Women, Blogging & Business


I spent a great day on Friday at the Women, Blogging & Business conference – the first European event to focus on women and social media. The final programme offered a great line up, and this is the first conference I’ve been to since the early 90s that had an all women speaking cast, and certainly the first tech conference I’ve ever been to where the women clearly out numbered the male delegates.

It was a fantastic day. The first keynote was Meg Pickard (Head of Communities and User Experience for Guardian Unlimited) who delivered a great analysis of the web 2.0 transformation of the consumption, interaction, curation and creation of content.

Next up was Eileen Brown, Microsoft Technology Evangelist, who gave us the low down on the strategic use of employee blogging within Microsoft and outlined the impact it has had on humanising the public perception of the company, as well as on influencing policy and practice at Microsoft itself.

Jory des Jardins,  Media Consultant & Co-founder of BlogHer wrapped up the keynotes with an overview of women bloggers as producers and consumers.

Technorati here, Flickr here.

5 thoughts on “Women, Blogging & Business

  1. It sure sounds a little different from the keynote lineup at the K12Online Conference. http://21stcenturylearning.typepad.com/blog/2007/06/announcing_k12o.html
    Going by the diversity evident in the bio photos from the K12Online keynoters it probably looked a little different too.
    Eliminating gender imbalance in hierarchies online in 2007 is obviously more challenging than we might have hoped for when Sherry Turkle wrote Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet
    When we critique online statements about “gender and technology” (or even “culture and technology”) like those offered by the line ups of edu_conference keynoters and the need for gender based conferences for business blogging it seems that the promise of a new equality through the web is an empty one.
    Western gender politics are alive and well in Web2.0 – which is probably just as well – as Marvin noted when thinking about electric communication in the nineteenth century in “When old technologies were new” – real change is uncomfortable and you shouldn’t hold you breath waiting for it to emerge from all the (e)froth and rhetoric
    “Early uses of technological innovations were essentially conservative because their capacity to create social disequilibrium is intuitively recognised amidst declarations of progress and enthusiasm for the new” p235

  2. Hi Artichoke – thanks for the comment. Yep, it was in pretty stark contrast to the next f2f con I attended – the European e-Identity conference. I was one of a handful of female speakers and this was pretty well reflected in the gender-mix of participants. At one point two other women joined me for lunch and I joked, “careful, they’ll think it’s a conspiracy” about us sitting together.
    EdTech has always seemed to me one of the few (if not only) tech arenas where the gender balance is mostly even. It’s a bit disappointing that the K12 people couldn’t have selected one female keynote – particularly since they’re not even restricted geographically by the online format.

  3. I’m sure the launch will go really well Frances. I’m looking forward to supporting and helping to develop KaN. Best wishes, Josie

  4. The irony is that behaviours we have long disavowed in F2F encounters in New Zealand are recreated in what have been touted as futuristic online environments.
    You’d think issues of institutional sexism ageism and racism would be sorted by now but if you read the edublogger response to these issues in the quote “most exciting age of earth history for anyone with ideas” unquote you’d be sorely disappointed.
    I am wary of setting up/ joining gender specific groups as a way of addressing the ‘unwitting’ or ‘unconscious’ organisational behaviour that suggests institutional racism and sexism is alive and well in Web2.0 and e-learning environments online.
    Women for Web2.0 etc etc remind me too much of the late 70’s early 80’s in NZ when initiatives like “girls in science”/ “feminist teachers” etc were much valorised as a way to create greater gender equity in education. I wonder why in the so called 21st Century so many women need to fall back on strategies that failed to provide equity in the past
    Perhaps there is no other alternative to setting up gendered/ age and ethnicity sorted spaces but it worries me in that this decision endorses marginalisation because the white western male dominated group continues to be represented as representing the status quo.
    I am also puzzled (read cringe) when individuals identified as “worthy bloggers from diverse backgrounds” in defensive statements by this essentially homogenous group fall over themselves with gratitude – thank you for noticing me stuff
    It is 2007 – since when did we want to be identified as/included in/ invited to a discussion or conference solely on the basis of gender/ age or ethnicity?
    It is 2007 – what does it say about online environments that these issues are still with us?
    McLuhan’s questions work here
    1. What do online environments extend? Ageism/ sexism and racism
    2. What do online environments make obsolete? equity
    I will leave
    3. What is retrieved? and
    4.What does it reverse into, if over-extended?
    up to your imaginings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.