Monday, August 01, 2005

BlogHer: A List Discussion

At Blogher in Santa Clara on Saturday, Charlene Li and I debated the notion of whether we should care about the obvious fact that there were so few women on the top 100 Technorati list.

Don't miss Blogging Blogher's coverage here. And SoCal Mom did amazing coverage here.

My arguments AGAINST CARING went like this:

-- blogging, in the beginning, was radical and was all about CHALLENGING old media's assumptions and "lists" and therefore has a legacy of being anti-list, we need to remember blogging is self-publishing and damn what people think we should or should not be writing about;

-- we should care about going way beyond the list and using the tools of blogging and social software to do much more than the people on the list are doing;

-- we should as women be blogging on many more subjects than politics and technology which dominate the Top 100 Technorati Bloggers list;

-- we should work against any "list" which is an hackneyed paradigm of mainstream media and their lazy way of making a very few voices "the last word" and instead we should embrace a diversity of voices;

-- we should question who gets on the list and why, before we grant it any attention;

-- we should remember what any list with good intentions should do, that is, point you to other interesting writers, act as a guide to expand your horizons, not narrow them or be a king-maker.

-- If lists exist to give you a fast way to find other blogs you like, then there should be many many lists -- best female blogs, best Spanish language blogs, best food blogs, best blogs on hybrid cars; etc.

Many of my ideas got out there in public, but many did not since the room was full of brilliant women sharing their thoughts on the subject and Lisa Stone rightly made their opinions known by doing a microphone Oprah-type M/C routine.

I'll link to those folks soon. What Danah Boyd had to say about networks and what Mary Hodder had to say about Technorati were very interesting, very fair, very expansive.

I've never attended a conference where the audience was so brilliant or full of good ideas, they wanted to share. That was shockingly apparent and so in contrast to nearly every other conference I've ever attended.