in on blogging

women of 2.0 (get up, stand up)

Bob Marley

It has been brought to my attention that there are no female web 2.0 bloggers or entrepreneurs in Australia. The 2Web guys were talking about it in one of their podcasts recently.

I know, I’m surprised too.

And I think we need to do something about it.

Of course, it’s complete rubbish to suggest that there aren’t smart, articulate women out there working in web 2.0 (or whatever other web-type label you feel more comfortable with). It seems, however, they generally do a pretty good job of hiding their lights under bushels (to make a vast generalisation).

Here are some smart women talking about this problem:

From what I’ve heard, engineering college grads are comprised of roughly the equivalent numbers of each gender. So, where do they go? Or are there oodles of women around who just aren’t profiled as publicly?… So, why aren’t there more women in technology? Or…to rephrase it…why aren’t there more prominent women in technology? Tara Hunt

From the folks at O’Reilly, these are the numbers from ETech: “We received 223 proposals, 15 of them from women, for 6% of the total. Of the women who submitted proposals, 46% were selected; for men, the acceptance rate was 32%.” ….At least for most of the O’Reilly conferences, the *only* thing stopping more women from being presenters is the lack of proposals from women. We should, and could, be doing more. Kathy Sierra in response to a Shelley Powers post (see comments)

… I have to say, there are very few women entrepreneurs, and we must do something about this. Women are naturally very good at the things this kind of work requires, and yet, we don’t do take it up very much. … women are afraid to sign up because they see other more accomplished people and find that intimidating, instead of realizing everyone starts without much and builds up (whatever: talks, experience, education.. it’s a process and there is nothing wrong with having less.. in fact, I think there is a huge opportunity there to show something new!)… if we don’t engage women, we are losing experience, perspective and opportunity to balance our products and make better experience. Mary Hodder

The issue even got a panel talking for an hour at the recent SXSW conference. (LiveBlogs from the Increasing Women’s Visibility session at SXSW this year are available from Dru Blood’s Blog, the Worker Bees Blog)

So, what to do.

I guess there are probably three main areas we need to think about:

  1. Helping to promote great women bloggers
  2. Encouraging women who *should* be blogging to get off their butts
  3. Creating a network to grow attention within the network

I know there are plenty of women bloggers webrings, and there’s Blogher of course (which does great work) and others in a similar ilk out there. I haven’t come across one that focusses on 2.0 issues. Have you?

What say we get a bit of a list together? A way that we can quickly find top women writers that we can add to our RSS feeds lists etc. What say we find a way to get the message out to women when conferences are calling for submissions and encourage them to submit something? (Is this what Misbehaving does… kind of?)

Just some initial thoughts. I’d be interested in yours.

Assuming there are women out there, reading this. I think my comment ratio is about 90% male at the moment.

(not to discourage the blokes, of course. bring it on).

ok. over to you.

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50 Comments

  1. You might want to swing on over to Web 2.0 Blankie, written by an Aussie Web 2.0 entrepreneur of the female persuasion. PS, submitting comments without a preview field scares the hell out of me! Any change of adding one?

  2. I’m not working strictly in Web 2.0 territory but I blog about it whenever possible. I am trying to drag my colleagues, kicking and screaming, into the Web 2.0 thing, pointing out whenever possible, ways in which we need to latch on to it. I have not found many other Australian women working or blogging in this area. I am sure there are many women working in this area but maybe not blogging about it. Bring it on ladies.

  3. Waves from across the ditch (NZ) :) I found your blog via Anne 2.0 – which is a great way to find other women working in the 2.0 space.

  4. hooray! comments :)
    that’s for stopping by and leaving a note everyone.

    @ Steven: hi! I went to that web 2.0 breakfast that Hill & Knowlton had the week. V interesting :) nice big crowd too!

    re: comment previews… yes, you’re right. Previews are pretty helpful and also getting pretty standard now. I’ll have to look into that. Thanks for the feedback!

    @ Steven & Richard: Thanks for the pointer to Rachel Cook. The list begins :)

  5. hey Eric,

    oooh. web deux. i like that.

    gosh, you know… I’d been told a while back that there was an Aussie working over at Flickr, but I’m sure that someone told me it was a guy. How excellent to learn that George is a girl :) She’s going straight to my list :)

    so Eric. I’m thinking of maybe a wiki for web2 chicks. It would have a list of all the ones we can find (categorised possibly geographically, at least for special interest geographies like Australia!, and also into skillset/interest categories (eg. design, marketing, social, techhie etc.). Then it would also have a bunch of helpful selfpromotion guidelines etc. for chicks who blog, and maybe a list of upcoming conferences with calls for participation….

    you’re a bit of a wiki guy. What do you think?

