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Dialogue


  ALIZA SHERMAN
Sherman

...on how she went from pen-and-pad to mousepad

288k WAV audio file
900k QuickTime movie

...on why more women are going online

384k WAV audio file
1.1Mb QuickTime movie

...on the spelling of "grrl"

128k WAV audio file
288k QuickTime movie



BIBLIO-FILE

"Cybergrrl" is not just a book; in true the-future-is-now style, it's a Website too (with the motto "A woman's place is online"). In addition to a weekly editorial penned by the Cybergrrl herself and pithy "Guides to Life" on love, money, career and other universal topics -- the site serves up a Bookgrrl section that gets back to the good old printed word, with reviews of books by and about women.




Cover

Sherman's book Cybergrrl


BEGINNINGS

J.C. Herz is one of the best-known writers today expounding on computer issues -- and she happens to be a woman. Her bestselling book "Joystick Nation: How Computer Games Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts and Rewired Our Minds" (Little, Brown, 1997) examines how the medium has boomed from back-room tinkering to a $6 billion a year industry.

Read the first chapter here.



Url appeal

"Cybergrrl" author aims to get more women on the Web

(CNN) -- According to some estimates, men outnumber women online two to one. And while more and more women are getting wired, the gender disparity remains.

Author Aliza Sherman knows from experience how women approach technology -- and why many don't. The one-time devotee of the old fashioned spiral-bound notebook first turned to computers to generate copies of her manuscripts, in a quest to be published. Now she has become a digital diva -- and a published author. Her book "Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web" (Ballantine, 1998) leads the way for other women who want to go online.

In a recent interview with CNN, Sherman set the record straight on a number of issues about women and the Web. See how your answers to the following questions compare to Sherman's thoughts on the subject.

True or False?

1. Women are afraid of technology
2. The Web is hard to understand/hard to teach
3. URL sightings are more common than UFO sightings
4. The Web has plenty to offer women

1. Women are afraid of technology

False, according to Sherman.

"I hear so many stories from women all around the world telling me why they are afraid to go online. A lot of it is a time issue. Surprisingly, it's not the technology issue. They feel like they are afraid they don't have enough time to learn to use it properly, and that it's just going to take up too much of their time if they start to use it."

2. The Web is hard to understand/hard to teach

False again, she says.

"A lot of times when people try to explain the Internet to someone else, they are already talking on their (own) level -- everything that they already know. And they assume that the other person knows right with them. And that's where the impatience begins.

(If) you pick up the "Cybergrrl" book or any of the good magazines out there ... you begin learning things at your own pace.

But the most important thing (if you are teaching someone about the Web), is to find something she's interested in. And then find it for her online. And then show her how to find it. Once you get her connected to something that really matters in her life, she'll be online using it."

3. URL sightings are more common than UFO sightings

True, says Sherman, and it's encouraging more women to go online.

"I think recently women are seeing the Internet and Web addresses, URLs, mentioned in all the traditional media. They will read the women's magazines, ... they will turn on the television set, and they will suddenly see a Web address. So it's infiltrating their everyday life and the media that they're used to and comfortable with."

4. The Web has plenty to offer women

True, according to Sherman.

"There's so many things available on the Web for men and women, for children, for senior citizens. For women in particular, I find they are looking for immediate information for specific parts of their lives: health information, parenting information, educational -- How can I get a scholarship? How can I take a class online?

There's a lot of communities online, particularly where women can meet other women going through the same things they are going through. Women who are pregnant and due the same time the same month -- they'll get together and they'll talk about their experiences."



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