Monday, November 16, 2015
Parodying Female-Friendly Advertising? Consider the Alternative.
- Advertiser are gonna advertise.
- Advertising enables (monetarily) many of the things we love a lot but aren't willing to pay for ourselves.
- And frankly, advertising has therefore enabled the wider democratization of media, both re: entertainment and raising your voice, gatekeeper free. Would you want a world where only people who can afford to pay for access can attend conferences, access web sites, watch TV, blog, etc. etc.?
Call out points of hypocrisy? Reasonable.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Anil Dash on Unintentional Exclusion
1. You Can't Start the Revolution from the Country Club
2. Country Clubs and Deliberate Design
Anil expresses concern that new tools in development that will potentially push blogging forward, will also be built, designed, informed, and dominated by people who all look (and think) the same, namely privileged white male geeks.
They are both good, thorough posts, and you should read them.
On the one hand, why worry? Despite the tendency of tech tools to be created by privileged people (and there were plenty of women at the forefront of the first wave of these tools...Flickr, Blogger, SixApart, all co-founded by women), it's hard to keep the rest of us out.
Years ago Pew was already reporting that people of color were flocking to blogging at rates disproportionate to their Internet adoption. And we all know BlogHer even exists because women turned to blogging to form community, self-express, and ultimately even make some money. So, it'snot just hard; it's actually a losing battle to keep us out.
It's not hard to understand why: When the mainstream (or traditional, or old) media is even MORE of a country club, you'll ignore a little tone of exclusivity to escape those gatekeepers! Whether a tool was designed for you or not, you can use it. You can't exactly get yourself on TV or in the paper just 'cause.
So blogging allows you to create your own playing field and make the most of it. A good thing.
On the other hand, we founded BlogHer because we thought it matter that women be *visible*, be heard, be properly accounted for, as new media grew and drove new success stories, new change, new power structures.
I continue to think playing first-string on the existing playing field is still important.
And that's why Anil's posts are important.
Monday, January 16, 2012
The BlogHer Consumer Electronics Study: How Women Shop for Tech
So, BlogHer released the latest in our series of proprietary research studies, this time digging into women's perspectives on purchasing consumer electronics devices. We surveyed a BlogHer Network sample and a general population sample to see how those two groups are align and differ. As has been the case for quite some time, the two samples were directionally very similar, differing by degree more than by fundamental perspective or motivation.
The key findings include:
-I know amazing TVs were a centerpiece of CES this year, but women consider TV to be a distant third-place on the hierarchy of indispensable devices. We know we can get entertainment, communication and productivity out of single devices now, and they top our priority list.
-Women continue to identify peer advice and recommendations online as both reliably informational and highly influential. Meanwhile, we continue to turn to manufacturer and retail sites for specs and information, but do not consider that information to be influential to the final decision. Out last two studies have been on fairly technical verticals (automotive and now consumer electronics) and this distinction was stark in both studies: Manufacturer sites were a top information source, but ranked last or next-to-last for influence. You know what else continues to not get much traction as a marketing approach? Celebrity endorsements and "woman-y" products. We just like things super-fast, super-functional, and super-simple.
-Finally, there were some interesting stats about mobile usage...some surprising, some not. Mobile apps aren't yet making a dent as a top information source for tech purchases, but people are clearly reviewing online content about such purchases on their mobiles. It's a huge factor so your content better look and function well.
One other stat that I personally found very interesting was in how different groups identify themselves as shoppers. Now the #1 answer across all groups gender, age, race) is still "Price-Conscious". Clearly we are still concerned about the economy and tech devices are still a serious purchase and serious investment. But 50% of African Americans self-identify as either "early adopters" (defined as pre-ordering or buying day one) or "leading edge" adopters (defined as waiting to make sure there are no catastrophic bugs before buying). This is significantly higher than any other group. Combined with the fact that 70% of AfAms report using a mobile during the tech purchase process, and you get a picture of a highly connected highly tech-savvy population.
Labels: blogher, bloghercon, consumer electronics, research
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Twitter vs. Google: Clash of the big babies
We all know
@google algorithms for ranking is proprietary & can change on whim, right? If their results sucked they wouldn't be dominant.