    (what do others think too, of course!)

    I’ve installed and had a bit of a play with MediaWiki (it’s plug and play if Dreamhost is your host, as they are mine). So, it’s obviously incredibly doable.

    Would the Web2 chicks use it, i wonder?

  6. hey Georgina. thanks for your message :)

    Bring it on, indeed! We need *more* women for our list.

    (incidentally, I’m not *only* interested in Australian web2women… it’s just a bit of a soft spot!)

    what do you think about my Wiki idea?

  7. hey Rachel C.

    waves right back at you. I’ve been reading *your* blog for a little while now and really enjoying it. And yes, you’re right, Anne 2.0 is a gem.

    :)

  8. Regarding the issue of why there aren’t more female entrepreneurs … I have a short answer: because we don’t have wives (usually!). The following is going to sound like a second-wave-feminist rant, but it comes from someone who loves men and would never be without them, but has observed that there are – of course – differences in the way men and women operate and intersect with the world.

    Many blokes can afford to be entrepreneurial because they usually have a wife* running their lives and, often more significantly, social lives. Women tend to be more interested in maintaining social connections and networks (which can be good for business, but that’s usually not why women establish them), and that takes a lot of time. If they elect to ­_not_ do that work, everyone – other women, mainly – thinks something is wrong with them; if men don’t keep up social connections, no one cares – that tree falls in the forest and pretty much no one cares. So women are busy being connectors while men are busy doing – the fact that they can operate their friendships with less connecting frees them up to do more.

    Also, you need start-up capital to be an entrepreneur. When a man goes in for that sort of thing, it’s seen as a fairly normal thing for a man to do; if a woman does it, she is often deemed to be too bolshie and socially inappropriate, even on a subconscious level. Sometimes it is _other women_ making these assessments – men cannot be held solely responsible.

    I’m not suggesting a solution, because there isn’t one apart from ‘all working folk need wives’. Every woman I know is so flat out trying to juggle long work days, cleaning, cooking and housekeeping with maintaining friendships, partnerships and children (if they’re around) that she’d be lucky to have time to look up the definition of ‘entrepreneur’ in the dictionary. Women are great multitaskers, but when we have full-on jobs, we need wives.

    *By this I mean a metaphorical wife, in which the cleaner, assistant, person who makes the curry at the local Indian restaurant (can be a male or female in any of those roles) can collectively act as ‘wife’ – or be a real wife. ‘Wife’ is the term I’ve used because of its cultural connotations – I’m not trying to suggest that men can’t be good carers etc.

  9. C’mon Sophie – but what absolute rubbish.

    Janine Allis with Boost Juice seems to have done pretty well. and Janine Perret (profiled business section, the Age, 7/4), as she strives to grow her florist business isn’t listening to you either. Entrepreneurial motivation and drive comes from the raw desire to do something, make something, grow something. Don’t feel that? Then fine! It ain’t for everyone. Want to support a partner in their pursuits along those lines? Great! They could sure use it.

    But don’t project women as not being able to pursue entrepreneurial vision because they are are in the engine room of a partnership or family keeping the wheels turning. Chicks deserve more credit than that!

  10. Great post. Great responses. I’ve already pointed one Aussie blogher your way.

    My two cents: At an early point BlogHer decided to be a directory for all women bloggers, not just tech-focused ones, even though we are physically located in Silicon Valley and we, the founders, that is, were all pretty involved in that world. The rationale was that it’s easier to go to one place and dig in via self-categorized topics than it is to find a dozen different sites to track a dozen different particular niches of interest.

    As someone in a niche it’s fine, perhaps even preferred, to be segmented. But let’s say you’re a conference organizer or a journalist or someone else looking to find authoritative women voices…it’s so much easier to find the one site you rely on and go there. Maybe it’s lazy, but there you go.

    So the question, not just for women, but any person seeking to bring exposure to themselves and their interest group, is whether you branch off and become one of many niche groups, or whether you become a sub-group/category of a more central organization.

