Posts Tagged ‘liveblogging’

Collaboration and upgrade day

Yop! I have spent all day lying in bed messing with computers. I backed up my drive with Carbon Copy Cloner and installed Leopard and then made a new clean account and fiddled infinitely moving preferences and things and am still not done with that.

Then I started moving files, and cleaned up probably 70% of my miscelleneous layers which aren’t even honorable enough to be stratigraphic but are more like the Franciscan melange, otherwise known as the cruftiness of years and years of accumulated poems, essays, translations, stories, blog post drafts, half baked ideas, liveblogging sessions, notes on notes on notes, deleted bits of angry or sad emails or things unsent and unposted, private journals, and so on. I found many hilarious and embarrassing things including List of annoying people, which was people who were notable on various mailing lists over the years and I wanted to be sure not to accidentally befriend them or sleep with them later. Anyway, all of that was re-organized file by file into a vaguely logical structure which will make it easier to know where to file future things. In theory. Zond-7 basically held my hand and spoke stern words to sustain me during the process, words like “NO… you must not just move that entire folder over into a new “stuff and junk” folder!” You can imagine the emotional strain of dredging through all those old text files. For every project I have finished there are 10 more at least which were not finished. I mourn for them.

Then on a mad rampage of computeriness we messed about some more with mercurial. We understand like 2% of how to use it and we want to use it all wrong. Or, that’s what I thought until about 10 minutes ago and now I think that one of the ways I want to use it is like the “forest” idea. So what I would like is to be able to be able to suck in all the stuff that I use, wherever I am. That can mean several different things. It could mean just the minimal amount of stuff I need in a computer in order to work smoothly. Sort of my working environment. It could mean all my actual files or my working projects as well. All that could be under hg. Ideally I could push it out to my servers but it’s also on my laptop accounts and if I make a new account I can bring all that across with hg. And also I want to easily collaborate with Zond-7 in twiddling all this stuff so there are bits of our environment we can easily share. There could be a sort of local directory which can tell who you are logged in as and where you are, I mean what computer you’re on, and in those directories you keep information that’s specific to that environment and won’t work elsewhere. I don’t want to have a canonical place for my stuff and then a backup of it that I sync up. I would like to be more portable and fuzzy than that, with my information more accessible, and my informational boundaries more permeable to other people.

Oh meanwhile we got ipv6 working on my laptop with teredo/miredo & Zond-7 wrote a script to keep it dynamically updated so I can ssh into my laptop from anywhere else that has ipv6 using a stable domain name, no matter where I’m connecting to the net. Damn that’s so hot.

It was all fun but I’m super exhausted and can’t think anymore… I was ambitious to write things up coherently but it’ll wait and instead, here’s my usual brain dump.

We paired really well but definitely reached the point where he was over bossing a little bit and I was oversensitively snapping “I *know*” or “You don’t know either and I can just look it up”. I think he will go crazy if I don’t replace my keyboard as soon as possible – my up arrow doesn’t work and so I have to retype things instead of up-arrowing thru the history which is like torture especially if you are forced to watch it mistakes and all.

At bedtime, I tried to read to Moomin but he just went “No, let ME… *I* read with EXPRESSION.” Aieeeee! What an insult. It’s true I am so tired I sound like a whiny zombie robot.

Rook took Moomin to lunch and a movie and then shopping and then collapsed and fell asleep, I think still on East Coast time. I want to lure him into messing around with mercurial with us.

I love Moomin’s stories about the trip and that he got to do a gazillion exciting things (natural history museum, cirque du soleil, beach, playing Talisman and D&D with his cousins, a birthday party, thanksgiving, putting on a thankgiving play, umm and I think there was more.)

Physically I’m improving a bit, slowly, with a lot of resting. I did some stretching, and walked without a cane for about the distance to the bathroom and back to bed, but then was back on crutches and in the chair and am in massive pain again. I find I can sit up a couple of hours but then it gets to me and I’m toast for the rest of the day. Thanksgiving was awesome but I sat up *way* too long and absolutely melted down. I am tending to end up every night spacey, tired, liable to cry, banging on my own leg with my fists, complaining that I can’t take it, and anxious. I think this means i need more actual sleep, or should go to bed earlier, or change gears somehow.

I read Empress of Mijak yesterday and it totally rocked my world. The first.. oh about half… I was so jazzed and rooting for what’s her name. When she’s a teenage girl wreaking vengeance on the world it’s all good, she can slay great warriors and bathe in blood. But oh man then I became very uncomfortable with my liking of her as a character. Hello… they’re all nuts and hear voices in their heads and are horrible religious fanatics. I wish she’d stayed a little more complicated. On the other hand I got very thinky about the nature of good and evil and human character & ambition. While in purely dorky and goofy mind candy fantasyland conan-ish tarzan-ish barbarian warrior chick mode. That transition was interesting to go through (from my liking of the character to my discomfort, and thinking about why.) I can’t wait to read the sequel. Perhaps it’ll be like chapter 2 of a Mirror for Empresses. We also watched the last 2 episodes of the first season of Rome. Caesar and Hekat went well together…

Oh! And our house! The contractors have chopped a hole in our house. They’re making the french doors fit. It’s a bit complicated but they’re also super competent. Half the house doesn’t have electricity, though, till Monday, and I have a crazy-bad pragmatic topology of extension cords and power strips plugged into each other. I figure as long as we don’t fall asleep with the space heater on it’ll be okay. Yes, it would have been nicer of them to figure out we needed electricity tonight and Sunday. Well, they’re still going to do a kick ass job faster than I think anyone else would have, so I’m happy.

Random bits of recent days

Wired_ferret coming to visit! And us all lying on the enormous brown corduroy couch reading Naomi Novik books.

The 4th Temeraire book is very good! I couldn’t stop reading it.

Reading the book about women in Norse sagas. It’s good too, but a little uneven in style and clarity. I’m also reading William Gibson Spook Country which so far is good for its moody atmosphere.

Moomin watching Avatar with me and acting out all the scenes. I should watch the whole series. Rook and Zond-7 and I watched the episode of Rome that comes after the horrible depressing torture one.

Today I cleaned and went through drawers to sort clothes, hovered about Moomin and Hamster, tried to wake up Zond-7 several times and then had mercy, printed all sorts of maps of Beijing and listened to Mandarin phrases, and got things together while cosily Rook did computery things.

Went to Fry’s, got extra batteries and power adapters and I was tempted to buy about a million things that I don’t need. Why do tiny external hard drives entice me so, when I don’t use the ones I have? I got a super cheap mini folding tool but now wish I had gotten the nicer and $20 more expensive Leatherman. I wanted many more useless things: tools I would barely ever use, soldering irons, a wireless bbq thermometer (why?), a usb powered led light for reading or lighting up your keyboard, oh, just anything that seemed whizzbang and neat. I did not buy any of that but stuck to the planned errand.

Then off to SF to see yarnivore’s talk. It was good! & off to dinner with them & Annalee and a bunch of people. I always have fun talking with Mr. Paranoid (A.’s partner) as it is easy to crack him up by saying outrageous things and you can’t really outrage him. I finally got to meet tyr_salvia… her talk sounded good. Actually a lot of the talks from this conference sounded good, and I’m going to go back and read all of tyr_salvia’s liveblogging from it. Dinner was good and company great but I was getting very tired. Also, food is stressful because eating hurts (ulcer is indeed kicking up, so I am mostly eating crackers and milk and water, and eat a real meal at night after I take my sleeping pill, which is how I didn’t starve to death 2 years ago when I first had this problem.) We ended up at bi-rite ice cream anyway, all feeling very giggly, and we ran into jambery and kiriko moth. I realized that for the millionth time I have forgotten their real life names, because I think of them firmly by their blog names!

Meanwhile Rook did not know where I was and could not get through to my phone. I had thought that I had laid out the weekend – I had meant to go to SF on Friday, but had several medical appointments and spent all day in the hospital and decided not to and to stay home. But then it was game night at Moomin’s school anyway so it is a good thing I stayed… and I went to it and was even more wiped out, but worth it. Moomin ran around wildly with the other kids playing sharks & minnows. We played 2 games of the penguin game, a couple of rounds of King of the Beasts, and I met some kids I didn’t know before… & taught F. and her big sister Violet the penguin game. But that wasn’t the point… the point was that I thought on Friday I had said that I’d be home Friday and Saturday and then come up here on Sunday. Then all weekend I was planning things out, out loud, like this morning going into stuff like if Zond-7 wakes up soon then we can just take the kids up to Barflingame to Hamster’s house to play, so that Hamster’s dad doesn’t have to come pick him up, but that might not make sense because if we go to Fry’s first it would mean extra driving and it’s already a lot of driving. So i know I said things like this, and did not realize it was unclear what the actual plan was.

