As soon as the announcement came out in January, I registered. But today, blogher Lisa Stone posted the Blogher 06 collection of blog banners and buttons. Here's more information about the conference and registration. Okay, now I need to decide which button to put on my side bar ....
Currently, blogs are measured in systems like Technorati or ranked
in PubSub by links or by number of subscribers to a feed in Feedster.
In particular, these are the not very interesting, subtle or telling
measures used to make indexes like the Technorati Top 100 or the PubSub
100 or the Feedster 100. In Particular, the Technorati Top 100 is based
purely on inbound links. All of these lists tend to favor those who
blog in more general, popular topic areas, and not those who are
specialists in an area.
For many bloggers the relevant sphere of influence is not overall
popularity, as those indexes express. It's influence and connection
within a community. And the relevant measure of connection isn't the
number of connections -- it's the depth and impact of those
connections. This is about celebrating the niche, and measuring
engagement over time.
She has a table that lists the items that could be in a new metric and their relative weight. Interesting food for thought. This is not only important to bloghers, but also niche communities such as nonprofits and nonprofit technology bloggers as well.
Also, Danah Boyd does an analysis of linking behavior on blogs and differences by gender. (Via Nancy White
(I've been wanting to do audio and video for a long time, but it wasn't until my blogher experience that I actually got moving and picked up the knowledge to try my first one.
Lisa Williams showed her vlog from Blogher at the Berkman Thursday night blogging group and during the walk to
dinner, I got to ask her how she did it. Before blogher, I had been reading and watching Andy Carvin's dispatches from Africa and feeling that I wanted to do that too ... but didn't know where to start.. Then I came home and made the
mistake of checking the RSS reader and found this post from Ponzi and called into the show and talked to Chris and Ponzi about my geek toy collection. Anina, who vlogged me at blogher, left a comment and so did Village Girl, a khmer vlogger, who told me on the phone last week that vlogging was easy. And Viola -- a vlog post.
1.) Identified a very short and simple flim: Show my geek toy collection
2.) Jotted down a story board (introduce each toy in collection) 3.) Use the video setting on my new Cannon PowerShot SD300
to do the flim clip 4.) Use a video editing program (Windows Movie Maker because it was free and on my computer)
5.) Identified simple editing process: Titles Video Credits
6.) Saved and uploaded it
(choose a lower setting so it wouldn't take long to download) 7.) Made a cover graphic in photoshop
I'm not happy with the aesthetics yet ... need to learn how to:
Cut and splice the movie clip to edit stuff I don't want
or stitch together seperate clips
Use contrast/levels to make the visual clearer or think about lighting before I shoot (no back lights)
Learn how to insert titles and stills
into the video clip
Learn how to lay a new audio track over the one that I did originally, perhaps with some music and a cleaner narrative.
Think about what you are going to say before you hit the record button
Next project will be montage of stills with titles ... are there any good how-to sites that are easy to read and understand?
Looks like I'm not the only blogher inspired to vlog. Lisa Canter posted her first vlog too! What I liked about Lisa's video is that she put herself in front of the camera and just spoke so eloquently. I also like the titles that appear while the video was playing to insert thoughts she didn't vocalize. I'll have to put that on my to-do list.
Okay, enough about technique. Another question I have to ask is: How might nonprofits use vlogging, if at all?
That's Jill Fallon of Estate Legacy Vaults, Inc. (Jill is from Boston and she live-blogged the Political Blogging session. Jory had to catch a train, so she couldn't stay for the meeting. Along with Lisa Williams, Jill and I gave a report back to the group about Blogher. There was a lot of interest in the distributed nature of the live blogging (not a site that is roach motel of links) and there was discussion about what made it such a great experience. The notes are here.
People were interested in the speaker guidelines. Ashley Richards, who wrote them, posted them.
Ponzi will be posting her audio interviews she did during blogher hopefully soon ... She did about 30-40 of them! Wow, I'm impressed. She rocks as an interviewer!
Read about her experiences doing audio during a conference session here. Seems like a debate or possible feud is brewing. I wasn't in the room, and don't want to get in the middle of this but I do want to say this:
I want to applaud Ponzi for being brave and stepping out of the
box in terms of her practice. Even better, reflecting on it her blog. She raises some really good
questions. The combination of personal experimentation and public reflection and community dialogue leads to
good practice. Brava. Brava. Brava. Technorati Tags: blogher
One issue came up over the fact that women don't network. Well,
that's bullshit. Actually, women are traditionally the maintainers of
domestic social networks. They tend to network more than men. The
gender difference concerns the style of networking. Men are more likely
to gather many weak ties; women tend to work hard to maintain strong
ties. Each have their value. But when it comes to technology like
Technorati, there is a validation of weak ties over strong ties. Or
more actually, there's an assumption that all ties are created equal,
which inadvertently validates the weak ties over the strong ties.
