Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Feminism and blogs

There's a panel on November 14, Blogging Feminism: (Web)Sites of Resistance, at Barnard:

Of the internet's viability as a tool for political change, we ask, is there a better example than the blog? Young and youthfully minded feminists have learned that blogging allows them to carve out personal and political spaces where their lives, their issues, their analyses of the world can come into sharp focus. Outside the confines of mainstream media, where women are addressed (usually exclusively) as consumers, feminist bloggers have become the cultural producers blazing some of the most radical and rousing paths toward revolutionary social change.

In celebration of the publication of this fall's issue of The Scholar & Feminist Online, guest editors Gwendolyn Beetham and Jessica Valenti come together with select contributors to discuss how feminists are fulfilling the promise of creating a cybercommunity dedicated to securing a more just and peaceful world. Panelists include Lauren Spees and Michelle Riblett, BC '05 (Hollaback), Liza Sabater (Culture Kitchen), among others. Join us for a spirited discussion of feminism in the 21st century.

Good! We need more discussions like this. We need to be documenting our feminism, compiling references, making solid, lasting interconnections. The Scholar and Feminist Online seems like a good step.

We've had one feminist think tank discussion in chat since the Wiscon "Feminist think tank" panel, and other projects spawned from it, like the stuff at feministsf.net - a group blog, a wiki, a carnival of feminism in SF, and more.

I still think that Wikipedia's dearth of information on feminism needs to be addressed and fixed, but we also need new tools.

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Virtual Poetry Slam

This contest looks pretty cool. Citizens for Global Solutions is holding a virtual poetry slam video contest. Video yourself and upload it to their blog. They ask for a focus on the environment. I'm not sure what the other guidelines are.

Cash! First place - $500; second place - $250; third place - $100
Top entries will be posted on our website blog on a rolling basis as we receive them. So, hurry and send in your video. The contest deadline is October 15th.

It's a good idea. I wonder how much poetry performance is on YouTube already? Let's take a look, with a search on "poetry" with the highest ranked video at the top.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Barcamp presentation on Celestia

barcamp stanford
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.
A few slow moments, but impressive and cool as hell. In the application, Celestia, you can fly around to planets and stars, see orbits, etc. And each star or planet or whatever has a ton of information. Rod lectured us on luminosity. Galen let us know that Viga is the coolest moon of Neptune.

This presentation generated the best quote from barcamp stanford:

Audience: Hey Rod, what are those green lines?
5 year old kid: Those green lines? Those are curved space-time.

I could only lie there on the ground and whimper, that was so cool.

and the next best quote:

Galen: Can we see Uranus?

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flickr video generator

This thing is extremely clever. From the command line or with a little cgi interface you can put in a keyword and number of images. The application fetches that number of tagged images from flicker and puts them into a quicktime video format. hey presto, instant slide show/video thingie.

I think someone wrote it this afternoon. (That's why I'm not linking to it. I'm sure some version of it will be public soon enough.)

I could take all the photos from Milo's stop motion animation projects, put them on Flickr with a unique tag, then generate a bloggable video way faster than i could on iMovie.

Now we need the streaming audio to go with it!

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43 Things

Ooo... I could build some sort of bloggity tool using the 43 Things api.

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Barcamp Stanford - Notes from Day Two (rough)

BarCamp Stanford - Sunday Aug. 27, 2006

It's nice to be in the English building at Stanford. I think of all the times I've been here for literary readings (or job interviews). Now... how odd to be here for a computer conference.

*** first session ***
Guy talking about mashups. He's from the stanford hci group.

henry ford museum. toy thing. little houses, magnetic. close circuit on a map. you can move them around. and it hooks up to google earth for a flythrough.

[Horribly... my first thought is that it has a direct military application as you could make your little models of the war front especially urban, flyable in simulator]

he has a slideshow. Their whiteboard has its own flickr account. big red staples "easy" button, camera in ithe ceiling takes a photo of the whiteboard, sent to python scripts, then you can safely erase the whiteboard.

other guy - can you actually read it?

mashup guy - yes.

Adina - do you have a recipe for it?

speaker - yes , here it is (shows diagram)

mashup guy - shows how they made it a sketch/animated thing.

example #4 - color field cam. like the flickr color picker mashup. but in the real world. point at a color, and you get flickr images that match the avg colo

question - how offten are you updating

mashup guy - not that fast... ilt is cached...

mashpits... start witout a

hci human computer interface. venn diagrams.

- things that live online (green
- live in interface physical space (red
things that live on computer. (blue

the intersections need the glue! most mashups are in the green section of "things that live online". what goes in the other areas of the venn diagram?

liza loop: kids, younger?

mashup guy - lego mindstorms, other ones.

[i'm thinking of nintendogs and tamagochi ]

Back to glue.
green + blue = flickr, python api
red + green - shared phidgets, sensor nets?
red + blue: d.tools

Hotglue. a surface adhesive. duct tape. (screen scrape, poke)
dovetail joints - precise fitting, beautiful, parts know about each other. deep integration (public api)

http://mashup-tools wiki. password is design

easiest ways is not thru keyboard interface
but to arcade controller people... they are these 20 dollar boards...

Kent brewster - new developer network. was a hobbyist.
showing spiffy!search.

myweb at yahoo. tagging stuff.

brewster's field guide to web 2.666 — kentbrewster.com/spiffysearch

okay, that's spiffy. search that come s up with popup menu style list of stuff and you click on the side doohickey to get a popup window for you to tag it. works with delicious

Hell yeah, this looks handy. Then I could import it straight onto my blog with rss. my tags I wonder what it will look like using delicious. (is this link going to work... i think not. fix it later.)

Chris Messina - doing tech and flow.

sunday sessions. ID 2.0
tech a nd policy.
Online problem solving, politics and conflict res
Astronomy sim
mashups lighting talks @ lunch


me and a dude from microsoft... Nima... wearing laughing squid tshirt. I demo kent brewster's thing... he tries it...

I whine that flock has not given me a pony yet. their search yahoo toolbar thing does not have a function for me. kent's thing is better.

me and tantek talk abut information absorbtion speed and reading and habits. it needs to be fast like a video game. that is what we grew up with. keystrokes. I can play nethack or use vi without thinking. I want to browse, search, and read blogs that way, with fast muscle memory ingrained. tantek says the myweb thing is nifty but like many such tools it assumes way too slow an information stream and that you will maybe look at 10, 20 things... not 300- 500 a day. we need batch tagging.

I need to turn on a bunch of tags so that everything i do in a space is tagged with something.. like if everything i noted today till 5pm was tagged barcamp stanford techie, that would be useful for me & then I could toggle it off again . (again i am thinking of nethack or emacs or something. screw clicking.

tech and policy discussion

john pete nima todd tim adina tracy silona christine (mit limewire) tantek liz

Adina - 1) tech policy 2) partisan electoral politics 3) Deliberative. figuring out consensus building etc.


bill in congress right now passed house july 26 410-15 vote. DOPA now anything with social network is illegal in libraries and schools.

liz - all libraries or just kids room

pete - just kids room i think

pete - is lookign it up. if you have contact info on it... then it's too much. blogger comments might be illegal.

adina - it's not law yet. it's passed the house it's in the senate commerce committee. The next step here is to contact the members of the senate commerce committee. senator boxer from CA is on the committee. Contact her office. let's look for creative ways to get web 2.0 people to communicate with the people on that committee.

nima - a lot of big companies like google, microsoft, yahoo, are affected

pete reads to us from wikipedia entry for dopa. forum, chat room, im, email...

liza - thats like outlawing cell phones
pete - it's like outlawing http.

adina - they are going on parents who are worried... socially conservative suburban family votes, going into election season.

Adina talks about the stuff they did in Texas. It worked - they affected policy.
there was a billin the tX state legislature favored by the telecom industry , make it illegal for cities and towns to provide wifi and broadband service for that city.

Adina talks about that groups' specific strategies. blog, mailing list, private wiki. collaboratively wrote the documents and position papers. this was all basically free, using ffree tech and our existing skills.

kid break.
Rod (5 years old) is drawing on a white board in a room for Milo & Galen. He made an outline and a diagram and was lecturing them!


another kid break - i go up and down 6 flights of stairs several times - they are in the basement on the couches under the stairwell. there is a dungeon.


best practices - no unified place..
liza suggests doing a lot of tagging...
silona - yah tagging
liz - but then we'll just be talking to each other, learning curve for tagging, practice of it... mobilizing mommybloggers
adina - constituency building
liz - cause widget. have easy widgets, meme thingies, with political issues, with un-dopa...
adina - events. time senstivive
todd- freepress.org
liz - countdown. upcoming.org events, a checklist
sliona - a feed
adina - email isn't useful for us anymore we need rss
liz - a todo list or a checklist sort of approach so on upcoming i do the action
tracy- there coudl be a way to add new suggested actions to the countdown/political action need
liz - and i do the action and i check it off and it's visible that i've done it , a declaration, so you see "3000 other people have done this..."
adina- a calendar/action widget

lack of structure and formal hierarchy. freaks out washington. they like to pick the most famous person in the room nad pick them to give a speech from a very high podium.

todd - it is a west coast east coast thing.

adina - this is a good fodder for the hacking mashup doit session. before that do we want a ... upstream

tim - is there a microformat use case for activism, issues, etc.

tantek - the closest thing is you could use todo vocabulary from icalendar. todo items that don't have a defined person who's supposed to do them.

liz - a social todo list. collective todo list. important to track how many people ahve done it

pete - or how many intend to do it. 100,000 people have noted to themselves to vote you out of office.

tantek - markup... cut and paste in blog post - integrated tools that m ake it trivial for someone to integrate into blog post - in wordpress, moveable type.

