What happens when the wild wild west of the internet & its brain child the World Wide Web is bought back by women?? And not just **any women, specifically women who don’t look like the women who have traditionally climbed the ranks in big tech companies or owned large swaths of land.
**We’ve got to remember that previous generations of feminists have often left out large groups of women to be included to live our best lives. I’m here as a humanist who wants to see ALL women thrive. In setting up women for success, we set up our families, communities and cities to also thrive. So let’s talk about building the next version of the web and maybe even turning the internet inside out.
What if the internet we were sold in the 1990’s by the likes of Steve Jobs & Bill Gates actually worked like the info center contributed to by human brains that Buckminster Fuller intended.* Both Jobs and Gates mirrored much of their work off of ol’ Bucky’s theories and practices. Let’s not forget to mention the women who were key in building the .com directories as we have come to rely on daily:Ada Lovelace wrote the first algorithms. Radia Pearlman was fundamental to the evolution of technology called ethernet. And of course, Grace Hopper who worked on the very first computer built, Mark 1 and coined the term ‘bug.’ #truestory
But first, tech for bad?
Notably, the first version of the internet’s usage ‘Web 1’ was piloted by the United States military. Knowing that information, it is not surprising that our current model of Web 2 is still patriarchal in form and thus very, very extractive. Its aim is not to leave you with the warm fuzzies. Trigger Warning: It’s to divide & conquer, it is to search & destroy and maybe even rape & pillage.
We are often asked to give our ‘consent’ by checking little boxes with even smaller print. But what are we even consenting to and what are we getting for that exchange? Hmmmm…not quite a balanced exchange if we need to purchase our data back from the likes of Equifax, Transunion, etc. etc. But what about Web 3? How can that look different?
We can begin to think of that original book of work Bucky Fuller handwritten with the intention of somehow freely sharing knowledge and experience through technology; after all he was both a futurist and someone who gave a damn about more than his plot in life. He saw the advances of tech as the best way to help humans ALL have better lives. Bucky did not know how but knew it would happen. He was building for and during the inevitable evolution of technology; just as I suggest we as women begin to do yesterday.
TBH, I feel similarly about how we can harness the good intentions of the World Wide Web and shift from the certain goal of bottom line profit and data extraction.
The initial perks sold to the common human in using the internet and its channels were sold in a far different package than what we are currently consuming. What was to be the free usage and sharing of information is more like a non stop infomercial we are all paying to both produce and purchase from.
The whole thing needs a revamp and I’m here to keep saying WHY even as we discover the HOW!
The Digital Revolution is being televised
I suggest a full system upgrade. Going back to our daydream of woman – ALL women having access to the information and the application of that knowledge into our daily lives, we can begin to ensure all of humanity will experience true equity in ways that the current use of the internet simply does not provide. You’ve maybe heard, ‘When Mama’s happy, everyone’s happy!’, maybe tech companies and their supporters might well consider this adage as we expand and contract our work forces and their missions.
By centering women’s needs, we will see ALL flourish.
The US military launched Web 1 and the tech bros brought us Web 2. How about getting some lady insight into how Web 3 will be built ?? Excuse me please, bitcoin bros !! Ladies coming through !!
My re-vision includes digital resources to be easily accessed by ALL- let’s be clear: I do not want to turn a boy’s club, which is currently big tech, into a girl’s club. Simply putting pink on the patriarchy will not work. What I do want to do is reimagine how we structure, contribute to and break down barriers into more collaborative technology.
We need to first ensure access via reliable & secure signals so anyone who wishes to connect can. And then once inside the Net, we have to deliver what has been promised: useful & safe avenues on which to travel where we can share these direct links to information on Money, Sex & Politics.
You can picture a market place much like an Amazon, but instead of showing what you need to purchase in stuff aka consumables, the human programmed algorithms show you the tools & resources based around equity of knowledge & information. Ensuring access is key so varying points of entry for all the reasons accessibility need be considered is paramount: from price point to how information is telecast or shared.
In this new version of the Web, it’s third now for humankind, leaders teaching about anatomy and sex education are not tagged as pornographers, charging them to come up with code words about parts of the human body all of the earth’s people have!! Did you know that the word ‘Segg’ is code for Sex on the Web 2 because certain Puritanical bots are trolling the otherwise ‘safe’ internet streets to keep Segg educationalists from spreading Anatomy 101 like wildfire !
This incarnation of tech as good will be where women leading other women are not seen as people of suspicion and have their social media accounts suspended. And on my Web 3 cloud 9, we will be hosting curious conversations and riveting discussions that help us move the needle towards equity for ALL without trolls, dick pics and the variety of **other** unsavory experiences that many of us 49.74% of the world’s humans who call ourselves women have experienced.
