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GirlGeek of the Week
July 1999

Elisa Karp

Elisa Karp

As a kid, if I wasn't writing stories, creating treasure hunts, sewing doll clothes, making collages or stringing necklaces, then I was playing on my brother's Commodore Vic 20, programming it to spell out my name in different colors and patterns.

As a Producer at MaMaMedia, I am responsible for implementing the functional and graphical design of the site using HTML. While earning my B.A. in political science at Vassar College, I developed skills in programming, research and editing. I have also worked at a publishing company; a newspaper; a national talent search for photogenic children; and KidsNet, an online clearinghouse for kids' programming.

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

When I was seven, my older brother received a Commodore Vic 20 for his birthday. I saw him playing on it, programming it to make electronic sounds, and I wanted to play too. It never occurred to me that this was something that I couldn't do. So I would program it to print out my name in rainbow colors. As a little girl who loved to do creative projects, computers just became another tool to use in making my creations.

I'm really happy to see that young girls are now asking for their own computers for their birthdays, instead of waiting for their brothers to get them. The question of whether girls can be into technology and computers never should have been a question in the first place-of course they can!

How do you earn a living?

I'm a producer for MaMaMedia, a Website that makes learning and technology fun for kids. I like to think that I earn my living by working with passionate and creative people who love their work, by producing exciting things for kids, and by just plain having fun.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

I was at a party recently, and I was describing what I do for a living to someone. When I was finished, he exclaimed, "Oh, so you're a techno-geek." I thought about it for a second and decided yes, I am. If a geek is someone who likes and has always liked computers, and who makes a living working with them, then I guess I must be a geek.

What is your favorite Website? -- a necessity for all New Yorkers.

What do you do when you are not working?

I really try to take advantage of New York City -- I love going to museums here, to clubs to see bands play, and to Central Park. I also love writing, drawing, painting, playing guitar, and reading. I always try to have at least one creative project whether it's an idea for a short story, a photography project, a song, or a painting, I always need that creative outlet. My work is really about logical and analytical creative problem solving all day long, so when I get home, I like to indulge myself in artistic, imaginative, and creative projects.


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