Elisa Camahort from BlogHer leading a session on gender in blogging. At blogging conferences, the percentage of women speakers is usually around 10-20%. SXSW approached 33% women speakers. BlogHer is almost entirely women.
Ryanne Hodson: As a conference organizer, I tried to get women to participate in BlogHer, and I found it very difficult to bring women bloggers out of the woodwork. Why is it so hard? There are a great number of women videobloggers, but we don’t normally connect. Why is that? Why aren’t we all talking to each other?
Lisa Stone: Instead of complaining about gender disparity and analyzing the place of women in the technology space, we (women bloggers) should get off of our butts and do something about it.
Andy Abramson: The problem of not enough women speaking at conferences doesn’t fall on the conference organizers, it falls on the companies that send the speakers. Even if you ask for a specific woman in the company, sometimes the company will swap out the panelist at the last minute — they bait and switch. The challenge is finding the woman in the company you’d like to hear from who’s allowed to speak.
This is John Palfrey from the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School presiding over the “How to Make Money” session here at BloggerCon IV Day 2. There are actually two sides to this discussion: How to make money from blogs and how to make money off of blogs. Making money from blogs is the “blogging for dollars” approach: join blog networks, sell your feeds to publishers and take PayPal payments. Making money off of blogs is a little more nuanced. Some bloggers write an engaging blog, become famous, and then charge money for all of the other things in their lives: writing books, developing software tools, collecting fees for speaking engagements and hosting conferences.
Chris Pirillo: “You have to be willing to sell a piece of your life.” Chris recommends deciding who you want to be on the web (creating your “digital identity”) then figuring our your strategy from there. Chris uses his name recognition that he’s built over the years to sell his brand, and he makes good money off of his blog and his podcasts.
Terry Heaton: Whatever your business model is — and whether or not you think making money off of blogs is a good idea at all — the key to staying fresh is to remain open to everything going on around you. Stay on top of new developments and embrace all the latest tools that other bloggers are using.
Lisa WIlliams‘ Blogger Fortune Cookie: “Don’t wait for success, start ahead without it.”
Lisa Williams is speaking about the public nature of blogging and the balance between the public and the private in the blogosphere. Many people in the room are noting the emotional fulfillment that blogging brings to their lives. These same bloggers are almost all pointing out that the public nature of their blogs have caused strain on their relationships with their friends and family members at some point. The term “a double-edged sword” keeps coming up.
One woman at the conference spoke about how she went on a bad vacation once with her fiance and felt compelled to blog about her bad experiences — it was her way of not feeling alone while she was on vacation and feeling terrible.
Many attendees also spoke about how they feel the need to carefully manage their public personas as bloggers. Personal posts can get picked up by serviced like Digg and, all of a sudden, your thoughts are openly dissected, mocked and taken out of context.
Lisa lightened the mood by relaying some funny stories about her first blog posts and how free she felt. She also tossed around this theory: When people first start posting they suffer from the “desert island syndrome,” wherein they assume that nobody’s listening. Then, when that first comment gets posted, they snap out of it and realize that they aren’t alone. The world is listening, Google is caching and Digg is aggregating… all the time.