I would use
@twitter search (and did use @summize). It's a JOKE how ridic Twitter search is. And they have no one to blame but themselves. #GoogleTwitterBreakUp #HeyGoogleTwitterStaycivilforthekidsplease
Sunday, January 01, 2012
PSA: Blogging is not just what *you* do.
Labels: blogging, blogher, bloghercon, comScore, Pew Internet and American Life
Friday, December 30, 2011
I'm speaking at the 92nd Street Y, with a panel of accomplished women
- Sarah Brokaw, who was amazing at BlogHer this summer, and is author of an inspiring manifesto for women, Fortytude
- Ree Drummond, she of Pioneer Woman fame (and NYT bestselling author)
- Kathryn Finney, aka The Budget Fashionista
- Karen Amster Young and Pam Godwin, the daring women behind 52Weeks.com
Labels: 52Weeks, 92nd Street Y, blogher, bloghercon, Karen Amster-Young, Kathryn Finney, Pam Godwin, pathfinder day, Ree Drummond, Sarah Brokaw
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
BlogHer and partner Lisa Stone on NPR's Tell Me More
Labels: blogher, bloghercon, Lisa Stone, Working Mother Media
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Steve Jobs, Apple and the intersection of "censorship" and capitalism
"Still, there was something unnerving about Apple's decreeing that those who bought their products shouldn't look at controversial political cartoons or, for that matter, porn."
"Either that, or we just enjoy the idea of an uncensored open society where a techno-dictator doesn't decide what we can and cannot see."
Labels: Apple, blogher, bloghercon, censorship, Steve Jobs
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Some discounts for you on my next couple NYC speaking gigs
Among the many fun-filled activities I have planned, I'm speaking at two conferences offering discounts to you, my readers. (Also, to any other speakers readers. And in one case, also to every single BlogHer community member.)
So, here's the scoop:
1. Web 2.0 Expo in NYC, October 10-13
Use the code 'webny11fos' and get 25% off registration.
As always the Web 2.0 conference features a series of web luminaries on its roster. What am I speaking about? Well, it's a new topic for me: I'm going to give a presentation on how to mine your community for more than just brand fans, but for actual full-time employees. When I look over the list of BlogHer's 60 employees, I'm proud of how many we came to know because they were BlogHer community members. And the interesting thing is that this applies not to just folks working in expected areas, like social media execution itself but also, for example, our in-house contracts counsel. A lawyer and a food blogger!
2. PivotCon in NYC, October 17-18
Use the code 'BlogHer30' and get 30% off registration.
I'm speaking on a panel about the new influencers, and I'm just a little stoked because my panel immediately follows Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz speaking on building new relationships between artists and fans. Don't think it's too often I get to be in the same conference roster with someone in my iTunes rotation.
check out both these events in the next couple weeks and come say "hi!"
Labels: pivotcon, speaking, Web 2.0 Expo
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Term sheet advice for entrepreneurs from GigaOm
2. Resetting vesting
3. Liquidation preferences
4. Protective provisions
5. Expanding the options pool
And they provide good basic info about what to expect and what to look for.
I would only add this: When BlogHer was looking for its first round of funding, Lisa Stone and I met with entrepreneur Caterina Fake (she of Flickr and Hunch fame). She shared some timeless advice with us that I reference all the time, and cite as the single most useful piece of advice I ever got. Her advice was to prioritize:
Before you take a dime, hey, for that matter...before you partner or hire, you better make sure you trust the people involved, that you feel they get you. Perhaps even more importantly, you want them to trust *you*, to respect what you have built. Finally, they should bring value beyond the money...strategic insight, key industry connections, you name it. You're getting hitched, make sure it's a relationship that can last and thrive.
To understand Terms over Valuation as a priority, read the GigaOm post. Hearing high valuation numbers can put stars in your eyes, but as the cliche goes: It's better to walk away with a reasonable chunk of a smaller exit than to have a high exit out of which you get nothing. Usually, if not always, higher valuations come at the sacrifice of favorable terms for the founders and common shareholders. Know what you're signing up for and protect your interests. A valuation does not an exit price guarantee, so don't be seduced!
So there are your weekend words of wisdom!