43 things site - public todo lists - existing human behavior - so why not put this on your own blog.

liz - repeats what pete said about 100K people vote you out of office

adina - would be interesting for a codeblue tool....

pete - can you subscribe tot he feed of people who subscribe to skydiving...

tantek - hmmm the list of people who have "vote" on their todo.


pete - digg thing of a flash visual of what's being paid attention to. on 43things they are doing something similar but it's todo items.

liz - imagine the realtime poll thingie in newspapers tracking what people are paying attention to

todd - site called ....? dopa... campaigns wikia

tantek - i's on wikipedia

tim - voter information guide, getting past partisan yelling, there's a growing community on that. get a page up on there on DOPA.

silona - he just put a polling piece on there.

adina - the eff page is a good resource for it.

Adina - so, campaigns is different from neutral point of view.

Tim –
Adina - I have no interest in a neutral point of view on DOPA.

Adina - discussion of wikipedia article - it lacks a description of the unintended effects. Let's flesh that out.

Todd - CPSR, Leage of Technical Voters, EFF - that's the place for it but Wikipedia isn't necessarily.

Adina - once you're up to the point of doing pro and con that means the issue has been framed for you already.

tantek: if the battle ground has been defined you might have already lost.

adina - exactly. for or against is too late in a way, there is rethinking needed of what are you trying to.

todd - talks about campaigns wikia

pete - we could use dopa as the test case for these ideas

tim - a wiki edit is hard. we need something that will be like digg-ing.

who is editing. some low number of people, 1700, make 75% of edits...

tim - getting past the yelling...

Adina - taking off my nonpartisan hat. this will ruin your day. here is a map of saudi oil production. this number has been flat. the plateau starts. number of oil rigs. they start to order rig after rig trying to get more oil out of the ground. there are a # of potential explanations. they can't make any more and they are desp. trying to put in new wells in the ground. timeframe for slope. the panic drilling starts in spring 04. and then jumps up in 05. continues to accelerate now. their producction has been flat. this is peak oil.

tantek - read up on peak oil

adina - theoildrum.com

liz - that coudl be investment banks overoptimistic about investing in exploration and drilling.

tracy -o and keeping prodution flat on purpose ...

tantek- a big problem

adina - this could have a huge impact on civilization
tantek - oh it's so much worse than that. you cant even pick it apart. it's not even partisan... swap out political party

[I agree with Tantek]

adina - i disagree with you ...and i'll explain why over lunch

tantek - peak oil, read up on it

pete - gigantic value web

tantek - the layout of towns. roads, infrastructure
pete - the way food is grown and distributed



talking about activism
truthiness, wikipedia politics, la times attempt to talk about israel/lebanon, best practices for wiki discussions etc., todd talks about juan cole/al franken - talk page (on wikipedia) - see also timeline 2006 israel-lebanon conflict
todd - they say inaccuracies are corrected quickly but... this one is not
pete - the word "provocation " - contentious -

history & diff
tracking turbulence on wikipedia
making movie of changes to wikipedia articles.
then you could tag up segments of the movie and note "here is the meta analysis of what was happening"

more intense disc. with adina and silona about social software apps for political action memes. msg to your cell phone or todo list, your five friends all voted on x issue.. you should too... (i.e. blog-based/political dodgeball) using xfn . what if your technorati favorites (or however you tag your blog feeds) had xfn and you used that for your action todo list.

Starting up again.

Adina - what about having a barcamp-style political/tech meeting.
Liz - What about the cpsr conference as a forum for that? a track to the conference?
... is it election week?
Tim - every weekend there's something going on
Silona - oct. 13 is the code-a-thon
Adina - technopolitics - hey chris, is it possible to call it a barcamp? is there a rule?
Chris: huh? oh... Are you going to charge?
Adina : no. does it matter?
chris: no.
liz : hey chris, are there any rules?
chris: No.
liz: not that i care if there are. hahaah.


kid oakland - bloggers united. local bloggers political bloggers...

dopa timescale? senate commerce - after labor day
what can we do right now

right now today
- EFF action alert
- post to your blog the DOPA widget from : http://bumpontheblog.etowns.net/?p=73

- fix to wikipedia entry. it is missing some information. about the scope of the bill

this week:
- 2-3 phone calls to boxer's staffer, the guy at Public Knowledge who's working on this, is there useful in-person stuff to do?
- things we can think of??? building a widget or a badge

action: email or call the ALA
adina : public knowledge and boxer staffer

facebook: give them a variant of the badge?
liz: who wants to edit the wikipedia page on dopa? john? You would be good at that.
John: Oh. Um. Actually I'm doing it now.
Liz: Oh. Of course you are.


Here's the badge, from Bump on a Blog

Tracy's to-do list on 43things, very cool: stop dopa

I signed up on 43things just to see how it works and it's nifty.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Barcamp Stanford - Notes (cleaned up)

Barcamp Stanford - August 26 2006

Rah! It's BarCamp! At Stanford!

Why am I here? People keep asking... rather suspiciously. Next time I will answer that I am a benevolent gazillionaire that loves to give money to Web 2.0 startups and quirky bloggers. Instead of saying I'm a housewife ex-programmer and poet who's been out of work for 5 years. Lucky for me people talk to me anyway and are not hacker-snobby.


"Attention" discussion:

I came in quite late. People are talking about: root.net and Touchstone - an attention management engine. Both sound interesting.

Someone talks about 2 kinds of consumer. The smart direct consumer who knows how to get exactly to the thing they want (the source of the mortg4ge refi). Companies will/should pay for access to their attention. As opposed to the dumb consumer who goes through expensive-to-the-end-company intermediaries, lots of clicks, form filling out, which added up, costs the company 350 bucks. So the smart consumer is saving them 350 bucks. And they should be paying (someone? the smart consumer?) for that attention.

Lifestyle data - trading that private data P2P.

One dude's friend who is a "star dieter". She gets paid 30-50 K by Weight Watchers for her story. They sell it for 1.5 million to glossies. (?!!) Then it's sold again for 4-5 bucks a pop to millions of people. What if that were more p2p. [I think this was James talking, the health/life/something guy)

Ryan: That's 15-20 years out. Recording automatic data. "Oh, ryan ate an apple. Recorded."

me: why 15-20 years out!?

James: some of it is near & some far, a lot of it will happen sooner

(Keywords, ads. Some people are taking the stance that "ads are bad". [or... Ads are so yesterday.] But on the other hand, contextual ads are the proven way to go at the moment)

"word wide" tshirt dude: Gesturebank. Looking to track specific gestures. Sign/signifier question. [I lose what he's talking about]

Ryan: Keywords are very small info. 1.5 words average in a search. But your clickstream is huge amt of info compared to one search.

[Totally.. have I not been saying this for a zillion years... the ways that people are information! and we have to look at people as data as many ways as possible and open access for them to their own data!]

[I am thinking of the aol data exposed and how it is likely being mined this very minute,.... obviously very valuable!]

[Also, I like the idea of making easy ways to toggle your openness levels. Not just a one-time thing. You know when you're in your house, you're private. You know when you go outside that you're not. Make that difference clear in browsers or other tools. How often I want to use Anonymouse or something like that... just build it in and educate people about what it means.]

More discussion of ads.

word wide guy: invited Adina to continue what she was trying to say before she was interrupted

Adina: Sort of demurs

word wide guy: Pertinent information at that particular moment. It changes. ... Say for example a person looking to tell their breast cancer survivor story. And the perosn looking for that story. Aren't those the same thing? We don't have to call it an ad or not an ad.

[It's a connection possibility. But I would add that it's either monetized by someone or it's not, and if it is, who is it benefitting? This is an important, important political question.]

Ryan: But to a company it matters. To those people it doesn't b/c they don't make a profit... etc

[I flip and say imprudent things probably not responding in proper register/context]

Me: Hey! Content producers also want to and should make money off their story... why treat it like they are free labor for people to make money off!! Why is the model that the breast cancer survivor does not make a cent off it. As a content producer myself I think it is vile.

Ryan: name calling . . . i'm not vile... hey now...

Me: sorry, not you... didn't mean to call you vile... but... ack. The idea.

Ryan: ... (he explains but I kind of missed it from general embarrassment. Lord knows he is probably someone Important and I just was an ass. Did not mean to be rude personally but I stick to the idea. (At least I didn't say the F-word this time!) Fine, I get it; enough people have told me that The Money is not in "generating content" but rather is in getting a lot of user generated content for free or dirt cheap and you will make a ton of money off it, while implying that if I don't get on the bandwagon I'm lazy or idealistic or both. Arrrgh. I don't have to like it.)

Adina from Socialtext: I find it interesting, the phrase "choose to expose". Someone used that word. Mining someone's attention seems like it's free. I was using Last.fm. Broadcasting my music. So, the other day Ihad an earworm for shlocky sentimental music I didn't want to broadcast to everyone... do I have the opportunity to prune. If I do, how much of an extra overhead does it take for me to prune, in my daily activity. Here's my browser tabs since just this morning, barcamp. (Laughter. She has a zillion tabs.) Someone mentions a book, a web site, I bring it up. That's a whole bunch of tabs. Am I going to go back and say which of these things to i want to expose?

word dude: kind of like del.icio.us.....

Adina: Maybe 25% of them I chose to put to delicious. The others are in the log.

word dude: It's a cost/benefit... you could turn off broadcast... and then turn it back on.

Adina: You wind up with extra filtering tasks you didn't have before, an extra burden...

James: mash up your tags with ... [I missed it]

word dude: You don't want the world to know when you're looking at something unsavory... or bad taste...

Adina: Say you're reading a news article about the London bombing plot with liquid explosives and you go look up liquid explosives, but you're not at all interested in ... Well, I guess someone's watching you anyway....

word dude: There's no downside in capturing your own stream for your own uses. So you have a geeky interest in liquid explosives... but that would not be sufficient to tag you as terrorist.

[So says the voice of privilege... As if it isn't already happening... it's sufficient if you're muslim or arab-american. I know what he means though and I want to work for that world and that utopian vision and I am acting as if it is true, even if it isn't true for me.]