Multiple other complicated things too private to other people to explain or go into happened today mostly over the phone or email or chat or twitter. That makes it hard to blog, and that’s been true a lot of this week, because a lot of my thinking is taken up with those things and they’re unbloggable. Last weekend and earlier in the week I was completely flipping out about a different thing which I was writing about somewhat privately. I couldn’t deal with talking about that here either, but I will do so in a bit when I feel more comfortable. It’s nothing dire… it was just mindfuckingly annoying and I don’t know how to frame it yet.

Blogher unconference!

Sunday. man i stayed up too late

diversity discussion – i peeked in – i mentioned ezster’s research

relationship/bloging one Liz Rizzo Melina from ellinetha, liza leif, veronique christensen, Aliza Sherman of babyfruit, me – LJ and intimacy gradients. “you know like an intimacy gradient that is like a foyer, and then as you go in the house the spaces become intimate.” Liza Lief: “while blogging is often you open the door and there’s a VAGINA.” Melina: Livejournal is more like the teenage girls’ bedroom in the back of the house where there’s a slumber party going on.” liz r. everydaygoddess tells about relationships and family.

People wondering why would you DO this. being an open book anyway. as we have been all our lives. and just putting it out there. blogging the tool we were waiting for.

danah boyd article on class and myspace/facebook is brought up without people knowing her name about having a vague impression of the article.

faye anderson – use it, edit it
betsy samuels – it’s all up at the wiki
elana centor – wikiphboa. scared to edit. looks useful for clients.
amy gahran – use wikis for project management and want to do it more. trying to find best tool for absolute beginner. soceity for environemental journalism.
kate – once edites something on wikipedia times the song “we shall overcome” has been used. they forgot mexican american civil rights movement! so i had to edit it. you click edit typed it in. it showed up on the page and i was shocked. BUT… that said i’ve tried… where do you go to start a wiki.

amy – the docs for these tools sucks.
i can do most tech and wiki – i don’t get. someone i konw beth darges.
beth kanter – poweruser. also teaching people what wikis are.

shared doc rather than wiki

list of tools and wikis

wiki – structuring!

what out of this discussion made it click for you?

social media lunch

“how much time do you spend in second life?”
“a lot”
“i stil dont know how to put my clothes on”
“you cna take classes at the free university”
“I make enough to pay for it at my store”
“you should talk to anna herzog”

2 more hours of wiki-ing!
we edit blogher’s wikipedia entry a bit
we try tiddlywiki, mediawiki, socialtext, pbwiki
codepink, allaccess, other projects, wiki project management

AAAAAAAAH I just realized I am talking to HEROINE CONTENT
fangirl moment omg omg omg


3pm retrospective on open space / unconference! all sitting in big circle of chairs.

many people say they were skeptical and almost didn’t come
and they came and found it was their favorite day of the conference!
intimate, more one on one personal , more in depth information, generosity, sharing of experience, learning environment, this type of thing being attuned to our personalities, smaller groups, absolute joy, making real connections, good tips in main conference, leads to information, but today was about focus. loving things unstructured. dont’ lke things in structure but wander off from them. conversation on one topic but went off on another topic, include the entire conference in it, bravo to all the organizers. i am so happy tere was today! because it is non hierarchical, organic, how women organize, whole conference wonderful, got information, but big conference i was afraid of, growing, gettinb big, i’m an outsider, haven’t already been in the networks. male, linear structure, session one two etc. Today was organized the way women organized. and i have a wiki now. arizona has a wiki now! yes, more relaxing, the synthesis is built in. retrospective, conversations deeper, big conference will take 2 weeks to process. i will stop beating myself up (self censorship) should keep this keep going next year. keep it at the end, or do it in parallel. kaliya keeps it on track, everyone go around. this is one of my favorite htings about college, was the conversations in the dining halls. people from all different fields and majors bringing things to the table in a genuinely noncompetitive way. will be processing that for weeks and building on it. but this was wonderful to have some extended conversations with people, which is hard to do without feeling that you’re missing something during the more structured time. so this moves that kind of conversation fromt he margins to the center! (that was e. perry who fucking rocks!) lauriewrites: liveblogging was great but draining, today i got to talk with women about their stories and what they say and don’t say. i’ve never had a bad time at anything involving this organization. i feel really good and it’ll send me home feeling really good and positive. No competition, i loved about today it gave me the opportunity to get everything i wanted to get out of this conference. i came a long way. i asked specific questions and got them answers. i loved the quiet of today. i love that i continued conversations i had over the last 2 days and begun new convs that will continue over the next year. i love that i now have a notebook filled with practical stuff that i can work on when i got home. more specific to what i wanted than the main conference though the main conf was fantastic. ditto to everything. overwhelming how generous evrone i spoke to was wiht their knowledgge, history, stories, i’m all choked up. i learned a lot. i feel like an SEO goddess now. explained in a group setting in a way that was actionable and easy to digest thank you. i enjoyed people that think wikis and blogs are fun and that it’s not always technical, it’s fun. you can sprout out ideas and all the connections. i’m sitting in on the closing ceremonies but haven’t been to the main event, i did attend it second life yesterday and started new things… and got to know people in t here. and i’m impressed your’e finiishing with this nice circle. i was totally bummed out i missed all this today! the conference was wonderufl and energizing but draining and intense. and i’m aware instantly of how valueable this kind of space is! wish i hadn’t been so exhausted tired. kaliya: i had two conversations that were really powerful. good strategizing connection with Liza – importance of leadership. thinking of strategy around it. other, about women in tech. i’m really excitied! the registration’s actually there now and i’m working on She’s Geeky for women in tech. 100% women. women who are linux hackers to serious bloggers who are making their css work etc. not about coding but is about engagement with technology. diverse age range. those things are alive for me. making connections to do stuff in the world.

kaliya – scales up, peopel do this for 2000 people.
liz – scales down too. go home and do this in your living room with 10 people and you will have just as much fun.

mine old content and link it to something i’m doing now. remind me where i’ve been, where i’m at now

tara h: kate from the WIP there was no competition, measurement, really-big-blog, everyone on the same level. who wants to talk to scoble. that was so missing!

(I have to say that i have heard more people make fun of robertscoble-worship… hahahah this weekend! no one meant it meanly. but as an iconic “A-list blogger guy who all the guys think is important but no one here cares about or reads and wonders what’s the deal?” )

more talk about connections.

elisa – why not having this as a parallel track? people have been asking.
kaliya – on open space organizers list, people all say it doesn’t work well because people stick with what’s described already. it detracts from the energy.
(more discussion)
kaliya – also hard to go from open to structured. you’re so open and so free and then you can’t adjust. so it is better to end.

spa day unconference to start!
nancy says codepink had a spa day conference!
pedicures and wikis!

debriefing has been very important
it’s like retrospectives in agile – we need to debrief and process and not be alone to do that with. if you come to the conference alone you can’t deal.

being new, alone, tired, whirlwind pace of conference, overwhelming. hard!

Liveblogging labor and delivery

A question: has anyone liveblogged their experience of labor and delivery? Obviously at some point you’d have to stop. But surely someone’s given it a good shot? We have such a hunger for the gory birth-story, you’d think that it would have happened.

If not, someone totally should.

Kids, don’t drink and blog

That’s what happens, you drink half a glass of wine, watch “Sarah Silverman Jesus is Magic” with an obnoxious roomful of people, then tough-talking geek women whip out guitars and play “I love rock n roll” after cooking fancy gourmet food in an effortless way and talking smack about prostitution in thailand and pimps in the U.S., and then wild-eyed bearded men flatter you as you type up nonsense, and the next thing you know you’re boasting about your liveblogging powers and daring people to bite your toes. Half a glass of wine, people, do you see why I don’t drink?

