Skills Learned This Term:
-Learning more about using Delicious (bookmarking tool)
I think a lot of what I learned in this course that turned out to be unexpected came from the interaction with my peers. I gained more insight into the way that other people interact with technology like blogs, computers, and so forth. I didn’t really have a solid idea before of what others’ experiences were with these–I just kind of assumed that everyone else was as familiar with using tools like WordPress as I was.
I feel like I met the course objectives–I’ve certainly developed more awareness about science and technology and how it interacts with women and women’s issues. I hadn’t really thought about many of the things that we discussed in a gender-lensed way before, but I definitely learned a lot, especially doing the Culture Project, where we had to consider the way that women in other cultures lived their lives.
I hope to keep this all in mind as I continue my chosen career path, Graphic Design, which involves a fair amount of technology use. I’m interested to see what it’s like for women in this particular career, which sort of toes the line between a technological career and a career in the arts, which are two areas that are traditionally identified more with men and women, respectively.
A lot of my dreams for the future center around a sustainable, self-contained, affordable lifestyle that allows me freedom from a lot of the financial stresses that I see limiting people’s quality of life–mortgages, reliance on unclean sources for electricity, car payments and gas, etc.
tiny house via tinyhousedesign.com
I would like to someday build my own non-traditional home. I’ve considered both earthships and tiny houses, and it seems like a tiny house is a small initial investment with the benefit of mobility. However, even though an earthship costs more initially, you have the benefit of more space (in case you someday want to live with more people than just yourself, or raise a family, or get a dog even) and also the built-in self-sustaining greenhouse, water filtering system, and room for wind- and solar-power generators.
Other dreams include but are not limited to:
-Owning and operating my own alpaca ranch
-Running my own graphic design studio
-Living in a tree house
Ruchi Sanghvi grew up in the small town of Pune, India, and had hardly even worked with computers until her freshman year of college. Despite this, Sanghvi worked her way into the field of web development during the five years she worked as an engineer for Facebook.
Sanghvi came up with the News Feed feature of Facebook, as well as several other features that allow users different methods for connecting with people and businesses all over the internet. Recently she has founded her own web startup, Cove, a tool that lets people collaborate on projects through the site Dropbox.
I think that Indian culture differs pretty widely from American culture especially concerning women–though technology, entrepeneurship, and IT are some of India’s largest-growing industries now, few women have access to technology, the internet, or a technological education: India’s literacy rate is at 39 percent for women versus 64 percent for men (Women’s Education in India, October 1998). However, as Sanghvi is an example of, more women are getting into tech fields–the number of “women engineers graduating from ITT Bombay has grown from 1.8% in 1972 to 8% in 2005.” (Caroline Simard, Anita Borg Institute).
There may be some slim chance of interviewing Ms. Sanghvi, but it’s very slim, as she lives in San Francisco and seems to be very busy. It might be worth-while to make an attempt at contacting her via email, though, because there aren’t so many resources about her viewpoint on the internet, and I think it would be interesting to find out more.
I’ve seen a lot of the features that we just added to the blogs on other blogs around the internet, but I’ve never used them myself: specifically putting links in the sidebar to other sources, or putting an RSS feed for a curated set of links up as well. It seems like these are two really great tools for connecting with other blogs and users all over the world and interwebs–when you link to someone else’s blog or resource, not only are your readers sent to their site, but also maybe (by the Commutative Property of The Internet) some of that traffic will find itself reading your blog as well.
The set-up itself was relatively easy. The WordPress user interface is very easy to use–dragging and dropping, checking boxes, etc. There is nothing really mystifying or difficult about it–again, great for making blogging accessible to people who maybe aren’t already entrenched in the world of computer programming or html and other languages.
Easy! So easy! Setting up a blog using WordPress’s handy interface is very intuitive. I think a large factor of blogging’s success is that people don’t have to know html or css in order to be able to make a blog.