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Stepford vWives: When your spouse comes to the tech conference

stepfordwifeToday I learned the meaning of the term virtual wife (vWife). No, this is not some virtual instance of a physical wife that can be provisioned on demand to share the load of washing dishes and changing diapers while running a multinational corporation. Nor is it some hot elfin chick you “meet” on World of WarCraft.

A vWife is actually the bored (yet very supportive) spouse of a VMworld or EMCworld conference attendee.

Using the website Spousetivities, vWives can sign up to join their vSisters at the spa while their husbands are “better focusing” on the conferences. Spousetivities bills itself as “the fun side of tech conferences,” which at first lead me to believe that at last, some gossip blogger would expose all of the extramarital activities that take place at tech conferences. Instead, Crystal Lowe, the wife of VMware genius Scott Lowe, uses the site to promote her side events with related prizes and discounts for tech spouses looking for a good time (but not that kind of good time).

I applaud Lowe for taking the initiative to start what appears to be a viable small business, but I pose this question to bored tech conference wives (or husbands) everywhere: Wouldn’t you rather save a village than tag along to a conference at which you’re not required to attend?

Before you get offended, it’s not like I’m suggesting you “stay home and get a life,” which is what one of our TechTarget Networking Group editors said (and frankly what I have thought when passing you wives laying by the pool while I traipse off to another interview). Instead I ask, why not raise money for virtualized data centers in, say, Haiti, where an entire nation’s school system can be made functional with two physical servers hosting a couple dozen virtual machines?

Far be it from we, the SearchNetworking editors, to demand that vWives or anyone else not have a good time. By all means, party down vSisters. I just wonder: could you be doing more?

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