Adina: That's assuming that intelligence services are intelligent, which....

word dude: But it would become pretty damn obvious this was not the case for you.

[hmm i disagree with that one and again... already happening here and is way more so in some other countries]

Adina: Annoying thing on Amazon. They recommend stuff based on occasional data. I searched for a gift for 2 year old relative. Now my own recommendations have children's music forevermore...

Me: Opting out of that, there could be a way made easy

Adina: Probably there is a way but not so easy, a 6 step thing...

[I surf a bit. Root.net looks kind of cool!]

word dude: You probably never want to turn you attention recorder off. but you do want to turn off whether it is sent to root.net. Because ultimately I'm looking up those explosives... and my uncle works for the airline industry... and I'm curious... and later on if something is served to me on stumbleupon or delicious... then does THAT get served to someone who might draw the wrong conclusions.

Adina: It's distracting and interrupting sometimes to have the "related things" in your view and you don't always want it.

*** end of session ***

Open space - a self organizing interlude

Todd Davies heads it up.

There's stickies on whiteboard with A B C D E F etc. on them and blank ones. 15 spaces plus blank ones. Various places around the room are labelled A B C etc.

Setting up spaces where people can move easily between discussions.

The Four Principles. (freechild.org) Open space discussion principles.

[it is slightly harder to move between discussions with your laptop open]

Bumblebees and butterflies.

- whoever comes is the right people
- whatever happens is all that could have
- whenever it starts is the right time
- when it's over it's over.

The law of two feet. If you are no longer interested then you can leave... it's your responsibility.

People get up pretty much one by one to claim a block of space and declare a topic.


Ajax UI - best/worst (Adina)
Social media v.s influence brokers (Vic)
Browsers. why?
Drupal (Neil)
Open educative systems (Liza)
Scaling data on the cheap (Ryan from Google)
Creativity, think outside box in organization
Brain/machine interfaces. Invasive or non-invasive. egtms (?) etc. (guy with glasses and curly hair)


Adina shows me nifty new socialtext version. I get all excited. It might be perfect for the femsf wiki. Or for my last-century women writers wiki.


I still want a social network for all of history.


I go to "open education" - What if we assume we don't have schools? What would we build to education people?

[I come in after it's started b/c i was dealing with M.]

Jonathan Dugan: 15 profs, sharing info. open? or closed?

[I wonder where these miracle profs are...]

Liza Loop. Loopcenter - palo alto. Take a look at the MIT open courseware. Look at that. Also David Wiley's open courseware conference at the University of Utah.

group membership - open or closed.


what are the roles that schools fulfill?

- babysitting. social. custonianship iof the kids. and the vry elderly and handicapped. we call it school but what we're really doing is social care. one funciton.

- another is sorting and selecting. grading.

- recordkeeping.

- educative experience.

- certification.

What if these functions were done independently and optimized.

We could have kids log in wherever they were. They could stay home and be in their parents' care.

Jonathan Dugan: There's problems with that... that assumes someone is home...

Liza: Not necessarily. Kids can be anywhere. Bioidentification...

Liz: They could be at work with a parent. Depending on the work.

James - Schools are factories producing a product with qualifications. Subjective tools to get into another institutionalized game. On the web more people can do stuff.

[Yeah James anarchy 4 evah!!!!]

Tim - (citizen think tank on his name tag.) If you start at an open school and then moving to standard one - that is hard.

Liza: Home schoolers do it and they built ways to do it.

Liz - another function of schools ideally is to shelter public intellectuals from market forces. We're not doing too well at that. It becomes its own market

James - Plus if you want research money for your lab you get bucks from microsoft ...

Tim - Schools decide who goes to university and who doesn't, early.

Liz - yes, tracking starts early and it's hard to switch tracks up even if it isnt overt.

Tracy Ruggles - how to judge if soeone is competent at a thing?

Liz - that is [what Liza called] certification and what we need is ways of tracking what people produce. And judgements of it. How to avoid it being a popularity/charm contest. However, the current system doesn't always work so well either ( so flaws shouldn't stop us from building it. )

[kid bathroom break so I missed a bunch]

James - more about kids' autonomy

Tim - scarcity in teachers could be eliminated even worldwide.

Liz - decentralize more. Anarchy is good.

Liza: Anarchy??!

James: Anarchy!



Liz - Track attention streams, as we were talking about in the attention talk just now, and if decentralized then there must be ways to track what people do, pay attention to and learn. People are what they are doing and what they pay attention to, who they talk to...

James - That sounds like the openyear project.

[later after I look it up - HOLY CRAP... James is right... right on, openyear people! I will investigate further. Thanks James! A tear springs to my eye! I love a really juicy manifesto. It opens people's minds. Says it a different way. Allows a shift of vision. This is a good one.... I have been trying to explain this vision... It is *so* important and ties in with what i have been saying about collaboration, idea transmission, crediting people for ideas. Also! This is exactly the sort of thing I was just talking about with Silona!]

Liz - And how to pay people for their expertise or teaching. Schools also exist to pay people for that. [I say, wishing as so many of us wish, that someone would freaking pay.]

Tim - Wikiversity.

[I think of how cutting and snobby academics in the humanities are right now towards Wikipedia b/c they get papers from their students citing it. Giant arguments about trustable sources and judgement. As if being in a book is magic legitimacy? WhatEVER.]

James - It's a huge political issue...

Tracy - It's about creating a culture. Kids are self organizing anyway. They are doing it whether we make it happen or not.

Liz - Yah sure, DIY, then we'll oppress them more b/c it will be scary... and they will be vulnerable and hijackable by corporations like a cultural revolution controlled by corporate world. Oh wait. I forgot, we're already in that.

Liza - The classroom model exists and we have to deal with it. We don't have to destroy it.

A guy: Oh I don't know. Destruction has a place.

Tracy Ruggles - We need to make Barcamp in high school, junior high context, introduce those concepts. Teach them tools for self-organizing.

[Right on!]

Liza: Generational... age... old people who narrow down and only tell one story...

Tracy - This plays into concepts of age, ossification

Liza - age segregation can also be [undermined] by net and open education

Look at gomilpitas.

NASA - showing interest in serious gaming - they want research to back it up - but they are interested.


[I bumblebee away.]


Drupal - Neal and 2 other people - I have missed it - I don't have anything to contribute except "I'm an end user of it at Blogher" and "I'm thinking of poking at it and trying it" (We've talked about it for feministsf.net)

[I bumblebee away again.]


Influence brokers session

Dude with beard - You! *points* How do YOU get out of the blog ghetto? How do YOU become influential?

Me: Oh blah. Hmmm. Well, by knowing who to talk with. I am more influential if I can talk to the right 2 people and they listen - rather than being popular and 5000 people reading my blog, but not those two.

Scott (wearing high-status-geekitude ancient-looking "The Well" tshirt) - influence is about ideas because you care about them and want them heard


Scott - Becoming the ebay of content - is there a scarcity? or not?

Vic - Measuring ROI. Ad in nytimes you can measure. How do we measure influence. The rate sheet for the NY Times. (Vic later gives me a card and his name is "Vic Podcaster", from Hot From Silicon Valley. Who is this man of mystery? Where is his "about" page? Is he incognito? Why no mask? Wait, why don't I have a mask? It would solve all my secret identity problems. Or I could just take my glasses on and off.)

Liz - Monetizing vs influence. different.

Scott - Influence of ideas and opinion! that's what's important.

Jonathan Dugan - We need accountability so that bloggers if their view matches reality over time then... you get a plus. if not then you get dinged for your bs or your non expertise

Liz - Yeah! Like whuffie but for accountability. You have an idea market. Your bad ideas take away from your rep. Your good ones persist over time and you get credit for them.

Jonathan: Disgusting examples of erasing history to fit current political spin. The NY times takes a line out of a story and acts like it never was written that way.

Bearded guy: 911 stories that disappeared...

John Kim: How is this diff from a market. How do we make something that is different from a market, from just not trusting the nytimes anymore and not reading it.

Vic - That's what blogging is.

Liz - no. they can change it. It isn't.

Vic - persistence

Jonathan - deep tagging

Vic - a wiki

Scott - content structuring

Liz - identity tracking is important for it

Vic - while writing you can backspace. the tool is editable...

Scott - i can page down and find stuff faster than i can listen to it

bearded dude - i have something better than google

liz - what?

bearded dude - relevancy rating...

Liza - you can learn to hear faster than you can talk

Jonathan - you can watch a video in 40 minutes, it's great... just speeded up

bearded dude: videotape, streaming... with indexing and random access, the user coproduces, they go back over it and snippet it and stuff

liz- they can tag minute 1:32, or whatever, with a tag

john kim - so you're just saying make it a composed artifact like text then
bearded guy - neurolinguistic programming and studies of it - visual learners - radio tv split - etc if you read it nixon won if you heard on radio then it was a tie, if you watch on tv then kennedy blew him away.

vic - new media has to be difff formats for same content

jonathan - thent he holographic simulation...

*general hullaballoo as some people say text is more important. some say audio/video is. Simulations. Games.*

scott - some things translate well and some dont. the mcneil lehrer report moment of silence while the names scroll down the page

jonathan - depth to which people wthink for them selves -t he more info you provide the more their brains turn off. there will always be a place wehre text trumps these rich media formats. (jonathan dugan) it's not as easy to consume. you have to have a readership willing to dig in and think . it's a more arcane system

Liz - Games!

Jonathan - holograph

Liz - The whole universe simulated in a universe-sized simulation! Cool, we just invented God!

No one appreciates my humor...

[I bumblebee away, because I see Silona.]

Conv. with silona on legislation, big collaborative papers. I suggest that the best model for it is consumating-like. Also, all literature could be that way. Each bit separatable and taggable and commentable. And you can rank all the bits and your rankings trace back to you. Instead of you ranking the person who had the whole collection of ideas. Everything2 did not do it so well. Consumating has the right idea, is on the right track as is Flickr. Collaboration! It will make everything better, and ideas better, and synergy, and art, and empowerment! Silona gets a shiver and has an aha moment. We talk about big science collaborations, which I got to experience by watching John work at Fermilab and on the Amanda neutrino detection experiment.