I am here to burst the Patriarchal Puritan Bubble that Web 2 thinks it needs to moderate and appropriate whilst pulling all the data it wants in the meantime. It’s a bit of a two-faced business model, don’t you think? Perhaps the time spent chasing down Humanist policy women leaders & Drag Queens could be spent building better access points to wi-fi for low income areas across the World Wide Web’s reach. The move to building safer & truly vetted technology based on the needs of our current & living population can and should be prioritized.
Currently, finding financial resources for education or business expansion often includes hours, months or years of research. During that time digging for gold, patterns are tracked and marketing information garnered. As an example, I write for loads of grants.
I have been researching these for years aside from so many advertisements for MBAs, PhD programs and cohorts filling my feeds, the most viable hub I’ve found on my own volition and without the bots pointing me in the right direction for this is a Google doc shared between thousands of women. (DM me on the Backstage Pass for this doc!) WE CAN DO BETTER!!
A new way to access information safely has yet to be launched but it’s being tested and tried, this time by futurists outside of the military and by women who want coding credits this time! This kind of inentional access would help women access more financial resources to live our best lives, be it for business expansion or educational pursuits. Naturally, increased wealth for women always increases the quality of life for our families, our communities and our cities in which we live. Again, WIN WIN!
What if this future access to technology also allowed us safe spaces to share education & resources around sexuality, anatomy, reproduction and health care options so that no woman ever went without the knowledge of how to care for her body and where she might acquire that care? Access to healthcare is a human right and the information directing us to it is integral! You may have seen sites like #metoo’s Survivor Sanctuary or She Should Run as good Web 2 spaces to build from. These are tremendous resources and beautiful foundations which we can expand upon. In the next version of the web I’m imagining, we must prioritize places like this AND ensure their safety as well as accessibility. We need less **cookies ( more on cookies later) and more generative info shared than extractive. Current modes of internet use seem to require this extractive model.
And what if we were so bold as to call of this ideation political; what if we even ran for office en mass, or even better yet, utilized our collective purchasing power of 83% in the US alone and our nearly 1.7 trillion US dollars we contribute to the American economy on average through our 11.6 million women owned companies. Not only do women make up 52% of the US population, we make up 47.7% of the global workforce.
If we took even just 1% of this energy in numbers and directed it to build Web 3 with women’s wealth, health and leadership in mind, we’d not only see a new way of using tech but also an increased quality of life.
What the Tech ??
Ok, maybe you don’t want to build tech. Heck, maybe you don’t even like using it very much. And maybe that’s because it wasn’t really designed for you to like it. Afterall, both the military and bro culture doesn’t usually build for comfort or inclusivity.
Let’s again suspend disbelief for a few more moments and possibly consider that even your use of tech could be adjusted just slightly today to actually be “good” and “ rewarding”, maybe even generative!
Think about it: you could walk into an area on the web, inside the internet general store of the future and get only what you came for and leave considerably more connected to resources, inspired and very equipped with the tools you went searching for in the first place. Not sure what I mean, come Backstage and see what I’m talking about !!
Considering that our brains’ firing synapses and pathway processing is very similar to computers and thereby what the internet is emulated after – they are human powered afterall.
There is some value in comparing the brain to both the internet and the World Wide Web. But let’s also clarify between the two: The internet is hundreds of millions of computers- like smart phones, desktops, car dashboards, washing machine operating systems, basically any automated devices that connect that information to another via the internet.
The World Wide Web is hundreds of millions of websites or addresses inside the internet, many which contain links to other pages on that site or other sites all together.
If the internet is the airport, the World Wide Web is the moving walkway between gates and the gates are individual websites, IP addresses, etc. etc.
It’s a lot but it’s also a lot made BY HUMANS. And I’d like more WOMEN humans to be involved in how it works because I promise we gals will also ensure it works well for EVERYone. OK? OK! Because let’s be honest, whether or not we are involved in these system ‘updates’, they will continue to evolve with or without our input.
Let’s Do Tech For Good Instead!
TDLR: We tell new stories, we write new code and we weave together better connective threads that do not divide but instead stitch us closer together.
E X P A N D E D
We no longer accept that the only people fit for expansion of ideas and integration into our cultures are white men. We write ourselves – ALL WOMEN – into the story.
We are no longer just interested in shattering glass ceilings by way of climbing some bull shit ladder. We are breaking down door ways, telling gate keepers to keep moving and establishing our new roots in a digital world to be grounded strongly in the human experience, not just the bottom line. We can absolutely build tech for good and with the outcome of a generative product instead of a simply extractive one.
