Monday, July 31, 2006

I am soo glad..

I am so glad that there is proper reporting of the post-BlogHer debrief that occurred at Liz's. Yes, I did not attend. After the fact, I will admit that I can only take a limited amount of multiple-people activity. Thursday night through Saturday was about my limit. I needed the quiet of the drive home, a short walk with one dog and a return to my own normalcy to begin digesting the past weekend.

Not that I didn't consider attending; however, I've learned that knowing my limitations is an important. Even if it means not having all the fun, all the time.

I was lucky enough to talk with Sue while she was waiting for ride; I must publicly say she is one of my heroes (heck, every woman at Woolfcamp is a hero... but she was one before then!). And she put the cherry on top by exclaiming that I look almost a decade younger than my calendar age (thank you Loreal). Flattery will get you somewhere!

In this case, I'm passing her Breasts of Canada calendar on to my friend, Susan Grey, who raises money for Breast Cancer Research (Susan made the Raging Light panels as her first experience; now she runs the Blankies for Grownup project). Susan will love the work. (yes, I'll get her to take to be one of the "ambreastadors").

Grace is probably now thinking... with Deb it's all about making the connections...

Anyway, if there is another day-long Woolfcamp before the clock's change, I promise to try and attend. In the meantime, I shall of all the bloggity, woolfcamper goodness.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

more of the Blogher debrief

BlogHer Debrief

July 30, 2006

Pam: All good conventions are meant to. . . [missed this maybe b/c it was Pam taking notes]

Laurie: The identity panel and the naked panel were both really great. Extremely intelligent. Not used to the BH style where you intro the panel and immediately go to questions. Impressed with how that worked and the moderation. Audience articulate. Impressed!

The tech panels – sat there for 40 minutes saying ‘ I know that, I know that – OH, REALLY!!!’ It’s like all of a sudden I learned a whole bunch after hearing stuff I already knew.

: Audience building was also good. The monetizing one, the woman who ran it did a really nice job – Jennifer Slegger.

Kim: Interesting – release your inner geek session. Wanted to see what heavy-duty techies would talk about. Women in tech – how do they feel in a heavily male-dominated field? Some of the younger women felt that tech was unusually male-dominated. Kim thinks they are pretty young. Another woman stood up and said she felt at home with the tech BlogHer women, but when she walked out into the greater BlogHer community she was uncomfortable.

Others: Yes, felt that too. Felt a distance from other types of bloggers. Enormous amount of respect for different types of identities but there was a dynamic of misunderstanding around the conference.

Heteronormative vibe at BlogHer – the background assumption that everyone is heterosexual. Different from discrimination.

Liz: The anxiety about dress. Coding femininity by patriarchical standards.

- - :Lots of women dressed corporate. Business bloggers in abundance.

- - : The femminess is not as significant a part of heteronormative vibe as other things.

- - : The corporate feel – was the entrance fee of $250 too much? Some say no – these people are used to conferences with much higher fees. But for what you get, was it worth it? Discussion. The student rate was appreciated. But people who arrived later were turned away, such as Sue from Toronto.

Conference organizers felt that those who arrived without a registration ought to self-organize. No space created for that. Someone could do this next time.

Tech sessions sold out first. Was that a surprise for BlogHer?

It’s a big community of women who are not tech savvy but want to be. A wave of people who are bloggers but are not tech-savvy at all.

- - :Older women do blog, not just Thoroughly Modern Millie. There is a whole community of aged bloggers. (Links?)

Jackie – Didn’t get much until the sex panel. Storytelling and humor breakout session had no moderator and seemed superficial. The art panel was good.

Alan – As I Please – didn’t go to BlogHer at all. Chortled vicariously at the Weight Watchers and girlie skinny water being offered. Interesting message.

Liz – who’s gonna advertise at a conference for women? Some tech sponsorship but also needed the $ of sponsors who like to market to women - kind of the same people who would put an ad in a "women's magazine"

Nina – the Be Jane girls and their stand-up routine were horrifying!!

Tree – started her blog this morning! – had a fucking fantastic time. Fantastic women, vibrant and alive. Could be herself – large and outrageous! Sessions were secondary. Tech session wasn’t as important to her.

