In late May, Venture Beat asked “Who are the top New York City tech influencers?” to announce their “Top Silicon Alley Techie” award. The problem is that they were seeking people who were influencers in the New York tech scene, not actual tech people who create the tech in question.
The term techie has always referred to technical people, being short for technician. Programmers, system administrators, IT support and other people who were technically savvy. The Venture Beat article cites “entrepreneurs, executives, venture capitalists, and just about anyone alive who has made an impact” as potential nominees, but there is no reference to actual techies in the list. They dilute and pervert the term techie to include people who should not be associated with the term.
The technical community is often the underdogs of the tech scene. Many are happy remaining anonymous behind their keyboards and creating products rather than seek the public glory. There are very few awards for or days exalting the skills of the technical workers, unlike people of other skill sets in the social media scene. As I wrote years ago, most techies are more interested in creating cool things than wasting time seeking meaningless adoration like having calendar days self-dedicated in false holiday bravado. There is no mystique, only narcissism, in self-aggrandizism.
Seeing the names that people have suggested for the “Techies” shows that people aren’t interested the real techies, but just to say they support the people who invest in the ideas and creation. Although there are only a couple days left for the Venture Beat “Techie” awards, if you want to vote in them, find a real techie and nominate them for the award. Unfortunately, Venture Beat will undoubtedly continue to bastardize the term techie when the winners are announced and no real techies receive them.