Monday, March 14, 2005

Some Bloghercon reaction begs for clarification

Not all the reactions to Bloghercon out there in blogland has been welcoming and warm. A few people have raised some issues, or made some complaints about what they think the Bloghercon "mission" is. So I thought I'd post a brief response to the most common challenges:

1. We are not saying there aren't enough women bloggers.
We know there are tons of them. By some reports it's more than half, other a little less than half. Suffice to say, bloggers are evenly split between men and women. We just want to provide a platform for any women bloggers who are interested to come together, network and brainstorm about blogging.

2. We are not claiming that we're going to focus on how to get into the Technorati Top 100.
In my own post I say: "I am a bit torn personally. You see, every time I ask the question, "why are there so few women in the Technorati Top 100?", my next thought is, "Who cares about the Technorati Top 100? Is that a desirable measure? And if not, then what is?"

I'm not saying I want to be in that list. I'm saying is that list even worth something as a measure? And if it isn't, what is? Some folks think we're whining about getting in the Top 100, and then tell us to reject the Top 100. And that is not the point. For women who do want to get the most out of their blog, they need to figure out what would make them feel they had successfully done so. I don't actually have the answer, even for myself on that question...but the conference is really about trying to figure that out: what do we want, and how can we get it?

3. A few take issue with the concept that women hit "roadblocks".
Well, of course everyone hits roadblocks. And again, in my original post I wonder if maybe women sometimes create our own. And certainly some men hit the very same roadblocks as women. My personal feeling is that women do hit gender-oriented roadblocks, whether conscious or sub-conscious, out there in almost any male-dominated segment of society. There are people who disagree with me, surely.

The story about symphony orchestras that Malcolm Gladwell tells in Blink resonates very strongly with me, because it doesn't claim that people were evil or consciously oppressive; they were just inadvertently slaves to their unconscious bias.

4. Rest assured, for me, the baseline assumption for any blogger is that they like to blog and care about content.
To me, writing good content goes without saying. Perhaps I should have said, though. I'm a big fan of the passionate, authentic blogger. I just think the topics can vary from personal to business topics without destroying one's ability to be both passionate and authentic.

Listen, Lisa and I are out there soliciting feedback from people who would be interested in attending, to find out how to make it worthwhile, proactive...more than a bitch session, more like a strategy session. We don't have all the answers yet, nor do we think that our personal taste and goals should dictate the entire agenda.

Personally I'm not much of a kumbayah, find-my-wild-woman leaning person. (Some would say I've got the wild woman thing down.) I'm fascinated by blogs as a communications and business tool. That's my bias...we need to hear other people's opinions, so it's not E/LisaCon; it's Bloghercon.

See Lisa's latest post, soliciting votes on including men here.

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