Minnie is furious about the seatbelt cozy thing, rightly so…

Zombiegrrl is here for a lighting fast visit, and I missed it except for tonight, and didn’t get to hang out with her really… dammit…

Rook and I are still cussing up a storm about X3 and arguing various points. I can’t wait for him to type up one of his non-ranty rants. His point about how the movie was “about” jean grey but she never barely gets to say anything, or speak for herself. They might as well just have cut that whole scene with Wolverine in the forest… since he went to talk to Jean, but never did… why? Why make Magneto confront him instead? How boring! Oh the irony, the metal guy against the metal-controlling guy! Um who cares! And meanwhile at the end, Jean standing around all zombie-assed, not doing anything on any side, which if they’d had her explain it, i.e. Dark Phoenix being so evil that she doesn’t give a fuck what happens to any of them… then okay, but since they didn’t, it just made it look like no one was home in her head. Hmph. As you can see, I’m still in “overanalyzing X3” mode.

LGBT familes, teen advice to parents: Be prepared

Here is the liveblogging (cleaned up this time!) of the COLAGE panel about growing up in LGBT families.


There’s five people on the panel all looking just a tiny bit nervous. I’m admiring one girl’s pink flip-flops and matching pink tshirt and headband and light pink sweatshirt with hood… nice but not TOO matching if you know what I mean… Totally cute and casual.

We’re in the Ceremonial Room on the 4th floor, with its sloping ceilings and huge glass windows. I really like this building! 

There are 26 people in the audience… not a big crowd.

COLAGE stands for Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere.  Their banner says "Equality for All Families."

Jesse is introducing/moderating for tonight. He explains that the actual moderator got sick at the last minute. Brief intro of COLAGE. They are a national organization with many different local chapters. 3 groups in SF, two in East Bay, one in South Bay, and another called TransGeneration.  Some groups are run by kids and some by adults.  Purpose: to bring activities, support, connection to LGBT families.  Peer support, email lists, pen pal program, newsletter, regional conferences, family weeks.  Advocacy on legislation on bills that will affect LGBT families. Questions are welcome. 

[I am sure donations are welcome too, so if you enjoy my liveblogging of this panel, send them a little cash love!]

That part about the pen pals sounds cool…

Jesse is 24 and grew up in central Pennsylvania raised by his mom and partner of 17 years… his dad was his mom’s boyfriend, they broke up, he never met his dad. And does not know what it would be like to grow up in the Bay Area…. 

Request to the audience not to single out one person on the panel but make question general like "for those of you who have gay dads…"  or "for those of you who are adopted."   Panel is meant to be question-answer, etc.   rather than one on one conversation but you could have conversations later afterwards.

I might be getting people’s names wrong and if so, I’m sorry, let me know, and I’ll fix it!  Also, excuse where I slip in and out of first person, it was the heat of the moment.

Sarah, 17 years old, senior at St. Ignatius in the Sunset… she was just accepted to Loyola Marymount. Was adopted at birth by her 2 dads.  Her birth mother was 18 and too young to raise a child on her own. "She chose my parents." Sarah went to Catholic grammar school also in the Sunset,  Jesuit based school.   

Renzi, 22, senior at UC Berkeley, phd in american studies next year… mom and dad got divorced, came from Lebanon during the war in 1989.  Mother met the love of her life, who became my 2nd mom.  My brother and I are also actually both gay. grew up in Orange county which is not fun but weirdly the gay capital of the planet. my moms are high profile in that area. my dad got remarried and

Alex, 13, willow crk academy in sausalito, you’ve never heard of it, three parents, 2 mons and a dad, had 2 dads but one died.  my dad was a donor to my mom and that’s how I was born. Other than that I have a pretty average life and that’s pretty much it.

Sarah, 14, 2 gay dads, was adopted twice once by each of them, 1st adoption I was 1 year old and the 2nd I was 2 years old.

Opal, 15, freshman, SF school of arts, 2 moms, adopted at birth, my birth mom was 16 and was too young.  My sister was adopted 2 years after me and I lead a pretty average life too.

question:   have there been periods of life or times you have been embarrassed by your parents?   

Sarah sr. – for me parents can embarrass their child whetehr straight or gay… I’ve never been embarrassed because they were gay, we’ve been stared at, but it’s San francisco… I’ve always been accepted by every community I’ve ever been in.  they don’t do anything really outrageous that another parent wouldn’t do too.

Alex – most of the time the only reason people were staring at my dad was to think wow he has good fashion sense or wow, he’s cute.  a lot of my friends it starts out they dont understand and it’s kind of embarrassing, and then they accept it and I explain and it’s not realy all that embarrassing.  at least not any more than a straight parent would be.

Opal – I’m  not embarrassed by my parents but sometimes it’s hard when you go other places where people aren’t used to gay and lesbian people because people are staring pretty  hard. And you can feel it.  we go up to northern cali to mendocino and we get stared out pretty hard.  And my sister is also black and is really dark and I’m really light.  But people don’t really care, once they get to know me they get used to my parents.  sometimes people come up to me and say "oh you have 2 moms that’s not cool " or something really harsh. And then you decide they can’t be your friend. because they’re being prejudiced towards you and your family.

question: going back to elementary school did you ever lie about your parents or family to other people? or tried to hide them?

Renzi – in high school , that was the era when people could tell that I was homosexual and that I was comfortable with that. I never actually came out to people but instead had the principle that it was none of their business. one of my moms is the number one real estate agent in the area and another one was a principal and everyone knows they’re together but no one says it.  when I came to berkeley it was like I was always saying "i have LESBIAN MOMS…"   but it’s not your right to know.. It’s a privilege… It wasn’t lying it was, they had no business in my life.

Opal – from elementary to middle school and people would come to you and ask you questions… And you don’t want to repeat it all, repeat the same story over and over. you have to trust someone first before you go into it. It’s really  hard sometimes.

15 yr old Sarah – In elementary school for me, a lot of the other kids had gay and lesbian parents and a lot of the teachers were out too. It was very welcoming, I never thought about it. Once I hit middle school there was a lot of tension around that issue.  I told only my friends. But it was a big school and everyone found out. But people didn’t really care, anyway. They either knew or didn’t know me at all.

Alex- went to a big public school, most of the people there were homophobic and I didn’t feel comfortable talking about it. But once my friends met my parents they realize they were really cool people.   To people who I didn’t know and who I didn’t trust I would say that I was living with two parents then they divorced and remarried and that’s why I had 4 parents.  And when I changed schools, in middle school, at that point… There was a point when people were really hateful to me and I changed schools and decided to come out and tell people. And all my friends were supportive. And when my parents got married all my friends freaked out and wanted to come.    and I ended up wishing I had never lied about it. It was easier to be up front from the beginning.

question:  twofold: what has effect been on you guys of media coverage of gay and lesbian families, gl parents, and negativity that kids run around, laws and stuff.   and also, how have your parents helped or not helped, that made that easier or not?

Opal; Gavin Newsom with the marriages in 2004, that brought out some negativity in the media and so has adoption.  My parents have really been there for me when I need to talk about it. I can be really angry.  After the gay marriages thing happened, some negativity went towards me in middle school having lesbian moms, like :"oh since your parents got married and are dykes you must be a dyke? "

Sarah sr.   – At my school when something comes out in the catholic church or media we all discuss it, the teachers are really willing to discuss it. We have had great in-class discussions.   Most of the students at the school are open minded, liberal, open to the idea of homosexuality. I get a lot of positive attitudes. you always get your select few that are homophobic and will go with whatever the media says.  But mostly it opens up discussion which is educational and supportive. I’ve been in the public eye my whole life becuas my parents encourage me to speak.  they don’t want me to do media stuff, they don’t want to be seen on tv, but…

Renzi.   As an academic I take things and think about, what are the means behind… I study american popular culture… when I see queer families it forces me to reasses… part of difficulty growing up in queer family I never had to think about it, we were all just queer and it was normal.  Now I am in argument with queer people in my community, I play devils’ advocate, it’s important to ask these questions of ourselves, why do we want this issue specifically… That gets people angry with me.  my own moms are high profile… They have no interest in getting  married, my 2nd mom has no interest in adopting me, not because of any lack of love… different queer people want different things.  what is it that we want – we have to ask ourselves that. At Berkeley…

Alex – The thing is, with my friends, they accept the fact and a lot of them aren’t negative at all… when they hear about gay issues that are unfair in the media they come up to me and talk to me about how unfair they are.  My parents never needed to do anything to make me feel better about anything. That’s just normal family… normal stuff happens… They’re just… There’s nothng that they need to do to make me feel better. 

