Monday, February 25, 2008

More bragging on Lisa

My BlogHer partner Lisa Stone is a video star lately.

Tory Johnson, who interviewed Lisa for ABC News, dug it so much she also invited her to create a video for Tory's other venture: Women For Hire TV.

And here is the result:

You can also see some background video of the three of us in action...totally not staged, whatever do you mean? Actually it was kind of funny, we filmed those segments in my office because I bought myself a beauteous Apple display to show off...and we did end up getting some real work done while they filmed. Good thing there's no audio ;)

Lisa does another great job articulating why women are adopting blogging so rapidly, and why they should continue to do so!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Geek Girls are sooo cute and fashionable!!! Squeeeee!

Hat tip to geek goddess Mary Hodder for pointing me to the latest example of how sexism, real live sexism, is alive, well, generally accepted and in fact perpetuated by our very own "liberal" media. Ha!

Check this NY Times article on Girl Geeks. It seems to be touting the fact that girls are outpacing boys at using and creating content on the web. There's a gender gap in blogging and other social networking and media...and it's widening. Cool, right?

Except I direct you to the top of the article, to the place where you'll note the section of the newspaper in which this appeared.

Fashion & style.

Because geek girls are so cute aren't they?

When they code CSS or html they make all their fonts pink, don't they?

I loved this sentence:

"It is possible that the girls who produce glitters today will develop an interest in the rigorous science behind computing, but some scholars are reluctant to draw that conclusion."

"Glitters"? "Rigorous science behind computing"?

'Cause the guys who are code jockeys are all into the "rigorous science"?

Most programmers I know started out simply programming. Sure, people go to college for it, but they also teach themselves, and they start out teaching themselves to do stuff that's fun. The first program my S.O. wrote was a really simple game. He never went to college, by the way, he just became a programmer, and he's worked at the biggest companies out there. He's a hard core software developer, but he started out as a teenager creating crap on his computer.

Unfortunately I think if the reporter was trying to promote girl power what she did instead was perpetuate their pink-ification. And if it was an editor who decided what section this story about geek girls belonged in, well, they made sure to ghettoize them good and proper.

As Mary says:
So when they interview people like Doc Searls, Loic Le Meur or David Weinberger, all of whom are very smart about tech, those articles are in the tech section or business, but when they talk to girls, who for the record, are far more technical in this article than these three tech experts, girls are put in Fashion. I've never seen coverage with Doc or David or Loic in fashion. Maybe they should be there depending, but they aren't put there by the editors that I know of...

Nope, they certainly are not.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oh, get over it

Brian Braiker recently wrote a semi-review of a blogging anthology for Newsweek. He seems pretty offended at the notion of this anthology.

Brian follows the blogosphere, so he has a couple of superficially rational reasons for objecting to this anthology:

- The blogosphere is all about timeliness, and the publication schedule of a book means that that timeliness is lost. Several of the featured posts are about things that happened a year ago now.

- The blogosphere is also about interactivity, and the format of a book removes the ability to provide relevant hyperlinks or ensuing comments and conversations.

Both of which are true about a significant segment of the blogosphere. But in my mind, fairly irrelevant.

There is not one blogosphere, you see, there are many blogospheres. This book is an anthology of writing, and a good portion of the blogosphere is most definitely about "ordinary" people who have found extraordinary writing talent inside them. And have been able to share it with the world in a way that must make people who consider themselves "real" writers feel quite put out.

I am not sure what makes this anthology any less timely than a recent book I bought of Paul Krugman's, which was comprised entirely of his NY Times columns, most of which I had read. Same goes for countless books that have managed to make the best-sellers list...anthologies of columns, essays, NPR appearances, cartoons etc. etc.

An anthology of previously published and acclaimed work isn't, by its very nature, a waste of shelf space or money.

As to the interactivity complaint. I understand this more. But I still maintain it's a very simplistic view of the blogosphere when Braiker says:
Well, blogs tend to include outbound links to other sites, commentary on funkiness found in the news and Web flotsam, comments from readers and responses to those comments by blog authors. They are timely and interactive, and they couldn't exist offline.

Does that describe a lot of blogs? Sure. Are there a lot of blogs that don't rely on that description? Yes. Are they less "bloggy"? Braiker might say yes. I say no.

What do you think?

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This month's Silicon Veggie: How non-mainstream can go mainstream

What would it take for veg*nism to go mainstream? What would it take for green products to go mainstream? There are only ever going to be a small percentage of us that are willing to make purchasing decisions made based on ethics alone. How do you get the rest of us to buy?

That's what I try to explain (in 400 tiny words) in this month's Silicon Veggie.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A familiar topic raises its head: women speakers

Lena West, a BlogHer Business programming committee member and guest-blogger on Yvonne Divita's Lipsticking blog, has written a piece about how she's tired of seeing the same old male speakers at every Web 2.0 event and on every speaking roster. Jeremiah Owyang (one of those faces she is tired of) responds.

I left a comment on Lena's post and a comment on Jeremiah's.

I also recently resurrected a bunch of my posts on this very subject.

People sometimes come to me for female speaker recommendations, which I'm always happy to give. After all, we have had over 350 women speakers at BlogHer events over the last 3-4 years.

But I'm more excited about an improvement we made to the way we display speakers on our new conference web site. Here's the speaker page that is just getting populated for BlogHer Business. After the conference is over, though, the best part comes. These speaker profiles will be part of a searchable database.

Because lists are great but clearly not enough. I've seen a lot of these lists in the last three years. People don't USE them. So there are two paths of action:

1. Create something people can use. We tried it after BlogHer '05 when Mary Hodder created the Speaker's Wiki, and we're trying it again wit this latest conference site architecture.

2. Take personal action. I don't pay my good money to attend conferences when I see a complete lack of diversity in the roster, and I email organizers and tell them so. I try to offer recommendations whenever I can. When I'm invited to speak, which does actually happen pretty often now, I try to see if they need more speakers and if I can recommend some.

What can you do?

You know, if you think it matters...

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