2015-11-16T17:41:42.159-08:00Disclosure: I am clearly #biased because not only was BlogHer a mission-based FOR-profit, but we were obviously heavily advertising and sponsorship supported. As is SheKnows Media, our parent company now.Now, with that said: I love this oped on Fortune.com by Samantha Skey.I too both laughed and cringed at the "Jane Street" parody of #Femvertising.I understand the gripes behind the satire, no doubt. But I also got a little annoyed.Because:Advertiser are gonna advertise.Advertising enables (monetarily) many of the things we love a lot but aren't willing to pay for ourselves.And frankly, advertising has therefore enabled the wider democratization of media, both re: entertainment and raising your voice, gatekeeper free. Would you want a world where only people who can afford to pay for access can attend conferences, access web sites, watch TV, blog, etc. etc.?So given the above truths, wouldn't you prefer advertisers TRY to do a better job. TRY to employ women talent? TRY to bust stereotypes? TRY to empower AND entertain WHILE they, yes, gasp, horrors!, market something?I would. Every time.The alternative is much much worse.So:Demand continuous improvement? Yes.Call out points of hypocrisy? Reasonable.But. Shut companies down completely when they attempt to do good while doing business? I think it's short-sighted.You keep doing you Dove, Always, Cheerios, Wells Fargo, and all you other brands exhibiting your corporate ethos via #Femvertising...and other CSR programs.I'm here for it![...]
2012-09-29T14:42:51.354-07:00I've been meaning to link to two of Anil Dash's posts for some time:
2012-01-16T08:58:58.671-08:00I can't believe I forgot to post this here last week when we released it. I guess I was caught in the CES whirlwind.
2012-01-11T21:24:23.345-08:00Today I had a little Twitter rant about Twitter's problem with Google's announcement about their search changes.It went like this:Elisa Camahort @ElisaC12hGut reaction is: @twitter is being a baby. They have WORST SEARCH possible for their own product. Why should @google be their search b*tch? Elisa Camahort @ElisaC12hWe all know @google algorithms for ranking is proprietary & can change on whim, right? If their results sucked they wouldn't be dominant.Elisa Camahort @ElisaC12hI would use @twitter search (and did use @summize). It's a JOKE how ridic Twitter search is. And they have no one to blame but themselves.Elisa Camahort @ElisaC12h#GoogleTwitterBreakUp#HeyGoogleTwitterStaycivilforthekidspleaseI don't have too much more to say about it.I may be a Twitterholic, but I've also always been pretty underwhelmed by Twitter's customer service. They ruined search, and they're completely unresponsive to people trying to talk to them via their own tool. Frankly, they ignore support issues via email too.So, my sympathy level? Low.but you could probably tell that.[...]
2012-01-01T09:37:33.770-08:00As the year draws to an end, it stirs a natural impulse to review and reflect. Analyze and assess. And being human, and therefore naturally self-absorbed, it is also natural to make the most common of blogging faux pas. it goes like this:I used to have a joke: Everyone thinks "real" blogging is how *they* blog.Today my joke would be: Everyone thinks that how their own blogging has evolved is how all of blogging has evolved.The posts about the end of tech blogging as we know it. The posts about returning to blogging, unsatisfied by the snack-sized communication in other forums. You may have read them, but then again, maybe you haven't. It's entirely possible that such posts were written in the echo chamber of other old-timey bloggers like me, who are often mostly paying attention to each other!So, here are two data points to chew on.1. According to comScore, the aggregate traffic to "blogs" has increased year over year the past two years at the same rate as the aggregate traffic to "social networks". Now, I get that "social networks" probably is made up of Facebook and a handful of other sites, while "blogs" represents hundreds of thousands of sites, but the point remains: Blog reading is up (and likely ever more disaggregated across the long tail). But this may not be visible to early blog proponents.Sources:Check out Slide 7 of BlogHer's 2011 annual social media study for the comScore stat for the previous twelve months.You can also check out Slide 8 of BlogHer's 2010 annual social media study for the same comparison for the previous twelve months, but be forewarned, that's a big ole' PDF file.2. According to Pew, it's entirely true that teenagers don't blog anymore, and adult Millennials show a slight decline in blogging. But every older generation, GenX, Boomer and Senior, shows an increased rate of blogging. (In fact, blogging has increased overall for adults 18+.)Some have proclaimed this to mean that blogging is dying, but I think it means something quite different: We simply have better tools now for small talk and chatter and transactional connections and activity. Remember how everyone used to joke about not wanting to read blogs because they didn't care what you had for lunch? Well, that joke's about Twitter now. And Facebook. And so on. [Side note and off my main point: I think we *do* care what our friends had for lunch. And what the weather is like where they are. And how their mood is in general. That's called small talk, and humans do it. We do it in person, and we do it online.]I think it's pretty natural that as your life goes on, and inevitably gets more complicated, that you look for more outlets for self-expression and more ways to codify your life. Some of those complications may be about career...advancing your career by advancing your ideas. Some of those complications may be about personal life...more relationships, from partners to children to in-laws to parents. Some of those complications may be about the world...more opinions, more passions, more causes.So, simple stuff has a better outlet now, and it's not blogging (and in case you haven't noticed, it has a real tendency to get broadcast-y...Twitter, I'm talking to you!). I've said it before, and I'll say it again now: Blogging remains the place where substantive conversations can and do happen.Blogging isn't dying, nor being reborn. Blogging is steady as she goes.It just may not be where you're used to looking for it. And it may not be about the same things, or by the same people you're used to reading.The 2005 exhortation to look for new voices that spurred the founding of BlogHer is just as relevant today. Widen your circle, you might be surprised![...]
