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GirlGeek of the Week
May 2000

Alysia Abbott

Alysia Abbott

Alysia Abbott is the founder of steveabbott.org, a site devoted to her father. Abbott has always been big into talking and connecting with other people. When Abbott's father died, she spent many years mourning him in what she describes as an uncomfortable isolation. In late 1998, Abbott's Web designer boyfriend encouraged her to create a personal Web page. She decided to create a memorial Website for her father using the reams of artifacts, and writings he'd left her. Six labor-intensive months later, she launched (on Father's Day) steveabbott.com, a digital portrait of her dad. The site expressed what Abbott's father meant to her.

The response to the site has been tremendously amazing. Yahoo and Netscape honored the site. Abbott received huge traffic and loads of personal emails from strangers who could relate or were moved by her story. Abbott also received correspondence from friends of her father's with whom she'd fallen out of touch. Many of these friends sent Abbott books or poems that she folded into the site. Abbott plans to build on the community experience by moving the site from an UNIX platform to an NT platform and posting a bulletin board.

How do you earn a living?

I am currently working "for the good" as a fundraising officer at the New York Public Library. Libraries are among the very few locations where those who don't have access to computers at work or at home can use computers and the Internet free of charge. The New York Public Library is currently working on partnering with new media companies and individuals to help maintain and expand public access to technology and tech training.

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

I didn't really get into computers until I was wired at work and discovered the Web. I loved surfing and immediately wanted to get involved. I then worked for a stint in e-commerce planning advertising for a major music Website, but this left me a little cold. I only really got into technology when I discovered how it could be an amazing means for what I consider good work--connection, creative expression, the rest.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Yes, I have always been a geek--despite myself. In the days of high school and popularity contests this bothered me. But more recently, as I've finally embraced my full geekiocity. It has served me well. Surprise, Surprise.

What is your favorite Website?

I love Salon.com and MP3lit.com for the content, Space.com for the print-worthy visuals, and jodi.org for the sheer random fun.

What do you do when you are not working?

I'm busy promoting steveabbott.com through press, readings and attempts at publishing. I also love quiet walks on the beach and cheese fondue.

 

 

 
 
 


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