I’m glad I blogged my bullet point thoughts from yesterday. What always happens at events like this is that I say I’m going to mull something over and come back to it, and then I don’t. So at least there’s something. My biggest takeaways are from talking with folks, anyway.
I feel smart.
I started out with the Taking Your Blog to the Next Level lab. That was frustrating. They wisely divided people up by platform (Movable Type, WordPress, Blogger). People didn’t self-select in terms of beginner/intermediate/advanced, though. I wouldn’t consider myself advanced by any means, but I was trying to explain to a woman how put a border around her images with CSS, and she didn’t even get the basics of what markup tags are, and how HTML and CSS even work. Anyway.
Had lunch with Laina Dawes and Waves Mowatt-Kane from AOL, who’s a program manager for the AOL Developer Network (so most of what she does is way over my head). But we did have a great discussion about how people in different parts of the world use technology and how not just the use of technology, but the whole attitude towards communication and socialization is different between generations.
Just had this thought: Will my website evolve differently if I stop thinking of it as a blog? The response twitter from Gwen Bell is “yes. what about seeing it as an extension of yourself, like an arm? or a letter you write and send out…?” I think I like that idea. Definitely a (I hate to use this word, but…) paradigm shift.
- Comment: Niche blogging and inclusion are at odds with each other.
- Kelly says she a “practice black person” for people who have race questions they’re afraid to ask. Is it a good idea to take offline (safe) conversations to the larger (less safe) audience?
- If you’re, say, a mommyblogger and most of them are white heterosexual women, how do you discuss that and have the conversation go beyond white heterosexual women? You cultivated/attracted that audience, so you should work to change that. But if people don’t signify… ???
- Gena Haskett purposely did not self-identify online, eventually realized that whatever you read is going to have her filter on it anyway and people will infer from that. But she had to become comfortable with her self-identity first.
- Valencia Roner is fantastic at crystallizing the discussion points. (And she went to Michigan! w00t!)
- To have a healthy community, you have to protect your visitors. People shouldn’t have to “armor up” to read the comments.
- “How do people see blogrolling as an extension of their own blog?” People still have blogrolls?
- Malaysian expat noted that all her Malaysian readers stopped reading when she moved to the U.S., finding her unqualified to speak on Malaysian issues. Stumped the audience and panel.
- What kind of responsibility do we have to build diversity into our online communities? The blogroll can be a tool. Making a personally risky post can do it. Purposely reach out to your community (more specifically, the lurkers) and invite them to share.
Did you read where Elizabeth Edwards told Ann Coulter to shut the fuck up (in so many words)? I heard that they asked Hillary Clinton to come and she declined. I think I’m enjoying Elizabeth Edwards more than I would have enjoyed Hillary. Why can’t she be running for president?
And I’m skipping the closing cocktail party at the Chicago Children’s Museum. Meh.
Haven’t taken a lot of photos. Whatever I would have photographed wouldn’t really enhance my recounting of this experience for you. Or help me remember it better. Plus it always takes me forever to get around to uploading photos.
Overall, a very different experience from last year. Not better or worse. Just different.
That’s all I got.