Debbie – in business with Laurie – Had a good time. Felt had to fight to be as outrageous as she wants to be. Loved women she met, loved sessions. Noticed the heteronormativity. The intrusion of the corporate world dress put her on edge a little bit.

Laurie – Body Impolitic – had a good time. Corporate stuff doesn’t make her nervous. Cultural dissonance occasionally made her uncomfortable, as with the heteronormativity. A lot of stuff we’re talking about are based on unconscious assumptions. What message did the “woman sponsors” send at BlogHer?

Liz – There was consideration. Likely they expected there would be a lot of discussion about it afterwards. We can express our opinions and reactions and the blogher organizers will listen... Also anyone can step up.

Laurie – BlogHer should include sponsors should send a body-positive message. Unfortunately, nobody pays you to tell people they look good!

All in all, the conference organizers did a phenomenal job. The fact that we all ate at two meals a day together is outstanding.

Sfgeek / blogher – article!

Podcast session was taught by Susan Kitchens. She says she would like to have been given another half an hour for her session.

Beth – Beth’s Blog – Cambodia for Kids – Liked BlogHer for meeting incredible people, great conversations. Afternoon workshops could have gone into more depth if were longer. Enjoyed edublogging sessions. Got a lot of inspiration. Was here last year. This year, felt less of a strong emotional connection. Final keynote address, she felt a connection then. No good final message of where we are going from here, what we ought to take from the room.

Sue – The Breast of Canada calendar – a polyblogger - flew in from Toronto! This is her first tech conference. Lots of shrieking. Wasn’t able to get into one day, but made the best of it. Got a lot out of the conference that she was able to attend.

Sarah – was happy to go a conference of women techies! Only attended the second day. Liked the identity session. Liked to see celeb bloggers like Heather Armstrong and danah boyd. Impressed with how easy it was to strike up a conversation with anybody. Strength and confidence.

Liz – Great time at BlogHer! Didn’t have the same emotional impact becaue it was so big; hard to turn big into small groups. Mentally took notes as if she could help org it next time. Would like to see Moderator training, more un-conference style track – more things at once that would let the groups be smaller and more like conversations – probably more productive that way.

[Tree – breakout rooms cost more money. More smaller rooms means more expensive conference.
– sitting by the pool would not cost more.]

Mixed feelings about advertising.

Huge spectrum of issues about dress. Mommybloggers saying OMG what do I wear? Discussion beforehand. A lot of people were freaking and worrying about being judged in a roomful of women. What if it’s competitive? Tech women – not used to being in a room of women! Maybe dressing too “femmy” would be bad but if not that, then what? Heard from many sides of it. Liz tried to listen, take it seriously and diffuse hostility and fear around this.

Tried not to hate on the hate she felt about the flouncing-around thing that she was doing.

Lynn – Unnatural History blog – LJ of personal stuff – Did not go to BlogHer. Did go to a romance writer’s conference in St. Louis in 1993. She bought an entire new wardrobe for that, and she’s still wearing them! The clothes thing is very big.

Kimberly – – Found herself having to explain her blog to people, though she didn’t feel she had to. Felt people were taking a step back from her due to the name alone. Interesting piece of the weekend.

BlogHer felt like high shool in a way because of groups of women very tightly identified with their own group. Not trying to mingle. Tried to hang with their friends alone. Also saw women trying to mingle, learn, meet new people. There were a terrifically wide range of minds and ideas. Some were open to the experience, some were not. Enjoyed being there. Struggled with her inner introvert.

Liz - Lots of "like high school" comments all thru the conference, what's that about? what does it mean? Maybe many women have not hung out with other women since then, without boyfriends as mediators. So, tension, not knowing how to do it.

Pam – Beancounters – Had no trouble with the clothes issue. She already knew some of the people she hoped to meet at BlogHer, and knew what to wear to fit in with them. All different kinds of women would be there – anything worn would somehow fit in.

Liked the fact of a conference – conferences are not just about learning nuts-and-bolts stuff, it’s about meeting each other, looking at each other, talking about where we are now, and (hopefully) where we are heading.

Liked the community action session. Hoping to leverage some of their ideas for a non-emergency community blog.