My argument here is that we need to pay attention to the network
structures. If folks are angry about their position in some purported
hierarchy, they need to understand how the hierarchy works. And then
change it. I'm not interested in having separate networks; i'm
interested in making certain that people understand the gender bias
they build into the network and that it represents a diversity of
perspectives, is flexible to deal with a diversity of social
After 45 minutes of intense anger and frustration from many audience speakers in the room toward Technorati link counts and top 100,
I suggested we create a community based algorithm, based on more
complex social relationships than links. It's something I've been
working on for few months, trying to frame, about what this problem is
and how we might solve it.
The first session
was a debate about "playing by the rules" which refers to the inbound
link count rules, where A-listers who've been around for a long time
have so many links, and get the most attention and credibility due to the Technorati Top 100 list.
I pointed out to them that 4 or so years ago.. when there were only
100k blogs, that a relatively small group of people all linked to each
other in blogrolls, and so those blogroll links are sometimes old and
the networks dense, for A listers, and yet, Technorati doesn't do
anything to express a blogroll link that is years old from a current
blogroll link. They simply scrape the front page of a blog, and treat
all links, old or new blogroll links, and current post links, as the
same and then count them, for their rankings.
Halley Suitt's post about how gender differences affect conference environment/culture.
Wee Hours' analysis of gender differences between the visual stream out of flickr for Blogher versus Gnomedex
I missed my family and they missed me. I got home to two wonderful welcome home drawings. Above, Harry (age 5) says he missed me. I thought the pink thing with the circle is his depiction of a mostly female technology conference, but my husband tells me it is our camping tent that they cleaned while I was away. Below, is Sara's drawing of Mommy at Blogher. I'm the one in the middle with the cross-eyes and pink purse ...
Time to transition back into my real world. Try to integrate the connections and energy that I experienced back to my day-to-day life.
Eath Chhon is vlogger behind the Village Girl Blog. (She is blogging her trip to California, taking a break from her life story which is a must view ...) She came to Blogher with her husband and daughter, Jampa only briefly. She spotted me because I carried my Cambodian bag (I did that on purpose). We embraced, hugged, exchanged words in khmer, but mostly so stunned to see each other face-to-face that we laughed and laughed .... We were so overcome with the emotion of meeting each other f-t-f - we don't have pictures! (We had left our respective cameras on the table) Eath lives in NY and I'm definitely going to take the train down spend some more time and go to one of their NY vblog meetings. (That's on my personal blogher to-do list) She has also encouraged me to do vblogging, her passion about it is contagious ... expect an interview shortly!
I was beginning to wonder if I had attended blogher at all after stepping off the redeye at Logan at 10:00 a.m. this morning. But thanks to the blogher flickr stream and blogher participants with digital cameras, I found a few photos that documented my presence. It is also interesting to see other people's photos of events that you also shared and captured. Living in the moment at blogher and then seeing the images is almost like a conceptual art piece that disappears, but the digital documentation of it lives on.
Now comes the process of making meaning from all the loose fragments of digital memories. Its about making connections ...
Halley has written an excellent observation about the differences between she and he tech conferences. I wonder if you did a content analysis of the photo streams from she and he conferences which one would be richer?
During the opening session, she made the point that women should ask for links. (Great notes by Nancy White here)
Quotable quote: "If I have any link love on the web, it came
about in the following ways. In the beginning of my blogs I knew people
who became "A list bloggers", mostly men and asked them to link to my
writing. Some days they said yes, sometimes go away. I ask again. I
have this big pitch for this book "Women Don't Ask." I'm surprised how
many people don't ask me to link."
A person in the audience raised their hand and said: I asked you and you didn't link. Halley just fixed that ...
This is my stats for the week of blogher. Wow, it looks like a steep, sharp rising cliff. Web traffic rorsasch test: If it the numbers fall off as steeply as they rose after blogher, it will look like a .....
Now I have a big incentive to implement all the stuff on my to do list.
I'm still dancing on the edges between action and reflection, but wanted to get down some of my evolving next action steps and questions for reflection. It is hard, but if I don't do it now, I'm afraid I'll loose forever. These are in no particular order!
How can I improve my live blogging technique and better integrate with personal networking? (connect names with faces to blogs, be efficient, deal with flaky wireless, etc)
How can learn more from the content while juggling live blogging of the being there fun stuff?
How to sustain the contacts made and energy for a year?
How to keep plugged into and contribute this blogher community?
To Do List
Do Audio - Thanks to some inspiration from Lisa Williams, I'm over my audiophobia and relieved to know that I don't have shell out the bucks for Ipod to podcast. I have the first few steps to get started now with audio.