2011-12-30T10:17:28.136-08:00(image) If you're a New Yorker, or ever have been one, the 92nd Street Y is pretty much iconic.
2011-12-27T13:04:03.416-08:00Nice shout-out to Lisa, and her place on Working Mother Media's "Most Powerful Moms" list at about 4:50 in this podcast:
2011-11-27T12:01:04.831-08:00src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=elisaspersona-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1451648537&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="5" align="left"> I just finished reading the Steve Jobs biography this morning. It's a good read. Jobs was a fascinating character. I took a few lessons away about focus, more than anything, but very little about how to interact with people. Let's face it, Jobs was not someone I'd want to emulate in the people skills department, mostly because I think if you're really genius you can probably build successful products and companies without being a near-sociopath.But there was one passage in the book which reminded me of one of my absolute pet peeves, namely the way people mis-use "censorship".Ever since BlogHer.com was launched in January 2006 we have had a set of community and editorial guidelines. These guidelines tell the world what kind of online space we strive to make BlogHer. And we enforce those guidelines, including the part where our community managers decide when a line has been crossed from healthy debate and criticism into hate speech, epithets or other unacceptable content. We consider it our job as an online publisher to set (and publish) those guidelines, enforce them fairly, and we consider ourselves to be responsible for the tone and community that forms within those guidelines.My BlogHer co-founders and I have often stated that we don't believe there should be one code of conduct for the entire Internet, but rather that every publisher online is responsible for their own code of conduct.In other words, I couldn't agree more with Anil Dash who says: "If your website's full of assholes, it's your fault."There are people who will call it "censorship" if you don't allow certain content, anything from hate speech to commercial pitches (aka spam) on your site. I think that's utter BS. There is also the chance that some folks won't like where we or any other publisher draws the line of "unacceptable content", that some will disagree about whether guidelines are enforced fairly. I once quit a forum for this reason. One of my postings got dinged and removed, and I really didn't see the difference between what I posted and what other members of the forum regularly posted. I didn't stop to get into a lengthy argument with the moderator about it; I just thought "meh, this forum isn't for me", and I found some place else to go talk about whatever it was I wanted to talk about.That continues to be the beauty of the Internet: No more gatekeepers...create your own platform or find your tribe of other like-minded folks. Not every site has to cater to you, and on the other hand a site that doesn't cater to anybody will fail.So, circling back to Steve Jobs, Apple and what qualifies as "censorship"The quote that chapped my hide came in reference to Apple's policies about what kind of apps may be sold in their App Store.:"Still, there was something unnerving about Apple's decreeing that those who bought their products shouldn't look at controversial political cartoons or, for that matter, porn."That from author Isaacson himself. Plus there was a quote from the site eSarcasm.com:"Either that, or we just enjoy the idea of an uncensored open society where a techno-dictator doesn't decide what we can and cannot see."Excuse me?The iPhone (and then the iPad) was the first to deliver an actual pleasant browsing experience on a mobile device. The iPad is in fact such a wonderful browsing device that many sites, like BlogHer, don't even auto-switch to their m.site version for it, giving visitors the full web experience.So, do Apple devices block certain sites from your browser?No. No, they do not. Go browse all the porn and politics[...]