Labels: caterina fake, entrepreneurship, GigaOM, term sheets, valuation
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Gut reaction to Facebook Timeline
I think that they're biting off more than we as users want to chew. It's too much; it's overwhelming; and seems too complicated to manage. Everything I hate about FB amplified, but prettier.
Here's how social media use breaks down for me:
Pinterest and Instagram: Look at pretty things from people I like
Twitter: Make small talk with friends and see what's hot and trending
Blogs and Google+: Have substantive conversations of my choice with people of my choice
StumbleUpon, Delicious: Share things I like
With the latter function also being part of why people use Pinterest, blogs and Google+.
Facebook is now, what? Hard to follow and still hard to connect dots. But now about EVERYTHING you can possibly imagine. I run away just looking at it :)
I don't know...sometimes more is less. That's my gut reaction.
And her response?
That’s exactly the problem with Facebook. Some of us can look at it and see a world of opportunity but others… just see chaos – pretty, pretty chaos, lol.
I know statistically almost every online adult is touching Facebook at least once a week. more than any other social media service. Next year when BlogHer does its annual study I want to delve into love and hate, though. I know more people who use FB yet seem to hate it. That would be me. Can't deny I'm there probably at least once a day. But almost under duress.
The question is whether there will ever be an *anti*-tipping point for Facebook?
Labels: bloghercon, Facebook
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Marketing: If You Can't Say Something Nice...
Perhaps I've missed some new data or wisdom.
Suddenly I see anti-marketing cropping up, and I find myself wrinkling my nose like the Queen of England smelling something bad.
What do I mean when I say "Anti-marketing"? I mean marketing based on criticizing your competitors instead of touting your own accomplishments, features, benefits or advantages.
So, instead of Avis's famous "We're #2 we try harder", in anti-marketing land they might have gone with "We're not like *other* (unnamed, but totally obvious) car rental companies that have [insert lame policy here]!"
One of the most prominent anti-marketing campaigns I've seen in the last year has been Box.net's ads that exist solely to say they're not Sharepoint. I'm hardly the only person to notice the campaign being negative, and to complain that it didn't really tell me why I should care about Box.net. In fact, truth is: We're a Box.net user and all those negative billboards and ads did was make me think I should check out Sharepoint to see what all the fuss was about!
My advice is to stop after you've touted what is awesome, unique and amazing about you and your offering. You don't have to be coy about it. And you don't have to give your prospects any funny ideas. If they've been checking out your competitors, they'll know that the benefits you're describing are different or better. If they haven't been checking them out, they probably won't even start, hearing how awesome, unique and amazing you are!
If you feel the need to follow up with a thinly veiled reference to who or what you are not, maybe you're not proud enough of who or what you are.
Just to be fair: I realize this post could be considered a total example of me being all thinly-veiled myself, so I will say it was the Box.net billboards cropping up last year that started me thinking about this subject, but it's the marketing that goes on in the social media space that keeps me thinking about it! And challenges me always to remember: Anti-marketing won't fix lack of differentiation...or unclear articulation of differentiation.
It's a small world. Most industries are small industries. Today's competition may be tomorrow's collaborator, both at the individual and organizational level. And I'm an old-fashioned marketer who doesn't want to tear others down to build my brand.
Am I impossibly old-school? Missing the boat? Shooting myself in the foot?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My immediate, gut reaction to the news about Steve Jobs
I'm really sad about Steve Jobs. Sad because of what I assume it means. Sad for him and his family. Sad for the rest of us, almost all of whom have benefitted from his genius, even if you aren't a Macolyte like me. (I converted pretty late myself, at the age of 39.)
Sad because, while I believe Apple will survive and continue to thrive, Jobs is an inspirational and iconic figure in the Valley...a symbol of the great come-back, the wronged entrepreneur who proved the others wrong, a symbol of rewarding risk-taking and genius, not only bottom-line thinking. Is everything he symbolizes accurately describe or define everything he is? Well, most of us can never know.
But symbols are about meaning, not pure facts. Sigh.
I also want to share this post from TechCrunch: The End of an Era.
As I said on Twitter, it's not often that TC features beautiful writing. And I don't think I ever remember it making me cry. That post does.
