April 2, 2009

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): The Geek Girls Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker

The Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire) is a Design Feast initiative. In contrast to the Designer’s Quest(ionnaire), the focus here is on those engaged in the blog medium—why they do it and what tools they use. This third installment features Nancy Lyons (left) and Meghan Wilker (right) of Clockwork Active Media Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They created the Geek Girls Guide, dedicated to their perspective on the interactive industry. Their mission: demystifying technology for women. Their perspective on blog creation and maintenance may ease your entrance into the blogosphere or your current work in it:

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?

Because we regularly have something to say. Because the conversation is evolving. Because we wanted to be regular contributors to that conversation.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
We use the Clockwork Active Media Systems’ blogging tool, the Active Blogging Engine (affectionately known as ABE). On our personal blogs, or when guest blogging for other sites, we’ve also used Blogger, Movable Type and Wordpress.

What is your definition of a good blog 
and what are three good blogs that you frequently visit?
[Meghan:] A good blog is just plain interesting. Here’s a random selection of blogs I like: Typesites, Retro Renovation, The Future of the Internet, Baby Names Blog. [Nancy:] I am all over the place. These are top of mind at the moment: Lifehacker, The Huffington Post, Minn Post, dooce, Engadget.

How do you create content for your blog?
Usually late at night, some idea strikes us (or, more accurately, some situation totally pisses us off) and one of us whips up a post. Or, someone might email us a question about how something works, or why they should use some bit of technology and one of us responds to it. We’ve tried to be organized and have an ‘editorial calendar’ but the truth is that it’s more organic than that. Something moves us, and we write.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?

Doing the blog together is a little bit like having a workout buddy; just knowing there’s another person involved motivates you. We’ve got a long list of topic ideas that we add to whenever ideas strike us. So, if we don’t have an immediate inspiration, we can consult that list and choose from there.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed of 
regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice?
First of all, just do it. There’s no good reason not to: the technology is accessible and free. So if you’ve got thoughts, there’s nothing stopping you from publishing them. Second, be original. Try to find something new to add to the conversation. Don’t just repeat/link to what everyone else is saying.

What is your quest in blogging?
We’re trying to start a movement, baby! We got sick of hearing women play dumb about tech, or be afraid to apply for tech jobs, or leave the tech stuff for their husbands. We want to create a safe place to ask and answer questions, explore new tech and gadgetry and connect with smart women everywhere.

• • •

Photograph courtesy of The Geek Girls.

• • •

Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

Please consider supporting Design Feast
If you liked this lovingly-made interview, show your appreciation by helping to support my labor of love—Design Feast, which proudly includes this blog. Learn more.