Three Women In Technology Who Have Helped Change My Life
By Maria Niles on March 24, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
Technology has fascinated me since I was a child. I've been working and playing with computers since I first learned how to program one in high school. I've had mentors, teachers and have been driven by my own curiosity. But for Ada Lovelace Day I want to give a small shout out and thank you to three women who have deeply impacted my use of technology through their work.
1. Joan Blades - My path seems to intersect with Joan's projects like the double-helix shape of a strand of DNA. One of the first blockbuster software programs was the After Dark screen saver from the company she founded with her husband, Wes Boyd, called Berkeley Systems. I was introduced to the flying toasters by my then boyfriend who worked for Berkeley Systems. Subsequently it became possibly the first software I ever installed on a computer on my own. Understanding how to install it and why I needed a screen saver helped me better understand my computer and increased my comfort with tinkering with it even if on a small scale.
After selling Berkeley Systems, she co-founded MoveOn.org which helped introduce me to the world of online organizing and activism and kickstarted me on the path of using my computer to help influence politics and policy. And it's continued through Moms Rising. Though I am not a mom, this group advocates for a number of issues that are important to me as a woman.
2. Lynne d. Johnson - Just by talking about her passions, including for technology, I learn much from Lynne and have been able to put some of that learning into action. A small thing with a big impact for me is Lynne's fascination with mobile phones. She tries out different handsets and services and shares how the technologies work for her. Lynne's been my gadget guru as a result and by sharing her experience and knowledge she has helped me find and improve my use of mobile technology.
3. Elisa Camahort Page - I am singling out Elisa from the obvious impact the BlogHer co-founders and many others associated with the organization have had because I might not have discovered BlogHer if I hadn't discovered Elisa first. Elisa was the first blogger I ever consciously read. I know now that I was consuming and sharing information online for years before but Elisa's was the first person called a "blogger" I followed. I read about how Elisa used blogs in her business around the time I was starting my own business. Elisa was my first guide to navigating the waters of business blogging and as a result how I work every single day has been transformed.
So thank you, Joan, Lynne and Elisa, for pursing your passions and using technology to create products and movements that have influenced my life in so many ways.
None of these women set out to teach me anything. They simply pursued what they were passionate about in the world of technology and they shared that passion with the world. And in the process they changed my life. Whose life will be transformed by more women pursing their technology passions? How much richer will we all be?
BlogHer CE Maria Niles pursues her passions at PopConsumer
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