[This made me tear up, a little…]

question – movies.  cheap shots at gay, trans, etc.  how do you reconnect… do you sayt something when you see those images… or do they say something?   how do you react with other people when encountering homophobia….

Renzi -my friends are all at Berkeley and are all scholars…. we have very serious discussions…  brokeback mountain…  people sometimes react like, are we supposed to be happy just cause there’s queer people in the movie?  Is this how we want to be represented?  There’s no accurate representation of people in pop culture at all ever…   so we ask , is this humanly complicated?  what films do that? And show complexity?

(I ask if people feel pressured to speak up against homophobia…)

Opal… when people say something homophobic I speak up but not as harshly. I don’t feel pressured but I just do it, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, I have friends and family to protect.

Alex.  when I see homophobia in movies it’s usually in comedies  and a lot of the time I’m laughing harder than anyone else because I can understand it more. And I have to talk to them about it to explain why it’s mean and wrong but… It’s also funny.  I also feel like it’s just what I do.

Sarah sr.   In grammar school I did a lot of sticking up, if a slur was made I’d say please would you not say that, and I’d explain why… But in high school I made a conscious decision I wouldn’t say as much. In religion classes, I didn’t say as much, I’d see what other people would say, first.  if they would stand up for it first. If nothing was said , to the other side of the story, then I’d jump in .   in many situations people speak up.   Someone goes ‘oh it’s so gay’.  And someone else will say ‘could you not say that, it’s so offensive to me…"  I don’t even have to be the one to say it.   We had an anti-homophobia discussion… there were these people outside saying horrible things… one of the biggest football players around told the horrible people outside to be quiet.  I didn’t have to do it, someone else completely out of the blue did it. I don’t always have to take that teacher role.

Sarah jr.  When I go to see a movie with some of my friends a lot of people look to me to explain.  People turn and look at me as if I’m supposed to automatically know and explain.  But I can’t always do that. I’m just one person.

question:  do you see yourself missing out on anything? or getting something that non lgbt familes dont have to deal with?

Sarah sr.  could you rephrase? 

question: do you feel like you’re missing out… on something…

Renzi:  on a daily basis no.  But one thing I benefitted from was the work it takes to maintain a queer family because there’s no blueprint. Other families maybe take that for granted. You don’t have to do the work of maintaining those bonds. That makes me feel so much more connected to my family every day. we don’t take it for granted. That’s so amazing.

Sarah sr.   With my friends who have a mom and a dad… I find a lot of … what’s the word… The wife does one thing and the husband is expected to do another thing… Oh, gender roles?  But in lgbt families the roles are just completely blended so there is  no specific role and things are done equally. There is more sense of equality. So I gained something,  I’m not expected to do something because I’m a woman, in the family.

Alex – one thing I can think of … I’m really in touch with my feminine side. most of my friends are girls.  [*appreciative laughter*]  I can’t think of any bad thing… nothing negative I can think of that relates to having gay parents.

Opal –  all  my friends think my parents are REALLY COOL and that it must be so much easier… But actually it’s not…

question: do you ever feel pressured to be the perfect family? because everyone’s sort of LOOKING….

Sarah sr.   Actually I do.   Everyone’s going to have fights with the family.  And I do work with COLAGE and I’m being put on the spotlight.  People need to know that a family  is not going to be perfect. There’s never going to be that perfect, oh we’re never going to fight ever.  But sometimes yes.   I feel pressure but I get over it.

Alex – My family is as perfect as any family’s ever going to be.   


[someone elect Alex president, he can really pack a rhetorical punch… he could start the young demogogue’s league… or, well, just send that kid to law school.]

question:   issues with curriculum in school?

Opal – Kindergarten, family project, where do you come from, who are your parents.  I wasn’t nervous. In kindergarten I brought in pictures and everyone was like, where’s the dad.  You have to have a daddy. And the teacher explained it to them.   In middle school we were talking about ballot issues and when it came to the gay marriage issue the teacher asked me to speak about it, and the whole class went crazy.   And were asking me really offensive questions. Like "oh you’re a dyke and all your friends are fags and you’re going to hell because jesus hates you."  And the teacher had to step in and I had to leave the classroom. 

Sarah jr.  On mothers day, because I have two dads… I didn’t really have a mother to make a card for.  Or I’d be sitting there doing nothing or I’d think of another woman important in my life and make her something and then father’s day I had to do two!  People never said anything but it was kind of awkward.

Opal — fathers day in elementary school I would sit there with markers and make a ton of cards for my uncles. And so I would just say "I don’t have a dad." And people would  say, "Man, you have a lot of uncles."  It was like Uncles’ Day.

Sarah sr.  I don’t know if any of you are thinking of sending kids to religious school but if you do, religion class always brings up the bible and homosexuality in the bible, and the roman church and what they’re saying about marriage… The students are more open than the teachers. The teachers like to stick to the curriculum.  a few jesuits at our school… They tend to be very conservative… we’re reading Brideshead Revisited in english and there’s an undercurrent of homosexualty and a priest came in and kept teaching us No, there’s nothing going on there… And if you’re read the book you know there’s something going on there.  And the students, we had a good three days of telling him that he was wrong and we were right and there was homosexuality in the book.  The students start to run the show, the teachers have to let the students have their say as they get older.

Alex – When I was in 6th grade my family tree was the biggest in the house.

jesse –  ca Safe Schools coalition… the people focusing on safe schools on a policy level. They are focusing on youth in high school who are themselves queer.  But it’s not always that.  Kids in preschool who have GLBT families have to deal with it.  The schools need to address those issues from very beginning in age-appropriate ways.

question:  we’re new moms… lesbian… any advice?

Sarah sr.  Don’t worry!  Don’t stress!  Challenges will come! You’ll know what to do! You’ll deal with it and it will turn out!   I like to think I turned out okay.

Renzi:  I could rattle on for 8 hours about it…  be intuitive, follow intuition.   Don’t let your kids make you feel bad about raising them.  You didn’t do anything wrong and it’s not your fault.   When I became a teenager I had to turn it against my mom… But then I realized…   This is going to sound really weird but don’t take it wrong… It took her a long time to say that she was gay.   

Alex –    Any problems you feel like you’re having, every single straight parent with a child is having those exact same problems so don’t worry about it.

question:  do each of you have distinct memory of having a conversation … or a moment when you realized your parents were g/l

Opal:  I knew I had 2 women living in the house, kids don’t notice when you’re older… I was like 1 year old and kinda NOTICED I didn’t have a dad.  No one had to explain to me they were lesbians… I just knew. I mean, I was right there.

Sarah jr.   Grew up with them as far back as I could remember and it was all I knew. In preschool… I have this one memory, it was family day and I had a poster with pictures and it had pictures of us at Pride and had a rainbow flag in the corner and I was like, hmm, my family’s a little bit different!

Renzi:  it happened in 2 phases, you’ll love this, when my mom divorced… It was purely logistical, it was not devastating for me… I was like, woo, I get two sets of xmas presents… for my brother it was devastating because he could see the emotional fallout, he was older, he was 9.  Later, I was 12 when someone said something to me and I asked my mom what did they mean, and she started crying… And I started crying and said "because I think I’m the same way" and my other mom came home and said, "you’re really young maybe you don’t know. " Of course you don’t want your kids to solidify their identity when they’re like 12.  But listen to them and maybe they’ll stay witih it and maybe they’ll change their minds and you’ll be like, Whaaaaat?

Alex – the first time I noticed I went over to a friend’s house and they had straight parents, my first memory of being there, is the point when I noticed, "wow there are people who aren’t like me and my parents are different."

question:   I used to work at this adoption agency…   and it was the norm then in tennessee that if you were gay and lesbian you were unfit. Because it was like contagion and your kid would grow up to be gay.     Anyway, it doesn’t matter and your orientation doesn’t matter,…..  But I’m hearing you as being so articulate and aware, do you see yourself as having more or less complexity or awareness of family or social structure… To me it’s really striking.

Sarah sr.   Being raised in the gay community I’ve been open to so many differences, sexual orientation or religion or race.. That’s been a big benefit on my part where I’ve been taught to be open and love everyone else, some of my friends with straight parents haven’t been given that opportunity to know difference and accept difference.