    Or maybe you just do both and get the best of both worlds. :)

  11. I wasn’t going to bother, but then got cross about this stupid discussion again. I know plenty of smart girls who blog and attend conferences and speak at them. I have as many women as men in my AIM contacts list. I read loads of blogs written by women. Many are interested in web 2.0 things as much as everything else they do (but maybe don’t buzzword as much).

    Women spoke in 30% of slots at the recent IA Summit (without taking any overt effort to include a particular proportion).

    I have 6 speaking gigs organised so far for this year (and at least 2 more that I know I’ll speak at) and am organising/chairing at least one conference next year. I run my own business and am making money.

    Haven’t I made it until I make a web2.0 buzzword compliant application?

  12. @ steven – that is cool little interface, isn’t it. I particularly like the way that it supports one person being in multiple categories (so you could be in Australia, and Blogging, and Design, for example). Kind of like tagging, but with more interesting patterns/ relationships (at least from a visual perspective). It’s definitely worth exploring I think :)

  13. @ sophie & simon.

    As much as I’d like to believe that Sophie’s assertions are out of date… I think she makes a good point. Women, particularly those with families, do tend to shoulder extra responsibilities that make them less likely to be able to immerse themselves in their work passions. I know I get in trouble for always sneaking off to check up on blog stuff ;) and working long hours/weekends is not particularly conducive to happy families …

    Anyway, whilst the feminist perspective (or neo-feminist as Ben Barren labeled it earlier!), is really relevant to this discussion, particularly to the entrepreneur part of the discussion, let’s not focus on that too much.

    the chicks are out there. they’re doing it.

    I’m just wondering (particularly in the blogosphere) why they seem so under-represented.

  14. hey Elisa, thanks for stopping by :)

    whether you branch off and become one of many niche groups, or whether you become a sub-group/category of a more central organization.

    I’ve been thinking about this lately… I think your idea of doing both is ideal, isn’t it.

    I have to admit that I haven’t been really close to what Blogher has been doing lately. Are there any sub-categories within Blogher that are being particularly active in terms of promoting their particular niche and the women bloggers within it?

    There’s been a bit of talk about an Australian Blogher conference later this year… perhaps that’s a good way to help build some profile and get more women out there (from the Australian perspective – although, I have to say, in all other categories, there are lots of femme bloggers in Aust. doing great profile building! it just seems to be the girl-geeks who are MIA).

    Perhaps within Blogher we can build a little Web2 blog network? Something like that.

    I definitely think that it’s problematic to start diluting the message by having too many spaces trying to achieve the same objective.

    what do you think?

  15. @ donna

    I’m really glad you decided to come back and post, particularly if this discussion has been making you cross.

    personally, i’d hold you up as doing/being exactly what I think more girls should be doing. you’re certainly a rolemodel for me as far as being online and sharing experiences/ideas is concerned, and I’ve been really impressed with the amount of writing/speaking that you manage to fit in with the rest of your life. I think you’re doing fabulous work.

    I’m not sure how you managed to take out of this discussion that there could be some perception that you may not have ‘made it’. The buzzword factor / web2 thing only comes into it for me because that’s an area of interest for me, and it’s also where I’ve really found a really *lack* of female voices.

    I’d be really interested in seeing some of the blogs you mention in your message. I also have a nice selection, I think, of women bloggers who I read regularly… although far to many of them are based in and around San Francisco for my liking ;)

    is anyone else out there cross?

    Donna, are you still cross?

    i’m surprised no one has said anything about the term ‘chicks’ (I think twice about it every time I write it, I have to admit).

  16. Oh, I wasn’t taking anything personally (though it does read that way). I just think that there are plenty of women around doing good stuff & don’t like the implication that there aren’t.

    I’m fine with chick ;) Was once intro’d to a bunch of boys as a cool web chick by another cool web chick…

  17. 100% agree that there are plenty of women around doing great stuff. I’ve really tried to *not* let this be a ‘where are all the women bloggers etc.’ discussion… more of a ‘why don’t more people see more of them’. (Which, I suspect is a confidence and self promotion issue… )

    yeah, I always think the chick thing is quite cool. Some seem to think it’s demeaning.. I don’t get that.

  18. “As much as I’d like to believe that Sophie’s assertions are out of date… I think she makes a good point. Women, particularly those with families, do tend to shoulder extra responsibilities that make them less likely to be able to immerse themselves in their work passions.”

