In 2007, PC World magazine came out with a list of the 50 most influential people on the web. Only four women made the list, including such notable intellectuals as “My Space Personality” Tina Tequila. Fast forward four years, and Google execs Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin were bumped from the top spot by the founder of that other social networking website you may have heard about, Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook ruling the web today is no surprise, but what is disheartening is that in 2011 there was only one notable female addition to the most powerful list, Huffington post creator Arianna Huffington. When you Google “Powerful Women on the internet” it’s interesting to peruse the results. When it comes to women Google seems to equate powerful with popular, because the results are almost exclusively lists of the most searched hot babes.
Is it nice to know that web series darling Felicia Day has allot of twitter followers; that Tina Fey is the 48# most Googled person on the web? Sure. But certainly women have had more accomplishments on the web then how many times people read their amusing comments, or download their bikini photo shoots. It can’t be something as ridiculous as the fact that when women think about careers in technology, they still see nothing more then the geek factor…right?
Well ladies it’s about time we embrace our inner geek and get working on the web. Women have long been the majority of web users, and so isn’t it about time there was more women in power positions on the internet? Where the women executives of the internet at?
The revolution won’t begin overnight. Thankfully the world of women who are making noise on the internet is not a barren landscape, there just needs to be allot more as soon as possible. To start, there are great organizations out there like Ladies Learning Code and Webgrrls. These collectives put together events all across North America where women can learn about everything from setting up your own WordPress blog, to SEO and online marketing techniques. For a while now I’ve been proud to be a member of The Lady Bloggers Society, which gives online writers advice about the best ways to write web-friendly posts.
The point is not to stop buying purses online, but let’s also own the website that sells them! More women out there need to stop simply being technologically dependent. Because of it we are missing out on the opportunity to help create and run the apps, websites and gadgets that love or hate it, have become apart of 21st century life and that’s a real shame. Women need to have a real say in the future development of the web.
Stephanie Laughlin is a writer who lives in Toronto. Make sure you check with her weekly film column Friday Film Review at www.forgetthebox.net.