Elke – Went to BlogHer to see some of her Woolfcamp friends again. Enjoyed how many types of women there were! Pointy shoes, skinny women, fat women, old women, etc. Enjoyed the diversity of it all. Didn’t give much thought to the sponsors, but she expected not to “like” everything, so wasn’t disappointed. Her brain got full!! [laughter]

Janine – Destinations Journeys of a Restless Mind – Club Mom – Also felt the emotional impact was not as great this year. Women who write are her rock stars! This year she got brave and introduced herself to woman writers she wanted to meet last year. Tried to network. Was very focused on what to wear.

The first day was not that interesting. The sex panel was fun. The closing panel was great. The good part was being around all these women and wanting to be a part of the community – pushing herself out into the world. Also happy to be at Woolfcamp!

Susan Kitchens – 20/20 Hindsight – Family Oral History – worked last year for BlogHer by doing audio podcasts. Also has a sense of change from last year’s sense of intimacy that came about from how small the conference was. There was not sense of closure from this conference. Wishes she could have stood up and said ‘Give it up for Lisa and Elisa and Jory!’

Loved the community assistance session. The unintentional relief workers’ stories were inspiring. Being a citizen journalist, and having blogged a disaster near her town, she felt that being prepared to blog a disaster is part of her own disaster-preparedness plan. Went to her city council to let them know she was there to blog during disaster "when CNN won't care about Monrovia - and no one will be covering us." Empowering. A satisfying session.

Fun meeting people. Discovered how fun it is to pimp the blog – pass out postcards and get a conversation started about her own blog. Also wonderful to be at Woolfcamp with its more intimate setting.

The written word, around a kitchen table

I came to Woolfcamp on a whim; I'd gotten an invitation from Liz at BlogHer. After all the preparation for the beginner podcast session (reader, I didst work my butt off getting ready!) it was wonderful to relax afterwards and attend BlogHer with little responsibility.

And even better to sleep in and have a leisurely brunch with Beth Kanter and then saunter a bit up the 101 to The Living Room of Liz for who-knows-what-all. I walked in to wooden floors and a big sumptuous chocolate-colored L-shaped couch. People sat on the couch, in chairs, on the floors. Laptops open, powerstrips on the floor cords radiating out toward these people sitting around the room.

A Blogher debrief was in process. And then lunch, and a choice to do writing exercises. Cool. I am so down with that. I wrote in my notebook. Pen in hand. My one rule of writing --especially for writing exercises-- is to keep the pen moving on the page. There is no wrong way to do it. Though I can type fast, I make more mistakes on the keyboard than I do with pen in hand. So I write. Pen in hand. On paper. Where I sense if the room (a kitchen) is humid and there's a little catch of my hand as it (doesn't) glide over the paper.

Writing, even when scattered, is an act of centering. I had some writing experiments on me, and we each chose one. "Are we going to post this?" "No, it's just for you."

Great words and thoughts and stories came out of our two exercises. Two half-circles of wood grained tabletop, computers and notebooks on one side, chocolate and strawberries on the other. Chairs and a warm steaminess. Colorful open shelves. Interesting food (rasberries!), a whistling teakettle, and posters and flyers taped to the bright blue wall. This is a well-lived-in kitchen. A hub of the home. And I admire Liz for opening things up so widely and with such open welcome to a large group of people.

I wrote on the topic of where do you want to go? What do you want to do. I won't write all of it here, but I will write the conclusion: I want to be more in the moment, and I want to bring the things I experience on this trip back home to my day-to-day life. I want to have people over, put on the kettle and trust that someone else will take it off when it whistles, and brew the coffee or tea. This is a gift that Liz has given me (to say nothing of a place to stay for the night). But where I want to go is home and bring back some of what I got from this trip. To my home. To my life.

. . . . .

On a separate note, Liz mentioned at the end of the day that it is a different experience to put on an event than it is to simple show up and participate. Amen and amen. I did the work to prepare for my sessions. I've put on a conference. And I've hosted a large group at my house for a meal. I know the differentness for the host. (it's one reason I'd go up to Lisa, Jory, and Elisa during the conference and cheer them on: One day down! ... Only half a day to go!) And I so appreciate how it was different for Liz... all the more because I needed this down day, a day in which I just simply showed up (late, even), and merely participated.

Janes, yelling!

