Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Can your mom do it? Signs point to yes, geek friends.

Hat tip to, which published this terrific quick observation on a terrible public transit ad:

Here's the photo from GeekFeminism that says it all:
That sticky note at the bottom says "My mom has a PhD in math."

HELLO-- "We're hiring hackers with people skills." Good idea- perhaps ITASoftware should think about hiring ad developers with people skills too. Or at least someone around who would have caught this ad and said, "My people skills tell me that we might want to find a different way to say this. Especially if we want people who are also moms to apply."

I don't buy the argument that the ad is just about seeking folks who can explain software in lay terms. It's definitely making the assumption that "mom"=nontechnical (at best), or anti-gadget, unplugged, behind the times. Someone who would need a clear, engaging lay explanation.

Have they not heard of the massive group known as "mom bloggers"?

There are millions of women and moms online and I will just put myself out there and make the bold pronouncement that many of them feel comfortable futzing around, teaching themselves some stuff about the Internet they use daily, and many might not be completely clueless when it comes to coding n stuff. I happen to know some brilliant moms who can go from 0-60 in 5 seconds flat on new technologies- AND utilize them to get real results in politics and beyond.

It's time to put this "can your mom get it?" thing to rest. I just saw it today in a tweet from someone who shall go handle-less, tweeting from DemoCon about MobileNation, "which makes it possible for just about anyone to build mobile apps, even "your mom.""

Ok, maybe by putting it in quotes he's acknowledging that it's a meme and not literally your mom. Fine. But the words (and now that I consider it, maybe especially with the quotes) still imply that "your mom" is shorthand for someone who doesn't know about building mobile apps. "Your mom" as that end user, the one who calls it "The Twitter," fears the Facebook and has you check her email for her. And that doesn't sit right for me. There are plenty of end users like that who are not your mom, not "your mom," and not women.

How about newbie? N00b? Novice? I know it doesn't have the same rhythm as 'yer mom' but maybe more classy. And definitely more accurate.

Got ideas for better names for the novice end user?