Sex and drama have filled the social media world this week. Between prominent tech figures and investors spouting more crude images of women to make their points about Web site usability to a Harvard study that claims men have more of a following then women on Twitter, it’s been a whirlwind. And lets not forget the AOL debacle where senior management supposedly fired liberal blogger Tommy Christopher for standing up to Playboy and their super empowering article “So Right, It’s Wrong” which ranked 10 conservative women they would like to “hate fuck”. Talk about a #FAIL! Lets get down to business.
I Like Big Butt-ons!
Dave McClure blogged about user-interface design and raised excellent points about keeping things simple and moving beyond big buttons to give people visual cues as a call to action. Dave goes on to say “these days is less about reading text, and a lot more about looking at faces, icons, and other visual representations of people.” All great points and relatively easy concepts for his readers to understand. But Dave felt it was important to emphasize his points further by using a crude image of a woman who appears to be topless and sticking her “big” behind in a front of a camera in a suggestive position. Yea, I get it sex sells, yada, yada. But where do we draw the line as professionals in the tech sector where young people look up to us for advice, resources, and yes as mentors? Do we draw the line here or here? Somewhere else?
Susan Mernit debated Dave and Dave Winer about these issues on Twitter and posted on her blog “Dude, do you think the people you want to speak to are only capable of listening if you dish up porn with your message?”
We complain how the tech sector desperately needs more women, but how can we recruit more women when some men in tech are using crude images of women in tech blogs and tech presentations. And even worse–influential men are defending it.
Battle of the Sexes on Twitter!
Harvard surveyed over 300K random people on Twitter and found that although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers then women. The study also noted that men are twice as more likely to follow another man than a woman and an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Many were surprised by these results because over the past few months, women have started to outnumber men on Twitter. Frankly, I’m not surprised. Up until recently men dominated Twitter. With the influx of 19 more million people jumping on Twitter in the past month after Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey publicly embraced Twitter on the Oprah Winfrey show, many of these new users are just getting used to Twitter. Also, historically men seem to promote each other more on Twitter. Just take a look at some of the stats and trends from the popular FollowFriday#. BTW this is one of the reasons I started #Women2Follow on Wednesday’s–to encourage women and men to promote and connect with other women in their Twitter community.
AOL Fires Popular Blogger After He Attacks Playboy
Is it a coincidence that liberal blogger Tommy Christopher who criticized Playboy (right on Tommy) for posting an article ranking 10 conservative women to “hate fuck” was fired by AOL just three days after he initially posted it? AOL immediately deleted the article from the site claiming that the Playboy story was too profane. Tommy wrote on his personal blog “I get that Playboy is a sex magazine, but I don’t see what hate has
to do with sex. While the author might think it’s funny or edgy, none
of these women consented to be “hate f***ed,” and the whole exercise is
just foul and creepy.”
Interestingly, Time Warner (who owns AOL) is a major distributor of Playboy! In another twist, after receiving a ton of negative feedback from readers and the public about the article, Playboy also removed the article from the site. Perhaps Tommy can start blogging and editing for Playboy and can be the voice of reason when a writer attempts to put out such hateful crap.