We're also collecting reactions over at BlogHer.
And finally, Anil Dash posted a provocative post about Jobs, his background and his business acumen last week. It's relevant, perhaps surprising, and a good homage.
I'm hoping for the best for Jobs and his family. What else can we do?
Labels: Anil Dash, Apple, Steve Jobs, TechCrunch
Monday, August 22, 2011
Tory Johnson's got it right!
Many of you emailed to tell me to stop working. But the truth is, I'd rather cut back than cut off. Not being connected and in touch is more stressful than reducing my work and doing what's needed from a distance.
That's me. That's exactly how I feel. Do I always balance it exactly right? Probably not. But I'd rather stay in touch than totally unplug too.
Of course I wrote about this on BlogHer last year, with me taking the "stay in touch" side and partner Lisa Stone talking about her radical form of unplugging. (Radical to me, that is.)
I just wanted to share that somebody out there sees my side, and doesn't think it's just a sign of rampant workaholism.
What do you think?
Labels: bloghercon, Email, Lisa Stone, Tory Johnson
Saturday, March 19, 2011
BlogHer|bet is this week: A live virtual conference pass is available!
For some women, that means going out on their own and starting a business.
For some women, that means figuring out how to get their idea heard in a corporate environment.
For some women, that means taking their existing small business and scaling it up...via funding, via partnerships...whatever it takes.
We have tracks of programming covering all the most important issues any such women should be thinking about:
The Business track will cover How To Lead Developers (especially if you aren't one), How To Manage Up (to get your ideas heard and acted upon) and How To Think About "Brand" (especially when your idea is so new, there is no brand).
The Entrepreneurism track will cover The Deck, The Term Sheet and The Exit. That kind of says it all...these are the tools you'll be working with, and this is the stuff you need to know to go out there. No one will look out for your interests better than you, so understanding the jargon, and the meaning behind it, is critical.
The Technology track will cover the three areas of tech that anyone launching a new tech or media concept needs to be on top of: User Interface and Experience, Mobile Distribution and Promotion and Online Measurement and Monitoring.
There are a couple of great keynote sessions too, featuring women talking about leadership and how to demonstrate it, even if you only have one minute to make a mark.
And we'll close out the day by letting four great organizations show the women in the room their options to take the next step. We are proud to have the founders of Astia, J-LAB, the Pipeline Fund and Women 2.0 present their organizations. But more than that: Each of these organizations are bringing someone with them. They're each bringing a woman who has gone through their program and can talk about what it was like, how it helped them and what success has looked like for them.
Perhaps the most important part of the day, though, will be the morning. For two hours over 50 amazing women leaders, from across tech and media, have agreed to sit down for two hours and meet two different women, one-on-one and face-to-face, for one hour each to provide their advice and counsel on specific business issues the attendees are facing.
Who are these role models? They are women who fund and acquire businesses. They are women that have been through the start-up wars themselves and lived to tell the tale. They are women who are tasked with leading large companies into new areas and new directions. They are women who are on top of the latest trends and business considerations. Seriously, check out the speaker list...it's crazy the level of talent coming to share their time and wisdom.
We have been working on this event for the last six months, and I cannot wait to see it come to fruition this Thursday.
I can't wait to thank the mentors, in person, for walking the walk to help women succeed.
I can't wait to thank the attendees, for taking a chance on a new event and taking a chance on their own big idea.
I can't wait to thank the sponsors, particularly our host sponsors Microsoft and Cisco, without whom we never could have launched this new event.
I can't wait to see it all come together.
If you're interested in seeing it too, there are two options:
Live and in person: While we're technically sold out, several attendees are there to support women, but not to get mentored. So we have exactly five slots still open to go through the full conference experience, including being matched with a mentor. You can register here.
Live and online: We're working with start-up WMBLY to power a Virtual Conference Pass. During the conference on Friday you can watch all the programming sessions and keynotes via live-stream...and participate in a live-chat while doing so. The videos will remain available for 60 days after the conference.
You can also wait until after the conference and buy a pass to view the videos for 60-days. That saves you $10. (Although I think the $10 is worth it to be able to pop pin during the actual day and watch live...and interact with others doing so in the live chat).
