Green Girls in Tech: Women to Read in 2010
Go to most tech or social media conferences, and you'll see what makes BlogHer's events so different. I think that even those most critical of BlogHer conferences (and I have made my own share of complaints) would agree that these events give deserving women a platform and a voice in a sector and profession that still tends to be notoriously male-dominated.
And when we start talking more serious tech -- not just blogging in general, but about top of the line gadgets, nascent technologies, and newfangled fuels -- the number of women bloggers shrinks exponentially. I especially noticed this when I started doing research for my post about green phones. From digging through the search engines, I know that we've got a lot more men talking about gadgets, eco-friendly or not, than we do women!
I love my male tech bloggers too, but I'm guessing most BlogHers can relate to wanting to hear from women too. And what I've discovered is that women green tech bloggers often address the very questions I had in mind, tackling the very eco-issues I've wondered about and answering the specific green tech questions I have. Because these great women bloggers are often tough to find due to the oversaturated tech blog market out there, here's a shortlist of eco-thinking women tech bloggers to read in 2010:
Katie Fehrenbacher and Josie Garthwaite of Earth2Tech. Both of these San Francisco women crank out a seriously high number of posts for Earth2Tech, a site that's part of a business media company called GigaOM. The two's output make up the majority of the posts for the site, with useful information about 9 Plug-in Cars Hitting the Road in 2010 and 10 Green Tech Gift Ideas for Black Friday.
That said, most of Earth2Tech's posts are probably not for the average girl simply interested in the latest consumer products. A lot of posts have to do with business-to-business info, investing, or research and development, with this post about a company trying to bridge biotech and carbon capture being a case in point.
Still, even if you don't have a deep interest in the cleantech industry, you'll find many posts to pique your interest. For a quick sampling of what Earth2Tech is about, read Earth2Tech’s Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2009 or follow the bloggers at @katiefehren and @journojos.
Jaymi Heimbuch of Treehugger. Also in San Francisco, Jaymi covers clean tech, green gadgets, sustainability and global water issues for TreeHugger and Planet Green. I found Jaymi's work while researching green phones, and loved her thorough analysis of mobile tech, going way beyond a simple rehashing of company press releases -- which, by the way, a lot of male-dominated tech sites rely on -- to really delve into the nitty gritty of a gadget's green worth.
Jaymi's post on Sony Ericsson's Elm and Hazel, for example, shows her qualified approval of the new gadgets: "Not bad. Not perfect, but certainly not bad."
Mostly, I've enjoyed Jaymi's posts about perhaps-to-come solar powered products. There's the very practical solar powered phone that sticks to windoes, the more fruity solar-powered patio-illuminating mangoes, and then the rather creepily but potentially humanitarian solar-powered contact lenses. Follow her work on Treehugger, or via Twitter @JaymiHeimbuch
The girls at Shiny Shiny. The British women who write this blog appear to be on vacation right now, but this girly site boasts a very high female readership for a tech blog. Shiny Shiny's not all green, but it seems to be all girl, with a section devoted to eco-friendly gadgets -- and another dedicated to naughty toys! (I must warn you to watch out for phthalates and -- cheaply-made junky gadgets that might break during the most inopportune moments, however).
Headed up by one Anna Leach, the product-oriented site shows prices in British pounds and talks about enigmatic holidays like Boxing Day. But don't let that deter you from taking advantage of the universal tech advice. The proudly car-free can learn about the iLert app that wakes up sleepy subway riders; the reluctant hybrid drivers about Econav a navigation system that encourages fuel-efficient driving.
Will green tech save us from global warming? Well, define save. If you're hoping you can just sit on your ass (or your creepy Hello Kitty vibrator) while waiting for the green tech girls and the scientists they write about to work their magic, no. You gotta take some action yourself, namely by getting involved politically to demand that your elected officials don't let humanity extinct itself. But good clean tech can help make our transition from a coal-gritty world to a greener, cleaner one a lot smoother. Read and evolve --
BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.
Images via Earth2Tech, Treehugger, and Shiny Shiny