03 Apr Roundup: WAM!, Women Who Tech, and more
A crazy time here in Deannaland. I was in Cambridge this past weekend for the annual Best-Conference-Ever: Women, Action and the Media. I did double-presentation duty once again, sitting on Jenn Pozner’s panel about women, feminism and blogging, and then did my workshop on “Empowering Online Communities.” (See the presentation and the followup materials here.)
WAM!‘s gotten to be huge, and it’s hard to say how I feel about that. It’s like when your favorite restaurant gets discovered, and the atmosphere changes because the throngs are rushing in to discover the yummy treats. Yep, I’m thrilled for my favorite conference, and it was still like camp-for-grownups, but I did lose some intimacy with my fellow attendees. There’s a group of “old-timers” who are already saying things like, “Wow, remember when it was 10 of us hanging out afterwards?” during the afterparty, in which around 50 women crammed into the very generous Amanda Marcotte’s room. (Who is the quintessential afterparty-hotel-room-hostess with the mostest, by the way. I was amazed at her mad skillz, and learned much from her party kungfu.)
Continuing the theme of “women who work together, rock together” when I got home, I attended the first-ever Women Who Tech Telesummit on Monday. That’s right, it was the first conference I was ever able to attend in my yoga pants and t-shirt. We dialed in to listen to the panelists and watched the presentations via ReadyTalk. (Hint for future participants: use a separate computer to log in to both via Skype and ReadyTalk. It was like having a TV with really good shows on all day.)
The two panels that blew me away were Tara Hunt’s “Women And Social Capital,” with panelists Arianna Huffington and Joan Blades. While Arianna and Joan are always inspiring and fun to listen to, I have to say, it was Tara’s opening remarks that really got me thinking. I’m going to write more extensively about this, but she pointed out that women tend to hide themselves online, using pseudonyms and private profiles on services, which often can mean we are not shaping the discourse. I’d never thought of it that way, and it was inspiration for me to set my profiles free. Go free, little ones! I’ll be implementing a redesign of dz.com to reflect my newfound carefree abandon. Wish me luck.
Equally compelling was the panel “Web 2.0: Hot Or Not?” I can’t wait for the podcast of this session to come out, there were so many interesting tools and concepts for measuring the success of social energy. I’ll post links when I get them, but all the panelists here were just completely dynamic and amazing.
What else can I tell you? On a personal note, I’m heading off this weekend to Cheryl and Mike’s wedding, and then commencing on the mad prep for my month-long trip to Berlin. Oh, let me leave off with a cute postcard from Jim Hightower: he married John Weiss of the Colorado Independent this week. Tee hee.