July 20, 2006

Am I Going to Make It to BlogHer or Not?

For an entire year I've been excited about going to BlogHer. Thanks to Qumana's sponsorship, we've got tickets, hotel reservation, and even two new duffle bags with wheels ready and waiting for the journey. My friend Phyllis is ready to take next Monday off to hang out with us before we fly home. I can't think of another thing this exciting in my routine world--at least not since Austin.  George Kelley's even on call for airport transport if we need it. Thank you George!

The homefront is secure with Papa George staying to battle the dogs. Did I mention that they have already dug under the new fence? That they were found yesterday in the NEIGHBOR'S INGROUND POOL, having found their way under one fence and through another, and during said exercise in canine vandalism, they ripped the pool's liner, or so I was told by the angry young women who brought them back, happy and soaked.

That's after chicken wire, after bottles of cayanne pepper, after the favorite hole's been filled with concrete.  Nice, huh?

But that's not the problem. None of that is more than an expensive (very??) nuisance that can be solved through the pet adoption agency of our choice.

I'm sort of kidding.

The problem is my health, this pain, the uterus, the hernia, and the bleeding. Quite frankly that's the problem. Being a woman in her mid-40s with gynecological problems that have affected the quality of my life for so long, that nearly cost me my life 8 years ago, is the problem. The broken toe doesn't help. The (maybe) hernia doesn't help. But the uterus, she's the problem.

Ironic, isn't it. The event I want so badly to go to, a part of the country I've never been to, an opportunity to meet so many women and men I've never met, and its my womanhood that's putting me on shaky ground.

Two more doctor's appointments to go. One tomorrow and one Monday. I'll make the go or no-go decision Tuesday. At which time I'll decide to cry or pack all day Wednesday.

No matter what happens on my home front, the conference is going to be awesome and I'll get my fingers involved somehow.

I want to say again, here, that I'm proud to be part of such a great group of talented and caring women--artists, writers, mothers, CEOs, musicians, marketeers, sisters, advocates, activists, leaders and supporters--the women of BlogHer.

Let's kick ass.

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July 19, 2006

What Music on MySpace?

THIS music on myspace!

I have had the honor of being asked, engaged, sponsored, and encouraged to get my head wrapped around some very cool products and services this year -- and while I'm wearing my "consultant-user mashup hat" I get to do what we users like to call 'play with' these tools. I'm no Om, but hey, who is? (HI OM!). Anyhow, I get by.

I love figuring out what's cool about Web 2.0. Getting inside the technology and finding out what there is to love about what it lets us do. WHAT about ordinary code designed just-so can make us more HUMAN. And in connecting us, in creating wider and tighter ties among people, technology can tap the human heart.

Look, that's my husband's face in there.


Anyone who's stopped by here in the last 34 years knows that I'm smitten by technology that helps me make meaning of the world. Qumana, BubbleShare, Flickr, Orkut, YouTube, Kaneva, MySpace, Second Life, you name it. All of these wonderful worlds of the web help me add layers of understanding both to my online relationships and offline relationships. And I've got the archives to prove it.

With StyleFeeder being brandy-new, the way I like 'em, I'm having fun finding new ways to merge it into my already-social spheres, like MySpace, and to let IT open new social spheres for ME.

That's because I get asked all the time WHY I love MySpace.

People ask me: WTF do you like about MySpace. It's for TEENAGERS.

I say, WTF do you mean--do you spend any time there? It's for artists, musicians, poets, models, videographers, old people like me and teenagers too.

They say, MUSIC? What music?

I say, My Friends' music!

and NOW I can show them!

Wait til you see my favorite BOOKS. Heh.

There's more to come too--oooo you betcha. In the mean time, get yourself your own stylefeed (or two). They look sweet on blogs don't they?

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i want my own label

so i can sign her.

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Will is Still one of the best writers online

Will, how about Bedpan Emptying Camp?

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The sign of the road angel

There are times I have prayed, Lord give me a sign on which way to go, which path to take, what step to make next. Sometimes the answer comes. Never through physical manifestations, like a lamp falling off a table, or a hawk swooping down and crapping on the hood of my car, which quite honestly is what I'm looking for.