We collaborate with other women who have this same mission, albeit different copy, and write these new stories into the DNA of technology. That’s all that code really is: Storylines, scripts and maps! It is a series of prompts aka stories that are told to systems to replicate, expand upon or automate; those prompts are written by humans. Let us create these prompts to code for our colorful, varied and non monolithic human experience.
When we ask AI to find an image of people on a beach, we need AI to know that ‘people on a beach’ means more than white men on a beach. #truestory
We elevate each other’s mission by weaving together our various stories that tie to the same mission via that World Wide Web we discussed above. Think of of it as a massive SEO ( search engine optimization) that takes critical mass in cross connecting programs like Berhenda Williams in Detroit. B is leading the Power of Girlhood by serving young Black & Brown women whom she connects to in circles like that which Gina Bianchini is building. As founder of Mighty Networks, Gina & her team decentralize the power of community from its badly behaving Uncles of Facebook, Twitter and the like.
What I am building with LBI Digital on those Mighty networks connects with women worldwide to give us a global hub to operate from and stay directly connected to other thought leaders pushing the envelope like to Shira Yevin’s project that rocks! Gritty in Pink is led by women who are changing the face of live music & booking more female talent across stages worldwide. Those threads directly connect to Maxine Cunningham’s project based in British Columbia, Canada accessing brains world wide: Pick My Brain. Max and her amazing team are making the human brain our number 1 global export to be commoditized and get this: we each get to own our own content because it’s our own ideas, IP and brainpower!
We can cruise down freshly upgraded Web 3 streets to Gigi Diaz’s network of badasses inspiring women to live on their own terms and chat up Nicole Cacal in advocating for more financial inclusion practices! These ladybosses are all actively using the rails of Web 2 to build something that can be and will be next level powerful and generative in Web 3.
We inspire the global use of the World Wide Web in its next version to be inclusive, to be supportive and ultimately generative instead of extractive. As a cute little test, next time you stroll the internet streets, notice how many times you are asked to accept cookies. Also, WTF are cookies anyways?
I don’t know about you but my Granny told me to never take candy from strangers. Every time I go to a new website aka an internet stranger’s house, they wanna give me cookies! Or take my cookies ? Or wtf is even happening?
I will tell you that cookies are the cute af internet 2.0 way of saying:‘Hiiiii we are taking your info and might sell it back to you or someone else later. K bye!’ Now, as in the bakery, not all cookies are created equal. Some are deliciously helpful and some are just plain rude, dry and grabby af to be used solely for marketing. #themoreyouknow
We are currently active users of Web 2.0 , that is essentially the second incarnation of the internet map. In Web 3.0 we have the opportunity to build it better.
But we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I promise. Also, WTF did this statement even come from!?! Oh, interesting. Original abolitionists suggested fixing broken systems by not harming those suffering from them. Great idea, Wiki quoted gents!! It is as always a good to stay curious and keep learning about the old stories we haven’t been told as we write new ones of equity and inclusion.
If you are at all curious about staying informed on the build of our shared future and how technology will direct it, I invite you #ComeBackstage and meet other thought leaders, industry disruptors and business activists.
We host a free monthly meetup via our bizz bestie Maxine’s PMB site.
Next event July 27 at 430pm PST/ 730pm EST
We talk (& activate) with women leaders world wide on the LBI Podcast: Money Sex & Politics. See two just dropped ya’ll! Get your listen on!!
OTHER WAYS WE ARE BUILDING
We connect with our reading & writing bosses here on the Boss Blog. We do social media differently as we pull back the curtain on how we do business and flip the script on how we share our tools and resources on the Backstage Pass.
Oh and one more thing, a note about WHY I am doing this and without dropping any guilt, why I think you might want to, too! My why is because I give a damn. I am actively interested in growing business, brands and stories that move the needle forward in actively building a better world. Current conditions point to less than favorable for most AND we can do better ya’ll. #Techforgood is the answer!
I have built 3 of my own brands/ businesses and consulted on many, many others.
I enjoy story telling ALOT and since that’s pretty much my job, I can also smell a fake. And the story we have been sold that there is only one way to do something or that there are limited resources so we should compete for them: I call TOTAL BULLSHIT aka misinformation, in simple terms NOT TRUE.
For those of us with more resources to share, it is our job to bust open the door to the BS scarcity story and hold it open for more folks to genuinely and inclusively expand access to ALL information that helps build a more equitable world. And since I cannot save all the wales on my own, I’m hoping you might want to join my Orca Band! LOL, But tbh, I am not really kidding! I’m with the Orcas and the natural order of ecosystems to be supportive, generative and abundant. This fake news of scarcity only fuels toxic capitalism and I for one am 100% over that shit. HBU?