Shall we up the ante and build a global gathering place, online and off, virtual and real, for women bloggers: Bloghercon 2005? (Update: Please also read "Should Bloghercon be open to men?" posted 3.14.05)
I'll stop clapping for Halley Suitt's challenge long enough to accept. (Normally I'd push back on box-checking for race and gender--I'm the token-single-mom too often and it rubs--but posts by Rebecca MacKinnon and Burningbird and Jeneane Sessum have convinced me to skip it for now.)
Instead I suggest we up the ante with Bloghercon. (Yes, it's a wordplay on Bloggercon. More on that three-year tradition in a minute.)
Here's why: If we can agree that it's important for Web users to be exposed to more than one woman blogger, then you tell me...
- Do we need a global stage where women bloggers can have a conversation by, for and about our individual work, and share it with anyone who's interested?
- Would we benefit from creating a meeting place (virtual and actual) where we can pursue the diverse agendas, policies, ideas, journalism, brainstorming, anger, humor and <insert infinite subject loop here> that are not getting [enough] air time in any medium worldwide?
My answer to both questions is yes. I submit that women bloggers deserve Bloghercon, based on the events of the past month. I don't just mean reacting to what he said, what he wrote and the data behind what she's on about, important conversations all.
No, I'm talking about a conference that enables women bloggers to tesseract to proactive social and intellectual networking with each other. Women bloggers have much more enticing sashimi to gobble than Summers and Drum--politically, economically, socially and personally. For example, let's examine what she blogged about women on seven continents, her comments on a facet of family law, her syllabus of political bloggers, what she and she see coming in Elections 2006 and 2008, her red-alert about our rights as bloggers and what she said a television commentator called us.
Elisa Camahort (update: read her thoughtful post here) and I have had long talks on the subject of a conference agenda, and I'm eager to watch her post some of her excellent thoughts on the subject, now that the idea is in play. I'm also thankful to Law.com chief editrix Jennifer Collins for her advice--she suggested changing the original brainstorm--"Bloggirlcon"--to "Bloghercon," a massive improvement.
But that's getting ahead of ourselves. First, let's road-test the idea and see if it adheres to Trey Goesh's rules. He writes:
"If you want it done, you can do it yourself. If you need help, ask. If the project is cool enough, you'll get the support. If you don't get the support, your project probably isn't as neat as you thought it was."
So: Do you want Bloghercon? And, if so, why and how? As Nancy White recently blogged, "For me, the bottom line of community is how each community defines that for itself."
What do you think?
Update: Further thoughts and definitions on Bloghercon. I'll use this space to try to communicate some of the conversations I've been having with people on their blogs. I welcome any feedback, improvements and updates here.
Issue: Childcare, bias toward women with children
Over at Uncle Sam's Cabin, Cabin Master writes:
"TulipGirl's Women's Day post (it was yesterday) makes this observation about the American church, "I've seen such a strong desire to rebuild the family and give honor to mothers, that those who are not married especially (but also those who are married but do not have children) are in a sort of limbo." She asks, "...is the church really showing respect to women, if we are subtly snubbing our single and childless friends?" So many discussions about women in the church seem to assume that the women being discussed are all married with children. It was really starting to annoy me. I'm glad some one else noticed..." More here.
I posted this response:
"Bingo. I think our solution's in the Bloghercon format. Here's why:
"One of the first issues Elisa Camahort (Queen of the Worker Bees) and I discussed was our interest in a Bloghercon conversation on how to live the blogging lifestyle without, well, going completely insane.
"We spent a lot of time talking about the opportunity this particular conversation has to embrace the value of private life for everywoman, without the usual embedded value judgements (e.g. toward kids, spouses, etc).
"But here's the kicker: Our goal is not to control the discussion at Bloghercon. Our goal is to create the world stage where everyone can let 'er rip. Which means that Bloghercon requires a format in which women have the opportunity to initiate and/or participate in any conversation they want to.
"So if a group of women wants to split off to discuss their particular shared scenario in blogging life--from carpal tunnel to Internet access to, yes, children--then so be it. Some conversations will need rooms, others tables."
Next I realized I'd neglected to answer the initial question, will childcare be available at Bloghercon. I wrote:
"We don't know enough yet to say. What do you think we should do?"