So, will I see you there...in person or online?
We think you should bet on yourself...and your big idea...and make it!
Labels: blogher, BlogHerBET, bloghercon, wmbly
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Rewriting the New York Times Headline: Blog Use Wanes Amongst Teenagers
Today BlogHer was pleased to be quoted in a New York Times article by reporter Verne Kopytoff, provocatively entitled: Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter.
The article was prompted by a recent Pew Report from late last year entitled Generations 2010.
Here's the interesting thing: Blog use is indeed significantly down amongst teenagers. Half as many "blog" now versus in 2006. And those in the 18-33 cohort show about a 2% decline. Yet more of those who are 34+ are blogging, leading to an overall increase. Yes, despite the headline (which, let's acknowledge: The reporter probably didn't write) there has been about a 25% increase in number of "all adults online" who blog.
When I was asked to comment on BlogHer's perspective on the Pew report, I shared four main points:
Kopytoff focused on the first point above, from our conversation. Pulling this quote:
Indeed, small talk shifted in large part to social networking, said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, a women’s blog network. Still, blogs remain a home of more meaty discussions, she said.
“If you’re looking for substantive conversation, you turn to blogs,” Ms. Camahort Page said. “You aren’t going to find it on Facebook, and you aren’t going to find it in 140 characters on Twitter.”
Apparently, Toni Schneider from Automattic agrees with my second point above about how we bloggers use social networking tools to promote our work on our blogs, because he made the point very well:
In any case, he said bloggers often use Facebook and Twitter to promote their blog posts to a wider audience. Rather than being competitors, he said, they are complementary.
“There is a lot of fragmentation,” Mr. Schneider said. “But at this point, anyone who is taking blogging seriously — they’re using several mediums to get a large amount of their traffic.”
I'm not surprised Kopytoff didn't cite my third point about the usefulness of these media as marketing tools. This article doesn't talk at all about the use of blogs in this way, only as a self-expression tool. If, however, you want to see some outside validation of that position, I suggest you read this detailed post by Stacie Tamaki about how her blog is the only tool that gives her search engine juice. If you want to be found by customers, it ain't gonna happen via Facebook:
s a user of all three mediums I often see friends, particularly small business owners and advocates, only publicizing content to their existing friends on Facebook or Twitter. The same information on a blog would receive far more exposure and that's (imo) one of the main reasons to market at all:
1. To help people (clients, supporters and enthusiasts) who didn't know about you to discover you.
2. To reinforce your brand to people who may have heard of you but haven't connected with you yet.
3. To keep supporters updated so that they can help you by sharing information with others who would be interested to know about you.
Finally: The headline is indeed provocative, but a bit misleading. A more accurate headline for the article would have been "Blogs Wane Amongst the Young As They Drift To Sites Like Twitter." The article itself definitely makes this point at the very end of the piece, stating that blog use is rising in adults over 34 (5-6%)... rising more than it's waning in the 18-33 cohort (-2%).
It's only among actual teenagers that there has been a significant drop.
But the goal for using social media at all amongst teenagers is still weighted heavily towards "keeping in touch with friends and family," which we know from our own research Facebook has taken over from blogs, and serves as its main function.
Despite the provocative headline, this story is actually more measured than a lot of the "blogs are dying" pronouncements we've seen since the Pew report. So, I appreciate that.
But as someone who is 34+, I have to say nothing can make you feel more obsolete than realizing that the habits and behaviors of your entire cohort -- of people spanning more than 30 years in ages, and across three generations (Gen X, Young Boomers and Older Boomers) -- is meaningless in the face of what those young 'uns do.
And if I were such a young 'un?
I wouldn't appreciate the assumption that somehow my online behaviors and needs will stay static. That I'd never develop a desire or need to present my work via a professional platform. Or want to support a cause or political stance via a social change platform. Or need to pull together a support community around me while going through something as universal as parenting, via a personal platform.
I don't buy it for a second. Do you?
Labels: blogging, blogher, bloghercon, New York Times
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Geoff Livingston goes after "vote for me" syndrome
He says: "For the magazines or products behind it, this is complete self-promotion--and for the request-makers, it feels like desperation!"