I *heart* Silona.

She is doing a time machine project & also brassiere reclamation cantina at burning man.

We talk about the Code-a-thon. I ask if she called it a lock-in because of the church thing. (Yes. It is a southern baptist thing and was meant to be full of irony, but no one who's not from the south gets it. Silona did week-long camps where they had low protein, low sleep, and high propaganda, including Led Zeppelin played backwards.) The Code-a-thon sounds fabulous! Coding! Drupal! php! Tranquil loungers with vibrating subwoofers as seen at burning man, fabulous wireless speed at huge lan party space, wide range of levels of programming ability, ui stuff, martini rampage. Stickers for the UI experts, "ask me"... they will wander about to help the programmers.

We talk with Adina. Adina rocks... I fade from reality a bit... my sinuses hurt... my laptop runs out of battery... Adina tells Silona to talk to Eugene (eek) about what we were talking about. Adina asks Kevin what the most interesting thing he's seen in the last month is... It's a straw that is a water filter and lasts for a year. No one is sure how cheap it is. Clearly beyond camping use, it could save many lives...


Met at giant circuit-board egg on University Ave. Dinner at University Cafe (so-so for the expense but at least it wasn't too noisy. Talked with Tracy (Galen's dad) about his taggregator idea. Del.icio.us. Tagging. I am a lazy tagger. Anarchy (We maybe used the word anarchy in a way unusual to Liza.) Austin. Sxswi. Poetry scene in SF. Did i lose his card where he wrote the names of 2 bay area poets? How can I lose something between dinner and getting home? Cooper something, language poetry person... [ah - it is Cooper Renner] and another poet in Oakland. I recommended Writers With Drinks and Edinburgh Castle to him. (He just moved here from Austin.) We talked about attentiontrust.org and the other stuff from the attention talk and the education discussion. Rook talked about voip and (the lack of) open source IM and voice over IM and why there is no application for seeing the IM status of friends of friends. SIP. Then I lost the thread of the conversation.)

Milo and another kid (Galen) played with a Transformer and a Bionicles creature, almost the whole afternoon, running around doing hide & seek & writing about aliens on the whiteboards. It was nice. As we left (to meet them at the restaurant) Milo commented quite shyly to me, "I think that kid whose name is Galen? I think he is
a Friend." (Rare moment.)

Rook is v. curious about Galen counting in Korean for hide & seek.

Milo wrote "Egghead Egghead Egghead Egghead Egghead" mysteriously over on the paper tablecloth, while Galen created a kid vs. adult menu where all the adult options were like "Calimari Salmon Tofu Flakes" and the kid options were hot dogs for way cheaper. Observant! He did not riff off of our suggestions of worms or other nonsense foods and then I realized he was properly suspicious of mocking adult humor and condescension, but we didn't mean it that way.

Oh yeah - almost forgot - Tracy told me about FeedLounge which sounds like it does everything I have been wanting from a feed reader - but it is 5 bucks a month. I'm considering it since they promise they allow you to export your feeds with tags.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

A list not to forget to say

purple flowers, red fuzzy buds
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.
I have a backup of posts I want to write here:

- the Main Gallery reading in Redwood City

- the benefit at Varnish; Shauna Rogan's excellent Babylon book; rambling about such cut-up projects and what makes them good or bad in my eyes; playfulness and seriousness (good) pretentious and meaningless-for-experimentalness' sake (bad)

- César Vallejo "Marcha Nupcial / Wedding March" broadside/booklet from Backwoods Broadsides, which looks like a wonderful series. I want them all!

- my own reading coming up at the Overpass Gallery.

- the fun of being on the radio the other day

- Poetry I've been reading: Bullets & Butterflies book. Imaginary Poets from Tupelo Press. Nightingale's Burden. Gabriela Mistral. Another wildly sexist anthology.

- That airplane poem by Maria Sabas Aloma and why it charms me; airplanes in women's poetry in the 19-teens and 1920s; vehicles; unmapped space; do women write poetry to their cars? (I have - to my truck & sort of in general)

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Out of My Mind and into Yours

Hey, I'll be reading and talking on J.P. Dancing Bear's poetry radio show, Out of Our Minds, at 8pm this Wednesday on KKUP, 91.5 FM in Cupertino.

J.P. is a poet, translator, editor, and publisher and he's hosted this radio show for quite a while! He does a lot for Bay Area poetry communities. I don't know his poetry very well, but I 'see' him all the time on the WOMPO Women's Poetry mailing list.

For the show, I'll read some poems and probably a few translations. It sounds like fun! Now, which things to read? Some of my stuff is good out loud... the giant robot poem and "moon veil your mirror". I notice people tend to like stuff with repetition that has a central idea. However, most everything I write isn't like that, and I love to hear poetry that goes all over the map! My stuff in the last couple of years tends to be very long, complicated, and baroque, which I know doesn't mean a nice listening experience... but I might throw something long in the mix. It's what I like to hear (& write).

Wish me luck in getting over this cold and sore throat before Wednesday! If not, then I'll pretend I'm always husky and sultry on the air.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Vanity, pride

oh yeah
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.
For 41 bucks, I have bought the ability not to forget my license plate number. I know it's silly, but it feels highly gratifying. I wish I'd thought of it to put on my truck, long ago!

Now it'll just have to go on my little car, "Bruiser"!


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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New open mic in Oakland; the best Bay Area radio station


A New Monthly Open Mic
Every 4th Thursday
Beginning August 24th

Live interpretive music for the poets and the soul
Open freestyle jam after the poetry
Always FREE
Word of mouth...so pass the word!
Sign up at 7pm
Bring a horn, bring a drum!
Come enjoy music, community, and the healing art of the spoken word!

At the Bay's beautiful new art space in East Oakland warehouse dist. The House of Stormz:: 1439 105th Ave @ International


I heard an announcement on KPOO (an awesome radio station - with a good blog and streaming audio - **why aren't they in itunes??** ) for something associated with "Poetry University" and also remember the name "Martin X", and though I scribbled down the details, I can't find them. Can't find it online. Whatever it was, sounded like a really good event, I want to go to it... got to keep looking.

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Texting as an art form

A threesome text
Originally uploaded by tuxcomputers.
Was just reading about Ghost Town, the texting novella or short story that comes to you on your mobile phone. From the article, the story doesn't seem to be adapted to its medium. Or, well... read this from youthnoise and see for yourself. I'm super curious.

A novel adapted to the medium of cell phones and texting would be more like a play with very long pauses, a long-running larp, fiction blogs, or the evolution of gossip into an art form. I could see the beautiful structure - a character from the story texts you a whole bunch - crises build - other characters start to chip in to give you their side - incidents would happen in sensible realtime. The story itself would be mostly deduced and imagined from ellipsis.

Perhaps all the texted replies from all over the world would be collected and juxtaposed on a site. You'd get a hundred thousand replies of "OK" or "Whr RU" for every line of the story. Maybe replies would get ranked on interestingness. The replies might or might not be interesting to meta-followers of the texted novel's happening. The main point of the novel would be the experience of it.

Days would go by. The characters buzz you from your pocket. What will happen? Why did TinyE say that about Slugface? OMG the cops just came to the party! Cameron has disappeared! Or whatever. At a crisis point you'd probably get messaged from several different characters about it. There would be a lot of suspense, multiple points of view on the same event, and unreliable narrators.

The reader could also be involved by the posing of temporary ethical dilemmas, like a kind of scary character wanting to crash at your house, or in desperation, asking you to do something questionable, and then a few minutes later changing their mind and taking it back. But during those few minutes you'd be thinking "Would I really let Slugface and her baby that she kidnapped from its abusive grandparents stay in my room while they're on the run from the police?"

I'd love to try this! Now I can't stop thinking about it... Put in some weird reality-warping fantastic elements... make it get weirder and weirder. A teenage science fiction novel... super political... should definitely involve the war and some teenage protagonist overseas... You know who would be the ideal person to write it -- Holly Black or Tricia Sullivan.... Or Heidi Wyss, author of Gormglaith.

I love the idea of new literary genres evolving for cell phones. Seriously - (More seriously than this texting poem contest)

- think about gossip as an art form.

A truly sophisticated texting novel would know, from social networking software and analysis of your social networks, who your friends are. And it could send slightly different version of the textonovela (sorry, am stretching for a handy word for it - there is probably a nice one in japanese we could borrow and use) to you and your closest friends. Then you'd talk about it. I can't believe Slugface told you that! She told me... blah blah blah. That would be great dramatic entertainment. Again, I think of how involved my friends and I became in Plain Layne's (fictional) life and how we'd talk about her (and what the commenters said) in addictive soap-opera style, as if she were our real life trainwrecking mutual friend.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

What men can do to support women's rights: RTFM

Originally uploaded by valicali.

Here's some excellent advice for men who want to support women or feminists, written by Charles Johnson of radgeek:

What you can do to support women's rights, Part three
This article continues Part I and Part II of What You Can Do to Support Women’s Rights, which dealt with three fundamental points of feminist activism — believing and supporting women, getting involved, and educating yourself — and three ways to bring the public fight home into your private life — refusing to abuse women, calling out other men, and acknowledging feminism.

Therefore, we must respect women’s-only space, avoid co-opting, and be willing to step aside.

I start with Part III because it seems the most relevant to recent discussions of men at BlogHer. (It also seems quite relevant for other forums I'm part of, like the WOMPO women's poetry email list.) It's a great starting point. It's beautiful, clear, I agree with it 100%, and it made me cry. It explains how to be an ally.

