1. Just a quick FYI: I’m writing weekly now for — a column called “Countdown to Publication,” where I’m sharing my marketing experiences and expertise leading up to the launch of my book on June 14. Yay!

  2. Women Who Tech

    I wanted to share with you an amazing worldwide conference that I’m participating in next week. It’s called “Women Who Tech,” and it brings together hundreds of women who leverage their technology savvy to inspire change and transform the world. And it takes place all online and on the phone!

    Women Who Tech
    When: May 12, 2009. Panels are 50 min long and run from 11AM EDT to 6PM EDT.
    Where: Everywhere via phone and web
    A mere $10 for a whole day of goodness

    I participated last year, and at first I thought the distance thing was going to be strange– but it’s absolutely incredible, and I highly recommend joining in the fun. What’s great is that this is really not just for women who currently tech– if you’re interested social media, launching a startup, learning about new tools… this is *the* place to be.

    I’ll be moderating this panel:

    What Shirky Didn’t Tell Us – 4PM EDT
    This panel will look at problems that are arising along gender, class and race lines within the new paradigms of Web 2.0, 3.0 and beyond. When we remove explicit structure from the organizing and tech equation, inherent structure arises– illustrating through technology just how far we have to go for social equality. But we don’t want to just kvetch about the problems: this panel will present and brainstorm solutions together. Panelists: Allison Fine, techPresident and Personal Democracy Forum, Tanya Tarr, AFSCME.

    Thennnnn, there are parties that evening in major cities for participants to get together and socialize. Shockingly, I’m throwing the NYC party. Details:

    NYC Women Who Tech After-Party
    6:30pm – 9:00pm
    35 Clinton St (corner of Stanton)
    Drink specials and noshy things galore!

    Feel free to come by and say “hi” even if you’re not attending the conference. Other parties are scheduled for DC, San Francisco, London and Atlanta, too.

    I can’t express enough how excited I am to be part of this gang. Please feel free to forward on, and if you’re one of those journalist types and you want to write about the events or women in technology in general, drop me a line!

  3. “what is it about birmingham? / what is it about buffalo? / that the hate-filled wanna build bunkers / in your beautiful red earth / they wanna build them / in our shiny white snow” — ani difranco, “hello birmingham

    There is the obvious tragedy of the dead and wounded in Binghamton, NY. The anger and despair, the terror of knowing that a gunman can walk into a building in a relatively small city in rural, industrial upstate New York and massacre people at will.

    Then the other layers start piling on top of the fear and the rage: the layers that make the story just a little cloudier and darker. Yeah, there’s an inside joke in there– I grew up there, and Binghamton is the seventh cloudiest city in the country. The cloudiest east of the Rockies. No doubt that the lack of direct sun contributes to a sense of malaise in town, but it’s likely the overall economic decline over the last 20-25 years that makes Binghamton just a very sad city in many ways.

    We all have our grownup sensibilities about the towns we come from, especially those of us that moved to Big Cities– all our bravado about how glad we are that we “got out,” our vows to never look back (maybe), or quietly and smugly looking back at those quaint li’l places. But there is something special about Binghamton. It was never a thriving metropolis, but it got by alright, and that’s what most of the folks that live there seem to live by.

    I once wrote that the people from my hometown were never the stars of the production. We were always happy to be in the background, providing the scenery. Maybe once in a while, we were the people that got a line, fingering the suspect. “That’s the guy,” we’d say. It would be straightforward, without fanfare. That’s how people from Binghamton operate.

    Being brought to a national stage like this, under such horrible circumstances, is devastating. Not only do “things like this” not happen in Binghamton, but additional layers — economic duress, the immigrant aid center where it happened — make it all the more sharp.

    We have long been the destination of swaths of migrant populations: in the early 1900s, it was Eastern Europeans, and the Orthodox churches’ gold onion domes still dot the city landscape when you drive out along Route 17. More recently, it’s been populations of folk from a number of countries in Southeast Asia: Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotian and more. Not to say that there hasn’t been difficulty in transitioning populations, especially for a place with largely conservative values, but I always had the feeling that Binghamton prided itself on its immigrant foundations and offerings. Centers like the American Civic Association give new immigrants a place to find their footing in a cloudy city in upstate New York.