    Sorry, but I don’t buy into the gender stereotype of that line. Yes, lots of family lives are structured that way. But lots of family lives aren’t. I’ve pushed against the corporate IT life to support working from home as a sole parent, and am also pursuing my own venture. So I guess generalisations rankle me – they don’t achieve anything. You find me a scenario to support it, I’ll find you one that contradicts it. And I’m always up for a discussion ;-)

  19. Simon: It’s not just a generalization. It’s supported by study after study (although I confess I found only US-based studies.) Women in dual-income families shoulder more of the home burden. Stating exceptions doesn’t disprove the general rule.

    What’s fascinating, BTW, is that some studies find that when women are negotiating with spouses about how to handle responsibilities they negotiate (and expect) a role that is almost as time-consuming as full-time mothers have! That’s pure socialization, IMHO.

    Studies I found:
    http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0405/Feb14_05/13.shtml
    “A recent University study suggests that the Super Mom role is real, and that married working mothers anticipate volunteering to take on a child care burden that is equal to what full-time, stay-at-home moms expect.”

    http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/0597/ijse/kitch.htm
    “In 1997, the persistence of sex roles at home means that most women who work full time for wages also shoulder the major part of home and family care responsibilities.”

    http://www.catalystwomen.org/files/view/Workplace Flexibility Is Still a Women’s Advancement Issue.pdf
    “Women shoulder a majority of household and child care responsibilities.”

    Again, not doubting a number of significant exceptions exist, but we are NOT talking a stereotype in this regard, but a reality for the majority of working women.

    Donna: BlogHer was created because we saw a bunch of cool chicks doing cool things, yet prominent male bloggers kept asking “where are the women bloggers?” It was infuriating, so I agree with Leisa…the goal is to increase exposure and visibility.

    Finally, Leisa: BlogHer has an Australia sub-category and a Technology sub-category. We have contributing editors working in both topics, and when women list their blogs they can self-identify into multiple categories.

  20. I’ve not read all of the above comments yet, but I’m having a slightly difficult time trying to understand what the problem really is. Capitalist society prevents women from important social interactions (politics, the economy, etc.) for various reasons that are very well documented and widely understood by social scientists, if not the general public, although there are differing interpretations of the issues of course. On that point, Simon Gilligan’s opinions completley contract the research and evidence of the last 80 years.

    I would yield to nobody in my desire to see more people of every sex, race culture or backround getting involved in blogging, but I don’t see the issue of pluralism as being one of gender. Why are we not calling for more black or Asian bloggers? Most bloggers are less than 40 years old as well – surely older people need to particpate too.

  21. I have been writing my column VITA for several years and have discussed some of these issues with Elisa at Blogher and have suggested the Blogher conference could well be in Melbourne 2007 /2008. If we want to mange it that way. I am an events PR person………

  22. Elisa, thanks for those links.

    However, the assertion that women are more worked at home and so are *less* likely to entrepreneur or blog – is my bone of contention. My point does not relate to who picks up the majority of domestic duties at home. Whilst (as you show) theres plenty of literature out there to show that this more often than not falls to women, theres also plenty saying women are not the only ones trying to juggle a difficult work-life balance.

    From your last linked site I find http://www.catalystwomen.org/files/view/Workplace Flexibility Isn’t Just a Women’s Issue.pdf. It reports ‘a majority of respondents find balancing work and personal responsibilities challenging – regardless of gender, family situation, generation, level or geography’.

    So, the implication that men are by default left with time and energy to pursue entrepreneurial desires or simply blog – is just too long a bow to draw, IMO of course. Work life, family life, social life – its one helluva mix for all parties to balance and move forward with. But a blog entry is 30 minutes of someone’s time! Are you going to tell me that women are too worked at home to spend 30 minutes on a blog?

    I’d consider ratios of women to men bloggers relates to the medium itself, the technology associated with it, and the relative familiarity or comfort men vs women have with that mix. Pretty simple really.

  23. hey Simon,

    so, to paraphrase, you think there are less women bloggers because less woment are familiar or comfortable with blogging technology or technology in general? Is this a personal opinion or do you have some research that shows this?

    Given that there are a whole lot of women out there who are *very* familiar with blogging technology (and technologies far more sophisticated than that), I’d find that kind of surprising.