No, my signs come in subtler ways, a nudge, a tug, an opening where there wasn't one. The spiritual-but-not-religious types might call this -- what, I don't know, my chakra calling or something?

Sometimes no answer comes. Which is an answer: "You figure this one out. That's why I gave you a brain and a heart. I'm here if you fall."

The events of the last two weeks have had me laughing out loud as a series of mishaps have aligned themselves in such a way that they must mean something besides bum luck. Only problem is that I don't think I have a question--all signs, no question. WTF?

After I broke my toe yesterday, or was it the day before--which preceded the bleeding thing but was after the pain thing, and was the same day as I slipped on the stairs--came the flat tire on I-75, and when I say ON I-75, I mean in 8 great lanes of semi-truck-flowing traffic.

I'll tell you, my sphincter never felt livelier than when I opened the car door on the shoulder of I-75 south with those 18 wheelers blowing my hair back. Holy!

The only sign I needed at that point was the AAA sign on my window.

I signed up for Triple-A a month ago and have already used it twice. Once, I locked my keys in. And this time, right front tire flat as a pancake. They ought to call it Triple Angel, because these trucks appear magically within 20 minutes of dialing the number, and they fix everything and make it all better. You don't sign anything. You don't do anything. You just watch them fix your car and wave when they drive away. Then you watch Jenna clap.

It's the best $79 a year I've ever spent.

Note: They're not a client. I have no financial interest in this company. The point is, they saved my ass.

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July 18, 2006

my sudden school day

In reading Stowe today on the Sudden School of Zen and business blogging, I thought about my own discoveries of how technology works, and all of the "getting it" that is a part of the process of understanding online communication.

I think the same thunderstrike of insight can happen — in a much more modest way — when someone “gets” what blogs are, and sees what they can do for a solo practitioner or small business. I don’t mean to suggest that in a single moment all of the labor and love involved in blogging gets compressed to zero, but that it is possible to grasp the dynamics of social media and its benefits in just one exposure to the right description.

That is how it has been for me, in mini-lessons and discoveries along the way, each one seeming to be an ah-ha moment of astronomical importance, a quantum leap breaking through thought-as-usual.

In technology, it happened for me in 1993 when I first understood the concept of the "hyperlink" and what it was or. For all of you who came into your technical prime at a time when the net and hyperlinks were a given, trust me on this: Letting go to linear thought and understanding the relationships among subjects and thoughts outside of left-to-right Was A Big Deal.

My ah-ha moment came when I was working on online training documentation for Kodak's security management product that ran under OS2 (ah, that Windows will never catch on anyway). We developed our online help and training documents using BookMaster tags, and it was in that context that I learned how to write what was not linear.

I struggled--I mean for real. Imagine trying to figure out how to construct an entire manual which would never exist on paper when your entire world had been paper. I made books. That's what I did. The hyperlink seemed sacrilegious.

Imagine me with my pencil and printer paper, building a full-scale floor map of how these online pages would link up, would connect, with arrows going from one page to the next, and then to relative pages where hyperlinks were needed. Imagine me taping all of those pages together in order to visualize communication that was designed specifically NEVER to live on paper.

I wish I still had my first online help map. Talk about the wayback machine.  You would see the arrows from one page to the next and back again labeled with the words that I wanted to tag as the link. You would see crossouts and re-labeling. You would see a Really Big Deal being made of something that is automated today.

You might even think I was dense. Okay, maybe. But I did get it. Finally.

My ah-ha moment came in a dream. Since my entire brain was taxed with this project, it haunted me in my sleep, like my K-Mart cashier checkout dreams when I was 17.

As I slept, I saw my co-workers coming out of doors, one after the other after the other, as if they were being clicked on, each causing the next person to pop out of the next door. For the longest time, the dream went on, as friends and family popped out of doors, each connected to the other's popping, at least in my dreamscape.

And I got it.

I really got it.

