Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tara, meet Kara: You're in good marginalized company

Last month Tara Hunt had the frustrating experience of being marginalized, as a journalist chose to act as though her male partner, Chris Messina, was the only person behind their Web 2.Open efforts worth identifying by name. Both Tara and Chris wrote about it.

It probably stung even more because it had happened to Tara before, with WineCamp I believe.

Well, Tara? Meet Kara. That would be Swisher. Who is a prominent tech journalist in her own right, but apparently not as prominent as her partner and co-founder of All Things Digital, Walt Mossberg.

From everything I've ever read or heard directly, Walt and Kara are partners in this AllThingD business, conference and web site. And yet the San Jose Mercury, in a front-page article, described it like this:
"Given that history, the audience for the sold-out show in Carlsbad that is part of the D: All Things Digital conference, an event sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and hosted by high-profile technology columnist Walt Mossberg, will be hoping for something momentous." (emphasis mine)

I could just scream. I urge you to review the AllThings D web site. And their press. I urge you to find me an instance where it is not completely obvious that Kara and Walt are a team and co-everything. I cannot imagine what would motivate Troy Wolverton to leave her out of the equation.

I once gave some constructive feedback to a prominent blogger/speaker that when he referred (in a conference presentation) to Evan as the creator of Blogger and Stewart as the creator of Flickr he was essentially re-writing history for those people who didn't know about their female co-founders and partners. But to the women who did know about Meg and Caterina, respectively, it was sending a more insidious message, namely: even when you play in this field we keep trying to claim women aren't interested in or good at, we will erase you by ignoring your contributions.

Of course this blogger (and friend) assured me he meant no disrespect. In each case he had been introduced to the product by those partners mentioned, so he associated them with the product in his mind.

Fine. But now you've been alerted to the problem, so fix it.

And frankly, as a journalist, I'd urge Wolverton to do his homework no matter who he happened to meet or talk to.

People keep asking why more women don't go for and then stick it out in tech careers. People wonder whether women feel harassed or overly sexualized or put off by the ridiculous hours or even by the socially awkward denizens of the tech world.

How about this: how about women see how hard it is to actually be recognized simply for the work they do. Not to win prizes or fame or multi-million dollar deals. How about just being acknowledged as an equal partner when you were one?

Think the difficulty in attaining that might be a deterrent? Or a catalyst to finding another line of work?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Interview on

Today I am a Featured Female Entrepreneur of the Week at

Thanks to Sian Liu from for being so patient as I got it together to respond to their questions about entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurs.

Oddly, the most difficult questions for me were about inspiration and motivation. I'm so used to people asking data-driven and sometimes even philosophical questions about the state of women, industry, blogging etc. But I'm rarely asked to wax all personal about it. And I wouldn't say, despite all my blogging, that such musings are my strong suit. you'll have to turn to my partner Jory Des Jardins for that!

Anyway, the bottom line of this interview, for me, was to make the point that overcoming systemic obstacles or barriers-to-entry for women or any other group of people who have been historically on the outside looking in is not only society's issue, but individual people's issue too.

You can talk all you want about systemic or societal problems, but if you are a hiring manager, or a conference organizer, or an editorial director etc., you have the personal power to do something about improving diversity, and you should.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lisa, Jory and I on the Scoble Show

Lisa, Jory and I spent some time with Robert & Maryam Scoble last week, and the result is this interview.

It's pretty long, be warned, about 50 minutes where we talk about blogging, corporate interest in same, our conferences, the culture of the blogosphere vs. society at large. know, if you're into that sort of thing.

Oh, and for some html jockey out there, if you know why Blogger wouldn't accept the following code to let me embed the video a la YouTube and can help me fix it, i would be so very grateful:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="" flashvars="content=" height="269" width="320" allowScriptAccess="always" />

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I fought the blawg, and the blawg won

Here's a great blog post from AvivaDirectory about current U.S. law and how it applies to blogging. Note that what is legal doesn't always encompass everything that's ethical or moral.

There's stuff here on copyright protection (in both directions, i.e. protecting your own and respecting others.)

There's stuff here on how to go after someone who steals your content, on how to properly disclose, what kind of linking might get you in trouble, how to incorporate images properly and much much more.

Very comprehensive, very useful. And an interesting angle to speak directly and specifically about which U.S. laws apply in each of the 12 circumstances outlined. Sometimes the lack of legal precedent is surprising, and accepted cultural behavior is actually way beyond the law.

But if you're in the blogosphere I'd say it's wise to understand both te culture and the law, wouldn't you?

Hat tip: Technology Pundits

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This Month's Silicon Veggie column

Is an actual restaurant review. And of an actual vegetarian restaurant.

I typically write either think pieces about being a vegetarian/vegan, or I review non-veg restaurants to see how they treat veg*n patrons. But every now and then it's nice to give an actual veg*n restaurant some ink, so this month I reviewed Happy bamboo in San Jose. You can read the column here.

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