BlogHer notes, Saturday

Keynote with Annalee, Esther, Rashmi, and Elisa moderating

women worldwide blogging – georgia from global voices
70% US internet penetration trinidad/tobago X% india 4% often blogging in english b/c india has so many regional languages.

snigdh – talking about india and etc.

juliana – kenya – high literacy rate – net penetration 3% . kenyan blogs webring. started by a person who every time he started looking for kenyan blogs he found tourist blogs. now are 460+ bloggers in the webring. Mzalendo. She put together a political watchdog site with free open source software. wordpress plus database for all the bills, qustions from constituents, politicians come on and answer the questions. very powerful. and she could do this because of open source software!

Lisa Williams asks if traditional media follow it. Juliana says not so much. they are aware of it but they don’t follow. no specific stories about constituencies. the media is a bit slow to understand what it is. they would do well to pay better attention and see all the information and (what people care about) Citizen volunteers go and attend parliamentary sessions.

Amira from GV – baharainigirl – heheheh I love how she oepend by saying “who knows where bahrain is”. Self-censorship. respect authority, elders, culture, rule of law however corrupted it is. you dont want to end up in jail or be a dissident or be sent into exile. you’re better off just keeping quiet. that’s why i started blogging anonymously.
What ti’s like to be a blogger dissident. people put up a little banner… free whoever… every day there is a new story…. but we don’t know what happened to them . we’re on the rain.

lisa: so are you still anonymous?

amira : no… but i do self-censor. i dont call any names or say anything…. what good would it do me to end up in jail?

amy gahran – book about Iran – independent comunications – fax machines and cassette tapes – wherever there is not a tradition of free media – then blogging and etc. have more power than they seem to have in a more open media culture.

amira – in canada i could find only cel phones that are from 10 years ago and in bahrain they are amazing — we are years ahead of you in technology … We have technology what we dont ahve is access to information. what we don’t have is freedom to transmit this information. what we dont have is freedom of choice or freedom of speech in a way that when you stand up to say something you have this fear, will my father or mother get punished? we don’t want to do that to our families.

georgia – in trini radio is very powerful, local media. across borders the power (of new tech) is really felt. cell phones spread fast in south africa for example because the infrastructure of other phones wasn’t htere. the western hemisphere has that infrastructure so new stuff has less pressure to spread.

snigdh – more on self censorship. and men being first to get the technology. if there’s one computer at home it’s like, the man is using it. access, computers cheaper, that’s important. women need to have other things on their mind, making t hemselves independent, jobs, educate children. blogging is still a luxury for a lot of people.

georgia – rural women?

snigdh – here’s the fun part. rural women taking to tech faster than the men. a reason behind this, if you want to bring about any change, you have to target the women. they are more focused, disciplined, want the change to happen. if they educate themselves they educate themselves. they dont usually blow all the resources on liquor and all that. the rural banks lend money only to women… 80% of the internet kiosks and cybercafes in rural india are run by women who will get up at 6:30 am and go to work and be there and keep it open.

kimberly (kane) women’s consortium working with the UN global conference etc. our commitment is … uhhhh i am lost. a convergence of the women of the world… gather the communicators of the world. radio, etc is a huge part of it.

I cannot tell if this woman is for realz or is a bit bonkers.

I’m a bit stunned by her being like “CAN YOU TEACH US OH DIVERSE WOMEN while I have this diversity in front of me” . what, like right now this minute? did she now have any knowledge of who to ask before right now…?

Juliana – Send iphones. Sidekicks. they are perfect for Africa nad developing world. wireless ahs a much greater footprint in the developing world. etc. think of using gprs enabled devices.

“well while you are here in front of me i just want to know … and you know Hugh and i just realized you are not at the table so why is that and you should be at the table and … Now you are.”

er thanks?