And my world did change. My understanding of communication changed. My default on how to tell another person something changed. I could write as the crow flew, not take detours to tell something that might or might not be useful, make things optional, engage the person I was talking TO by giving them the choice to explore further, or a map to the shortest route to understanding.

And to this day I think that dream was magnificent.

And I think that's what Stowe is talking about.

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July 17, 2006

This Man Knows How to Tag a Post

I have to say, I'm with Ken who's with me: I never liked Dell more than I have since Jeff Jarvis has made them the subject of his relentless Wineresque Whining and jumping up and down for what seems like 22 years now. I think that's why I laughed when chris the intern went intern-postal.

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bowels and toes

Started the day with a small bowel series including yummy barium drink.

Ended the day with what I think is a broken toe that my Hero has taped to its next-door neighbor, the swear toe, and now I'm going to sleep.

The pain in my lower right abdomen has taken my mind off the pain in my shoulder, and the spastic diarrhea from the barium has taken my mind off the pain in my lower right abdomen, and the (broken) toe has taken my mind off the spastic diarrhea.

So, I think I'm cured!

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BlogHers, BlogHims: StyleFeeder and BlogHer hit the Boston Globe

Good News in the Boston Globe today with two great articles--one about Phil Jacobs and StyleFeeder, acquired by Top Ten Sources, and one on BlogHer and some of its Northeast members.

Nice to see good news about good people doing good things the right way.

My StyleFeeder "Stylefeed" is over on the right. Do you have one yet? I am interested in your choice of gardening hoses, pain relievers, and children's multi-vitamins.

Or a nice bag. ;-)

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July 16, 2006

Oh now did I miss the whole Nestle thing.

Read Frank.

Duct tape your head.

Then Read Frank again. Read all the comments.

Read Shelley.

Eat a bagel.

Then read The Head Lemur.

It is now safe to remove the duct tape from your head.

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Men are Debators, Women are Malicious

48 hours later, no sign of my comment on the Edelman blog. Even though Richard commented on that same comment on my blog. Which means what exactly? He doesn't moderate his own comments? He thinks his readers don't want to hear my opinion but that mine want to hear from him? He sanitizes his blog for positive spin only? Or I'm Malicious or Abusive?

The comment was smart, and benign enough PR-wise. So I guess it's one of the other options. I dunno.

Would you take it personally?

Yeah, well M2.

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Cluelessness Reigns as Denise Is Unboomed

In my email to Denise upon finding out she's been unboomed, I asked:

"Do they know who you are?!"

Denise is arguably the most prolific law blogger, the coiner of the term "Blawg," among the first -- the first? -- woman law blogger, an author, a commentator, brilliant thought leader online and off, prominent speaker, head of too many things for me to remember, and MOST OF ALL mom to Tyler.

That's what I mean. How MUCH traffic, press, business, and good buzz has she brought to her employer over these years? I never would have heard or cared about her firm (that I'm not naming on purpose) without Denise's esteemed references to the talent there over the years.


Denise can't give as many details as Rocketboom's Amanda Congdon because they make you sign all kinds of paperwork to walk away with your anus in tact from Big Firms, but I gather that the typical syndrome of, "who needs a mom when we can have a single, young, rabid work addict on the team" played a part in the involuntary separation:

Though Kristin seems to think there is a trend afoot away from active parenting, my own experiences and observations lead me to disagree; I think exactly the opposite is true. However, and certainly in the case of parents who seek to maintain their engagement and investment in careers that represent the sum total of the education and training that has occupied their adult lives, the danger of falling into the trap of relegating, delegating, and too often abdicating the parenting role is all too real. While I know countless lawyers who have done this, and I continue to see people do it, what I more commonly see and hear today (and what undeniably is true in my case) is that people — men and women — are no longer content to adopt such an approach and philosophy; they increasingly discern that the consequences are too dear and potentially too dire.

Right on.

My favorite part of her post is what her son Tyler asked upon hearing the news that "Mommy doesn't work there anymore."

"Whatchoo gonna do now, Mommeep?"

Jenna was four when my very similar exit from Ketchum took place. A little less introspective and a little more radical, she asked:

"You want me to kill 'em, Mommy?"

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