    Here’s a little grab from a recent Pew report (as reported by the Washington Post):

    Traditionally, women have lagged behind men in adoption of Internet technologies, but a study released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that women under age 65 now outpace men in Internet usage, though only by a few percentage points.

    and another grab (via broadbandinfo.com)

    Surprisingly or not, both men and women are feeling equally comfortable performing online transactions, whether in the form of online banking or bill-paying, buying tickets, etc.

    If your suggestion is correct, Simon, then I wonder why women feel comfortable with online banking, but not with blogging?

    Unfortunately I can’t find the reference now, but I’m sure I was reading that girls now make up equal if not greater numbers in IT classes at Uni these days….

    So, I wouldn’t say that your conclusion is simple at all.

    I don’t think that *anyone* is trying to say that women are the only ones who have a hard time managing work/life/etc. And, I can understand why you’d be particularly sensitive to these kinds of generalisations (when they’re made). But I don’t think that means that you can disregard a logical conclusion and replace it with what looks, for the moment at least, to be a bit of an assumption on your part.

  24. hey Jonathan:

    Why are we not calling for more black or Asian bloggers? Most bloggers are less than 40 years old as well – surely older people need to particpate too.

    mostly because I’m a chick and I write on tech (incl. web2) related issues and I live in Australia, and I don’t get to see too many others who fit that criteria around the traps.

    you raise a really great point. there should be many more diverse voices being promoted in the blogosphere and beyond… but, that’s an issue much larger than the one we’ve been talking about here.

  25. I’m annoyed too. Right now I’m Listening to the TPN podcast you linked to, Liesa, and have heard one of the boyos say (again) “where are the women”, and another one respond with “yeah we need more good looking chicks around here”….ffs….then follow a stream of dick jokes.

    What can I say? If you know anything about Australian cultural history (Mateship, Anzacs, Union Men etc) then the homosociality of the self-anointed leaders of web 2.0 in this country is utterly unsurprising, but still very very disappointing.

  26. Leisa,

    You’re right, its not simple really – sorry for a rather glib parting word on my last post. I was trying to move past the domestic bound, no time to blog element of this discussion – which I really don’t mean to have inflamed.

    Going online, emailing, doing my banking, bill paying, buying from ebay – these are web interactions that are particularly goal focused. They deliver an outcome that would otherwise have me hitting the pavement or spending time on the phone. It simply makes sense to do it over the web.

    Blogging isn’t in that category. I can engage in all these online activities, but have no iota whatsover of what a blog even is. So I don’t think stats on the % of internet use by men/women give any clues. And when they say its about 50/50 but the blogosphere is far from that ratio, we see that they are of no use. Ok then – how about women are too busy on the homefront to blog? Well, I don’t buy that one :-). As I say, if it takes 30 minutes to blog, I find it hard to imagine a domestic routine that will prevent that.

    So, where are the answers?

    Lets start with what groups began this early movement? I’d say developer groups, eg Dave Winer with Scripting News. What percentage of women operate in developer groups? Well, I see less women doing it than men. Thats no comment on capability, just totally anecdotal observation on numbers (albeit from a corporate IT viewpoint).

    So were women, poorly represented (% wise) in the beginning circles of blogging? Well, I suspect so. If blogging grows through an awareness of what it is, and awareness spreads through contact with other early adopters, it seems to make sense that the greatest growth will be experienced within the demographic that is best represented in that early adopter group. Don’t shoot me, but I still reckon thats men in IT/development roles.

    So is it then just a matter of time before these percentages equalise? I think so. So, if we are now 10 years into the blogging movement, are the percentages where they should be? Have they equalised to the extent they should be? If not, how long will it take?

    Hmmm … lots of questions .. I’m going to have to think about it. But for now .. gotta run.

  27. There are many women bloggers and developers who simply never mention they are female. People often assume the unspecified are male, especially in technology.

    As a woman working with technology, I don’t draw attention to the fact that I’m female, as it generally gets in the way.

    I don’t believe in feminism (or many other isms), I don’t want to have babies, I don’t wear makeup, I expect my developer husband to do his half of all domestic activities (as well as writing great code), I love technology, scientific breakthroughs and analysis. I do not pander to society’s expectations of my role in life.

    I just want to participate in an intelligent discussion, without all the gender related crap.