I can see that even when I'm trying to be diplomatic, I have a lot to learn, and I have my own feminist rage, which is powerful and useful: but it makes it hard for men to hear the ideas. Even right at this moment I'm sure to a lot of men I sound infuriatingly patronizing. (As if I don't get patronized constantly by men.... every day... really now! oh, whoops, I'm mad again.) ANYWAY. Since I want men to hear the ideas instead of reacting to me personally, it seems good to link to a man who is a geek and a feminist. I hope that all the very well intentioned, nice, interesting, and amazing Blogher-supporting geek guys like Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, Guy Kawasaki, Marc Canter, and other men who not only came to Blogher, but who followed up, kept thinking about it, and are still talking with women on their blogs, will read it if they have time. I appreciate their participation in trying to answer my criticisms at all.

(I also hope that guys like Hugh Forrest, who was so awesome of an ally at SXSWi -- and Chris Heuer, who I admire for his wholehearted efforts to promote awesome conversations, will read this!)
Certainly if one has taken the painstaking effort to separate himself from the psychological and social structures of patriarchy, it is hard to accept being put back into the class of Men and excluded. Many male feminists experience it as a sort of reverse discrimination and feel that that sort of exclusion is just what feminists ought to be fighting against.

However, the exclusion of men by women and the exclusion of women by men are certainly not the same thing in the first place. (from Chris Johnson's essay)

I did try to acknowledge the difficulty & challenge & complexity of all this. And am trying to do more of that. Without kissing anyone's ass, backing down, pandering to the patriarchy, giving validation to specific behaviors I don't like, or having to feel like I'm spending my energy paying attention to and taking care of the feelings of men (which I do plenty of in daily life). Also, I don't care if you link to this or not, or whatever, am not talking about this for that. Anyway, since I spoke up I wanted to follow through, because I do take this kind of discussion very seriously and do not dismiss anyone's feelings here although I tend to get mad as a hornet and shoot my mouth off. There are moments when I feel despairing and have that one reaction that is not very useful: "It's not my responsibility to educate you." Thus my post title.... RTFM.

I hope that helps and that now I can quit playing den mother and go back to talking about women, their work, and my own experience.

Peace, out.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Writers With Drinks, No and Yes, rambling

Daisy Zamora
Originally uploaded by spanaut.
It was another super crowded night at the Makeout Room! Julia Jackson was a good comedian - I'd love to go see her perform again. Her comments on race, international adoption, and liberals... very good... I was dying at "You ever notice when white people go do some kind of action, they manage to have a vacation at the same time? I'm going to build low-income housing... in Guatemala! " Extremely funny. There was one joke that made me shriek at a place where no one else laughed, but I can't remember what it was!

Sage Vivant read from Greta Christina's book about how to be a better client if you go to sex workers. I kind of couldn't figure out if she was reading her own work somewhere in there or if it was all direct from Greta? Confused... Had to restrain myself from squealing (again) at Greta, who was next to me, about how much I loved "Bending" not just for being hot but because it was such good writing & more interesting literature than so much of what's out there masquerading as being ground-breaking nifty literature.

Then Daisy Zamora got up to read - really the highlight of the evening. She started by quoting Octavio Paz... I will let on if I haven't already that in high school, I had a giant poster of Octavio Paz on my bedroom wall, because he was my rock star poet. I had some issues with his writing about women, and other things, but.... he's still a rock star.
"Freedom is not a philosophy, nor is it even an idea. It is a movement of consciousness that leads us, at certain moments, to utter one of two monosyllables, Yes or No. In their brevity, lasting but an instant, like a flash of lightning, the contradictory character of human nature stands revealed. "


"´La libertad no es una filosofía y ni siquiera es una idea: es un movimiento de la conciencia que nos lleva, en ciertos momentos, a pronunciar dos monosílabos: Sí o No.´En su brevedad instantánea, como a la luz del relámpago, se dibuja el signo contradictorio de la naturaleza humana."

Then she mentioned Walt Whitman and said "rebel a lot, obey a little" - actually why don't I give y'all that quote too:
To the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist much, obey little,
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever
afterward resumes its liberty.

What Zamora was saying is so important, I want to shine my tiny spotlight on it as best I can. To show you why the world needs poets, and people who think like poets and experience the world as poets.

Zamora then blasted the "philosophy of fear" that is so pervasive. She reminded us all to consider, at every moment, that we have a yes or a no, and that at those moments, we need to remember: "99% of what we see in the media is lies to make you fear."

Right on!

NO to this government and NO to this war. (And all such wars and massive instances of evil.)

Then she read "Death Abroad", "Marina" (Seascape, in English), "To a lady who laments the harshness of my verses" - funny reference - "Streetcar San Francisco" - a poem with the ending at the Amnesia Bar - the poem about the newspaper article about the Salvadorean woman killed on Fillmore St. and the mayor of San Francisco eating wild salmon filet sprinkled with gold dust - and the poem "Cuando las veo pasar" "When I see them passing by" ...

Cuando las veo pasar alguna vez me digo: qué sentirán
ellas, las que decidieron ser perfectas conservar a toda costa
sus matrimonios no importa cómo les haya resultado el marido
(parrandero mujeriego jugador pendenciero
gritón violento penqueador lunático raro algo anormal
neurótico temático de plano insoportable
dundeco mortalmente aburrido bruto insensible desaseado
ególatra ambicioso desleal politiquero ladrón traidor mentiroso
violador de las hijas verdugo de los hijos emperador de la casa
tirano en todas partes)

I don't have the english of this but I could translate it if you like.

I understand on some level why people laughed during this poem, but it doesn't make me laugh... I started crying as I thought of my own grandmother but really of all the souls (crushed, almost - but the poem gives the hope I want to feel that crushing a soul is impossible) of all the women I could imagine, ever, who have been in that situation. It's a devastating, devastatingly true poem. It reminds me of Judy Grahn's amazing, very long poem about mother and female relatives sending the daughter off to be married as they would send a son off to war. Oh! How can Daisy Zamora and Judy Grahn live in the same city and not know each other's work! It kills me! Why!?

I take a moment to construct my fantasy literary event with Zamora, Grahn, Di Prima, Coleman, major, Gottlieb. (And me. I'm modest that way.) Fierce! Feminist! Ass-kicking all! A small inspiring anthology with some ranting-mad stab you in the heart with truth volcano erupting revolutionary feminist poems, a pocket-poets book for my women poet kin. Anyone who lives in "Tierra de Nadie" in the neverending crossfire. YES to that.

Anyway, this is getting long and a little embarrassing. It's okay; being embarrassed is good for me.

Charlie had some great humor in the in-between comedy & her introductions but as usual I was laughing too hard to take any notes. All I have is a written-in-the-dark scrawl, "Like a meme wrapped in an onion" from some kind of insane thing about nano meme hors' d'oeuvres or something. She was running a fever... but the show must go on! (And - she was elegant and glamorous in a long white dress suitable for fevers and fainting.)

Then I sold books for Daisy, because I'm just Ms. Helpy that way. Oh and talked a little bit with George Evans about translation. He co-translates from Vietnamese and I was telling him how much I enjoyed co-translating from Hebrew (which I don't at all know - so it is a very close collaboration process, which makes it way fun.)

Then Ellen Klages read from her funny "science fiction slush pile" story, Gerard Jones read from Men of Tomorrow about Jerry Siegel and the beginning of fandom, which I enjoyed (though me and Debbie poked each other and winced - especially at the thing about the domineering mother - that was a bit much) and Noria Jablonski read a story about a girl who skipped from 5th grade to college in like... a day? a week? something? But not really because it's all just sort of a metaphor for the way adolescence and adulthood hit you and you're still that 5th grader who's next up for kickball. Beautiful and funny. I snorted with delight at the bit about how the rumor about that one girl (all the boys think she's hot, like they're wearing so-and-so-is-hot goggles... she's not that hot) frenching somone at the roller rink and then I realized it was a reference specific to my generation and suburbanness.

A bunch of people went to the tapas place but I ended up with a big crowd of science fictiony people, too many of us to fit in the tapas place, so we had burritos at somewhere on Mission. I got to hang out a little bit with Ariel and her girlfriend and Ellen Klages and admired Ellen's interesting book collection & strange kitsch, like ceramic "chicken of the sea" tuna baking dishes shaped like fish & a porcelain liquor decanter shaped like Eleanor Roosevelt. You take off her head to pour the liquor. (Eleanor's not Ellen's.) It was especially eerie because I'm in a role-playing game right now where we're playing in an alternate history Earth as the Resistance in Nazi-occupied Britain & there's also these tentacled things, and we assassinated Hitler, and went down the Maelstrom into the hollow earth, but the point of this "sentence" was that in our game we regularly talk to President Eleanor Roosevelt who is secretly an alien.

That's enough for now. I feel so calm and centered now that all THAT is out of my system.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

The new Tiptree book

tiptree biography reading
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.
On private mailing lists, I'm seeing a ton of fascinating discussion of Julie Phillips' new biography of Alice Sheldon (James R. Tiptree, Jr.). As soon as the book comes out, that discussion will migrate to blogs and public forums! A lot of people are having strong personal reactions, feeling inspired by the book and by Sheldon's life -- as well as admiring how well written and researched the biography is.

I think it's of general interest, and especially recommend it to all feminists whether you know anything about science fiction or not. And to all science fiction people, whether you identify as feminist or not.

I'm hoping for scholarly editions of Sheldon's letters in the future!

Julie will be reading from this exciting new book in San Francisco on August 21st, 7pm, at A Different Light on Castro. Here on her site there's a schedule of her upcoming readings elsewhere in California, Washington, Oregon, and New York.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Literary adventures and commonalities

This weekend I went to a nice reading at Other Change of Hobbit - Mary Anne Mohanraj was reading from her new not-yet-published novel, The Arrangement. Though I haven't read Bodies in Motion, her book of linked stories, I've heard her read from it. What I notice about Mary Anne's writing is the subtleties of character, established very quickly, so that I expect everyone to be complicated.