Volunteer for next year's blogher
Link to Women Bloggers - I've done quite a bit of that in my live reports, but I need to add the blogher blogroll. I really need to redesign my blogroll.
Continuous Improvement of My "A-List"and Avoid Reading Ruts - I don't read all the Technorati 100, only the few that I find interesting. But, I tend to get into reading ruts and don't expand my base. Now I have the blogher blogroll as a pool to start exploring.
Ask for Links - Halley Suit said to just ask for someone to link to you and to ask 3 times. I have avoided this because I don't like self-promotion. I'm still not sure I can bring this one to action ...
Continue my Typing To Learn Khmer BlogA suggestion from the Globalization panel was to practice learning another language - so I got validation for my khmer studies. Also, to add the babblefish translator to your blog.
Cultivate contacts made at blogher - You get energized from a conference and then you go home and don't reconnect. I'm going to make an effort to keep in touch via reading and linking to people. I'm also going to respond to all my comments/trackbacks and comment on the blogs that have linked to me ... a huge task and have got to figure out an efficient system.
Spend More Time With Village Girl - Eath came to blogher with her husband and two year old daughter, but couldn't stay the whole day (no babysitter). We met, we hugged. I was so overcomed with emotion, that I didn't a get a photo. I think we were vblogged. Eath is in New York and I'm definitely going to try to connect with her face-to-face.
Connect virtually to those wonderful bloghers that I didn't interview or trade business cards with at blogher
Get ecto on my laptop. I cheaped out on a second license for ecto and that would have saved my butt when the wireless Internet collasped from the weight of 300 blogher s. That way, I could have been preparing the content offline and uploaded later. I wouldn't have pissed all those people off hogging the Google Kiosk and completed screwed up my personal content management system. (That is upload double photos into flickr, etc)
Thank you Lisa, Elisa, and Jory for your leadership, vision, and hard work for making BlogHer such incredible experience for me. Also, Miriam Verburg for that huge task of organizing the live blogging and training session that will help me with blogging technique in general. And, I know that there are many more people who volunteered their time, resources, and brainpower to make this one of the best conference I've attended. I also want to thank everyone who let me photograh their shoes, bags, jewerly, etc and ask them off-the-wall inappropriate questions.
The content of the sessions was superb and networking possibilities endless. The creative energy that circulated in this warm and caring community has energized me. I can't wait for next year's blogher!
Part of what made this such a great experience was the chance to meet many of the people whose blogs I read regularly. For example, Nancy White and Village Girl! And, to discover new people like Bev Trayner and Anina who blogs I look forward to reading. What was really amazing is that I was to connect with people who are passionate about some of the same topics I care deeply about and I probably would never of discovered them if not for this conference.
I don't get to conferences very often or do live blogging much any these days and this gave me a chance to use my rusty skills and reflect on how to do it better the next time. The content provided me with unlimited access to incredible expertise.
Thank you! And, now a few hours of relaxing before getting on the red eye back tonight.
Meet Susan. Her blog live blogs the Atom bomb as if it were stuck in the 1940s. She admits to being a little obsessive, but does not own Fat Man and Little Boy shot glasses. What a fantastic concept for a high school history project - does have to be about the bomb, but any point in history.
I only knew a handful of blogher participants, so I was delighted to see fellow Berkman Thursday night blogger, Lisa Williams. Her presentation on audio blogging was fantastic! It helped me move past my audio phobia and I'm going to do it, damn it!
This is a woman I was dying to meet face-to-face and didn't have a chance until the ending session when I was lucky enough to ploop down at the same table. One of my other obessions is arts and technology, and in my book she is the technology goddess of the artworld. I wish I wasn't so brain dead when I interviewed her.
She has been an advocate for artists to switch from static portfolio type web spaces to blogging. She told me that Thundergulch is moving to blogs. Liza said that migration to blogs is moving slowly. Most because there was a wave of early adopters ten years and change is difficult. The artist reaction to blogs is little "Been there, done that." Liza is working drupalart.org - which will be a community blog/e-commerce site for artists.
The que behind at the google kiosk is about to kill me ... so expect many more belated reports tonight once I get a decent a pipeline. I am going to be linearally anal and back date the post so they are in the correct order.
(Note to self: It probably would have been worth for me to get the
extra license for ecto for my laptop. That way I could have prepared
the content offline and simply uploaded it later.)
Well, at least it wasn't something stupid I did. Looks like many others had the same problem.
Michele lived in Cambodia and taught journalism to Cambodian journalists for the Independent Journalism Foundation. While a job offer brought her back to the states, she has built a house there and plans to live there several months a year. The house sounds wonderful and might eventually have some guest rooms. It sounds like it is located near Roteang Village where TSF does its projects. I will add her blog to my Cambodia4kids blog.