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Q&A: Gina Trapaniĺs Tech Lifestyle
Nick Denton, owner of Gawker Media, could not have chosen a better person for editor of the tech time-saver blog, Lifehacker. Gina Trapani has her hands in numerous projects: contributing to leading technology magazines, running her own personal weblog and filmmaking. With a demanding lifestyle, Trapani understands the necessity to make life easier. With the help of two editors, RSS feeds and aggregators like De.licio.us, Lifehacker publishes 18 to 19 "Lifehacks" a day. TIME.com talked with Trapani about what it means to "Geek to Live" and the future of personal publishing software. Lifehacker is also one of TIME.com's 25 Sites We Can't Live Without.
If I had to give your blog a nationality, I would call it American, not French, or a blog with a schedule. Is Lifehacker more for the time obsessed or is it more about practicality?
The irony of Lifehacker is that people are wasting time productively. It's the site that you can look at and justify and say, "Well I'm learning something now that will save me some time later even though I'm wasting time now." I think it's more about practicality.
Lifehacker's entries are primarily about software and Web tips, but there are at least one or two a day that have to do with life in general. My recent favorite was about what it's like to be young. What's important about these types of posts to Lifehacker?
I think that it's really important to me to make Lifehacker not only about technology. The whole point of the site is that technology is so interwoven into our lives and exists not for the sake of worshiping shiny, cold machines, but for the sake of helping us. We're humans and I think that the human aspect of software and interfaces is very important. That aspect is the emphasis at Lifehacker as opposed to other gadget-focused or software-focused sites. Those are my favorite types of posts and make the most sense to my mother-in-law.
How would you feel about being called the Martha Stewart of the tech blog world?
Martha Stewart has come before. I would take it as a really big compliment I can't bake or cook but she is really successful.
In your words, what does the website's tagline "Geek to Live" mean to you?
It's about not worshiping technology for the sake of technology, but it also goes into the gender stuff on the site. Most tech sites that you find online are written by men and have a male appeal. Lifehacker has a feminine, girl-geek spin to it, but there's no pink or pictures of lipstick holders. I think that women there have been studies are interested in how technology can enhance their lives and not just for the cool factor. That's what Lifehacker is all about. Is it useful, is this meaningful, will it do something for me as a human being?
Blogging has moved from experimental to mainstream. What social or technical features would you like to see enter the world of blogging?
I have been blogging since 2001 and the one thing that bugs me about the format is the reverse chronological format. There is no good way to highlight very good pieces of content. I wish there was a way to highlight content better with blogs. I don't think that blogs are easy to navigate just yet. When I go to a blog I 'm like, show me a post that is most representative of this blog. I don't think that it's perfect and I don't think that blogs will be the end-all, be-all for publishing software. I think there is a lot of innovation that could happen and will. I think this is all very young.