We all admired the new paperback of "Bodies", & Mary Anne talked interestingly about writing, her experiences in the publishing industry in the literary fiction market, and then about the current market for erotica; she says that most successful erotica authors are women. Her erotica series, Wet, is printed on waterproof paper & she demonstrated for us how you can pour a glass of water onto it and it just rolls off. You can read it in the bathtub.

Mary Anne has a huge amount of projects, among them the Speculative Literature Foundation and DesiLit. She's got a long-running pre-blog-era blog & was a founder for Strange Horizons and Clean Sheets.

I always think it's interesting how many people we know or knew in common from various scenes. Many people from University of Chicago show up in my core groups of San Francisco people, science fiction, literature, sexuality, & poly - and Mary Anne is just one of the many with those multiple intersections. They are people almost guaranteed to have the most fascinating & eclectic book collections! After Mary Anne's reading we headed over to Lori, Guy, and Steven's house - another U. of Chicago connection, with role-playing games definitely in the mix - and I got to wallow around in Lori's reference books - the Dictionary of Languages - note our common interest in myth & women pirates & warriors & Inanna & that sort of thing - shelves and shelves of sex and erotica books - Anthologies - comic books - And Steven's books on war and philosophy. In short, I could happily get lost in their house for months.

It's nice to be around all these people - they're inspiring, fun, smart as hell, and I have the feeling of intellectual security that they also know about the broad range of knowledge I have, so don't see me just as a poet, or geek, or gamer, or history and science fiction buff, or sex radical; they know what it means to be all of those things at once, because that's what they are too...

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

aesthetics and hateration

When you hate on a woman for her pointy-toed shoes, skinniness, hairstyle, cheerleaderiness... you are participating in a misogynist system just as if you hated on her for being fat and not shaving her legs. You're trying to comment on patriarchy, but on the way, you're doing some woman hating. I'm hearing and reading it all week from 25 year old women on myspace, tech guys, radical feminists, friends, and my own brain.

Fembots and 'basement cupcakes' - - - model-thin, dressed wrong, identical - - It's equally hateration whether it comes out of the mouth of a man or a woman.

Everyone loves hating on the Bejanes. Again, if you've been doing this and that was your first reaction, I'm not pointing and yelling "You're sexist!" We're all sexist. Look at your gut reaction of hate towards the outfits, chirpy voices, "identicalness", hair, and shoes of the two women on stage, and think about why that reaction is so violent and powerful. What are you hating? Why did it come out in that kind of language that dehumanizes the two women from Microsoft? Sit with that for a while. Who else is "like that"? I would even challenge you to free associate a list of similarly hateable qualities.

Mixed in with the misogyny there is some fine criticism of Microsoft and of the very idea of the commercial break.

All anyone has to do is describe these women physically (very thin) and maybe say the word "fembot" and "we" think we know what's being talked about. We hear a type - not a person. We hear qualities of femininity, which of course are understood to be despised. If we're women talking this hate talk, we're saying "I am not that." If we're men, we're also delineating, "I am not that."

This kind of talk is why I play with femininity at all. I am that. And I'm still your sister and I still have a brain. I am not a fembot. Talk to me like I'm a human being. Respect, y'all.

You know how people were making fun of some of us for worrying about "what to wear to BlogHer"? This is why. A good bit of the criticism directed at Microsoft drives home that where they erred is in sending women who wore the wrong thing.

I want people to dig around in their minds for a while and think about why that's fundamentally messed up. You can be wrong. It's okay. I think we all have internalized sexism, racism, classism - it is called hegemony. Pointing it out is not divisive - it's helpful, and gets that stuff out into the open so we can give it a little analysis.

If you are a woman hating on another woman for big hair, makeup, pointy toed high heels, and chirpiness, and being thin, you are hating her for what you perceive as her buying into the system of patriarchal aesthetics. It signifies that she is willing to give a significant amount of her time and energy to men. We think that fembot, consciously or unconsciouly is sucking up to The Man, and getting privilege for it. That perception of privilege (which I'd argue is largely wrong) creates a lot of divisive resentment. That's why we think we can talk smack about "plastic actresses with boob jobs in Los Angeles" and think that it's okay to dehumanize them in our thoughts and language. It's not right to hate a Bejane or an Uncle Tom. Isn't bejaning yourself presented to us women as a survival skill? Isn't it the way to be loved? To be non threatening? Then why is it also a ticket to hate? Because - coding yourself with feminine qualities is a way to signify inferiority. So we bitterly hate the ones who can and do code themselves extremely well according to patriarchal standards.

I don't accept that entire system although I live in it and it is more powerful than I am as an individual. I see no escape from it, and so I play with it. I have the luxury of my sense of self worth, my job, my relationships, not depending on my conforming to feminine requirements.

Oh, and p.s. Yes - I do feel annoyed and uncomfortable at condescending men in hardware stores, whether I'm in a dress or in jeans and work boots. Yes I can go buy a hammer, but I still notice the sexism. The sexism is worse if I'm in a dress and it's especially worse if I'm in a sexy feminine dress. Because I have a lot of privilege, I can mostly ignore that sexism. Many women don't have the kind of privilege I enjoy.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

NCDD Brainjam notes - afternoon

Chris - our expertise. share it.

Beth - the best way to be a techie is to know people who know more than you.

other guy - we don't have any 12 year olds in the room


loretta - i have a background in chemistry. i know how to blow thinggs up. so, i know with tech i'm not going to blow anythin up.
west 120th street in manhattan dug up. colleague - librarian told me i don't have to come in to the library, i could get a "MODEM". bought a book and couldn't understand the instructions for getting online.

Beth - what is a blog. how many people konw.. who doesn't. I try to define it.

vanessa - interactive. more interactive

kai - dont want organization to have static feel.that we are givin you information. instead you have an experience.

beth - i started blogging in 2001 and was clueless for about a year and then people started commenting. i then realized other people had blogs and i could read them and we could folllow each others conversations.

heather - it's how you set them up. personal websites almost not difference. it's just a piece of software that makes it like 30 seconds to set up.

loretta - very important shifts taking place. everyone in the world could not create their own web site. now with bloggin you can without spendin money to do it

heather - very personal first blogs were very personal.

loretta - voice has shifted.

beth - way to build a community, to have community conversation. styles of conversation. single author blog. my podium, my diary that I'm sharing. then multiple author blog. that's what the NCDD blog is.


Blogrolls. More on blog structure. What is a blog. B/c of the blogroll you know we are looking at you.

Question from Avis. Do bloggers have to worry about hackers and spam?

Beth - yes you do and it has to do with what platform you are on. is there a techie in the room? Andy?

a guy - hacking no not really. comment spam, yes... (he explains a bit)

beth - does anyone moderate comments?

guy - some blogs. the one on workflow. because fortune 500 company people come on there and I don't want them seeing v111aaaagra ads.

beth - so it can be useful to moderate. For me the comments are the most useful part of my blog. I have made so many connections and learned so many things.

Loretta - we are going to have 400 people at the conference.

Beth - i'll show how easy it is to comment.

[now I am reading my email. and laura is reading our mom's secret blog and giggling. okay now I'm paying real attention again. sorry, social overload, had to check out.]

Loretta and Beth - explaining more about blogging with demo. Demo of commenting, posting, editing a post. Can fix stuff on the fly. Can go back and add last names. Fix typos. Beth has the cheat sheets for brainjam. cliff notes for every topic. (must change, must not use cliff notes name.) It's all on the ncdd blog, right here.

magnificent report by Ideaware on decsion making grid.

is there anything you can keep revisions, history of document...

Yes. try wikis, basecamp tools.

Loretta - conversations, starting new posts.

Beth - photos. flickr. incredible photo sharing community. old model was post your photos to the web private and only share them specifically with friends and family. flickrr you share them witih the community of the world. who uses it? (show of hands) khanh?

Khanh - I use it just to look at my friend's photos. Off his blog.

Beth - more on flickr, demo, tags, comments, surfing, tag clouds.

MJ - clusters. flickr tries to group stuff on similar subjects.

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lunch - ncdd brainjam

Lunch - vietnamese food with laura, mj, sarah, khanh, 2 dudes the massage guy and jack paulsen. laura - on Lost fiction blog (corporate) sarah on perplex city. games. me on geneva convention game on the UN site. khanh talks about her news blog plan and translating. i talk with her about blog ad models and syndication. i talk about the f word and how every guy i talked with started up witih that and was expecting something from me - a bit fearful. (minnie was tainted witih it just by having sat next to me.) The f word apparently v. scary. we all laugh. MJ and I talk about dodgeball and swarms and writing.

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2nd half of the morning, NCDD BrainJam

2nd exercise -

had name brainjam before knew what it was.
all my life trying to help people connect the dots, help them move forward, omg have you seen this book, do you know this person? I get a big jolt to help peple connect with each other in that way. so, people oudl jam in a one on one situation. how migh that look? j split up rgroup of peopel in 2 halves, segment. inner circle facing out, outer facing in. 12 five minute meetings with each other.

