What I learned from BlogHer

I think it’s interesting that I met two of my favorite bloggers for the first time at BlogHer (both of whom are men, Guy Kawasaki and John Battelle).

But, that beside, what else did I learn?

Heather Champ, community manager of Flickr, did a great session on digitial photography, but she demonstrated how important it is to listen after the session is over. A group surrounded her and wanted to know more. She introduced us to filtrs, which is a very interesting concept I hadn’t considered before.

Let’s say you have a cell phone camera. And you want a black and white photo, but your cell phone camera doesn’t do that. Well, you email your photo to a different email address that takes your color photo, strips out the color, and then uploads that photo to Flickr.

The problem is only one guy (Aaron Straup Cope) I know of has some Filtrs of his own (he wrote them and runs them on his own servers for his own use). That makes Heather (and me) very jealous. You can see an example of one of his Filtrs in this photo he made of Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield.

Other things I learned from BlogHer?

That the stereotypes about women are true (they talk about things like mothering, cooking, sewing, and soft stuff like feelings, sex, relationships, along with broader things like books and movies far more often than I usually hear among the male dominated groups I usually find myself in after conferences). But, the fact that they are true gives women HUGE economic power and content power that the tech bloggers simply won’t touch.

DSC_2370.JPG

Saturn did about as good a job of marketing to this group as I’ve seen a company do.

Seth Godin wrote that all marketers are liars. But Saturn taught me that you don’t need to lie, or even write a story. What a good marketer should do in today’s world is let people write THEIR OWN story about the product.

How did Saturn do that? They brought several prototypes, along with some cool ass convertibles. Then they said “here’s the keys” and stood back.

I watched as group after group came back with smiles on their faces and, more importantly, as tons of photos were snapped:

A Row of SaturnsTest driveJeremy test drivingBlogHer SaturnsLittle Red SkyErica gets ready for her test drive

Not every company did it right, though. MSN Windows Live Spaces didn’t improve its position with this audience. I took careful note of what people are using here. My wife’s blog is the only one I saw that was done on MSN Spaces.

This brings me to another point. Companies that listen to audiences like this are hyper rare. They still look at audiences like this as a one-way conversation. Let’s just push our crap out to them, and get our messaging in front of them, but let’s not send any of our engineers or program managers to LISTEN.

If they were listening they would have heard just why almost no one here uses Spaces. And why Six Apart’s Vox product is doomed to fail (Mena, why did you give a product pitch when asked on stage “what do you think the future is going to look like?” That got you scorned by women at dinner afterward that I, and my wife, talked to). More on Vox soon.

My wife, even made one of Spaces’ most negative things (that you need to sign up for Passport to comment) into a positive (it keeps away most of the trolls).

But Spaces’ feature set demonstrates that they aren’t listening to this audience. Buying a sponsorship makes everyone feel good, but the story that the conference goers I talked to are writing is “that was nice, but use WordPress or TypePad cause they are better tools.”

Oh, and BlogHer attendees, they don’t listen to me either so welcome to the crowd. (I gave them a list of things that they should do, starting with “improve your HTML quality” and “get tagging” and they didn’t do any of those yet, which demonstrates a lack of listening on their behalf).

Other things I noticed: the men were quiet. For the most part. Some women complained about Marc Canter’s interruptions during one session. Christine Heron took that to mean that men weren’t heard from. Well, I came to listen, not to speak. The other men I talked to felt the same way. It was refreshing to work on listening skills again and learn something from a group of people I wouldn’t usually be with.

Why don’t I take notes anymore at conferences? Cause of people like Christine Heron. Wonderful reports. Technorati is brimming over with great reports from Blogher. Interesting how our conference attendance behavior has changed. Now the first question I hear isn’t “how do you get on wifi?” but is rather “what’s the conference tag?”

Or people like Lynne Johnson who wrote up the panel Maryam was on in exquisite detail. Amy Gahran is another great reporter that was there.

The BlogHer blog has a LOT more.

As to Vox, the idea is great (expand blogging to more “regular people”) but I’ve gotta wonder how successful it’ll be. Microsoft’s Bob taught the world that no one wants to be a beginner, or seen as one. I think it’s condescending, don’t you? If you’re going to get dragged to learn to ski, don’t you want to get off the beginning slopes and hang out with your friends on the intermediate and advanced slopes?

The world doesn’t want a ski resort that caters to beginners. Doesn’t work.

Same for blogging tools.

Mena shouldn’t have used her time on stage to appear visionary to pitch a product, especially to position it for those people who don’t have the technical chops to join Blogher.

Instead she should have laid out a real vision for blogging for 2010. How do we get half a billion people blogging? What will that look like? What will it look like when I can put my blog on top of a map? When you’ll read my blog on a portable device? How will video blogging change and/or improve? What will advertising systems look like in 2010?

Mena had an awesome opportunity to lay out that kind of future. Instead she did the thing Microsofties usually do: she pitched her product. What a disappointment.

What did you learn from BlogHer?