    I don’t need to stand up for my rights, I don’t believe they’re being squashed.
    I don’t want to go to “female” conferences or events, I just want to go to technology conferences,

    What I care about is if there’s crap technology, bad speakers and whether it’s badly organised or overpriced.

  28. Anonymous: I guess if you’re OK with the fact that the standard assumption is that any non-specified intelligent technology commentary or work must be coming from a white male, that’s your prerogative. (The same assumption applies in political blogging I might add.)

    I find that assumption unsavory, and it won’t change until people proudly self-identify…as a woman, a a person of color, as a person over the age of 50…whatever the case may be. When it becomes obvious that intelligent commentary and/or technical savvy is coming from every kind of person, then people will stop being able to make that assumption, and I think that would be a very good thing for society, personally.

  29. Hi Leisa,

    The http://www.AustralianBlogs.com.au team has a core group of three volunteers (we’re not sexy but we’d like to think we’re a little web2.0.) – I am the only female.

    In the four weeks since our launch, we have had submissions from (and swapped emails with) many female bloggers (Georgina being one of them).

    Perhaps it is not so much a question of existence but rather of visibility. I hope we can address some of the latter with http://www.AustralianBlogs.com.au

    Congrats on a great post and the fantastic ensuing discussion from your readers. I must confess to having a chuckle as a female, a professional, a wife, a mother and being of asian origin…I should really blog more often :)

    SP

  30. hey SP,

    thanks for your note.

    Yep, I’m with you. I definitely think it’s a question of visibility, not existence.
    I’m still wondering *why* women’s blogs tend to be less visible… suspect it’s related to a reluctance to self promote. Wonder what we can do to turn this around.

    Vita: yay! I was hoping that someone would surface with an events organising background. I think the idea of an AU Blogher is v. exciting, but I’m no conference organiser and would hardly know where to start. I’d be keen to participate though.

    What about if we held a mini Blogher as an annex to another conference? Do you think that might be a good way to start? Then maybe we could do one sooner. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

  31. Well, people, I came to this via Ben’s blog! What does that tell you?

    Elisa, once again thanks for the wonderful work you, Jory and Lisa have done. I’m going straight back to the BlogHer index to put myself down once I’ve done this (and been over to copy Donna’s list).
    Great post, great comments. Being of a certain age where the word ‘ch..k’ is sort of unmentionable (mmm I know that’s kind of dumb, innit), I had to laugh at Laura’s comment, mainly because it is so beautifully put:
    ‘If you know anything about Australian cultural history (Mateship, Anzacs, Union Men etc) then the homosociality of the self-anointed leaders of web 2.0 in this country is utterly unsurprising, but still very very disappointing.’
    (With regard only to the small group described of course – there are bound to be some more socially aware techmen out there for sure.)

    Elisa’s comments on opening up technology (or anything else) through acknowledging diversity are terrific. Something Australians need to keep doing, I fear we are sliding to a halt with that down here.
    Dunno about anyone else, but I think this gathering is kicking things along…Looking forward to what Vita gets up (great name and wonderful looking blog, you’re going on my roll.)

    I guess the damper for me is how do Australians see blogging per se, regardless of who does it? I was tearing my hair out at the Emerging Writers’ Festival on the weekend trying to quickly explain what a book blog was to a puzzled ‘writer’. She went away with the URL of my blog, so I hope it makes sense to her eventually! I think there’s a lot of work to do down here. Which is why I usually sign off with a few dots…

  32. Hi Leisa,

    I just did a quick scan of your last 10 posts:

    # “links for 10 April 2006″: 0 Comments

    # “enjoying analogue wireframing (pencil rules, ok?)”: 3 Comments

    # “links for 08 April 2006″: 0 Comments

    # “women of 2.0 (get up and go to a conference?!)”: 5 Comments

    # “links for 07 April 2006″: 0 Comments

    # “links for 06 April 2006″: 0 Comments

    # “women of 2.0 (get up, stand up)”: 39 Comments!

    # “links for 05 April 2006″: 0 Comments

    # “Pattern Driven Usability (opportunities and challenges)”: 3 Comments

    # “links for 03 April 2006″: 2 Comments

    Usability gave the blog the reason for existing, and is the reason most of us subscribe, visit and read, but it tends out gender/politics/relationship is really what gets us fired up! Who’d have thunk?

