Archive for the tag 'technology'


NS May 27th, 2010

As I sat breastfeeding Noble Boy while reading blogs on my iPhone (as you do), I briefly averted my eyes to gaze at his nearly-asleep face by the glow of the screen. And it hit me; it’s not a deep desire to nurse my child until he naturally weans himself that keeps me going —  it’s Steve Jobs. Without that hand-held miracle device, I may have gotten bored with the whole affair a few months ago. As it is, I’m happy to carry on for as long as he wants, so long as I can look at my iPhone over his head.

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Don’t come around here no more

NS March 10th, 2010

Hey, PR people! Yes, you over there, and there; the ones who email me every day, multiple times a day, with varying ‘offers’ or ‘opportunities’ for me to help you peddle your crap, for nothing in return but a warm, fuzzy, virtual hug from you — the middleman, the pusher, as it were — of said crap.

If you cannot be bothered to read through my blog (and by read, I mean past my last two posts) and discover that I, a raging feminist, socialist-verging-on-communist and mother who subscribes to the benign neglect mode of parenting, would probably NOT be interested in helping you sell ‘sexy’ lingerie, or formula made by a notorious WHO code violator, or what I believe to be [added so as to protect myself from libel] a ridiculous, unnecessary, wasteful and overpriced item like this one, aimed at pregnant women and with marketing designed to prey on new parents’ insecurities, I reserve my right to roll my eyes and delete your email, at best. If you catch me on a bad day, you may get a civil but curt reply instead of a deletion.

If you ask me to put a promotional link on my website and I send back my (tongue-in-cheek) fee schedule and an outline of my terms and conditions, I won’t expect to hear from you again, if previous experience is anything to go by. If you then forget you emailed me about it already and re- send the original ask again, with the same form letter, I reserve the right to not only reply a little rudely but also to request that you remove me from your list of potential suckers bloggers who will promote your item or company for little to nothing in return.

And if you send me something which, if you’d actually taken the time to have  a nose through my archives, even just from the past week, you’d know that there’s no way in HELL I would help you promote a blog for a site that has to ‘dumb it down’ for the ladies by making the new blog, like, all fabulous and pink and written only by women in the company (plus one dude, of course, because women can’t operate without at least ONE man in charge somewhere). Here is the press release they thought would win me over (bolding mine):

F-Secure, the leading Internet security company, is launching a new blog geared towards everyday computer users called ‘Safe and Savvy’. This blog is for anyone interested in staying safe online, practicing smarter social networking and protecting irreplaceable content. The bloggers are ladies who play crucial roles throughout the company.

Since its launch in the beginning of 2004, F-Secure’s first blog, ‘News from the Lab’ has garnered a loyal following of information security experts. It is now the go-to source for news and analysis from the world of cyber crime and security.

The new ‘Safe and Savvy’ blog aims to be less technical, more practical and conversational, offering computer users easy-to-digest information on how to stay safe while surfing the web. The posts will include useful tips and advice for social media, shopping or banking online, and protecting valuable content such as digital photos.

Therese Cedercreutz, director of direct business and marketing explains: “Cyber security is often discussed in very technical terms. At F-Secure we have a number of savvy ladies who are well versed in how to keep your content, yourself and your loved ones safe in the online world, and who can talk about it in an easy-to-understand, non-technical way. On Safe and Savvy we hope to give helpful tips and have discussions with our readers so they can steer clear of the pitfalls and enjoy their time on the web.”

The bloggers on Safe and Savvy are F-Secure employees from all parts of the company. Each blogger has a different skill set and expertise, ranging from detailed technical knowledge through to a solid understanding of security issues. However, all are passionate to share their knowledge on online safety, based on both personal and professional experience. And all of the bloggers are women (except for Jason).

K, Imma break it down for you, F-Secure. Let me tell you, since you obviously have no idea (or do you?), of how insultingly this reads, to this woman at least.

If this blog is for ‘anyone’ then why all the constant references to the “ladies?” Can you honestly tell me that with your approach to the mummy blogger market, your pretty pink website and constant references to the all-female staff making everything simpler for us that you were also targeting men (who are presumed to be less likely in need of ‘explaining’ and more able to keep up with the ‘other’ blog which is all techy)? If you can say yes with a straight face then more power to you, ’cause I couldn’t. In fact, I think both my eye and my lip twitched.

I find it incredibly telling that you chose an all-female staff to be responsible for writing this ‘easier to understand, simpler’ blog. If you truly wanted to create a more consumer-friendly site, for all of your users, why go to all the trouble of assembling “the ladies” from your company? If the other, techy blog is (presumably) written by all men, or a mixture of men and women, then why not just have the same people write the simpler blog too? Is it because they are too busy and important to waste time explaining things to the thick-o clients who don’t know all the latest online security lingo and technology? Or is it just that women are better ‘communicators’ and so you thought leaving them to soothe the idiots’ fears would be best? It’s an insult to not only your customers but your employees as well. Cherry-picking a bunch of vaginas (no pun intended — well, maybe a little) from around the office, regardless of their expertise, to run the There Is No Simpler Way To Explain This Shit To You blog is not really making me all warm and fuzzy inside. I don’t inherently trust or understand something more just because it was written by a woman and looks like a flamingo threw up on it.

This disparity was perfectly illustrated when I clicked through to Safe and Savvy (much to my chagrin) and saw this gem:

“Even though we work for some very serious security experts [with a link here to a picture of an office full of what appear to be men at computers], we promise not to get too techy on you.”

Um, excuse me but

Don’t even get me started on the need for ‘Jason’ to be trotted out as the lone male, the one reassurance for those doubtful that a collection of ovaries could talk about technology shit without getting it all wrong. And the thing is, I bet he’s chided and congratulated at the office for being ‘brave’ enough to work with all that oestrogen, oohed and aahed over for his authoritative presence on the boobie blog. Odds are 5-1 that he is a mansplainer of the highest degree, or at least his boss is.

So, PR agency for F-Secure, you wanted to know if I’d mention Safe and Savvy on my blog? I just did.

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