Renzi:  It’s something I think about all the time, that is what we do in school at Berkeley, we articulate this stuff… forging human ocnnections takes an unbelieveable amt of work.  I published this piece called "a dialogue of definition" in "in the family" magazine… how do you deal with ambiguity.   Having to deal with ambiguities of realtionships means you Have to be aware of complexity.  Berkeley is all about that.  It is a requirement for us!  We have to be better and smarter…we have to struggle to be mediocre.. If you’re gay and mediocre you just prove the point that gay people are mediocre, so, you have to be better harder faster stronger…

question:   as a gay parent, there’s a down side too. They get asked a lot fo stupid question.  We give our kids shelter but we also have to teach them strategies. What are your strategies for dealing with stupid people?

Sarah sr.   When I’ve been asked stupid questions, just give them the right answer, truthful answer… If they don’t get it they really are stupid and that’s their own fault and problem not mine.

Opal:  When stupid people come up to  me, i’ll be hanging out, we’ll be at school or the bus station… "oh, how did you come here since your parents are lesbians and lesbians can’t have kids…"   so I have to break it down for them.  And my friend step up and explain it.  So I don’t have to do  it. Or I’ll say I was brought by a stork… I came in on a train… hahahah… one idiot came to me one time and said, "Don’t your parents get to trade you in and get to pick out another kid?"  and I’m standing there, like….   *horrified laughter from audience*  and my friend was like, "She wasn’t born at Albertsons, she wasn’t born at Safeway…" And they’re like… "Oh, yeah. But don’t they get to trade you in!? "  and I’m like… uh… !!! 

Renzi:  as stupid as those questions can be I also relish the opportunity to talk about it. I’ve asked my own stupid questions, about race and gender. There’s a line between ignorant questions and hateful questions.  So it’s hard for me to call them stupid.   And I’m really glad they’re asking me. Like,  I get to say, "Where did you get that idea??  Because that’s not the way it works for me."

Alex :   In my opinion the best way to answer a stupid question is with a stupider answer.

question:   what was it like for you in your extended family when your mom came out.   

Renzi:  My mom did not come out, the extended family did not talk about it, it was all just kind of obvious she left him for another woman.  It took years but then they got over it and fell in love with my mom again.  I got a message that you should do in life what makes you happy.  And everyone got hurt.  Everyone had a right to be affected by this emotionally… just because you’re queer you don’t have a right not to communicate.  I was on my mom’s side… But then later I was like, to  my mom, maybe if you had told him… before 7 years went by.. That you were a lesbian, maybe that would have been useful to him and more fair.   It was  hard not to take sides.   The only way not to take sides was to realize that everyone had a stake in this.   

question:   do you come from large extended families?  are you close on both/all sides?

Opal: I’m close with only one side. I hate to say this but one of my mom’s familes is homophobic, conservative and racist.  some of them aren’t.  But the other side is really appreciative.     The other side has not reached out to me.

srah jr.   I have a huge extended family.  My fathers’ friends had children also. A community thing with us. I’d spend regular nights at their houses and they’d spend the night too. all my older sibilings are off at college… I didn’t see the others as parents but as other adults I my life… my one dad is an only child, my other dad  has a sister so I have an uncle and and aunt and cousins.

Alex. My extended family is ginormous.  Each one of my 4 parents have many borthers and sisters. And one of my parents was a foster child so she has several different parents she’s in touch with and MORE sisters and cousins and, too many to describe.  On one of my daddy’s sides I only have one aunt, and then an uncle I don’t really want to talk to, and his mom… no comment.  For example I haven’t gotten a single word.. no letters or emails… of sadness or grief for my father’s death.  While his sister, my aunt, did.  Most of my other family is really accepting and loving.   Most of my family friends, are gay or bi or transgender whatever you want to call it. I also have a godfather, godbrother and pretty much a brother too.   My family’s huge and I can’t think of any downsides but my one dad’s mother.

Sarah jr.  My other cousins are adopted and one is black, another from india, I don’t know what I am… so… we’re pretty open… for the most part they’re pretty open.  A lot of them *weren’t* but over time they became more accepting.  My grandfather was *not* into them being together but then I came, and they were like Oh okay, a grandchild…. okay… So I like to think I tied the family together.

Renzi:  I have a huge fmaily in Lebanon but don’t see them very often. They’ve very loving when I see them…

question: How long have each of you been a member of COLAGE? how has that been of value to you?

Opal – since 8th grade. 

Sarah jr. I think this is my third year in COLAGE.  In middle school.  It helped me in middle school because there was the beginning of the tension. It was a great way to get.. To erase the tension and talk about it with other people… when I went back to school the next day

Alex – a long time… since I was 6 or 7.  around that age.   I made great friends there. And it’s an organization that needs as much support as it can get.

[Wow, Alex IS a great politician… go Alex!]

Renzi – I’ve been involved for 2 years, volunteering.  But the wonderful thing to me is just knowing that it exists.  I like knowing the support network is there and is national.  People get so excited when they hear about it.   The knowledge that it exists is enough in a way.

Sarah sr.  since about 6th grade — I’ve been in YLAP, youth leadership action program.. we put out a film "in my shoes" and it’s now touring the country. I’ve been doing a lot of panels.  It’s given me confidence, I’m very confident speaking in front of popele, I’m  not scared to argue with a person if they have conflicting viewpoints.  COLAGE has given me a lot of confidence.

personal question:   for adopted kids… concerns about birth families? would they react to your curren tfamily? 

Sarah sr.  My birth mom found my parents through a sort of catalog, so my mom chose them.  So she would not have an issue.  I’ve only met my birth mother once but she keeps in contact with letters.

Sarah jr. I’ve never met my birth parents, or communicated with them… I’ve thought occasionally about who they are… But.. I really love my family but it’s not a question where I want to find them because I’m missing something… my birth mom might be someone I want to meet later in life… I don’t know if they’d have issues but if they did, well, kind of like, well, tough.  You couldn’t take care of me and you need to think about that, because my parents did and gave me amazing opportunities.

question: are any of you part of other glbt organizations?

Opal:  I’m in the GSA. I do a lot with the G/L community.

[I realize that I am not only a hick from Texas who went to a crappy high school; I am also an old lady. I don’t know what GSA means though I figure "G" for gay…]

srah sr.  Most schools have a GSA.   ours is called Safe Place.   The archbishop had issues with us calling ourselves Gay-Straight Alliance.  [AHA! GSA!]  The homophobia powow was one of the largest… we have others on drugs and stuff… day of silence, transgender awareness day.

Renzi:  Question from earlier about advice… I’m not very involved in the queer community, there’s this assumption if you’re queer you  must be always doing queer studies. It’s hard to make alliances across gender and race and class and sexuality… as children we have to make those alliances.. we don’t have to only be in the glbt communty… my parents tried to create friendships with more lesbians but then couldn’t deal…

question:  do you have other issues?

Sarah sr.  yeah I have other issues…!!!

[what a question!]

Opal:  I have issues, other than having a queer family, a lot of pressure with drugs and alcohol and relationships for kids my age.

Alex – for me the biggest problem is dating.   Not just who to go out with but there’s a lot of pressure because a lot of my friend have boyfriends and girlfriends and the ones that don’t are pressured to ahve them. etc. It’s … be ready for that.

sarahjr.  biggest issue is school and doing well academically. every kid gets that. But right now.. me and my parents are in the middle of a not perfect time… we’re argueing over grades and what I need to do. And my friends who are 4.0 and super brilliant. I get good grades but am not a 4.0 students. I get a lot of pressure to be that student just because my friends do.

Renzi: queerness has beent he least of my problems.  Oh and Alex, I have news for you, dating will continue to be a big problem for the rest of your life… I think it is for everyone…  [*rueful laughter of agreement from audience*]

question:    Do you ever get tired of going to queer events etc.  queer burnout.

answer:  no, no, no and no.
Alex: no
Sarah jr.  No, I actually like hanging with other glbt families.. as comfortable as I am in everyday life, it’s more comfortable… There’s never that *question*.

Renzi: I sad this earlier.. But I think we all change our vision of the way our families are.  I used to think we were just like anyone else. But now I think we are different, all families are different.    At berkeley for instance this campus talks about queer issues all the time sometimes to the point other issues get negated.

question:  or really statement:   this is crucial. This work is crucial… It’s easier here but, in the south… There are thousands of kids in georgia, tennessee… I’m a family law attorney…   I was the 2nd out attorney in the whole effing state. And I couldn’t adopt till I came here. It’s not like I didn’t know the system, either.  In the bay area we have this bubble, like "Oh it’s just regular."  Well it ain’t regular everywhere.   