For our closing exercise in courage, Sue Richards had us all stand up and hold out our arms perpendicular to our bodies. "Make sure you don't hit each other. Make a fist." She was talking to us in the language of somewhat cheesy "trust" exercises, or like a hippie yoga instructor or nursery school teacher, and I for one wasn't sure what to expect, though I figured it would end up being surprisingly cool and kick-ass.

Then she said, "Now watch carefully what I do, and then afterwards we'll all try it." And then she beat her chest as hard as she could & yelled like Tarzan at the top of her lungs. "Now you! Yell like Tarzan and Jane!"

Oh the screaming! And then laughing our heads off. Sue promises that if we do it every day morning and night it'll change our lives.

It was perfect closure for Woolfcamp - much like the howling we did at Grace's house last time!

So Sad, So Very Sad

I am so sad to have lost out on today's fest at Badger's burrow. I showed up twice but was exclusively on kid pick up/drop off duty and so did not have time to gnaw on anything--not one single tasty scrap of bloggity or writerly goodness.

Having missed today makes me feel sick. But since I no longer live in Southern California and so no longer vomit voluntarily, I'll have to work through my emotions by doing the laundry and cleaning the living room as violently as possible.

Missed you all. Would have particularly liked to talk to Laurie and Debbie. Sigh.

body image

"The Problem with beauty is that it isn't about you."
-laurie toby edison

hey, liz!

the 'sphere wants to know where you got the red panties, but they are too awed to approach your fabulosity. i, of course, am not. awed, but not too much to approach: where'd ya gettem, c'mon, tell!


Greetings from badgerland! I want to join in on this awesome liveblogging. Big shout-outs to people who were at last woolfcamp and missed this one. Lucy's Spleen! Yellow Jellybean! Evolving Carnival Road Trip! Mom Writes! Stitch in Time! Squid! Oh, I could keep going... It's not the same without you guys. But there are great new folks here, including Newbie Tree and Canadian Sue, and I'm enjoying this thoroughly.

We had a great session on multiblogularity. We talked about these issues:

Keeping your multiple blogs apart vs. together
Knowing where to say things when you have multiblogs
Letting people edit your stuff
Dealing with editorial guidelines
Regretting/wrestling with openness
Regretting/wrestling with anonymity
Why am I NOT blogging personally?
Introverted vs extraverted
Being recognized in public
Red gloves and other blog cool personality traits
Respecting others' privacy
Using categories

It seems like everyone has a unique relationship to (multiple) identities, and it's very important to think carefully about how you want to present yourself through blogging.

We're moving on to technology. and Furl. A lightening round of tech resources. It's wonderful to be able to join brains with such amazing and resourceful women.

"I'm a delicious partner!" -- Grace

to write, but not to blog

Back from the writing workshop with Jo and Susan. It's been so long since I've written something that wasn't intended for the blog. How beatiful it is to pick and topic and then just go. How supported I felt reading my words to them. I was moved to tears. I felt exposed, but also accepted. We were a small breakout group in the kitchen. It was hot. I nibbled dark chocolate and typed. I wanted to tell the truth, I wanted them to know me. I love women.

I have arrived at The WC and I am a Space Case.

Most Esteemed WoolfCamp Sisters and Brothers, greetings from Badgerbag's floor. I'm not groveling at the pink Croc'd feet of Badger Her Fine Self. This is a mistake because Badger is our Deity for Most Things. And now I'm rambling and that's because the BlogHer experience has left me with a cranium full of Jello.

Lime jello.

With fruit cocktail. Cool Whip on top.


Okay! My gift to WoolfCamp Afterglow is the presence of Meghan and Chris, excellent presents of presence indeed. M & C missed their planes. Their misfortune is our great fortune. I will be taking them home tonight and I will keep them forever!

Rambling. Again.

So, to focus, I'm in the "12:45 multiblogular/polyblogger/identities AND writing exercise, woot!" And it's over. And it was well moderated by Sarah. But, I'm not live blogging this. I am taking this opportunity to say greetings from Badgerbag's floor.



to do for next woolfcamp

- name tags

- handouts with basic info & welcome. group blog and wiki urls.

- signup on the front door for everyone's emails (so that someone can put everyone on the group blog invite as new people come in, without interrupting the flow)


Quotes about BlogHer

"It was like being backstage at a rock concert and meeting all your favorite rock stars - because writers are my rock stars."