I open my big mouth to say “probably you should go look for bloggers in various countries and invite them to participate.” i am a bit incredulous but on the other hand this is how rich people operate i guess.

amira – don’t ask the government, ask the bloggers individually.

snigdh – the first barrier you are going to face is language. hindi doesnt help that is just the north really and if you want the solar tech and all that you will need a point person to translate b/c there will be a local language. you want to reach out to women making a difference in their villlages you will need help… they relaly know how the villages work. they have networks who take their business and communicate…. hugely helpful. i would love to say go to the blogs but i am not confident the women blogging are the women you want to engage. they already have a lot of access and know english and are urban etc. education and means. if you are looking at microchanges then, language will be important.

woman from audience talks about her trip to south afrrica for a wedding, but, she talked to every waitress, room maid in hotel, everyone she met, and she got their emails, they are refugees from all over africa, they had such smart well informed political opinions, i told them all about blogs, they said thank you this could give me my freedom of speech, i said you have it already. we email and they are so busy and work and school… maybe at blogher we should just go overseas and (do blog evangelism) I want to be part of the solution but I need direction. I dont know what to do or say with it.

Juliana – maybe we should go back a little bit. peopel talk about poverty in africa etc. we want to let you know there is a lot of growth. there is expertise within africa…. there is linuxchix africa.

beth kanter and liz: YAY linuxchix!

Juliana: african speakers talking about how to change africa. african solutions for african problems. If you want to help africans, partner or work parallel with africans. support their ideas. trade, trade, trade. money and capital in the hands of women has a very transformative power. your specific question about how to support the women you met… get them to organize regionally., browse, select specific country. you can see what bloggers are saying in that country. they could join that country.

Victoria from Now public. posting on a site like now public? citizen journalism aspect? more comfortable there or writing it in a newspaper? than in a radio?

georgia: you mean that question for the panelists?

amira – it’s a question of balancing. a positive thing and then exposing the truth and suck up a little bit and hit them again. it depends when i did my latest stunt. am i safe to pull another stunt just now or…?

WOW… Afrigator totally rocks!!!

Questions from Beth Kanter, etc

Good answers from Snighdh . how to help. Read stuff from other countries! Comment, say where you are from. Link to them. The government, media, pay attention. Govt is wary because now they know people are looking.

person behind me from The Provide the platform. Safety. etc.

me: have you talked with the EFF… *card and url exchange*

snigdh — rural areas are hardest and also language barriers…. video is good for that.

kristine fromm google – it’s hard to hear these stories without coming to conferences like this… when i tell my company what i learned from blogher – what do you want them to hear?

Free consulting rooolz! maybe google shoudl HIRE some diverse women from all over the world to tell them some of these things!

juliana: tools incredible, get them too more people blogging, getting more people blogging. bloggers conference for women, an outreach program. funding. fund us in africa.

amira – Not to bend to pressure from governments!

snigdh – google blocked a lady’s site about childbirth because it was deemed a porn site in india – what’s the point if they block. languages, gadgets, wikis, widgets, anything, get more people blogging in their own languages.

georgia – localization. don’t cave in to government. tools. funding for our projects.

juliana – support african business, startups, innovative women working in that space. twitter-like tools for mobile, for election monitoring. more support for the ideas we already have.

snigdh – text messages like crazy. cell phone texting is huge.

lunch w annalee needed her as sort of refuge as she is relaxing to be with

silenced voices panel went okay i think!

then i stumbled into the unbloggable panel. i wish that guy had not walked in and stayed. i did not have a lot of trust there. even if he is someone’s partner in the group. it is a women’s blogging conference and a confidential panel. and on a topic that it is problematic for men to be there. I suggested he leave. s. said he needed to speak personally. but him just being there made the conversation change and be more defensive and closed. and the fact that he had no sensitivity or diffidence towards it being problematic for him to be there meant i especially didn’t want him there. instead, some women left. and that is what happens. I stayed and it was still good.

hanging int he woolfcamp corner with deb roby, jenijen, sarah d! HI GRACE WE MISS YOU!!!!! We miss you lots.


elizabeth edwards talking about universal health care, civil rights/marriage for queers, education. it’s so awesome when she uses an actual technical or internetty term. hahahha!

man there’s like 100 people here that I know that i still haven’t talked with even to say hi…

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