Opal:  I feel pressured my gay friends want me to speak for them. Sometimes it can be weighty because what I f you say the wrong thing.  It can be  heavy for me.   I want to protect them. 

Sarah jr. my cousin did a study abroad program in chile.. And I kind of had been living in that bubble. And it was normal . But when I went on this trip her hosts sisters boyfriend had never met a gay person in his life. he was kind of homophobic but he also had an open mind. we’re sitting there… me and my cousin are the only ones who can fluently speak spanish, and they didn’t really speak english so my parents were trying to talk to this guy and talk to the parents and they really couldn’t so I would translate for them. But he tended to ask me a lot of the questions too. I spent a  couple of hours sitting there having this guy bombard me with questions.  [Wow, just like now!]  It was a lot of pressure at that moment.  once I got out of there I thought about it, he really wanted to know. That’s why he was asking so many questions. I’m okay with that pressure because I felt like got to open his mind a little bit more.

Sarah sr.  I went back east for a national student leadership conference, in washington dc, 250 students, we do sort of live in a bubble in the bay area where we see differences all over the place. so going to another place where there are teens my age from very conservative parts of the country, it was very interesting. I gave a talk, well actually I just got up and bawled, about my family in front of 250 people not only did I release pressure thru the tears but being able to share my story opened up people’s hearts and minds. a few people came out.  on that excursion. because they felt comfortable they came up to me and shared their stories.

Alex: one more thing, I think you should encourage your kid to have people over, like, friends over, because as soon as they’re exposed to an lgbt family, all my friends like my parents.  my parents are like the coolest parents in school. peopel ask to come over so they can hang out with my parents.  I notice an instant change in their personalities…  my one friend was a teensy bit homophobic when I first met him and I told him that’s not cool. And then he came over and went, wow, they’re like my mom.  he realized they’re the same  as other parents, and he totally changed since that day.

Sarah jr.   apparently we all have the coolest parents at our schools.

Alex: That’s my advice to you. Be prepared to be the coolest parents. 

microformats panel

I’m at the microformats panel and here’s a few links as well as what Tantek just said.   I’m here because yesterday a bazillion people came up to me and said that they heard me talk on the women’s visibility butt-kicking panel, and that I should talk with Tantek.   Well I can at least listen to him.   But until people told me that yesterday I didn’t know a microformat from whatever.

I wish Rook were here because this would also be exactly his cup of tea!!!!!

Oh and a fun conversation with Brian from "like it matters" who believe it or not, we both at once started talking to each other about the intersections of literary and computery web 2.0 stuff, and simultaneously started babbling about Guillermo Cabrera-Infante’s book Tres Tigres Tristes and Suzanne Jill Levine’s amazing translation of it. And it turns out he is a former student of Rainer, founder of ALTA.



Tantek – moderator. Microformats. presentation licensed under creative commons.

first a demo.   sxswi speakers. a version of the sxsw speakers page.  entire set of speakers added to the address book. converter hcards to vcards.   vcard compatible address book … seamless import. makes info a lot more useful.   hCard markup.       we’ve taken vcard names and made them into class names in html markup. just by adding that to existing markup you’ve created an hCard.  microformats are more than just really good class  names.   sure, they use semantic class names… principles to guide design. help keep things micro. names to a minimum.   The process. this makes a big difference. if we have everyone creating t heir class names… not a problem. but if you want standards and interoperability then

we ask people to pick a simple problem specific and define it. 2. research and development.  document what existing web pages are doing already. what is actual publishing behavior? 3.  avoid inventing  new names, terminology, document existing microformats or solutions.   for example icalendar standard, or vcard standards.   document these existing formats.    we try to take the names from existing formats if we invent a new microformat.
4.  brainstorm with implied schema…   5)    get feedback, iterate within community.     Get something on first try, and iterate it very quickly.

progress 2004->2006 in microformats.   xfn was out for a few weeks…. lists and outlines – etc.  locations, resumes, tipjars,

list of microformats community.  irc channel, good place to listen and learn   All discussions are in public.   
Keith – upcoming.  events microformats.   
scrape info out… use geocodes to mess around with google maps api.  all events on one page and see where events were taking place. took existing page from upcoming.   mixed in google map api, got this cool page   adactio austin.    (cool thing demonstrated)    then add more microformats, like hCard.  you can then get more stuff from technorati and add it… and download the iCal.   so my friends can all go, "oh, sounds good, I’ll do the same thing" and slam all that info  into their own calendar or phone.  "as long as i have my laptop with me i can always find out where i need to go for the next party."   [am i the only person who snorted with laughter at this?  jouissance as motivation! yeah! that was funny.]

Chris Messina’s Flock demo and explanation was super exciting!   I’m using flock right now. But I don’t think I’ve used it that deeply… at all. It’s well worth exploring.

Chris Messina – flock.   you can add features to a browser to take advantage of microformats.
"director of experience, and ambassador…"

how we see the web
– an event stream
– a social space
– as a datastore

flock uses lucene as a fulltext search engine.  plus microformats, times APIs, web services and feeds.     can figure out persons, events, extensions, calendars, reviews.   build in supports into APIs into browser.

"roundtrip attention"   .   what the hell does that mean?  we’re able to index all these things. blog posts with links to people. lists of people and their blogs.  contact info, favorite places, product or movie reviews, events, .    We can find this info while you are browsing the web,  and put that aside and have it for you to see later.  you might not be reading all your friends’ feeds but we can pull all that together for you and you can use it later.

question about inaccuracy of info.   legit information or not?

we want to be able to star smaller bits of information.   [YEAH~!!!!!!]

validity b/c of favoriting.  over time you can pull out a history of people you’ve visited. and you can correct it and lock it.  (stuff about spammers.  mitigate spam… by tracking pages you actually visit and your favorites….)  you think it’s trustworthy.  takes copy and paste grungework out of it.     guy from audience in front row…. someone else might know your phone number changes before you’ve updated your own web page.    (chris answers with stuff about hcards, user experience.)

I’m sure someone else is liveblogging this a lot better!  I’m too tired… my fingers are sore from yesterday.

Tantek – the hcard means a possibliity of having some kind of subscription thing where we all have hcards and subscribe so that we end up with a worldwide distributed contact system. no more annoying "please update your information" emails.   [wooooo!]

they are talking about Drupal… NOTE… ask Laura Scott if we can add hCard to the BlogHer site!  that would be fucking cool.

udience dude — "roach motel" – term to talk about proprietary information being locked up.   
tantek:  yes!!!   that is part of microformats, frustrated at entering our data over and over.   etc.

Rook are you reading this?  This is part of why I keep thinking you would be super at home in this sort of discussion…

Roach motels are so web 1.0!!  *laughter*

What about Googlebase?   (audience goes, oooOOOOOooooo."   (shout: "roach motel!!!")   general hissing from audience.    tantek: they say they’re going to open it up and we can only hope they won’t be evil.   (scattered applause from audience)


liveblogging – Blogging While Black panel.

Blogging while Black panel at SXSWi

Moderator: Lynne D. Johnson    –
GM of new media for Spin magazine
What has blogging while black mean to you since last year?

Jason Toney. I questioned whether I even wanted to have that site anymore or close it down. Have weird issues with privacy online… in Dec. I decided important to represent identity online space as well as offline personality. now negroplease also equals jasontoney, online.  People of color’s identities online.

George Kelly. and In September, won first black weblog awards.  Best news political site, and a lifetime achievement award.  *laughter*  Kill me now.  *laughter*  Issues about acclaim in accademy awards.  I’ve been nominated for best tagline… It was something to get two black weblog awards. It meant that people who were reading me looked to me to have some useful authority.   There’s a tension between representing yourself and speaking for that community as a voice of authority. To get that wind at your back is really good. I started working as a reporter, after being a copyeditor for 4 years. Some things about that made me think about how I approach my blog. But also made me think about wanting to be personal.   I wanted to be a negro after meeting Jason Toney! And after meeting Aaron. The only people to use the word "negro" online…   [except for white supremacists… joke…]

Tiffany B. Brown. –  Also   but I’ve been slacking on that one.    To continue this identity blogging conversation. Went to BlogHer in July.  People are really interesting in having spaces where we can discuss our similarities and differences.