- Janine

"I just had a fucking fantastic time. And I felt like I didn't have to be small. I go through the world so much of the time feeling like I have to be small. And I could be just as outrageous as I want to be."

- Tree

My Woolfyummy Lunch

Like ants

At Whole Foods to buy our individual lunches. Liz introduced me to Barak, whose blogs I have read and admired.

I gave Barak one of my blog cards, which led to a discussion about blog-pimping. Liz noted that at BlogHer, it was not uncommon to come up to someone and have them ask, not 'what's your name?' but 'what's your blog?' Liz would pull a blog card out of her pocket or the top of her sock. The other person would do the same. They would swap and study, and only then! would the animated talking begin.

"There was a hiveness to it. A formality. Conversation was pre-determined," she remarked. "It was like ants."


Lynn: blog called unnatural history. I also have a livejournal, which carries many of same pieces but also have more personal stuff that I don't right out there under my full actual full name. And I have a neglected perv blog. I did not go to blogher. I did go to 1993 romance writers of America in St. Louis when St. Louis was in the flood and I am still wearing some of the clothes that I bought/had made for that.

Kimberly: music and
I could see people's eyes glaze over when I identified my blog, like they were thinking crazy cat lady. I found myself not wanting to explain myself, an interesting piece for me. I found BlogHer quite interesting. Felt a bit like high school. I enjoyed it at times and at times my inner introvert came out.

Pam. I blog at beancounters. I liked Blogher, no problem with clothes except which of my great t-shirts. I think it is because I had the inner/eye on style because I already knew so many people going. I knew if I would dress to impress them, I should dress the way I always dress. I went a little more casually than at work. I knew there would be a broad range of style choices, I wouldn't fit anywhere and it would still all be good. Well, I'd fit in between. I would have preferred more effective moderation/facilitation. Here's who we are. . .

Elka: elkie in wonderland, blog on the blogher blog. I wanted to go last year but it was sold out. The main reason for me to go was the networking. I enjoyed the broad range of difference. Unlikely to see such a broad range at a male conference, which would be more homogenous. For the sessions, I second what Liz and others said: some too broad and deteriorated, moderator training would be a great idea. Liked seeing friends, met lots of new people. I wanted to meet a lot more but I was overwhelmed. I am here because this is smaller event.

Jeanine Armstrong: now getting paid to blog for clubmom! Emotional impact last year was less. Last year so exciting. Women who write are my rock stars. It was so thrilling. I was anxious about what to wear and I went shopping for new clothes: I am becoming different and I am changing my outer persona. I brought cards: this was new. So many things changing for me. It is about being around the different women, connecting, talking, absorbing, people so cool/smart/funny and wanting to be a part of that. And pushing myself out into the world. I am really really happy to be at woolf camp.

Susan Kitchens: 20/20 hindsight is my blog for years. My new site is family oral history using digital tools. I want to turn the new one into a business. Last year, I got in under the wire after it was sold out by doing audio recording. There was no sense of closure. If I hadn't been so tired yesterday, I would have grabbed the mic and ask for some praise for the main organizers but I was so tired. . . . give it up for them.

more intros

Sara Dopp: women, tech, writers, my tribe. Public biz blog and private blog. Sara met Liz at reading where Liz read vile porn story. I could only get ticket for day 2. Saw celebrities. Dana Boyd! ! I saw her but was afraid to talk to her! It was really easy to strike up a conversation with just about everybody. I want to start a firm where I consistently organize and hire subconstractors: web design.

Liz Henry: I had great time but I had same feeling that it didn't have the emotional impact on me as last year. It was just because it was so big, hard to make space where big can become small groups. I was mentally taking note: what next time? More moderator training and practice, more group facilitating, unconferencey thing. . . I'd like a less structured thing. I'd have more tracks and you would just have to make hard choices but the conversations could be more productive if the groups were slightly smaller by design. Hostility: a lot of hostility about the pointy-toed shoe women, for example. Fear of women who understand rules of coded femininity according to patriarchy. Some apparel/jewelry choices are about display, not dominator culture.

The part-time introvert

Sue admitted to being a "part-time introvert." I describe my introversion as my "inner introvert," and mine came out at BlogHer, too.

more intros

Beth Kanter: great people, great conversations, video blogging was great and not long enough. Education blogging session was great. I felt less of an emotional connection this time, trying to figure out why. Was it too big? Is it the branding stuff? I felt big emotional connect during the final keynote. There wasn't a closure like last year.

