Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Would You Tune into a Bitch Session?

Soon, this blog will be much more than a bunch of words. It will be a multimedia extravanganza of sound and fury, signifying everything there is to say about tech, social media and other such important concerns. Today, I head to San Jose to do a video interview with mystery man number one, whose name will be revealed at a later date. Film at 11. (Or, actually, more likely, film at noon in a couple days as I work on editing the video...)


And watch out for a NEW podcast series featuring women in technology. The idea was inspired by an interview I did on Infosmack, a weekly podcast focused on storage and related tech on cool community site Storage Monkeys. In it, we dissected the question of "booth babes" at VMWorld and other tech trade shows. Greg Knieriemen brought me on along with two guys who were, at the time, jousting over the question, Stephen Foskett of Nirvanix and Kirby Wadsworth of F5. (Here are their respective posts on the topic: http://siliconangle.net/ver2/2009/09/10/dont-make-your-startup-look-stupid-with-booth-babes-and-chotchkies/ and http://storagesanity.blogspot.com/2009/09/ahwhippersnapper.html.)

At the time, I pointed out what to me should be obvious--there are plenty of intelligent, interesting and yes, beautiful women in tech. What do we need to hire models for? My argument was further bolstered at a show just a few weeks later when Jay Livens of Sepaton tweeted that he went to Kirby's F5 booth at a storage conference and asked the booth babe who the head of marketing is for the company. Surprise, surprise, she didn't know the answer. Well, perhaps the problem was that her head was so full of debates about data migration and file virtualization that she didn't have the bandwidth for such unimportant questions.

Anyhow, the upshot is that I've had it with the stereotype of the unattractive geek woman who lacks social skills. And I'm out to prove it wrong, week after week. Here's the question, what should I call it?  

My first thought was to call it "Bitch Session." Funny, irreverent, and... um, maybe a little too irreverent? When I bounced the name off my husband, his first reaction was to laugh, but his second reaction was to say, "who would go on a show with that name?" So I ask you, dear readers. What would be a better way to sum up a podcast featuring some of the smartest and most engaging women in technology today? The name needs to be still hip and fun, but perhaps oughtn't invoke the oh-so-politically incorrect word above? Or, are you okay with it? Inquiring bitchy minds want to know....

9 comments:

Louis Gray said...

The concept is good. I recommend away from the title because even as accustomed as many are getting to "light profanity", there are many who would shy away from a show with that in the name. It wasn't too long ago people didn't want to see "The Best Damn Sports Show Period", because of its name. Similarly, I've had other podcasts with profanity in the title ask me on as a guest, and I have declined. I can't promote that! And businesses absolutely won't link to it. So why limit your potential audience for the sake of small controversy?

skcodes said...

I like it but irreverent is my middle name. Louis makes good points above. I'm following you on Twitter so that I will know when said podcast comes out though!

Elizabeth Zaborowska said...

Delighted to see your journalistic prowess move to yet another medium, Sunshine! A new, well-produced women-in-tech podcast would be welcomed by women and men alike. The list of potential topics is limitless, and there are lots of smart, successful women who'd be interested in participating. Especially if the podcast's name is something they can safely post on their corporate website, as Louis points out, or be genuinely excited about when it comes up when "someone-not-familiar-with-how-classy-the-podcast-really-is" Googles their name. Let's have a name brainstorm session. Just us... ladies. ;)

Sunshine said...

Thanks for the feedback folks! And Liz, I am *totally* up for a brainstorming session. Let's do it. As I said on Twitter, this was quite the crowdsourcing experiment. It was pretty much unanimous--everyone hated the name!

Rachel Luxemburg said...

So "The Booth Babes" would be too unprofessional as well? :p

Sunshine said...

Hahaha! Rachel, that's classic. And hey, nothing's out of the question yet. We're still in brainstorming mode here. More! More!

Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins said...

I'd agree on the title - Sean, Steven and I do a podcast called "The Cynical Bastards" that has been turned down for sponsorship and syndication a couple of times based on the title of the show.

Light profanity in the show is generally alright, as long as it isn't a "feature" of the show.

vTrooper said...

How about '├ćon Duplex'? It plays on the Mars/Venus twines.

Sunshine said...

Thanks to all for the great feedback. As you can see from the more recent post, I have settled on the name Techno Girl Talk. Watch this space for updates!