Friday, July 27, 2007

Unofficial Live Blogging from Blogher - Community: Privacy, Exposure, Can you maintain safer spaces online?

It's my second breakout and Blogher. So far the conference has been great, not the least of which were the free pear martinis I had last night.

So we're talking about privacy now in a forum with Maya's Mom Ann Crady, "feminist writer Susie Bright" who (IMHO) could probably talk about making meatloaf and sound fascinating, and Tara Hunt, who seems to have first experience.

I'm not to worried about being threatened at this point, and I'm partly here to support Ann, being a huge fan of Maya's Mom, but I haven't posted my kid's name on any public blogs yet so I'm still interested in this.

  • Susie had some great insights into using the terms "safe space" to just prevent people from disagreeing with you. She wants more feisty women with thicker skins on the web.
  • Ann understands the need and desire to feel safe, but thinks the likelihood of something bad happening is pretty slim. A response from the audience was that this stalking has happened to her.

What steps can you take to protect yourself and your privacy?

  • Ann designed to be a "safe space" for parents, but she wants to make sure people know that she cannot make everything perfectly safe. It's just set up so you can be private, or be as open as you want on the community.
  • Susie, as a solo writer/activist, created an address and phone that is not her personal one (where she is physically), has a strict but gracious comment policy (used to give people the benefit of the doubt, but now blocks trolls immediately), she doesn't go places by herself, and she doesn't talk about her personal relationship or her daughter after a certain age (which seems to be a pretty common occurrence on the web - to stop talking about your kids, that is). In She made a reference to Mike Males - your child has more of a chance of being molested or hurt at mall or church that online, which makes sense.
  • Great point from an audience member about how dealing with professional criticism is a walk in the park after having such personal attacks on your blog.

To summarize the next question: how do you get paid as a writer if you write about really personal stuff, particularly about depression, alcoholism, etc? Do you have to have a sanitized blog to send writing samples?

  • Ann said is the best era for this kind of work, since blogging and social networking is so popular people are much more open to writers who really put themselves out there,
  • Tara referenced a professional writer who actually intersperses posts about her depression with her professional writing, with few averse affects to her getting jobs as a consultant, etc.
  • Someone who blogs about PPD said "Anyone who would judge you is not someone you'd want to work with, " which is a great point. On the other hand, someone from Simply Hired made a great point that anyone, in particular potential or current employers, can look up your profile on myspace, facebook, etc.

I, Asshole just got a whole bunch of new readers with a little spiel which I cannot do justice. She's got bright pink hair, check her out at Blogher! I'm too distracted to keep blogging.


  1. Better yet? Have Susie over for dinner and open a few bottles of wine. Pure entertainment (and some rather compelling content)!

  2. Gah, I wish I'd gone to that one. It's too hard to get to it all. Thanks for posting about it, though.

    Would love to catch up with you, fellow working mom blogger!