Sue, I flew in from Toronto. I spent a lot of money to get here. I have nothing to base this on, I consider myself a complete computer idiot. I also happen to be an introvert which flared up this week. Coming to new thing, new to tech. . . I got emails from women worrying about what to wear. My blog: multi-blogger. Poly-blogger. My menopause was all over the bathrooms. I blog about my city. I publish Breast of Canada calendar. I didn't get into the first day. A long way to come for a one day conference. I had great one-on-one converations that lasted an hour or two, and I function better in such settings. Very pleasant to be around smart, very funny women. Lots of shrieking: high volume. I've never been to conf of just women except breast cancer and women don't shriek at breastcancer conferences.
Sara Dopp is interviewed in the SFGate article on BlogHer.

Blogher story in SF Chronicle

Here's the link:

change change change

We are not carved in stone.......

We are fluid........

We are in process.

Beth Kanter and Susan Kitchens arrived

everyone got up and we lost focus for a time. . . fun but unfocussed.


Jackie, jospanglemonkey, I didn't get much out of blogher until the sex panel. Tech was boring. And I didn't like birds of a feather: storytelling and humor. I tried to pull it more theoretical and it just didn't go over. I felt a lot of the panels were superficial but the sex panel was really good and the art panel was good, too.

Allen: asIplease. I didn't go to blogher. I was chortling vicariously to the Weight Watchers and chalk flavored water. What do these people think BlogHer is about?

The worst was the Be Jane girls: tight t-shirts. Women can improve their own homes. Horrifying.

LiveSpaces was worst than the home improvement. They spoke like zombies: wouldn't you like to expand your community? Duh, that's why we were in blogher.

Debbie: I blog at bodyandpolitic with Laurie, also have live journal, also on feminist fs blog and elsewhere. Half of me is with Tree and half of me is with Allen's vicarious experience. I am used to being outrageous as I want to be in the world and in much of my life I can be as outrageous as I want to be. I loved a lot of the women that I MET, LOVED LOTS OF SESSIONS, something about heteronormativity. . . that steadily made me a bit nervous. Great time, bit nervous, all the time.

Laurie: bodyandpolitic, blogs with Deb. I had a really good time and I also. . . the corporate stuff doesn't make me nervous but the cultural dissonance occasionally made me uncomfortable, as did the heteronormativity. I suspect that a lot of this stuff are based on unconscious assumptions. Did organizers think about the vendors and the sexist stuff . . . there was some consideration and some worry. . . they didn't do it unthinkingly. Likely, they must have expected a bunch of discussion with it afterwards. I think it is profoundly important that they don't do it again.

Hopefully, with big success (the numbers) this year, they will get more marketers interested.

Nobody pays you money to tell women they look great. Body positive sponsors with money don't happen.

second wave bloghers

There are people uncomfortable with technology. In final keynote, they referred to them as "regular people".

Thoroughly Modern Millie: way cool woman who asked great question in final session.

more on blogher: money/price

They did have a fifty dollar student rate. $250 is high? a mix of opinions

creating space for self-organizing: some say it makes it much better. This author disagrees: we all have to begin trusting the deep, unifying force in the cosmos, which is the power of self-organization. The question is not what could we have done to create better space but what is one less thing we could have done to seed the conditions for self-organizing.


Everyone is raving about Kimberly's gingered apricot jam.

woolfcamp brainstorm

We brainstormed over the morning while settling in and chatting and coffeeing. Since 11:30 or so we've been doing the Blogher debrief.

Here's how we brainstormed

- made a list
- said which ones we all wanted to go to. Some things, everyone wanted. Some things were obviously breakout sessions. We scheduled them 2 at a time.

11:30 Blogher debrief, Birds of a Feather, meta discussion (ALL)

12:30 lunch

12:45 multiblogular/polyblogger/identities AND writing exercise, woot!

