Women’s Internet History Project launched its first event on August 12, 2010. The conference room was packed with women from all aspects of involvement with providing a purpose and usage of the internet and digital. The support from the attendees was overwhelming. Advisory board members Gloria Feldt and Mary Boone provided sound advice on the organization. Several luminaries came to the meeting to ready to provide direction on the project.
The project is designed to provide a platform for women who provided a purpose and usage of the internet. Different from Wikipedia in that the records align to create a visual representation of history. Records align with current events, prominent women and the development of internet. The project will help document histories of the women in this industry, provide insight for researchers and educators, and lead itself to next generations of women who want to get into this exciting and ever changing industry. Including documentation of these histories the project design will change the way history is presented.
Many great discussions opened up including areas of copyright, legal entity, ownership of the records, and whether or not to participate. Some of the women involved worked hard but received little or no recognition for their work. It is interesting to note the meeting became a little heated with a discussion over whether or not men should help with the project.
After the discussion portion of the meeting there was plenty of time for networking. It was great to see so many rekindling relationships!
The meeting place for the event was beautiful and provided by advisory board member, Renee Edelman at Edelman’s offices and help from Charlie Campbell and Daisy Hutchinson. Thank you for your help!
Why Did You First Get Online?
Coming out of the book publishing/retailing world, I was attuned to what was happening in the industry from the mid 80s because of professional necessity. At home, we had a TRS 80 back in 1987 and graduated to an IBM XT in 1989. This was all pre-Windows and MS-DOS wasn’t intuitive to use nor any fun at all. I needed the cheat sheet to execute most commands and it was an exercise in frustration.
When did you first get involved with digital and why?
In 1995, I was heading up public relations for a gaming company and developing a love of technology. I had to ramp up real quick for the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) the gaming industry was one of the drivers in pushing the technology forward. I believe Internet Explorer 1.0 launched that year and was I ever ready for it. I had a sense that digital was going to be huge in so many unimaginable ways and I wanted to be part of it.
How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990’s (or 80’s etc).
From 1983-1990, I headed up the public relations/communications area for Waldenbooks and its subsidiaries, including WaldenSoftware. After spending several years in market research, I went to a head up the communications effort for the aforementioned gaming company. I then joined Mecklermedia, the producer of Internet World, the trade shows, the Web site and the magazine as the pr/investor relations point person. That was the cat bird seat to view all that was being introduced in the industry. The trade shows were super charged with companies holding competing press conferences to announce and launch new products/services. And thousands of reporters and analysts would converge to capture it all.
What do you think the future will hold internet/digital?
I believe sensory components will be added for mass consumption…getting the feel, smell, taste experiences. All that is external will be able to be integrated into our digital experience. That Star Trek transporter isn’t so far in the future…the abillity to materialize halfway around the world on a whim, then be home for dinner. What’s that great line? “If it can be conceived, it can be achieved”…it’s only a matter of time…and technology.