2011-10-05T10:56:20.947-07:00I'm going to NYC three times within four weeks in October/November. (Yes, I thought about just living there for a month, but it didn't work.)
2011-09-25T13:51:52.960-07:00GigaOm features a good, nuts and bolts article on the Top 5 things you should know about term sheets today.
2011-09-24T15:41:29.928-07:00A friend just let me log on to her Facebook, so I could check out folks with Timeline enabled. Here was my gut reaction to her, after noting that it was indeed more visually appealing than Facebook had ever looked before:
I think that they're biting off more than we as users want to chew. It's too much; it's overwhelming; and seems too complicated to manage. Everything I hate about FB amplified, but prettier.
Here's how social media use breaks down for me:
Pinterest and Instagram: Look at pretty things from people I like
Twitter: Make small talk with friends and see what's hot and trending
Blogs and Google+: Have substantive conversations of my choice with people of my choice
StumbleUpon, Delicious: Share things I like
With the latter function also being part of why people use Pinterest, blogs and Google+.
Facebook is now, what? Hard to follow and still hard to connect dots. But now about EVERYTHING you can possibly imagine. I run away just looking at it :)
I don't know...sometimes more is less. That's my gut reaction.
That’s exactly the problem with Facebook. Some of us can look at it and see a world of opportunity but others… just see chaos – pretty, pretty chaos, lol.
2011-09-11T21:02:12.550-07:00I think I'm old-school.
2011-08-24T17:39:38.049-07:00As posted on Google+:
2011-08-22T14:59:51.561-07:00In her latest newsletter Tory Johnson, business and media diva, talks about her vacation, and about not 100% unplugging. And she describes it like this:
Many of you emailed to tell me to stop working. But the truth is, I'd rather cut back than cut off. Not being connected and in touch is more stressful than reducing my work and doing what's needed from a distance.
2011-03-19T10:09:53.529-07:00This week the inaugural BlogHer|bet Conference is happening. The "bet" stands for "Business, Entrepreneurism, Technology", and the conference targets women who have a big idea in tech or media and want to take it to the next level.For some women, that means going out on their own and starting a business.For some women, that means figuring out how to get their idea heard in a corporate environment.For some women, that means taking their existing small business and scaling it up...via funding, via partnerships...whatever it takes.We have tracks of programming covering all the most important issues any such women should be thinking about:The Business track will cover How To Lead Developers (especially if you aren't one), How To Manage Up (to get your ideas heard and acted upon) and How To Think About "Brand" (especially when your idea is so new, there is no brand).The Entrepreneurism track will cover The Deck, The Term Sheet and The Exit. That kind of says it all...these are the tools you'll be working with, and this is the stuff you need to know to go out there. No one will look out for your interests better than you, so understanding the jargon, and the meaning behind it, is critical.The Technology track will cover the three areas of tech that anyone launching a new tech or media concept needs to be on top of: User Interface and Experience, Mobile Distribution and Promotion and Online Measurement and Monitoring.There are a couple of great keynote sessions too, featuring women talking about leadership and how to demonstrate it, even if you only have one minute to make a mark.And we'll close out the day by letting four great organizations show the women in the room their options to take the next step. We are proud to have the founders of Astia, J-LAB, the Pipeline Fund and Women 2.0 present their organizations. But more than that: Each of these organizations are bringing someone with them. They're each bringing a woman who has gone through their program and can talk about what it was like, how it helped them and what success has looked like for them.Perhaps the most important part of the day, though, will be the morning. For two hours over 50 amazing women leaders, from across tech and media, have agreed to sit down for two hours and meet two different women, one-on-one and face-to-face, for one hour each to provide their advice and counsel on specific business issues the attendees are facing.Who are these role models? They are women who fund and acquire businesses. They are women that have been through the start-up wars themselves and lived to tell the tale. They are women who are tasked with leading large companies into new areas and new directions. They are women who are on top of the latest trends and business considerations. Seriously, check out the speaker list...it's crazy the level of talent coming to share their time and wisdom.We have been working on this event for the last six months, and I cannot wait to see it come to fruition this Thursday. I can't wait to thank the mentors, in person, for walking the walk to help women succeed.I can't wait to thank the attendees, for taking a chance on a new event and taking a chance on their own big idea.I can't wait to thank the sponsors, particularly our host sponsors Microsoft and Cisco, without whom we never could have launched this new event.I can't wait to see it all come together.If you're interested in seeing it too, there are two options:Live and in person: While we're technically sold out, several attendees are there to support women, but not to get mentored. So we have exactly five slots still open to go through the full conference experience, including being matched with a mentor. You ca[...]