Tony Pierce.   community manager at buzznet.  Buzzblog, Thought mechanics.      Since our last panel, my mom was really proud. She was like "you don’t even tell people you’re black."  How do you prove it, show your family pictures??   *laughter*   What I noticed was  my hits come up to see if I was the angry black man (that I think my mom would like me to be)   some people called me a race-baiter.   There was some discussion of that, what does it mean to blog as a black man… not trying to stir up controversy for the sake of controversy!   There was that conversation about why I don’t date black women.   [Liza Sabater cracks up in the back of the room & everyone looks.  "Then that stopped when I made out with a black woman."  Liza yells "and it  wasn’t me!"  *laughter*   Lynne:  and no pictures of black women… Tony:  Well I was at a college where the One Hundred Black Men club didn’t even have 100 black men in it. I think my pictures were of who I was around.

Lynne Johnson:  I should speak about what happened in the last year.  I got to do a room of your own at BlogHer.  Called Feminist Hip Hop Bloggers.  Some bloghers are here… it was cool to do that. There are not a lot of women blogging about hiphop.  It turns out the majority of my readers are male. And black. College educated with advanced degrees. The main reason they read me is that the topic matter interests them. I’m about half and half on whether racial identity is important to them.
Who is your audience?

Jason Toney:  about half of  my readers answered my poll. 50% are black. That shocked me adn I thought it was high. In my real world most of the people I interact with  me aren’t black.  60% were women.  I am single.  *laughter*  Vast majority were in about my same economic range, making the same amount of money I make. College educated, 75-80% advanced degrees. They like my writing and my topics or they think I’m cute and funny or funny or cute, or some combination… only 1 respondent said they would rather not know my race. 60% said that knowing my race affected how they read my blog, it gives them context in the offline world for what we’re talking about.

Lynne – Did anyone say talking about race made them uncomfortable?

George – most 25-39,  gender 61% female.   Race 59%black.  30% white. Asian, biracial…   "spiritual-nonaffiliated.   "    half were college graduate, 24% with advanced. income, about what I make.   Why do they read them?  37% interesting topics… writing… or because of race … or because they’ve met me offline.  3% said out of habit. *laughter8* I will be hunting them down.  Racial identity was not important, 53%   25% yes it was. At negrophile, many more said it was important.  They don’t mind knowng my race.  90+ people responded.

Tiffany B. Brown – for  me, no surprises, slight majority black, followed by white.   Most of the people I interact with on the blogosphere who leave comments are white, so I was like, hey all these black people are reading my blog, kinda cool.   The vast majority 80% were women. 

Tony Pierce – (I missed this)

white guy from audience – How did doing the poll, knowing that, affect what you write?

George – (mock serious) I stopped doing my blog.   *laughter*

Toney – It made me think about the language I use, appropriate language, whether I need to explain things… or whether I can throw out an angry missive and come back later and explain things.  I used to think my audience was mostly white.

Lynne Johnson – I personally wish I had more women reading me. Because I write about hiphop and technology…   Unless all the women in this room start reading me…  *applause*   I know you link to me *to Halley Suitt*   all the time…  Halley:  Hell I write about hiphop and no one links to ME.  *laughter*   Lynne: I wonder if I write in some ways in a male voice?

George:   My audience is heavily canadian college kids because I knew a Canadian pop star.

Tiffany:  I write in Standard English more than Black Vernacular English. When I was writing for just a few people…   [I missed this]

Meri:   Do you get flack for not using BVE… I’m from South Africa and I went to a mixed school and I’d get hassled for talking white.

Tiffany: Not at all. Whatever voice you use, that’s what people accept.  When i use BVE it adds to authenticity, people like that "flavor".

Jason:  When I first started, I didn’t think anyone was reading and I would switch back and forth according to the subject matter.    when talking about hiphop or my own racial identity discovering and depending on what i was talking about it woudl get real black.  But on web software, cartoons or comic books not to do with black culture per se, that language didn’t seem necessary for me… but other people would ask me why I was talking so bougie.  [bourgeois]  *laughter*  Well, cause I *am*    (laughter)    question from email from my about page… "why do you lower yourself to limit yourself by race"   and it’s been a long time since I’ve bothered to answer that question.    As if somehow it’s a limitation or somehow all my interests are limited by race…

Lynne:   In the past a friend said to me, "you write like a jouranlist so that alienates a lot of people. "  well I am a journalist!   there’s been questions of my authenticity of m y being a hiphop person.  since i grew up in the bronx…    There was a serious beef with… a guy.  I flipped some lyrics from TI and said, no doubt it’s all good y’all just statin your own opinion…i’m a queen, just respect it and keep your name outcha your mouth"..    it drove the dude to call me Lesbo Johnson, and had the balls to tell me to keep my name out of her mouth.  Now, i left it there and in the spirit of hiphop, i could have  *screams of laughter*    But I took the high road. The guy never responded…

Jason:   I’m tempted to give the url of the guy Lynne is talking about… but not really… and he years ago faked an email from this other hiphop journalist, an asian journalist, calling him a n****** .  and this made me start thinking about citizen journalism.   The question of whether this blogger whose url I won’t say, was he black or white or what?  He makes a lot of really racist prejudiced comments. He makes petitions about Kanye West…  So now this person who is a public journalist has to defend himself against this…   this is an issue with identity blogging.

Lynne:  Did you have any runins with the blogger we shall not name?

Meri:  It’s like harry potter. *laughter*

George: I did not want to dignify it.  I don’t think you have to give oxygen to everything in the world to breathe.

Jason :  It was mentioned on the women’s visibility on the web panel today – democritization  – every piece of info on the web has the same weight. There’s no value put on it… if you come to a web site where someone says something about you and it’s not true?  isn’t it important to [contradict it?]   old wives tales, mythology, rumor, to become factual very quickly. People still think Tommy Hilfinger said something racist on Oprah, when he’s never even been on the show. when it’s on the web where it can live forever, isn’t there some responsibility to provide the true information. when you stay silent then HIS text becomes the only information available.

George:  maybe i’m coming at that bec of my tempranment, from who I am as a journalist. Balance, and the crock that that is.  There is no balance. The best media can hope for is balanced represetnation that acknowledges privilege but also circumstances.  That knowlege affects how I blog.  And news items at negrophile. I balance my own experience with my obligation to my communities. It’s negrophile not negronegro, it’s about people who give a damn about black people. Other people who blog aren’t always going to be on point about that. I have an obligation to be a journalist, tell my story, educate others, if someone is violating community norms, if someone is showing their ass, i retain the right to … to let them. To let it alone.  *laughter*

Tony:   I am not such a gentlemen as George. there are two things you cna do with a zit. let it alone or squeeze it. Haters are usually terrible writers. I am blessed by god to be a good writer so I take a sledgehammer to that zit.

George:  You called yourself a horrible writer just the other day. You are not a horrible writer.

Tony:   I’ve said a lot of stupid things in the past.   But for example, the AP photos of black people looting and white people finding.  i knew there woudl be a hundred comments…

George: Tiffany.. you were on public square and private…
Tiffany:  We talked about anger.  My preferred approach is just to be civil. and when they are looking to provoke you, if you get mad you’re doing what they want. I was a journalist…  I don’t want to be seen as the angry black woman. you never know what that will mean for you professionally.

Laina Dawes : My blog is writing is fighting.  Tiffany I wanted to ask you about that stereotype of the angry black woman.  Henry Rollins just said being an angry white man fuels him. 

Tiffany:  There’s the key, he’s an angry white man. People love that.  They don’t love it when you’re an angry woman.

Laina – Do you feel like other blacks may dismiss you, like for example, very angry post about hurricane katrina… you might throw in some mofos or whatever. Would people dismiss you for NOT being angry?

Tiffany " No. When anger is justified I think people understand it much better.  Wait. Let me parse my words much more carefully and restate the point. I think anger when justified is a good thing.  Anger in presonse to a… anger in response to Hurricane Katrina is justified, right, etc.  Anger in response to someone calling you a bitch in your comments, and you call them an asshole….[that’s the unproductive kind of anger]

Halley  :  Google is forever… forget diamonds.

