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GirlGeek of the Week
July 2000

Anne Holland

Anne Holland

As a youngster Anne Holland was a book geek, content to stay inside and read science-fiction novels while the other kids were on the playground. It's only natural that when she grew up and went into publishing, she developed and marketed trade publications for like-minded geeks.

So in 1994 she launched Interactive PR & Marketing News for Phillips Publishing. Her winning streak continued with the launches of ISP Business News and MIN's New Media Report. She then decided to start her own company, Using her vast experience in online trade publishing, she continues to help other geeks prosper on the Net.

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

The school I went to was originally a private boys' school and one of the old librarians must have been a real Science Fiction fan. Reading hard core science fiction books in the school library as a teenager really turned me on to technology. Fifteen years later when the Internet started happening, it was all so obvious to me. It was like, "well of course I've been imagining the world like this for years, what took so long?"

How do you earn a living?

I'm the CEO of, the online practical news service for Internet marketers and advertising professionals. But secretly (don't tell anyone) I don't take a paycheck yet so we can put the cash into growing faster. Therefore, I do a wee bit of consulting on the side for The Economist just to pay the mortgage every once and awhile.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Absolutely. You have to walk down a thirteen foot hallway lined floor to nine foot ceiling with books just to get into my home. Also, I feel twitchy and uneasy when I'm both conscious and away from email for more than an hour. As a result, like many geeks, I've never had a real tan in my life!

What is your favorite Website?

I'm online for work maybe 13 hours a day, but if I do take a minute off to relax, I nearly always end up at fan sites for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's kinda weird 'cause I'm often the only person over 30 (heck over 20) at them, but it's also good fun. Buffy's definitely my hero and my team actually call themselves "The Scooby Gang."

What do you do when you are not working?

Eat, sleep. This is start-up land. There is not room for much more. On the side I've started an email discussion group on eGroups called, DotComWomen. We are all leaders of dot-coms and meet occasionally as well.

What's your motto?

Black is slimming.

What tech-related book would you recommend to other girlgeeks?

No Life for a Lady by Agnes Morley Cleaveland. It's not really tech related, but it bears on being a girlgeek. Sometimes when I feel tired of being just about the only female CEO at an industry event or other geek-related event, I turn to my bookshelf with true-stories of women through the ages who have been the "geeks" of their time. Back in the time of the Wild West Agnes Morley Cleaveland was a cowboy in New Mexico, and she was darned good at it. It's a great book and never fails to raise my spirits!

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

The lead female in the first Indiana Jones movie. Even though we look nothing alike, I like that early scene where she beats the huge native at his own drinking game. Feisty!

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Serious Fun: The Adventure of Growing a Dot-Com as a Female CEO (and I'm going to write it too!)

Who is the person you most admire?

My Aunt Audrey Martin who is always level-headed and polite no matter what. She's also both the warmest and the smartest person I know.

When and where were you the happiest?

When reading favorite books.

If you could have one super power what would it be?

Seven League Boots.


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