(i know this as a rotating fishbowl. the other fishbowl is a discussion in the inside and the outside peopel have to only listen.)

ask each other what work ignites your true passion?

my conversations:



Vanessa A. Smith


Heather Gold

John Kelly



(to be filled in later from notes)

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NCDD Brainjam notes - morning

NCDD BrainJam

chairs in circle
big open room with circle of chairs. around 35 people

Chris - tech n flow intro
kristi - more tech n flow. map.
chris - -schedule plan.
social network. deepen our questions
who considers themselves a technologist?
hand signal for jargon not understanding
tips and tricks.
lunch. world cafe. communities. apply, make real.
raines -video
tags - ncddbrainjam ncdd2006

tree - hearthkeeper
juantia - evocateur - dancer - cafeista
jim - evolutionary moment seeker - facilitator - father
jonathan - curious peace activist wannabe social entrepe
david - passion learning loves his dog
barbara - kids playing collaboration, questions
avis - mom, wife, director
jack b - educator, geeky tool builder, dad
kai? intuitive armbands
ruthanne -vocal moxie searching
beth - flickr tagging
Kristi - gardener blogger nonprofit organizer
min jung - MJ micheif maker blogger opinionator (opinions come from the future and may kill you
rains - cohouser communicator facilitator
dude - healer bodyworker
hal - novelty mediation
andy - ncdd - cat person - cartoonist
vanessa - pssibilities potential naturelover joy creativity connection and intuition
john kelly - aspirational . energizize big picture - meaning - resepct differences
lorettta groove user - appreciative inquiry practitioner - blogger
jay cross - help people learn to learn - happier productive lives - web fanatic - reckless thinker - informal
cliff - liberal windsurfer itdirector
sherry - zen practitioner peace activist - fundraise for nonprofits
justin sammpson - learner programmer - agilist. (handsignal) explains agile programming.
ken - educator teacher interationist holistic literacy - "beyond"

word association tag cloud group exercise.
facilitator/mediator with hal phillips and jim rough. we break the rules!

kai talks about tagging alienationg people. what about reverse tagging?

reverse tagging? I ask about feminism tag

guy says that we want

laura - categories exclude. tagging opens up. clouds expand the meaning associations "feminism" but also "women" or whatever - opens it up.

I like that - it's a way of thought - to fuzzy things up

folksonomy - taxonomies and library subject cataloguing. you put it on. aggregated. some of your tags might disapper.

jay says we dont want polarizing

guy - could someone give eample. i am a luddite.

mj - if you look at my flickr tag cloud you find my friend glenda.
chris - -gives a certain weight to that tag. if other people use it. del.icio.us, too.
tag up the ncdd home page.

woman in green - this gives you your own way to make google world.

peace activist woman - what is diff btwn set of tags and tag cluster
chris -
mj - cluster is social
kai - artificially... produced
chris - organically prodeuced thru collaborative effort
woman by door - appreciative of tools, what helps us connect race to face?? to be able to et on line and connect - and yet we pass each other on the street and don't connect n our neborhoods! where does that fit in our whole conversation.

chris -t hat's why we're doin this. to get peoplel out from behind our laptops.
guy - that's the million dollar question

beth - (yell from crowd of blurt!) - menotoring people on internet. software. 300 people. put yourself on map.
liz : is taht Frapper.
beth - yes. me and this other woman discovered we live 2 miles down the road from each other. using the tools and maps there are ways to connect.

raines - i'm shifting from virtual communities to real world communities

chris - virtual/real world
jerry - theory on the table. maybe a bit negative. crisi leads to connections. lazy prosporous self-satisfied. everyone looks at everyohne in crisis. it forces connection. how do we do it without the crisis part?

ken - contexts - invite possibility

chris - wrap up that thouht, we come back to it.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Identity and Obligation panel, BlogHer Day Two

[Liveblog cleaned up a bit, with links. Please correct me if I got something wrong.]

Maria Niles: We want to hear everyone's input. Intros. Then hear from audience.

Dawn Rouse: I'm Doing the Best I Can, True Wife Confessions, and my Club Mom blog, Gimlet Eye. I am the wife of a black man with a PhD from Detroit. *audience: woo! go black man!* I'm starting my Phd at McGill. We just moved to Canada July 1st. I blog about just about everything in my family. I talk about racial issues, gender issues, my depression, finding my way as a woman, feeling angry sometimes. What I don't do is I don't represent black America. My role is to be a white ally. And to testify to the things I have seen as. As the wife of a black man in America. Driving across the border... My husband was stopped. And I photodocumented it. The cop was sure my husband was a Guyanese smuggler. I have to be aware. I have to educate my daughter. I need to find her black women, women of color mentors who can help her understand things that I as a white woman never knew. When I walked with my husband into a restaurant for the first time and everyone looked at us... "Oh."

Karen Walrond - Chookooloonks. Wow. I started writing it about 2 and a half years ago, when me and my husband were matched with the person who was going to become my daughter's birth mother. It was to keep family members up to date with the adoption process. Prospective adoptive families have a voracious appetite for information about adoption. So it's become this big blog. My daughter is now with us and it's less of an adoption blog and more of a mommyblog now. I then got an opportunity to work in my homeland of Trinidad and Tobago. We all packed up and moved south. It's very text intensive but I also do a lot of photography of our lives on the site. I do talk about the adoption. We are in contact with my daughter's birth mother but I don't feel it's my right to tell her story. She can tell that story if she wants to, or my daughter can, that's her story. What don't talk about is, I don't talk about race. I am in an interracial marriage. I'm Trini, my husband is white and British. So an intercultural marriage too. The photos are there, the stories are there. It's up to other people to make their own reading. (Karen jokes about her nondescript north-america accent and then bilingually goes into her Trini accent.)

Maria: My name is Maria and I am a caffeine addict. It's not malt liquor. *audience laughter* I'm here to represent the people who feel that you have no obligation to represent, individually. Collectively, we should support those who do call out and represent! That's why I support BlogHer. The community is important. But I will point out the fabulous women who represent. I have 2 blogs, I use my real name. I have no picture of myself on there. My sense is my obligation is to the readers to talk about marketing to consumers and that's it. My other blog, I use a pseudonym. The name is Wag, so it has no gender. I have no pictures. I talk about my dogs, funny stories, cute little chihuahuas. Every once in a while, I talk about race. I am an undercover black woman. I'm a 44 year old black woman. Yes, that is my story. If I told you I was a 44 year old black woman, you would think of Oprah. I am not Oprah. I wouldn't mind her money... *audience laughter* I don't want to set those preconceptions. Again, I think it's incredibly important to respect black women who are out there on the blogophere. Yes both my parents are black. My dad is from the islands. My mom is descended from slaves, we know our family history, it's a famous story. So I'm not only black, I'm militant black. People think I'm white, so they feel the need to share their feelings about people of color to me and their racist thoughts.

Carmen Van Kerchove. My friend and partner Jen Chao. Blog is Mixed Media Watch.com. The name has become meaningless, we're going to rename it. It started as a watchdog organization to see how media covers mixed race and interracial marriages and start letter writing campaigns. Now it's kind of lost the watchdog part. Things have gotten better. Today it's more about the intersection of race and pop culture. We talk aobut Barbara Walters who keeps reaching out to pet black women's hair... Angelina Jolie and her baby collecting... anythin and everything to do with race and pop culture. Podcast is called Addicted to Race. Jen and I discussing recent news stories. This is the awesome thing about doing a podcast - you get to connect with people you really admire. Academics, writers, Octavia Butler... We had an interview with her. Jen and I are both women of mixed white and asian parentage. We are very open about that. We don't necessarily talk a lot about our personal lives. We definitely are very open about who we are. Our racial identity and how people react to us. We used to have a section on the podcast called Racial Spy. Things people say when they don't know you're in that ethnic group. No fake stupid celebration of "diversity" ... *audience laughter* And be critical but constructive.

Marisa Treviño. I'm a racial spy. From my appearance people don't know. The latina voice is very underrepresented in the mainstream press. When blogs started I thought, my god, this is my chance to get those stories out into the world. I started my blog, Latina Lista. Lista means smart, ready, intelligent, triple-meanings. I started Latina Lista with stories about Latina women. As the immigration debate has heated up, my boundaries I set for myself had to be broadened. and now a lot of Latinas are reading me and commenting. And I speak from the Latina perspective, from the female perspective. I'm more of a journalist on my site. I'm infusing my opinion into currentt events, but not blogging about my personal life. I don't post pictures. There are some crazy people out there. With the exception of one person commenting in a negative way, it's positive on there. Stories don't get national press. I do talk about race all the time. I do talk about my gender.

Maria: I want to comment on what you just said about negative perpectives, trolls. Particularly with some black women in the blogosphere I know they have backed off blogging because of the incredible negative pressure that comes with blogging. Tiffany Brown has stopped blogging at blackfeminism.org. [Hmmm - I just looked, and there's a post August 1.] Nubian of Blackademic has said she will stop blogging because of this... Tiffany is raising her hand. When we had the post on Blogher, Lisa Stone talked about difficult . . . [I missed this part]

[Ooooo. I see that Nubian also has linked up to the Black Weblog Awards! Everyone go nominate their faves! - Liz]

Tiffany: When you said you were gonna "call me out" last night I didn't know you meant putting a mic in my face. *audience laughter* I'm really open, maybe too open. People misconstrue what I am because of what I write. I'm college educated, uipper middle class, etc. Issues in context of larger society. I"m okay with that. People seem to project their own beliefs about who I am or who I should be on to what I write and it's kind of disturbing at times.

Karen Walrond: I was speaking with [Fizzle] earlier today. It's been interesting to meet people I know through their blogs. I'm not a very open blogger. There are people far more open about their lives than I am. But what you see in front of you is pretty much what you get. I don't have a different voice online as I do in real life. But some of the people are very different from what I expected from their writing. One person who's very out there on her blog. An "in your face person" online. And in person is very soft spoken. And the reverse is also true, reserved people online who are then like, "HI!!!". *audience laughter* I'm trying to steer away from the word "honest." How much you use your blog to represent what you don't in your "real life" persona.

Laurie Toby Edison: I'm still on the first question. I've been out about this identity, queer, etc. but now it's age that makes me uncomfortable. I make a point of saying it. I'm 64. People's faces just change. They shut down. I'm uncomfortable. Because of the way I operate in the world, I try to be really clear about it, on my blog Body Impolitic. But personally I'm very private. But the blog's been there for about a year and I'm finding myself talking more personally than I expected.

Maria: I want to also throw back in this question, "Are you obligated?" If you're a particular race, gender, faith, to represent, so that the other people out there know that there's not just one face.