    Offerings. IBM was in many ways the responsible party for Binghamton’s survival for a lot of years, and when they left town, so did most of everything else. Now we’re learning that the shooter was recently laid off from one of the last vestiges of IBM. Economic distress might have been the thing that flipped this guy’s sanity over to the dark side. And now people are dead.

  4. (thanks to SuperSpade for this)

  5. Buy My Shitpile

    Friends, colleagues, New Yorkers, Americans:

    Below is a call that went out earlier in the week for us all to gather at Wall Street tomorrow (Thursday) at 4pm to protest the inanity of the $700 billion bailout. Seven. Hundred. Billion. Dollars. For what? For them to screw up again and rob us blind? Please!

    My big question in all of this is: who’s going to bail out Main Street? What happens to the over a million people with foreclosed homes this year alone?

    And hey, I’ve got a buncha useless crap around that I could use some money for– thanks to the folks over at, there’s an idea to bring it all down to Bowling Green and see if there are takers. Even WIRED Magazine is in on the fun:

    So, heed the call– the unions, the grassroots organizations, the media… everyone’s in on this one. Come on down. Bring friends. Forward this on. I’ll see yas there. Full details below.


    This week the White House is trying to push through the biggest financial theft in world history with nary a stitch of debate. They're asking for a blank check for over 1 trillion dollars to bail out George Bush's Wall Street cronies who created this economic crisis in the first place.

    If this passes, we can forget about any money for environmental protection, to counter global warming, for education, for national health care, to rebuild our decaying infrastructure, for alternative energy.

    This is a historic moment. We need to act now while we can influence the debate.

    Let's rally against this bailout in the heart of the financial district! Gather at 4pm, this Thursday, Sept. 25 in the plaza at the southern end of Bowling Green Park, which is the small triangular park that has the Wall Street bull at the northern tip.

    What: Say NO to the Wall Street bailout
    When: Thursday, September 25: 4pm
    Where: Southern end of Bowling Green Park, in the plaza area, by the bull statue
    What to bring: Banners, noisemakers, signs, leaflets, etc.

    Do whatever you can for this historic event and contact all your groups and friends. This proposed financial bailout is without precedent and we have to stop it!

    Since Wall Street is asking us to give them money for their worthless investments, some folks are planning to bring their OWN junk to Wall Street and see if they'll buy it. Bring your collectible mugs and limited edition Thomas Kinkade prints and add ‹“em to the pile! This action inspired by Buy My Shitpile – (

  6. I was interviewed for an article about the Internet and the campaign season for LinuxInsider:

    “A lot of little folks are being empowered with tools and communications in ways that were previously unavailable,” Zandt told LinuxInsider.

    This, she said, is “a huge paradigm shift, from a small number of people controlling communications to everyone having the power to communicate with everyone else.”

    I feel so hardcore!

  7. Lots of things have been happening and hence the absence of actual updates here, haha. Sorry about that. Where to begin?

    • Over at Hightower Lowdown, we’ve launched a new weekly video series featuring America’s #1 Populist. What more could you ask for? 2 minutes of Jim talking to you every single week! You can also watch it on YouTube, or subscribe to the show in iTunes.
    • And for, we relaunched the front page to be snazzier and brighter. Design was done by Design About Town, engineering by the ever-smarty Shawn and project management and OCD tweaking by me. Whee!
    • I redesigned and launched the website for best-selling author Amy Bloom, who has been an absolute riot to work with. I haven’t read her newest, but Come To Me was highly recommended to me by Bitch Magazine co-founder and feminista-extraordinare, Lisa Jervis. And it rocked.
    • Lots of photosets from the last couple months.
    • Um, I upgraded to Leopard last night, and so far so good. One thing that I called tech support about because I couldn’t find an answer anywhere else: yes, Time Machine will wipe your external drive the first time you use it, but then you can continue putting other things on it after. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated Time Machine drive, whew.