I do feel his pain, absolutely.
Not even bringing up their egregious Influence Project, but when Fast Company decided to shift from doing their own reporting and homework to name their "Top 25 Women in Tech", as they've done for the past two years, to running a popularity contest instead, I was deeply disappointed. Traditional media goes on and on about the value of "real" journalists and "real" journalism, But I guess they discovered the lure of getting others to do the work for them...and of racking up meaningless, valueless page views in so doing. [Full disclosure: BlogHer was on this list the past two years, and I fully expect us to drop right off of it, given we haven't "campaigned" at all.]
But I also know why organizations enable community voting...reasons beyond the obvious answer, which is: Link bait.
Sometimes organizations actually want to honor and act on what their community thinks or likes or supports. And whether you provide a public forum for the community to share such thoughts, or ask for those thoughts in non-public ways, it's unrealistic to think that people won't want their community to support their efforts. For many in the BlogHer community, their communities want to support them...and might feel disappointed not to have the opportunity.
I also know why collecting such support publicly makes sense for organizations. It answers one of social media's clarion calls: Transparency.
But it also can set up popularity contests...which are by very definition exclusionary and antithetical to community-building (if you care about building a diverse community, of course).
Geoff asks for a better way to crowdsource, and I'm with him on that. BlogHer has tried a variety of ways to collect community opinion, and none seem perfect.
But he's also right that the crowd needs to take a harder look at their community and how they communicate with them...because in all likelihood, their community has radically changed since just a few years ago.
Back in the day (oh, say, two-three years ago) your community may have mostly been found via your blog and the blogs of those you followed. I'm not going to get all crotchety old man on you and call it the good old days, particularly since I'm a full-on Twitter fiend, but it is likely that people who read your blog chose when and how to read your blog. Whether they visited your site or subscribed in a reader, blog reading wasn't quite a real-time, always-on kind of activity. And it's quite easy to scan headlines, especially via a reader, and decide what topics interest you and dig deeper to read about them.
Fast forward and now our communities also encompass Twitter and Facebook.And now the headlines pretty much *are* the content, what with that pesky 140 character thing.
And, at least on Twitter, your community is very unlikely to be going to the landing page of each person they follow and see what they're up to one by one...no. They're going to dip their toes into the river of updates coming at them via a Twitter stream or Facebook news feed.
Twitter and Facebook are also both more conducive to casual banter and keeping in touch with those with whom you have looser ties.
If you blog about the contest your blog is participating in and ask your readers for support, you are more likely to be reaching people who have a vested interest in you, your success, your blog, your talent. And let's face it: You'll probably blog it once. Maybe once again when voting comes nearer to a close. You probably take great care that your blog content is of value to the reader community you know you have and balance any self-promotion with a whole lot of the kind of content that got you those loyal readers to begin with.
If you FB or tweet the same plea, however, you're likely reaching that reader community...PLUS a bunch of people who don't really care. I don't mean they don't care in some harsh heartless way, I just mean that they're expecting your banter and bromides in that forum...they may not even really follow the more substantive expressions found on your blog.
And then add this little wrinkle: Because the stream of information is so full and goes by so fast, you start re-tweeting or posting your little plea more often...maybe once a day. What's the harm? OK maybe once for the morning crowd, once for the evening crowd. So what?
Well, before you know it you're begging...frequently and annoyingly. The "harm" is that you've crossed a line into spamming. Maybe not for everyone. And maybe most folks are like me and just turn a blind eye to the content that doesn't interest me. "Take the best; leave the rest", that's my motto.
But it's also likely that a whole lot of your friends, fans, followers and readers think exactly what Geoff is expressing...and just aren't taking the time to tell you or tell the world.
So we, as an organization, keep looking for that better way to crowdsource that Geoff asks for.
But we, the crowd, can also be a part of the problem or the solution.
Which are you?
Labels: blogher, bloghercon, crowdsourcing, geoff livingston, popularity contests, social media
Monday, December 27, 2010
The early days of Google, and hiring women
She was Google's first woman engineer, and she shares a couple of insights about their early days and how they overtly and openly considered and talked about hiring women as an asset and important to their team. They also made sure at least one woman was on every interviewing team...a tactic I absolutely love.
