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Ada Lovelace Day 2010: Gina Trapani

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Ada Lovelace Day 2010: Gina Trapani

Inspiration comes in many forms.  Sometimes it’s a TED talk that captures your imagination, or a TV show that really communicates the importance of a subject in a way that brings it to life, but for me for the past few months some inspiration has come from a woman discussing a fairly ordinary topic on an online panel/discussion show. Gina Trapani is the co-host of This Week in Google alongside Jeff Jarvis and Leo Laporte.  It’s a show that I try and watch live every Saturday at  5:15 EST, which works out about 10:15pm UK time.  Each week the panellists (and usually a guest) dial in via skype and  discuss the technology, business and social impact of the week’s goings on atGoogle.  Maybe you don’t think that this would make riveting viewing but the conversation is always lively, interesting and often insightful. But why would I find Gina Trapani’s presence inspirational, I mean it’s not exactly Nobel prize winning stuff is it?  Well no, but Gina’s ability to see through the technology and the business issues and communicate the real benefits that are being provided.  She also exudes a real love for technology that is infectious without being elitist or condescending. I recall an example; Gina explained (and I’m paraphrasing) that she respected people who use Linux as their desktop more than those who use Windows or OSX because ‘they are willing to put the effort into using something just because it is right’.  That understanding that the technology in itself is not to be revered, but those who use it to better themselves and benefit others deserve a nod of recognition marks, in my book, Gina as someone who inspires me to try and do good. Gina’s recently joined to Expert Labs, and they are adopting and developing her ThinkTank crowdsourcing application, which will be applied to help the US Government to address the ‘Grand Challenges’ of the 21st century - so maybe that  Nobel prize isn’t such a crazy idea.

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