Jason:  We need to define the term angry. I think there’s a difference between heated discourse and assholes.   People say asshole things who I delete and ban and say goodbye to. Other people come and disagree and we have a heated discussion. I’m  not personally an angry person.     One of my favorite people [the late] Aaron Hawkins was angry by design. To get under white people’s skin.  uppity negro.  Conservatives wanting to question if he was black in the first place, and to be angry and educated and over their heads and kickass.   In that context anger all the time is alright wiht me. [YEAH!!!]

Woman in audience:   jason says he’s not an angry person.  Being emphatic and strong as a woman, you come off as angry even if you’re not "really"… and probably as a black person and as a black woman.  and some people will do that. 

Tony:   people are calling hilary clinton angry.  are those the people I want to worry about?   i don’t care then.

Kit – from Portland. have you gotten any feedback from readers to say "your post changed my point of view"  or "i thought nobody understood that…"

JJason: i get that all the time. absolutely. particularly from young black high school and college readers. When I talk about black pop culture and I don’t get something or don’t like the way somethhing was percieved.

Lynn: I remember last year when we came and people wrote about and were surprised that I was "well spoken"   *uncomfortble laughter*   a lot of us had to educate people about using that phrase.  she said thank you… and she claimed she didn’t mean it…   black woman in audience:  "and what did she mean then…"   Lynn: exactly. 

Tiffany: I don’t have a problem with someone telling me I’m well spoken.  because they usually mean eloquent or articulate.

Lyn:; well then they can say articulate then.

Tiffany;[[   ] ]
tiffany:  well if people think I’m articulate thank you.

black guy in front row: radio show… didn’t catch his name… first of all happy to see some black men in texas not on death row. *laughter*
comedian… got peopel in deli to come to my show.  and they were nice and came, and they just didn’t get it. and they wrote me and accused me of thinking all white people were jerks and pigs and i was anti-semiitic  but I was hitting them with a sledgehammer that was a sponge.   a spongehammer!  and people snipe but people don’t get the joke. Second, how did you guys find each other and it’s SO nice to meet black bloggers!!!

Jason:   I respond and don’t get a response and then i just go read myown words

Tiffany: hate mail saying that i hate black men. and i wrote an faq and say yes i hate black men including my father, my brother adn my boyfriend.  that preemptively helps.

Lynn:  how did we meet?  it starts with george. Everything comes from georee.

Jason: he’s the original negro.  australopithicus negro.

George: actualy we all met here.

Tiffany: i met george in berkeley in 2004

Pierce: I hate when people suck up to me. I prefer when people are real and honest even if pissing me off.  I love GG Allen who would actually poop in his hand and thorw it out in the audience.   i lvoed that.  I didn’t go to too many GG Allen shows, but…   *laughter*  but when things get a little bit nervous for me, I htink jeez, what would GG do?  and i think i get more respsect and hits backfrom that.  if you keep it real… people respect that. if they think you’re sucking up…

Cinnamon cooper – I’m the one who wrote the well spoken comment. *laughter, applause, woooooo!ing*  I had just been to so many panels stupid, boring, moderators fumbling around, until blogging while black. and that was the first one that was good. everyone was well spoken, i understood everything and wanted to report on it.

Meri: so, you meant, well spoken for south by southwest panelists.   *huge applause, laughter*

Lynn: so you learned something from that and we learned something from you…

Jason:  a lot of people forget that on the web just like real life we make assumptions.  we assume we know something about how people are reading a situation… i have to read what happens through the filter of my own mind. we need identity, that’s why identity is really important on the web. we get angry. we don’t know who wer’re reading, we make assumptions

halley: i’m a blogger but i’ll always be known as a woman blogger. do you guys think you’ll always be known as black bloggers?  is there an audience we’re responsible to, who we are, how we write? or screw it?  I thought my audience was all men but i found out a lot were women because … they’re reading me because i’m a woman

tiffany:  risk of being pigeonholed …  being a writer who writes about blackness.  vs. just bein a black person who blogs.

guy:  didn’t catch it…    Went to see David Chapelle… what we have in common are we are not like our audiences. we do not look like the people who come to see us. people who reads me, they’re reading me to find out about what they don’t know.     on the other hand i’m writing a book about being a gen x jew.  and I’ll be pretty pissed if no jews read it. 

George:  cultural production.   Chapelle…. [missed this]
not just coffee house dudes and white chicks recognize quality… but on the other hand they can recognize quality too.

Tony:  ambassador…

Irina:  what happens when people show their ass in your own community? and what do you do? what happens?
george; i guess we’re still working it out. how we deal with it when people transgress. or what transggression is
tiffany:  the black blogosphere is very diverse.
Liza :  non-yankee negros.   puerto rican.

Tiffany:   kenyan, canadian, etc.   we havne’t developed community norms because the community is so diverse. we’re just as diverse as white bloggers are. there’s no defined rules of engagement…

tony:  i don’t criticisze black people witih a sledgehammer on my blog. however barry bonds or condy rice are not going to stay on that list for long

liza sabater: black people of dubiosity.

Tony: [If Lashawn Barber and Little Green Footballs post on the same thing I am more likely to attack LGF.]

White guy in audience:   we
white guys who are naive and idealistic. what can i do to help empower black bloggers?

tiffany:  link to us.

jason:  we have to be proactive.  I was inspired by BlogHer last year…

george: i have enjoyed the fruits of beingt treated not like a black person but like a blogger, someone who likes a gadget or likes a wiki installed on his laptop.  someone who gets invited toa  web conference. power and dominion and all that stuff.  that is where idealism works best when you turn it to the difficult work of recognizing people’s humanity.  you turn it to an out of browser experience.

elisa camahort – identity communities not instead of, but in addition to.   remind everyone who feels like the other.  it’s all in addition to, it’s more.


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we got naked now what panel: identity blogging and work

Liveblogging from sxswi.

Elisa Camahort.   BlogHer panel on identity, personal bloggers.  what doing that personal blogging means. benefits and risks. 

Jory – single blog

Evelyn Rodriguez – single blog

Elena Dawes, Elaine Liner – got laid off or fired for blogging.   experienced negative blowback and kept going.

Jory :   the getting naked blogging/work survey.  185 respondents.  most female.   business bloggers: taboos were sex and money.   personal bloggers:  same, but somewhat less so.     hybrid bloggers too.

Elisa asks who has blogged their income.  i actually blogged my entire lifetime social security income report. she asked why and I said something flip. but the real reason was that I was thinking about the years I didn’t earn anything and how it felt to see those zeros on the yearly report.  I was also talking about class and feminism.  and i think was talkikng about Christine Delphy’s point that straight married women do not have the class status of their husbands. they might think they do, but it is an illusion. the social security report shows this very clearly.


blogher registration is open!

The 2006 Blogher conference, July 28-29, is going to be insanely fun!  I was thinking about why it was so great last year…  I was in a horde of outspoken, nerdy women. The super-professional journalists and marketing and programming and book-writing people were nice, but I mostly hung out with the identity and mommybloggers, i.e. people who have personal journals and maybe write about particular topics too, but who tie it all up together. Nearly everyone was just… oddly intense and kick-ass. All those writing-women! I can’t explain it.  I was high for a week and writing stuff like this:

…still all emotional about yesterday and being surrounded by other people (especially other moms) who make that same choice & searching for that connection & scatter their dandelion fluff & pirate gold out into the world despite everything.  It’s important!

I got a really cool google backpack and a notebook and some other totally silly junk.  I bought a tshirt from Mrs. Kennedy of I was upskirted by Renee Blodgett and someone else I can’t remember. I swooned over everything Mary Hodder said and wished that we were painting our toenails together while plotting world domination through better search engine algorithms. Then I got all dreamy about the fiery fierce right-on Amy of Contentious, and Mobile Jones when she talked about feminist smart mobs. Well, for comments of substance besides my flirtations and crushes, you can look at my messy liveblogging of it from last year.  Though Renee Blodgett’s detailed and coherent summaries and quotes are much much better. Scroll down a tiny bit on that last link to see her posts from late July last year.

This year I’m looking forward to learning some stuff in the hands-on sessions on day one.   And then I’ll quaff a lemon drop and flirt with the most intelligent unholy brazen hussies I can find.  Jo Spanglemonkey is going, and Grace Davis, and Minnie, though Minnie threatens to wear a shroud and sit in the darkest corner with her laptop, speaking to no one.  Yeah right. Give her a camera and the world is her blog-subject.

So anyway… go register!