1:45 / Nifty Techie Taggy Tools (ALL or most)

2:45 Body Image AND Goals/priorities/courage
("What would you be determined to do and finish before you die (as opposed to what you want to do before you die. This sparked by Liz asking Laurie how Tee Corinne is doing. )

Closing exercise by Sue - on courage

more blogher debrief

An interesting conversation w/techies about women in tech, and how women feel about being in a heavily male-dominated field. . . some of the younger women seemed to feel that technology was unuusually male-dominated but my reaction was that 'they were young'. many women work in male-dominated fields. One of the young women stood up and said she felt at home in Blogher in the tech Blogher people but she couldn't relate to the wider Blogher people.

I felt same way of feminist v. nonfeminist vibe, the straight vibe.

mommybloggers v. nonmommybloggers. . . . mommyblogger was a stronger community so they werer a louder presence. I felt overwhelmed by mommybloggers because I'm not one, it felt like most of people there were mommybloggers.

mommybloggers dominated, took it over, it is a radical act, but there was still a kind of weird thinking. . .

it bothered me how heteronormative it was. . . that is the vibe I found difficult.

Heteronormative: the background assumption that everyone is hetero

Heteronormative creates an underlying discomfort, about outfits and fashion and pressure and all these girly girls with their pointy schoes. It wasn't about femminess. . . it is about people who feel they don't understand how to code their femininity into patriarchal standards correc tly. . . that makes other people feel resentful, uncomfortable. Coded femininity according to patriarchal standards. Also about class. Some of it was corporate. Business bloggers.

In the transformational panel, half the people who spoke were lawyers.

Rules in academia are different in the corporate worlds. I don't think feminess is as significant to the heteronormative as some of the other things.

BlogHer debrief

Liz has stepped out of the BlogHer debrief because people are lost and calling to find their way here.

We have collectively agreed to blog this section for Liz's benefit (and yours, dear reader).

So, who has things to say about BlogHer.

Who had a good time?

Like all conventions, it's not the nuts and bolts, it is the physical getting together. It's 'here's who we are" and "here's what we look like, here's what we sound like". . .getting together is the point.

High points
Identity panel and the naked panels were both great, extremely intelligent, and I'm not used to the BlogHer style, which is intro the panel and then immediately go to questions. I was impressed with how well the moderating worked, going right to questions. Audience questions were complex and articulate. I was really impressed with both of those panels.

For the tech panels, there ws a lot of stuff I already knew and then after about forty minutes, the presentation might get to a good nugget. Tagging was great tech session. Audience building was also great tech session, w/Lisa Bauer. Monetizing woman did a really nice job.
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

That’s the line everyone remembers from “A Room of One's Own,” but it is very far from the whole story. Virginia Woolf also said:

“For masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.”

And that is what Woolfcamp is about. Bringing people together to think, talk, share: creating community by linking people who blog.

My first visit to Woolfcamp was a rescue mission; when my friend Debbie’s car wouldn’t start, Alan and I drove to Santa Cruz to get her. (It was a wonderful drive through the dark, over hilly roads.) Woolfcamp was over, but I had a chance to talk to some people, and I knew I wanted to participate more.

My second visit coincides with my purchase of a new truck. (New to me, at any rate.) One of the advantages of community is that people with complementary needs can connect. Liz,who is hosting today’s Woolfcamp, needed to sell her 1993 Mazda B2200. I needed an inexpensive vehicle, preferably a truck. We can meet each other’s needs. Moreover, while I was here looking at the truck, I glanced through Helene Cixous’s “Coming to Writing” and Other Essays, which I hadn’t read since grad school. I instantly realized this was what I needed now:

Women must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their own bodies for the same reasons by the same law, with the same fatal goal. Women must put herself into the text as into the world and into history by her own movement.

I’m all in favor of both privacy and financial independence. having my own space, an autonomous life, and as much financial independence as I can achieve by working for it, as opposed to inherited wealth. But for me, that life must be sustained and supported by participation in community.

Thanks for creating this community and letting me join.

fear of missing something

We are brainstorming, planning our day. Some of the sessions are going to be happening at the same time. I want to do both of them. Debbie declared that I have a fear of missing something. That's true. It all seems essential. How can I not want to be a part of it?

Ah, the food is calling.


Apparently I say eh alot...and abooooot.

So yah know....I'm Canuck.


Natural rhythm and virtue

Laurie from Body Impolitic is a working artist. She says she is lucky she has been able to be self-employed all her life. She also happens to have a circadian rhythm that is different from most. She wakes up around 1 in the afternoon, works and interacts and creates. Her bedtime is around 3 a.m. or later.

