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Tech Talk

TBT- How Webrings, Blinkies, & Cliques Shaped Female Coders of Today

Dec. 7, 2017

Think back to the early 2000's, when our biggest concerns were who was going to fill that last spot in our Myspace top 8, whether we wanted music to automatically play when someone clicked our profile page, and who was going to feed our "cybunny" when we had to do our homework.

Little did we know, all that time we spent perfecting our profile pages was time actually spent learning to code. We started with webrings and table based layouts, found our own domains (that didn't require using our parent's credit cards) and joined communities with other teenage girls like ourselves who were happy to make custom GIF's in turn for some coding advice.

We were are pretty cool girls.

Melissa McEwen dives into all of these things and more in her blog post, "The teenage girl's internet of the early 2000s".

"They say the internet never forgets, but only fragments of my first website remain there. But it's enough to trace my path, from just fooling around by adding a cute background to my page to writing my first line of Javascript (honestly…it was to cheat at Neopets). It's kind of surreal because that entire subculture of hobby web development I was part of back then was entirely teenage girls. It's like boys didn't even exist except to sometimes blog about or post about on the BBS."

While the days of Neopets, Myspace, and Xanga may be over, there are still some really cool resources for our girls to learn similar coding practices but with a 2017 twist. Check out these cool Jewelbots, Goldie Blox toys, or local Girls Who Code program (better yet, start your own)!
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