  33. Steven, just wait until I start my religion posts….

    :)

    (just kidding)

    Genevieve, I agree. I think it’s great that we’ve been able to have such a great discussion around the issue here… now, it’s a question of maintaining the momentum and moving *something* forward that can help improve the visibility of women (and other less visible groups) on the blog front.

    Re: how Australian’s see blogs. How do they see them? Or do they not see them at all, and that’s the problem? (pardon the sweeping generalisation)

  34. Room for another post on that I think. Or a constellation of posts across the Ozblog area. Should send some feelers out on that one, I can think of at least ten other people who would have a bit to say.

  35. What does “uncon” mean?

    Is it:
    - an American to talk about the Aussie web; and/or
    - a bloke to headline a BlogHer event?

  36. And have you seen who was attracted to that discussion? wow. (Also Trevor knows his onions, he has taught blogging to the library professional body, ALIA, and is at the forefront of PR blogging and Australian blogging in general.)
    I’m going with Shelley at this point. A tacked on women’s session could be something of a mistake, especially if you feel underrepresented as Web 2.0 practitioners in the first place. Get out there with the guys? I don’t know what the answer is.
    All I’m finding is how little time there is to write if you keep two blogs in two different subject areas…Glad Leisa has comment email going here though.

  37. Webgrrl, you have the public library blog over at EMRLS if I’m not mistaken?? please feel free to advise via the email capacity. I’ve just read Laurel Clyde’s book on weblogs for libraries.

  38. Another place to find some un-conference information is here:
    http://barcamp.org/

    Basically it’s a no frills, accessible (meaning inexpensive), and relatively unstructured conference where most people are both audience and speaker, and there are lots of sessions organised more or less on the spot.

    I haven’t been to one (yet!), and they sound great in some ways and a little messy in others. The big advantage is that you should be able to get something up and running fairly quickly that lots of people can participate in.

    The big question is whether or not Australia has the critical mass to pull something like this off – I think that’s why we’ve been talking about pulling together all different streams who might *like* to do something, and do it all under the one banner.

    Rather than having *no* conferences (or one very boring one targetted at marketing people), we could get everyone who wants to have some kind of conference involved in a stream of an unconference… at least, that’s my idea. (Eric, are you still listening? … could be a possibility for an Aussie IA Summit too).

    Re: Ben’s site. Someone, I can’t remember who, described Ben’s site to him as ‘the digital equivalent of a web 2.0 mechanics shop’ which is a very accurate description. That being the case, he is one of very few Aussie bloggers who get any bandwidth in the blogosphere who are willing to blog about it and draw some attention.

    If a chicks/Blogher stream or conference does get started then I’m pretty sure Ben’s not going to want any part of heading that up… we *do* need someone who’d be willing to take that on tho, and that person should be a chick. Any takers?

  39. Phew! What a hot topic. I think generally, there are lots of woman entrepreneurs out there, I know a few of them here in Australia, online and offline. Don’t worry about the 2web Crew, I think it’s great that they are controversial and you know what I could proberly kick the footy just as good and if not better and at the same time pull a finger at a wolf whistle. But, seriously Women just wait until they have made it…I don’t think I have made it yet, to my own expectations, but most of all I am enjoying connecting with my target market, that is what matters the most. However, I do believe in ‘giving back’, I realised this when spoke to 200 women aiming to influence them in the benefits of starting your own business. I am currently in the throws of setting up a tech conference, which one of the draw cards is women and tech.

    Woman in Tech just know how to play it with the boys, yet we don’t need to shout it out, our actions say it the most – I remember the days when i was the only female in the office, with the guys networked and paying quake with ling hair. The tech sector has come along way, woman are just busy getting better and better – noteriety will come on it’s own.

    Hey, Elisa, I’ll see you at Blogher ’06. The last time I was in San Jose, it was for SES (Search Engine Strategies) Conference, way back…

    Cheers, to the ladies. But, cheers to the boys as well for making it so interesting for us.

    For the 2web crew…
    What you don’t know you don’t know, what you seek to find out, will surprise you…

  40. Hi Leisa,
    this post just got a mention on bloggerati.com.au – it is still a classic :)

    Did BlogHer Oz ever happen? I was meaning to mention the concept to some friends involved in the Women in Communications group here in Canberra – I’m not sure whether it is more a Web 2.0/unconference thing or a WIC/women in IT thing, not really my call I guess (apart from thinking that it would be good if it happened because I would like to go as a male observer).

    Cheers, Andrew

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