The last few days I've been thinking about my current involvement in the Technology news industry, and I've come to a few conclusions:
- I'm not a journalist. I know, shocker, huh? The fact is that I've never had any formal training in journalism. The closest I've come was the series of cultural anthropology classes I had taken in college, but it's not the same. I'm not even entirely sure if professional journalism training is required in today's blogosphere-centric world. Nevertheless I bring my own preconceptions and preferences to the table whenever I write an article or open my mouth in the OSNews podcast. This is a given.
- When and how we record the podcast has an effect. As myself and others have stated several times before, we don't have a script when recording the podcast. If I'm particularly lucky, I'll have some lead time as to what we'll be discussing and I will be fortunate enough to have the time and wherewithal to research the topic. Most of the time, however, it's just what recently happens. With a vacuum of knowledge, point 1 comes into play again. I seem to do my best when the topic is purely technical -- which reflects my interests and education.
- Comments, read them? Don't? I really don't know what to do with comments. While the conversations on OSnews are certainly above par, the law of averages is still in effect. Many comments are either malicious or in the least, not helpful. Often I find myself stuck on what one or two people had said from behind a username for days or weeks at a time. I had at one point considered quitting the podcast altogether for that reason. A lot of the fallout from that made me realize just how much point 1 and 2 govern my opinions on the podcast.
- Surprise! Being a woman in technology is difficult. While in my professional life I've only run into this problem a handful of times, the podcast does tend to make this all the more apparent. Strong opinions aren't expected from a woman even in 2010. Once given, a woman may be characterized as a "know it all" or in the least "annoying". If you reserve or delicately present your opinions or thoughts, you may be inundated with "help". A good example of this was when I posted about finding the perfect KDE Linux Distro -- in which I was deluged with suggestions several of which I had already dealt with in the post itself. Many simply assumed I didn't know any better -- despite the fact that I had already tried CentOS, SuSE, Gentoo, Kubuntu, Mandriva, and a dozen others.