Blogher 06: A few thanks and other scattered items left from the conference

BlogHer

I still have a few session notes to post, but I wanted to share some thoughts on Blogher before everybody moves to the next tech/web conference and Blogher becomes ancient history.

Let’s start with my gratitude for Jory, Elise, and Lisa for making the conference so amazingly affordable (a room for $75 a night? In san Jose? you must be kidding…). The three of you did such an amazing job in finding sponsors, feeding us, and making it possible for so many of us to attend. A deeply felt thank you! (On Blogher, Jory writes on sponsorships and discusses the concept of “selling out.”)

Read more…

Blogher06 day 1: where the women bloggers want to be read by many

BlogHer

(Attending the session: Building your audience with Elise Bauer (Simply Recipes, Learning Movable Type) – blogged live by Whitney)

Three pillars of building an audience: create great content, engage your community, use technology.

Content

The most successful blogs are useful, entertaining, timely, or a combination of the three. Did I mention useful?

You need to focus your content. Focusing your content creates community and attract people who are interested in the topic.

Post great content even if it means posting less frequently, but do post frequently. Use images and photographs (but make sure that they are good). Write well, with care. Don’t write really long posts, break your posts in paragraphs. Use headlines that are catching AND use keywords (but keywords are more important if you want to be found on a search engine).

Read more…

The eating habits of women’s souls in the workplace

People with eating disorders (especially girls) have a biased perception of their body. They feel fat and unfit and no feedback (from a mirror, from parents, or from friends) seems able to shake the perception that there is something wrong with their body. Their body needs to be controlled, shaped and disciplined.

At the same time, they are extremely sensitive to feedback (from peer, media, advertising) that reinforces their biased and negative body image (Debbie Notkin and Laurie Toby Edison, who I met at Blogher, blog about this on Body Impolitic). The loving and caring act of nourishing their body becomes a harsh act of self-discipline and self-mortification.

I started to wonder if a similar mechanism operates on women’s self-image at work. Do women have a biased self-image when it comes to their skills and talents? Do they have a hypersensitive negative feedback loop and a high-threshold positive loop?

I don’t want to generalize to all women (we had many examples of strong, assertive, successful women at Blogher). I am talking about women who are clearly talented and highly skilled and yet substantially underestimate their value and their abilities. I am talking about the women who attribute their failures to themselves and their successes to chance and circumstances.

Read more…

Blogher06 day 1: where the women bloggers write like pros

BlogHer(Attending the session: Ten types of Web writing with Lisa Stone and Lynne d. Johnson – blogged live by mir)

This session addressed the differences between writing for print and writing for blogs. Lynne listed the need for a conversational tone, increased personalization, and differentiation from the “corporate” voice as the most important changes to make when moving from print to blog.

Lisa Stone asked what types of blogs were represented in the room: the answers ranged from completely personal blogs (“It’s about expression. I don’t care to be read”) to business blogs (“we blog to be read”), and everything else in between.

“She sared the delusion of all writers, that things written are shared.
–Virginia Wolfe “

Read more…

Blogher06 day 1: where the women bloggers learn to build communities

BlogHer (Attending the session: So you have this crazy idea, Starting a community-based blog site with Melanie Morgan, Nancy
White
, Susannah Gardner and Lauren Gelman – blogged live by Heather Barmore)

Type of blog communities and power structures

Nancy White described three different types of communities that can be created around a blog:

  1. one blog/one blogger communities: people gather around one-blogger blog, visit the blog consistently, and leave comments;
  2. topic-centered communities: several bloggers connect by discussing a common topic, linking to each other’s blogs, and commenting each other posts (e.g., mommy bloggers, travel bloggers, food bloggers);
  3. multi-blogger communities: several bloggers contribute to the same blog.

Communities also differ in how the power is distributed among members. For example, in the one blog/one blogger community the power is usually concentrated in the hands of the blog owner. She chooses the topics and sets the tone and the rules of the discussion. (In some cases, the discussion in these type of communities has a hub-and-spoke shape, with each reader addressing the blog author rather than other readers.)

Read more…