Grrls! Grrls! Grrls!
It started at St. Mark's Place over coffee in 1995. The Manhattan neighborhood was the nest from which the Webgrrls would eventually fly, providing a forum for women involved in or interested in new media and technology. The original Webgrrls exchanged job and business leads, formed strategic alliances, mentored and taught each other the skills required to help women succeed in an increasingly technical workplace and world. The Webgrrls still fulfill this mission—only now, internationally.
The grrls included Eileen, a production editor with Holt Publishing; Carlotta, a Unix System Administrator with Pencom; Shelley DuVal, a transplanted Texan (ISO a job); Phoebe Legere, composer and artist, Cindy (also known as Dolphin) and Cybrgrrl.
According to the Webgrrls, "Webgrrls was a spin-off of Cybrgrrl, an online alter ego. When she first created a web site in January of 1995, she was hesitant to put her photograph on the Web so she drew a cartoon caricature of herself, put a hot pink cape on her, and called her Cybergrrl. [the creator] thought Cybergirl sounded too young and Cyberwoman didn't have the right attitude and sense of humor. When she linked to other women's Web sites from her own Cybergrrl.com site, she called them Webgrrls for women with web sites."
Soon the name took on a broader meaning to encompass the network or "web" of women worldwide which had begun to form and grow at a rapid rate.
In an interview conducted with John Nastasi, Melissa St. John, a senior interactive media developer at America Online's Digital City New York, describes her job as such: "We're developing new technologies for the New York site on AOL and on the Web. And now that we bought Netscape, we have content on Netscape.com, Compuserve.com, and all these other portal sites. I'm responsible for coding and functionality mostly - I don't do any graphic design."