[1] people can communicated their new favorites, new dislikes, experiences, and most pertinent to this campaign, their stance. It is widely known a majority of people have various social media accounts.[2] Of the younger generations, 95% for both ages, 12-17 years old and 18-29 go online.[3] Even for the oldest age category, little over half of 65+ go online. People like define today’s time by our constant connectivity due to the creation and wide adoption of smart phones. Of smartphone users, 79% of them have their phone on or near them for all but two hours of their waking day.[4] Connectivity is crucial part of people’s days that does not stop.[5] In finding a solution for the lack of centralization of a woman’s voice in the technology on social media and online, the research about women’s interaction on the Internet has shown that women are more likely to use social media for maintaining relationships, self-help, entertainment, and sharing.[6] This further supports the endeavor to create social media accounts that will thrive off the shareability of them.

The most optimistic outcome arising from my solution would be a campaign that goes madly viral. In the ultimate situation, these social media accounts would garner a large following that are highly interactive with posts. These followers would follow through all available platforms and frequently visiting the host blog. Another ultimate goal is to inspire women and girls alike by these posts and initiated change. I want these posts to bring consciousness about the good and bad about women and technology to people that would otherwise know nothing of. Realistically, if I promote and continue regularly posting on this campaign, I believe I could garner a following from those visiting our class’s website. If it inspires one person to make a change or become more knowledgeable about women and technology, this campaign will be successful.

On these four social media platforms, I will share the stories and events about women and technology. This can do with any stage of a woman’s experience of technology, from various points of education to her career to her personal life. This page will also highlight upon what companies and organizations are doing to promote higher women involvement in technology. Research has shown that positive associated posts are more likely to be shared than negative.[7] While it is easy to be negative about the large margin of women missing from a very important industry and the underlying issues and causes of that, it will be very important to be proactive instead of reactive with the posts. These platforms will also take into account the importance of newsworthiness in posts in order to stay relevant with current affairs. Posts will be posted multiple times a day everyday for the first three months to add content to the pages. Thereafter, posts will be made when deemed appropriate. The final aspect to this centralization of all things women and tech will be the continuation of the websites with posting articles and videos in the news section.

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[1] Berger, Jonah. Contagious: Why Things Catch on. 2013.

[2] “Social Media Fact Sheet.” Pew Research Center’s Internet American Life Project RSS. Accessed December 8, 2014.

[3] Mitchell, Amy, and Dana Page. “State of the News Media.” Mashable. March 1, 2013. Accessed December 8, 2014.

[4] Stadd, Allison. “79% Of People 18-44 Have Their Smartphones With Them 22 Hours A Day [STUDY].” ALl Twitter. April 3, 2013. Accessed December 8, 2014.

[5] Stadd, Allison. “79% Of People 18-44 Have Their Smartphones With Them 22 Hours A Day [STUDY].” ALl Twitter. April 3, 2013. Accessed December 8, 2014.

[6] Akhtar, Omar. “Infographic: How Men and Women Use Social Media and Smartphones Differently.” Ruby Media Corporation. April 2, 2014. Accessed December 8, 2014.

[7] Berger, Jonah, and Katherine L Milkman. “What Makes Online Content Viral?” Journal of Marketing Research: 1-17. Accessed December 18, 2014.

This is frustrating

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In the last two days, I began learning Python. As a complete beginner to coding in general, it was a completely different task than I have been given before. Some of it was very logical, but a lot of it was not. As you can see above, I didn’t get the badge for functions after spending a half hour trying to get past this level. Below you can see I got a lot of badges to show off!

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Maybe this was just the Python tutorials, but I felt like there was not much direction and not a lot of explaining. At times, I felt like there was not enough information for me to know what I was doing and why exactly it mattered. I feel like that is how learning the basics is though. If I would of stuck through it all the way to the end, I believe it would be worth it. But you will need a lot of patience and problem solving skills to help you.

The Women of the 1970s

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Above is a photo from Texas A&M’s newspaper of the two women that were the first graduates in Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M. They graduated in the early 1970’s

Source: Texas A&M’s newspaper Texasags

For additional reading, see The Johns Hopkins University Press for an article about women’s history in engineering.

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Above is an advertisement from 1973 about the great new oven for housewives. One of the points reads “Every year, the chore of cleaning ovens claims the good humor of countless homemakers…”

This advertisement was found on a website that describes themselves as “a digital collection of thousands of wonderful pictures, stories, letters, sounds and movies from across the past, with one aim – to make the past come alive.”

For additional reading more about housewives and household appliances, read an article from Technology and Culture.

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This picture above is a woman working with the mainframes.

This photo comes from a blog of retro photos.

Read more about the pioneers of women in computing in the twentieth century from an article by Denise Gurer.

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Above is similar to the previous of a woman working with the computers and reading what it has printed.

The source of this is a blog that proudly labeling itself “The Home of Tech Lady Tuesday”

The blog also provided a great article from the Washington Post about when computing was a woman’s job.

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The poster for the first calculator taken at Berkeley University. The caption that followed it was “A Frenchman invented it” because it was a French invented, like the mini skirt.

The source of this picture is from the Un Deux Trois Museum.

For more reading about the sexualization of women in print advertising published in the journal “Sex Roles”

Push for Young Girls to Code

Recently in the field of K-12, there has been a cry for computer science to be within the curriculum in not just high school, but elementary and middle school[1]. Along with the major pushes for an expansion across districts, there is another push for greater girl involvement in computer science. This has resulted non-profits, public, and university-sponsored introducing young girls to the field of computer science, most often, coding. These programs are working hard to brand computer science as girl friendly and child friendly.

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