She wonders why people who get up at the crack of dawn tend to look down on late-sleepers. Is there really a virtue implicit in getting up so early? One could look at the body of her work as an artist and as a human being, and say she has been quite productive. Sure she starts later in the day than most, but by the same token, she works well into the night when everybody else has given up and gone to bed. Why is her natural rhythm inferior to the day-worker's?

Maybe the crack of dawn virtue is a holdover from our agrarian days. But we're not farmers anymore. It's worth thinking more about.

dynamics of requests

Laurie Edison just asked "Would anyone else like some cheese and crackers?" - Pam looked up, said "Yes!" while starting to get up.

"No... I was offering to bring you some."


Debbie: Moms aren't used to other people bringing them stuff.


Me: In fact, to moms, "Would you like some cake" is a coded request that means "Get up and get me some cake while you're up."

hi, guys!

i'm so glad you're going to be liveblogging today! how was blogher? it sure was a strange skewed view we got on the outside yesterday, although the chatroom was a hoot when somebody was there to connect us to the session, which happened with naked blogging and another one. there's even rss feed that recorded all our chats, so you can read us reading what you were listening to--got that?

oh, and koan picked up on your skype account, liz, and may call in from scotland today to say hi, if she's awake.

so here i am staring at the screen for a second day. more fun out there than here! how was grace's closing--we didn't get to "hear" that.

info on World Cafe

Tree is talking about The World Cafe, started up by Juanita Brown, who started out as a farmworkers' advocate... and the GiGis ... with Nancy White. A fabulous group of women. Wow!

"We'd have these deep personal moment and then we'd have these high-octane moments of work, with no schedule and then someone would say "It's time for a walk" and we'd all go for a walk. We got a month's worth of work done in three days."

feminine vortex

Tree and Beancounter didn't know each others' names during the whole drive up to my house from BlogHer. Tree tried to trick Pam into giving her a business card while they were driving - for the name. Subtle!!! Now Tree is calling Beancounter (Pam) "Jennifer" on purpose.

So far I have learned all about Tree's state of constant epiphany since her near-death by multiple pulmonary embolism. I know "all about" pulmonary embolisms from that one scene in "The Story of Henry Sugar" by Roald Dahl and they have plagued my paranoid hypochondriac fantasies since 1977.

Must go help Tree get on-blog.

Ahh, the lovely lovely chill factor after the massive BlogHer swarm!!! Tree says she's overwhelmed by BlogHer and the GiGi "think tank" meeting...

all you need is love.2

I met with the GiGis (nickname for small thinktank called Geek Girls: we have the ambitious agenda to feminize the internet) for the three days immediately preceding BlogHer. While at the GiGis, I shared my theory that there are only two ways to interact with reality (whatever that means): love or fear. I further theorized that we need to return to the love power of the sixties, that we need to be creating cultures of love and surely surely the internet is one of the paths to a culture of love.

Then at Blogher, Nancy White re-invoked my 'all you need is love theory'.

At the beginning of the last day of Blogher, Nancy got us all started singing "all you need is love". This made me very happy.

I have lost my mind recently after almost dying on May 5th. I am through fucking around and all I care about is being blissed out. I am humbled that my little bliss quest resulted in having hundreds of BlogHers try to sing the great Beatles song "all you need is love"

Love is all we need. How corny is that.

Greetings from Redwood City!

Badger just added me to the WoolfCamp group blog. How groovy that I am the first poster of the day!

Unless Tree beats me to it - she's typing over there at the other side of the couch. Tree drove with me from BlogHer in San Jose this morning. As both of us are slightly anal about arriving anywhere ON TIME BY GOD, Tree and I left at 8 so we could be here by 9 allowing for getting lost along the way. Isn't that rigid of us? Don't we both need to mellow? Hopefully Woolfcamp will mellow us today.

It did take me until reaching Badger's house to even learn Tree's name. Before that she was "the woman who needs a ride". That's sort of mellow of me, ain't it?

Badger's house is lovely, cool, and chock full of books. Every room has a bookshelf, and each bookshelf is arranged by subject. Tree, Badger and I (Bean) are sprawled on the big couch, getting set up on the wiki, waiting for whomsoever showeth up, and ready to take what comes.

xx oo