Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My reaction to more Bloghercon reaction

Now, there's one man in the blogosphere who has thought a lot lately about diversity, particular gender diversity in our online community. Jon Garfunkel has done quite a bit of research to provide first, a timeline of online discussions about women and blogging. He then goes a step further and discusses the shift from talking into action. I think it's a great baseline to understand the background here. As Lisa has said, we don't think we invented the wheel here. And I don't mean to imply he's the only man with thoughtful comments on the subject. He's not.

Unfortunately not all men have the same reaction. Some feel it's personal, and some feel they're being asked to apologize for their skin color and gender. (If they want to feel attacked, I wonder what they think of Elliott's suggestion here...and what they would say if a woman had made it?) Predictably, Dave Winer is a little leery of Bloghercon. SO then we have a series of reactions to that. First from Sue's Place: her take on Dave's post, and his reaction to her take. (I hope he doesn't think our early posts on Bloghercon had male-bashing in it?) Then Dave's friend Sylvia Paull responds to Dave. Finally, Lisa's response to Dave. Here's where you can vote on the issue of male attendance. Frank at Sandhill Trek adds Lisa to his list of "New Voices" to track and mentions Bloghercon, then later, he addresses Lisa's question of whether men should attend. He likes the "toppling" we're trying to do. I think I like to be a toppler! Co-organizer, Eleanor weighs in...and makes her strong case for no boys allowed. (She knows I disagree, but we've agreed to disagree quite amicably.) And then she re-visits the topic after our meeting Sunday where it was discussed at length. I agree with Elle that we need strong moderation in any case. In the end, Ashley Richards has some really rational things to say about it, and I wish she had comments on her blog, so I could tell her so.

Then there are other voices: Shelley at Burningbird continues to be required reading. I know she has put off some notable people with her strong language and metaphors, but make no mistake: she is articulating something that many of us don't have the guts to say out loud. I have heard this and more from some of the nicest, men-loving women you could meet. And Elayne Riggs is just one of them.

Mike Rowehl brings up a fascinating point: that if we want to increase our network, our reach, our influence, we have to include the tool developers in our discussion...it's the tools and how they work that partly drives how the network works. Of course, he might be just a teeny bit biased, since he works for blog search tool Feedster.

Susan Mernit likes the idea. She even offered her help on one of my blog posts. I have to admit I'm kind of surprised to notice she doesn't allow comments, so I could thank her for her post. Susan, was this always the way with your blog?

Liz Ditz seems to be conflicted about the concept. Let me just say, she says two things which are always included in any of my rants about blogging: 1. blogging is just a tool, like a pencil and paper and 2. Blogging does not equal political blogs. DefinitiveInk makes a similar point. I might add that the diaristic (is that a word?) bloggers are just a afflicted with blinders as the politico-journalistic bloggers. Some of them seem very offended that blogs can be used as a business tool. Or rather that we one would dare to sully blogging's good name by doing so.

Full Circle is a good, ongoing source of commentary on Bloghercon and discussions of gender issues in general.

Standard Deviance gets part of the Bloghercon mission, but misses the final point...which is to strengthen our own network and eventually link to existing networks. One big happy family (eventually) you know?

Tony Gentile has a rather amusing take on it...in fact I'm going to line up to get tips in my tip jar. Yes, Tony, we see the irony. No, Tony, I don't think Elle was being particularly divisive to begin with, and no, Tony, I think it's quite the opposite of playing the victim to decide to get together and figure out a strategy to figure out what we want and how to get it.

And finally Bloghercon gets mentioned several times on this bluggcast. Yes, you heard me it's a bluggcast. They interview Dave Winer and ask him about it. Come on you cute little aliens, ask Lisa and me if you want to know about Bloghercon. I want my voice to sound like that too!

Frankly, Bloghercon is getting mixed up in a lot of other conversations: mixed in with, and assumed to be connected directly to: Steven Levy's Newsweek piece, and Chris Nolan's response to it, and Keith Jenkins' conference thoughts

No, another finally: this made me laugh out loud...and God knows after trying to keep up with all of the above chatter, I needed a good laugh. Check out how Nostradamus predicted the rise and fall of white male bloggers here. For those afflicted with an ironyectomy, this would be categorized as humor were it the only cite in this post.

OK, that's it. I've been working on this post, and collecting these links long enough. Damn. Perhaps I just should have posted the Google (over 9000 hits!) and Technorati (only 42?) Bloghercon search results. Why did I just think of that now?

hi. i had comments until about a month go, when i had a troll who made me unhappy and i decided to take a break from reading his/her barbs. Will probably turn back on in a tougher-minded moment.
Susan: I was afraid it was something like that. This is one of the reasons I don't read most of the comments on other people's sites. There always seem to be the people who can't stop themselves (and don't want to) from being complete jerks. NO time to absorb such negativity.

Jon: I'm not sure I agree that only people who write about things in the public interest will get other people talking. If so, then there would be no fiction, no memoirs etc. Sometimes writing can be beautiful and generate lots of interest because it touches something more than our minds. Check out Lenn Pryor's post on his sister's death as just one example.

I agree with you on tools. This is cohort Eleanor Kruszewski's are of particular interest. She's constantly hacking around trying to figure out how to share, collaborate, converse and listen better via existing blog tools.
Thanks for the lovely mention, Elisa!
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