Tech Talk Tuesday: Three Tips and an Observation

Three bits of Netiquette you may have missed:

Comments: When you go to leave a comment on my blog (and most others) you’ll need to add your name, email and an optional URL. If you have a link to point people toward, this is the place for the URL. When you add a URL in the body of a comment it will trigger spam filters, and even if it slips through, it’s bad form. Also don’t use URL shorteners on someone else’s blog bit.ly j.mp and the like are best reserved for Twitter.

Twitter: when you send the same message to more than 2 people at a time people won’t be very interested in your twitter stream. Some folks may think you’re a spammer. I’ll just think you haven’t learned yet. You will. It’ll be okay.

Texting: the first time you send someone a text, it’s nice to say “this is Jessica and …. ” because they might not have you in their phone book, and it’s really embarrassing to take a lovely text and ask, “who is this?” Making people comfortable around you is always in style.

Observations around tech

Tech communities are amazing. I’m very new to the tech scene in Los Angeles, which is thriving. I could be out every night of the week, and surrounded by friends. I love the inclusiveness of LA Tech, and I think I understand why.

Go onto facebook and find the kids you went to elementary school with. If they were short and fat, super smart but also impish and charming, there’s a pretty good chance they’re living in Silicon Valley and driving a Tesla.That short fat kids’ best friend is tall and skinny to the point of gawky, possibly cannot make eye contact, but definitely can play Dungeons and Dragons and possibly belongs to role playing message boards. That best friend is also rich, and in tech.

So, what happens when the awkward smart kids, who may have been bullied are the ones in charge? In my experience, they create cultures of inclusiveness. When I walk into a tech event, I stand at the door, feel my anxiety fall off of me, take a deep breath and realize these are my people. We’re all a little weird, but we stopped fighting it. None of us ever belonged, so we stopped trying to belong. Everyone is smarter than I am, so I know I’ll learn something, and I can just be me.

Tech events are inclusive for many reasons, but probably because it’s a group of individuals who spent a lot of their lives being excluded. The nature of web work is that it’s never perfected, you need your friends to show you the bugs. It’s so much more fun when a friend finds it then when a frenemy does.

Tech is good. I love my family, I love my real life interactions with friends and neighbors, but really? I love my Nexus 1 and my iPhone, and when I’m with my friends in tech, no one asks me why I need to have two cellphones. Y’all get it. My family still thinks I’m weird.

I see the world a little differently. I’m quirky and weird, and I’m okay with that. I’m just grateful that I’ve found a place where my quirkiness can both flourish, and blend in a little.

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