2011-02-22T17:06:11.729-08:00Cross-posted from BlogHer.comToday BlogHer was pleased to be quoted in a New York Times article by reporter Verne Kopytoff, provocatively entitled: Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter.The article was prompted by a recent Pew Report from late last year entitled Generations 2010.Here's the interesting thing: Blog use is indeed significantly down amongst teenagers. Half as many "blog" now versus in 2006. And those in the 18-33 cohort show about a 2% decline. Yet more of those who are 34+ are blogging, leading to an overall increase. Yes, despite the headline (which, let's acknowledge: The reporter probably didn't write) there has been about a 25% increase in number of "all adults online" who blog.Hmm.When I was asked to comment on BlogHer's perspective on the Pew report, I shared four main points:Blogs are where meaty conversations happenBloggers use other social networking tools to bring more people to their blogsBlogs are the only tool that is going to help you be found with your message even just a few days laterBlog use is actually rising amongst adults 34 and older, including women in their prime career and family-raising yearsKopytoff focused on the first point above, from our conversation. Pulling this quote:Indeed, small talk shifted in large part to social networking, said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, a women’s blog network. Still, blogs remain a home of more meaty discussions, she said.“If you’re looking for substantive conversation, you turn to blogs,” Ms. Camahort Page said. “You aren’t going to find it on Facebook, and you aren’t going to find it in 140 characters on Twitter.”Apparently, Toni Schneider from Automattic agrees with my second point above about how we bloggers use social networking tools to promote our work on our blogs, because he made the point very well:In any case, he said bloggers often use Facebook and Twitter to promote their blog posts to a wider audience. Rather than being competitors, he said, they are complementary.“There is a lot of fragmentation,” Mr. Schneider said. “But at this point, anyone who is taking blogging seriously — they’re using several mediums to get a large amount of their traffic.”I'm not surprised Kopytoff didn't cite my third point about the usefulness of these media as marketing tools. This article doesn't talk at all about the use of blogs in this way, only as a self-expression tool. If, however, you want to see some outside validation of that position, I suggest you read this detailed post by Stacie Tamaki about how her blog is the only tool that gives her search engine juice. If you want to be found by customers, it ain't gonna happen via Facebook:As a user of all three mediums I often see friends, particularly small business owners and advocates, only publicizing content to their existing friends on Facebook or Twitter. The same information on a blog would receive far more exposure and that's (imo) one of the main reasons to market at all:1. To help people (clients, supporters and enthusiasts) who didn't know about you to discover you.2. To reinforce your brand to people who may have heard of you but haven't connected with you yet.3. To keep supporters updated so that they can help you by sharing information with others who would be interested to know about you.Finally: The headline is indeed provocative, but a bit misleading. A more accurate headline for the article would have been "Blogs Wane Amongst the Young As They Drift To Sites Like Twitter." The article itself definitely makes this point at the very end of the piece, stating that blog use is rising in adults over 34 (5-6%)... rising more than it[...]