Lauren - I'm in college, and my parents read my blog. As a Southern woman, well, ask a Southern woman about her mother and wait 3 hours because that's how long it will take. My mom doesn't call me. She'll read it and call my dad and I'll get a call from him. I get reallly irritated I have to censor myself for my family. And for people in my hometown and who then construe from there what I'm doin. And as a Christian it's difficult for me to lead an authentic life and then stay accountable. I'll get really boring. What I usually do, sitting around eating Sunchips and watching TV with my cat. But I run into situations where I have to be accountable to people. It's the nature of the beast with my age.

Karen Walrond: I think you really hit on something there. My parents read my blog. I find I'm very careful of, ... "Why am I doing this, it's my blog, it's my space..." but on the other hand thinking of the people who read and visit me. But about adoption. It's an incredible emotional rollercoaster. It's not fun. It's very draining, soul-searching. Especially in open adotpion. You have this person [the genetic/birth mother] who's always going to be part of your life.

Maria Niles: Obligation? Marisa?

Marisa: I'm really getting the sense at Blogher there are different kinds of blogs. Sometimes the only way to get a conversation going is to challenge the assumptions people make. I do that every day on my blog.

Carmen: I don't feel an obligation but I choose to do it. I hate it, pet peeve is hearing parents of mixed-race children saying how their child will be a bridge between cultures. that's kind of horrendous to put that on your kid. ... Feedback from a person who listens to the show. I'm assuming a he. "You guys talk a lot on your podcast about negative stereotypes of asian men. But do either of you actuallyk date asian men?" And we ended up on a big rant. People read a lot into your own family, your relationships, the race of your partner becomes a political thing, people assume it's where your politics lie. I just wanted to bring up the whole "race of your partner" thing.

Christy Keith . Hi my name's Christy Keith and I dunno, am I the only lesbian in this room?

SCREAMS from audience: NOOOOOOO!!!!! *wild waving hands*

Christy Keith of doggedblog.com: I got into some painful stuff around the time of the election at DailyKos and other boy blogs, the abstract discussion of marriage as if it's some kind of abstract trading card. do not talk about my life and my civil rights as if they don't exist... that drove me off those forums. People don't understand to have people look you in the eye and say to you to shut up, stop pushing stop talking shut up, stop being so fucking uppity because it... I got so angry. So angry and inarticulate. It upsets me too much. That has been one of the most consistent identity issues for me. People assuming heterosexuality unless informed otherwise drives me insane. People assuming it's a political abstracton when it's your heart and life. People assuming... My friend whose lover died of AIDS in Italy b/c they couldn't marry and he couldnt move back home and get the medical care. There is no way to make this a legal issue. It's a moral issue. That has been my big identity issue. I come out on my blog every week practically. * general laughter* I also write on a music blog. "We don't write about dance music." I asked why? i could not get them to say it but it was because dance music is GAY. I sneak some pet shop boys into it... *audience laughter*

*general applause for Christy*

Dawn Rouse: One of the things I write about is invisibility. When you're white and middle class you don't even realize you have this privilege. So i say who i am. I need to say. Every day.

Maria: What community do you get out of representing? How has it changed your world?

Dawn: I wanted other white people to know it wasn't okay to be sneaky racists with me. I want to make it known I am an ally.

Marisa: By putting "Latina" in the title of my blog, I attract readers who aren't necessarily Latina or Latino but who believe in the cause of giving a voice...

Carmen: Mixed race black man talking to us... this post went up... a professor at Rutgers came across us, and I teach this course on Africana literature. Maybe he would be interested in signing up for this class. That's a very small example.

Amanda - I'm a researcher and study blogs and also blog pseudonymously on the side. We don't have just have one identity, we have multiple identities. The audience makes assumptions, we still have to present ourselves one way, we might present differently to our moms, our bosses, our best friends, to people we don't know. That's what we're all butting up against when we feel we can't say something and yet it's important to say it.

[*I cheer loudly for the multiple blog identities!!!* And I'm thinking of a response Iria Puyosa made recently to a post of mine... ]

Karen Walrond: The blog allows us to choose to represent in one way. I sort of disagree with this. When Elisa was writing this up for BlogHer she said I don't feel an obligation to represent. I represent all the time just by being who I am. I do represent the fact that I'm black even though I don't write about it. (Story of new york blogger writing to her.) We do represent just by being online. I don't write about race and my interracial marriage on purpose. If you're a racist and you're against "miscegenation" then you're going to click away anyway.

Tish Grier: I blog at Love, Hope, Sex, and Dreams, Corante, The Constant Observer. I'm extremely militant about being 45 and a short little Italian woman and not wanting to go on Botox. *audience laughter* As I got older I found "myself" represented more and more as a pathetic stereotype. It's important to bring thse parts out in any way we can. Whether it's by keeping multiple blogs - because men don't link to my personal blog. But as I got higher profile I had to stop writing about personal things and my sex life. Because its "unprofessional" and I had to stop being me, to a degree. And it's interesting not doing that. But the best community are the people who read the personal blog. What they say and how they relate. Especially around weight. It's important. Pop culture is very limited. Skinny, white, under 34. How many of us in this room is this?

Kety Esquivel: I"m with crossleft.org. I'm a progressive Christian. As a Christian with that identity I have an obligation. It has repercussions throughout the world. It's the rightist extremists doing significant damage. I'm an activist to reclaim the faith. As a Latina, as a Christian, as a woman. These three identities, if you look at the progressive faith movement, they're men and theiy're white and they really don't want women of color who are young to be involved. It's a very personal choice whether or not we're going to represent. Just because we were born... we don't have to, and yet I think it's very powerful when we choose to. As a Latina we're not seeing that many Latina/o voices. At Yearly Kos a lot of white people stepped up to say "Where are you. We want to hear from you" to people of color. That was good.

Woman in back whose name I didn't hear: We can't be married to only one identity. That's what makes wars happen, to say I am only Indian, or I am only Muslim. I write about whatever I want to write about. It's been an interesting journey... You are you and say "I want to be a business person, etc." and are interested in being married to that identity but then it's unhappy. And you find you have to be more than that. So the multiple identities are very important. There are more English speakers in India than there are in the U.S.... What writing does is it makes you honest about yourself. I use my blog to be comfortable with my multiple identities, comfortable with my self. The most interesting travel is in yourself. That journey, using this writing as a tool. You can do whatever you want in there. I like things that are all over the map. You can be just a mother, wife, daughter, they are roles that play. The book is called Identity and Violence, by Amartya Sen, a nobel laureate economomist.

Sarah Dopp: I'm also from New Hampshire... Yeah. You know, I dated the only black man in New Hampshire too. *audience laughter* I'm a web developer and it's great to just fit in, I'm confident, I'm professional! And then I've got a livejournal which is locked up. On there I'm female, I'm bisexual, I have sex. I consider myself overprivileged, I'm flailing around, I'm frustrated, it's cool to have both. It's a very guarded identity. My clients don't see it.

... : I started blogging in 2002. I was active in BBS and usenet groups. I actively hid my race. You could tell my gender from my name. There was one time when I was writing a post, and was about to slip into some black vernacular english. If I say this, everyone's going to know I'm black. Online, did I want to go that route? And to be authentic, to speak in my own voice, I went down that road. I'm interested in finding out, from the Latinas in the room, do you ever write in Spanglish? Do you write bilingually and interlingually with your other tongue.

*murmur of "yes we do" from audience*

Marisa: I do. I write in Spanglish, or complete posting in Spanish. If I get contributions from Mexico, etc. I do translate, but a lot of U.S. Latinas don't speak Spanish, they don't read it.

Melissa Gira: sacredwhore.org, melissagira.org I blog as a sex worker.. and at live journal... My question thinking about these things — who will people think I am if I don't say? Even if there's a photo, will people assume I'm white? Queer and bisexual, how much sex do I get to talk about? How much can you talk about it before you become a sex blogger? Genre-ization hurts the relationships between bloggers and readers. What identity am I leading with. How many closets do I have to keep coming out of, all the time?

SJ Alexander: I'm really glad the issues of multiple identities are coming up. I appreciated what Maria said. I intentionally gave my blog a name to warn people there was going to be profanity. My blog is called I, Asshole. I was writing about being a mom and also previous sexual relationships so it's like I'm this big-ass tramp. I'm a student, I'm a worker, I'm a wife, and let make people make of me what they will. Screw all y'all, you can assume what you want. People started emailing me and saying, "Thank you for being a big ho". And then thank you for being a super slutty mommyblogger with two different baby daddys. And then other people saying "Hey why don't you write more about librarianship?" So, keep the emails coming, of who do you think I am. It's awesome.

[Note: SJ's writeup of BlogHer, Snakes on a Motherfucking Blogher, is my favorite so far.]

Roo of Roo the Day: Well known study in college, where white students did not identify themselves as white. And I'm a white woman and I don't think about my race. And if I am do I have a choice about representing and what does it mean - Do you have an obligation to self-identify as white.

Maria: Can you represent being white and not be perceived as a racist?

*General MMMMMMM from room*

Roo: But I have an obligation to represent for/to people who are not part of the power structure. What's my responsibility as a white woman to the greater world.

[Me, I try to point to, but not represent or speak for. Not always successful in this but it's a try. - Liz]

Karen Walrond: We all got together to talk about this beforehand online. Blogging Baby... my post on transracial adoption. My family is like the poster family for transracial adoption. Most people think of it as a white couple adopting a non-white child. Mixed-race identity. Commenter who . . . [I missed this]

Maria: [. . .]

Karen: Sister in the U.S. whose daughter looks mixed asian-white, people think she's the nanny. Her response is, "10 hours of labor says I'm not!

*audience laughter*

Farah ( of Farah's Sowaleef : I'm a Saudi girl, from Saudi Arabia? People who want me to write about Saudi Arabia all the time! Well I'm a practicing Muslim. And people expect me to be a liberal. And people are like "Wait a minute, aren't you a liberal? You can't think that!"

[I think there was more to the panel but I missed it. Plus, my fingers started to hurt! My brain was fried! It was a GREAT panel with a lot of food for thought, and a lot of people speaking up. I thought Maria Niles' moderation of this panel was exceptional.]

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