    That’s pretty much it. Holidays are a-comin’ and I’ll be up in Bingotown for a while, hanging out with the fam, and then back in NYC for New Year’s. Hope all’s well in the land of not-my-apartment!

  8. Well, well, well… it’ll be all the rage for these next 15 seconds, but Time has basically crowned “Web 2.0” the official whiz-bang-iest thing out there right now. It’s all about you and me, and what we do with ourselves online these days. I read a great post over at Read/Write Web dissecting what Time got right, and what they got terribly wrong (note: this is not a “revolution”)… man, this is such a strange media moment.

    Brian Williams, the darling of NBC, had this to say:

    We work every bit as hard as our television-news forebears did at gathering, writing and presenting the day’s news but to a smaller audience, from which many have been lured away by a dazzling array of choices and the chance to make their own news.

    Err… um, well, no. Trust me, Brian, those folks not watching the evening news, it’s not because they’re off blogging. (Mom? Remember, we talked about “blogging” — people writing their own news, opinions and analysis in an online journal. Here’s the presentation I did for you guys over Thanksgiving.)

    Most people are fed up with mainstream journalism pushing one side of a story (hello, WMD!), the ridiculous celebrity obsessions (she showed her what? I still don’t care), the reign of infotainment — which has its own Wikipedia entry, by the way– over corporate news. That “dazzling array of choices” isn’t just the magpie-effect, Bri. That’s the “looking for the whole, real story” effect. They’re mostly not blogging, but they are seeking independent sources of news. And that’s what NBC should have been worried about eons ago, when the interweb first landed on your doorstep.

    The other thing that kills me about these discussions are the people decrying the end of culture, news, life as we know it. Just because a bunch of people digg a video showing a guy getting kicked in the package doesn’t mean there aren’t some valid attempts at art on YouTube. Does anyone actually still watch “America’s Home Videos?” I’m pretty sure it’s still on the air, and that hasn’t ended the movie industry, has it? Making creative production easier doesn’t, on its own, reduce the value of something. Inspiration and humanity = still required components of producing worthwhile culture.

    I work with some media organizations that are tackling the issues of what to do with this stuff right now. I reinforce with a few of them the idea that hardcore journalism is not going to be eradicated, ever. People will continue to look for their fluff and their in-depth analysis and reporting; I know plenty of New Yorkers who read both the Times and the Post. It’s a media ecology people. It’s getting bigger and bigger, which is a Good Thing ™. People will always look for content from sources that they trust; it’s that the way the trust gets earned is changing, and that messes with the mainstream/corporate brain like nobody’s business.

    I’m more excited by the stuff I see out there every day. Places like Cruxy are exploding with content that blows TV outta the water. So, when Brian Williams and the other mainstream folks put on their sourpuss faces for the 2.0 evolution, you can just tell them: Awwww, you’re just jealous.

  9. William Bradley Roland, aka Brad WillDue to some technical complications and a short-circuited brain unit, I just found out that Brad Will was the journalist who was shot dead at the protests in Oaxaca, Mexico on Friday.

    Brad taught me about white balance on my camera, how to walk slowly enough to not mess up your picture, and to always point the mic at what you’re shooting. He was earnest and spirited — a wide smile and a big heart. He believed, and dedicated his life to showing others the truth.

    More from Jason, and the AP report with quotes from Beka and Brandon.

    News on vigils and protests, and latest reports:

    “Love is a memory that never fades. May memories be your comfort.” — anonymous

  10. A couple of weeks ago, the very kind editors of the new “Comment is free” blog on The Guardian’s website (yes, that Guardian, the one in London) asked me if I would join their blogging team. Evidently they read AlterNet (who knew?) and dig my blogging there, so… there we were. It took all of, oh, 5 seconds to say, “yes please!”

    I finally got around to posting my first blog over there, so go read and let me know what you think… “Evolution of geek culture.”

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