Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Now the cat can really be let out of the bag: Welcome to Bloghercon.

A few weeks ago Lisa Stone and I shared a long, interesting lunch in Palo Alto, and emerged at the end with an idea for a great conference: Bloghercon. Truth be told our first idea was Bloggirlcon, but as Lisa recounts here in her Bloghercon announcement, luckily she was presented with an even better moniker.

We've each been sharing our concept with a few women bloggers we know, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Lisa outlines some of her thoughts in the aforementioned post.

And here are some of mine:

If I was going to give you just two links to read, they would be: Shelley's recent and hysterical satire of men and their links and Chris Nolan's response to the Larry Summer brou-ha-ha.

Men, as well as women, have been asking, "Where are the women?" And we have been responding...we're right here. That the same question is being asked now as was asked one year ago or two years ago is frustrating, but the real question is: what, if anything, do women bloggers want to do about it?

There's room in Bloghercon for philosophical discussion on questions like:

-Is blogging genderless? If you didn't know a blogger's name, could you always tell their gender? And does it matter?
-If, as Shelley claims, links are the powerful talisman of the male blogger, and to women sometimes a link is just a link, then what do women want to get out of blogging?
-How can such a new medium already have an "old boy's club"? Or is this just a continuation of an existing club? Does certain content make a woman an acceptable mascot for that club, while other kinds of expression will keep us out?
-Do women marginalize themselves without any help from men? What drives us to do that?

Even more importantly, Lisa and I want to have a Bloghercon to take action:

-Do we care if there is and old boy's club-does it affect us? Do we want to be part of that club? Do we want to change the club?
-If we care, then how can women promote women, without being dismissed as a sewing circle? And should we? Is creating a women's network the answer, or do we really seek gender-transparency?
-Where are the other barriers? And what are we trying to break through those barriers to do?
-What would be measurable success? If we had a Bloghercon again in a year what would cause us to pat ourselves on the back and say "job well done"?

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?"

We can all acknowledge that there are different kinds of bloggers, and some will never care about links and traffic and being quoted...that's not why they blog. But there's a whole group of women bloggers who are creative and expressive, but also ambitious and driven about their blogging.

How do we all increase our individual satisfaction within the group endeavor that is the blog community? That's what Bloghercon will explore.

So, to echo Lisa's challenge:

"So: Do you want Bloghercon? And, if so, why and how?"

Visit Lisa and me and let us know a) if you're interested, b) if you'd like to help and c) what you'd like to get out of Bloghercon.

PS-Yes, this is the evolution of the bloggirlcon concept Sylvia mentioned in her blog.

Thanks for the tip, Enoch!
I wrote about women bloggers a little while back myself here. A bloghercon sounds interesting.
If it's on the East Coast (I'm in the Boston area), I'd love to attend such a gathering.
I 'm in for this. I got all excited about blogging a while ago. I started a Salon blog using my cabaret persona, Claire de Lune. ( ) But my interest petered out when I didn't connect with a readership. I lost heart.

Part of my disappointment was that I assumed - yes yes, when you assume you make an ass of 'u' and 'me' - that the internet world of words was egalitarian, and so I read personal failure in the lack of interest. The recent hoo-ha about men linking to men (Should the Christian Coalition be called?) makes me want to meet women bloggers. So I say yes! to the first Bloghercon.
Hey Lis: Well, I have to admit that this first Bloghercon is going to be on the West Coast, since that's where Lisa and I both live. But hopefully it will only be the start of something that will spread like wildfire until we truly take over the world mwa-ha-ha (isn't that what some people seem afraid of?)

HI Sudi: we're working on getting up and running so we can take people's info and register people. In the meantime I am collecting interested parties via this post.

I checked out your site/blog. You could definitely find a readership out there, but it's true that connecting to the current "A-List" won't do it, as they're not looking for the kind of advice Claire dishes out. There is, however, a huge female blogging community out there who I think would love your voice.

Start reading and tallpoppies for just two example (and bug blog rolls of like-minded people...mostly women.)
That's BIG blog rolls...please don't BUG their blog rolls :)
I think that women bloggers should unite at the women network:)
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