Apparently they didn't worry about securing "diversity instead of quality", which is my number one most-hated straw man argument and bad excuse.
There's a little unintended irony, though, as Mayer talks about not encountering obstacles as a woman engineer in her career. I'm quite sure she didn't (and it didn't hurt to be at one place for virtually all of her adult career, and being engineer #8 to boot).
But right there in the comments of Newsweek, only a half dozen of which are on display on the landing page, you see one comment about her physical attributes and another asserting she got her job because of her looks.
As I tried to say on Facebook, before it cut me off without alerting me that it was going to:
Sad and unsurprising how some of the comments, of course, are talking about Mayer's looks and physical attributes. Mayer says she never encountered obstacles being a woman...and I'm sure in her direct interactions she didn't. But it is an obstacle. It is a problem. It is an issue that no discussion of a prominent woman in tech can happen without this being an accepted part of the discourse. And it is *is* obviously accepted, since it is not deleted.
Mayer estimates the percentage of women engineers at Google is at about 20%. I'm going to guess the percentage of Google users who are women is at about 50%.
This interview, which I generally love, and the ensuing comments, which I do not, are part of the reason BlogHer launched our new conference for women in business and technology.
So, if you're a woman with a big idea in tech or media that you want to see implemented...whether by your own start-up or your place of employment...check out BlogHer|bet (Business, Entrepreneurism, Technology) this March in Silicon Valley. Mentoring, Networking, Programming...all designed to send you out from the conference with your next steps to make your big idea happen.
More info here.
Labels: blogher, BlogHerBET, Google, Marissa Mayer, Newsweek, sexism, women in tech
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Time Magazine on the "Sheconomy"...was there an "aha moment"?
The first two pages of the three-page article states something I actually thought was obvious, well-known, old news: Women control household spending. Even in segments thought to be male-oriented...like electronics or car repair.
The third page is about how the advent of social networks has harnessed women's buying power and their natural inclination to compare notes and turned their individual spending power into collective commercial power.
Again, possibly I'm a little more up on that since, well, that empowerment is what BlogHer's publishing network business is partially built around. But even so, I didn't think this was news either.
The description of this intersection is, also not surprisingly, somewhat condescending And more than condescending, Time continues the mainstream media's ongoing habit of focusing on this myth that bloggers are just waiting for the next company to bring down with their "wild west" mob mentality:
"A cross between a girls' night out and the mother of all organizing tools, these networks have given women the kind of muscle that can be a blessing or a bloodbath for those it's flexed upon."
Interesting that Motrin Moms is still the go-to anecdote, given it was two years ago.
Ad it looks like Old Spice may be the positive go-to anecdote for at least that long!
Bottom line: I don't feel I learned something new in the article...and excitement over the "sheconomy" is somewhat tempered by reading a post from six months ago by BlogHer' Feminism editor, Suzanne Reisman: "Why I'm Boycotting the "She-conomy". Turns out that women may indeed be making gains at the top, but we also comprise the majority of those at the bottom of the economic pile.
As Reisman points out:
"I want to be excited about women's economic security, I really do. It's just hard for me to get behind these indicators of progress when they don't include most women. If that's what the "she-conomy" means, I'd rather try and improve the regular economy for everyone."
Labels: household spending, sheconomy, Time Magazine, Women
Saturday, October 30, 2010
One week free preview week of Blogging Masters Telesummit
For one week you can listen to any of the interviews for free at this URL.
Here are all the other participants and their topics:
So, if you're interested in improving and amplifying your business blogging, take advantage of the free week to listen to all these folks. After next week, the sessions will be available for sale only.
Labels: blogging masters telesummit
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Anita Borg Institute is hiring
The Institute is now hiring three key positions, and each of the jobs sounds pretty exciting. It's great to know the org is growing, even in this tough economy, so if any of these jobs sound like they're up your alley, I hope you'll go for it!
Marketing Manager, email email@example.com if interested.
Manager, Research and Executive Programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Development Director, email email@example.com if interested.
Good luck, and maybe we'll be working together soon :)
Labels: Anita Borg Institute, jobs