2010-12-29T14:15:55.280-08:00On a blog devoted to Bad Pitches, Geoff Livingston explains why he won't be voting for all the people begging him for votes...for conference panels, for blog awards, for "influencer" lists, and so on.He says: "For the magazines or products behind it, this is complete self-promotion--and for the request-makers, it feels like desperation!"I do feel his pain, absolutely. Not even bringing up their egregious Influence Project, but when Fast Company decided to shift from doing their own reporting and homework to name their "Top 25 Women in Tech", as they've done for the past two years, to running a popularity contest instead, I was deeply disappointed. Traditional media goes on and on about the value of "real" journalists and "real" journalism, But I guess they discovered the lure of getting others to do the work for them...and of racking up meaningless, valueless page views in so doing. [Full disclosure: BlogHer was on this list the past two years, and I fully expect us to drop right off of it, given we haven't "campaigned" at all.]But I also know why organizations enable community voting...reasons beyond the obvious answer, which is: Link bait. Sometimes organizations actually want to honor and act on what their community thinks or likes or supports. And whether you provide a public forum for the community to share such thoughts, or ask for those thoughts in non-public ways, it's unrealistic to think that people won't want their community to support their efforts. For many in the BlogHer community, their communities want to support them...and might feel disappointed not to have the opportunity.I also know why collecting such support publicly makes sense for organizations. It answers one of social media's clarion calls: Transparency.But it also can set up popularity contests...which are by very definition exclusionary and antithetical to community-building (if you care about building a diverse community, of course).Geoff asks for a better way to crowdsource, and I'm with him on that. BlogHer has tried a variety of ways to collect community opinion, and none seem perfect.But he's also right that the crowd needs to take a harder look at their community and how they communicate with them...because in all likelihood, their community has radically changed since just a few years ago.Back in the day (oh, say, two-three years ago) your community may have mostly been found via your blog and the blogs of those you followed. I'm not going to get all crotchety old man on you and call it the good old days, particularly since I'm a full-on Twitter fiend, but it is likely that people who read your blog chose when and how to read your blog. Whether they visited your site or subscribed in a reader, blog reading wasn't quite a real-time, always-on kind of activity. And it's quite easy to scan headlines, especially via a reader, and decide what topics interest you and dig deeper to read about them.Fast forward and now our communities also encompass Twitter and Facebook.And now the headlines pretty much *are* the content, what with that pesky 140 character thing.And, at least on Twitter, your community is very unlikely to be going to the landing page of each person they follow and see what they're up to one by one...no. They're going to dip their toes into the river of updates coming at them via a Twitter stream or Facebook news feed.Twitter and Facebook are also both more conducive to casual banter and keeping in touch with those with whom you have looser ties. If you blog about the contest your blog is participating in and ask your readers for support, you are more likely to be reaching people who have a vested in[...]
2010-12-27T16:27:22.540-08:00Enjoyed this brief interview with Google's Marissa Mayer in Newsweek.
2010-12-05T17:23:25.790-08:00A couple of weeks ago Time published a piece: Woman Power: The Rise of the Sheconomy.
"A cross between a girls' night out and the mother of all organizing tools, these networks have given women the kind of muscle that can be a blessing or a bloodbath for those it's flexed upon."
"I want to be excited about women's economic security, I really do. It's just hard for me to get behind these indicators of progress when they don't include most women. If that's what the "she-conomy" means, I'd rather try and improve the regular economy for everyone."
2010-10-30T10:44:49.040-07:00Last month I was interviewed as one of 13 participants in something called The Blogging Masters Telesummit. We talked about BlogHer, blogging, building online community...we talked about a lot actually!
2010-10-17T07:49:09.252-07:00I've been on the Board of Advisors for the Anita Borg Institute since early 2009, I believe, and I'm proud to be associated with another group whose mission is so well-aligned with BlogHer's: To create opportunities for women. In Anita Borg's case, they're focused on women in technology. And they have strong ties to the corporate and academic worlds.
2010-10-12T13:47:25.626-07:00So, I'm going to Seattle in a few weeks to speak at a Ladies Who launch event there. Full info on the event is here.
2010-09-18T16:26:46.382-07:00I'm speaking in Seattle, WA this November 7-9, 2010 as part of the Dream it! Launch it! Live it! Conference produced by Ladies Who Launch.
2010-06-27T08:39:29.159-07:00Or at least I think it's the first.
2010-06-16T07:39:42.866-07:00If so the Society for New Communications Research wants to understand what, why and how you're doing. You can take the (very manageable) survey here. (Disclosure: I'm a Founding Fellow of the SNCR.)
Research Project Overview
The Organizational Use of Video Storytelling will address the following questions:
How are organizations using and disseminating video today?
Who are the primary audiences for organizational storytelling using video?
What are primary reasons driving organizations’ video strategies, and how big a priority is it?
How has online video changed the ways organizations create and disseminate their stories?
What are the best practices in leveraging video to reach audiences in new ways, and what organizations are doing it well?
How are organizations using video podcasts, YouTube, and other online video platforms, and measuring the success of their video efforts?
What are the trends for online video as storytelling for the next 3-5 years?
How has this "video storytelling" changed the structure, content, and delivery of the “defining” organizational story?
Is the use of video changing the quality and transparency of organizations' stories?
What are the new rules for storytelling success when using online video?
Every organization has stories designed to communicate who they are to both external and internal audiences. Stories are a powerful force for internal innovation and external customer connection. The results of this study will yield insight into best practices for organizations wanting to leverage video to reach audiences and tell their stories in new ways.