Well, I have to go. The women are Ponzi is calling and I’m still Maryam’s driver — we’re heading to Berkeley today with her. :-)

Comments

  1. Being unable to spend time with delightful female bloggers, I merely posted today exactly along the lines of what you write about letting people write their own stories. I call it passive branding and Saturn were doing exactly that.

  2. Being unable to spend time with delightful female bloggers, I merely posted today exactly along the lines of what you write about letting people write their own stories. I call it passive branding and Saturn were doing exactly that.

  3. Which of those Saturns was a prototype, or did you just not take pictures of anything but the Sky?

  4. Which of those Saturns was a prototype, or did you just not take pictures of anything but the Sky?

  5. The world doesn’t want a ski resort that caters to beginners. Doesn’t work.

    Oh really? What explains the runaway bestselling ‘For Dummies’ books then? And what explains the success of Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif. and Sunday River (Bethel, Maine) or Buttermilk, Colo. and Solitude, Utah. Being that a good deal of ski’ers are casual, it helps to cater to them, not exclusive no, always have an upgrade path, but an entrance ticket is always good. Having lived in Utah, I disagree strongly, the world wants beginner but smart concepts, not childish Microsoft Bob things. Beginner yes, stupid no.

    If they were listening they would have heard just why almost no one here uses Spaces.

    They don’t need to listen. It’s been dead-obvious from the get-go. Uncool-Microsoftish-corporate snow-slush aimed at hyper-active 14 year olds on MSN IM, about as hip as Walmart’s MySpace copycat. Not throwing out Dares eyeballs’ish marketshare numbers anymore, eh? ;)

    Passive branding? Oh you buzzworded dopes. Freebieisms has been aparta marketing from the get-go. Giving extended product tours or giving away freebies, people feel obligated to say nice things. Which is why Consumer Reports is trusted, as they don’t play that game. It’s all just celebrity journalism, you are doing the marketing work for them. They just have to pitch it to bloggers in a buzzworded-up soup. I mean I would, throw in some scalable extendable transitional-reductional, optimizing-agility participational grassroots leveraged-flexibility, passionate viral-marketing stickiness, all enabling experiences…and bingo, we have a winner.

    As for Mena blowing a speech or cussing someone out, and Marc being an interruptional-gadfly cashew-nut, I mean is the sky blue?

  6. The world doesn’t want a ski resort that caters to beginners. Doesn’t work.

    Oh really? What explains the runaway bestselling ‘For Dummies’ books then? And what explains the success of Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif. and Sunday River (Bethel, Maine) or Buttermilk, Colo. and Solitude, Utah. Being that a good deal of ski’ers are casual, it helps to cater to them, not exclusive no, always have an upgrade path, but an entrance ticket is always good. Having lived in Utah, I disagree strongly, the world wants beginner but smart concepts, not childish Microsoft Bob things. Beginner yes, stupid no.

    If they were listening they would have heard just why almost no one here uses Spaces.

    They don’t need to listen. It’s been dead-obvious from the get-go. Uncool-Microsoftish-corporate snow-slush aimed at hyper-active 14 year olds on MSN IM, about as hip as Walmart’s MySpace copycat. Not throwing out Dares eyeballs’ish marketshare numbers anymore, eh? ;)

    Passive branding? Oh you buzzworded dopes. Freebieisms has been aparta marketing from the get-go. Giving extended product tours or giving away freebies, people feel obligated to say nice things. Which is why Consumer Reports is trusted, as they don’t play that game. It’s all just celebrity journalism, you are doing the marketing work for them. They just have to pitch it to bloggers in a buzzworded-up soup. I mean I would, throw in some scalable extendable transitional-reductional, optimizing-agility participational grassroots leveraged-flexibility, passionate viral-marketing stickiness, all enabling experiences…and bingo, we have a winner.

    As for Mena blowing a speech or cussing someone out, and Marc being an interruptional-gadfly cashew-nut, I mean is the sky blue?

  7. However, the passport issue on spaces keeps out just as many non-trolls as trolls. Assuming that people who aren’t trolls don’t have a problem with Spaces’ requirements is silly, and the entire passport thing reeks of “Yes, let’s see who logs in so we can use ever commenter in our next marketing push of ‘Look we have 290487502945878 people using Spaces!’”

    Sorry, but I know quite a few people who don’t like the idea of being tracked like that because they chose to comment on a blog.

  8. However, the passport issue on spaces keeps out just as many non-trolls as trolls. Assuming that people who aren’t trolls don’t have a problem with Spaces’ requirements is silly, and the entire passport thing reeks of “Yes, let’s see who logs in so we can use ever commenter in our next marketing push of ‘Look we have 290487502945878 people using Spaces!’”

    Sorry, but I know quite a few people who don’t like the idea of being tracked like that because they chose to comment on a blog.

  9. “Great reporter?” Awww, gee thanks Robert. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat, I meant to introduce myself. Maryam invited me to join your group for dinner, but I was pretty fried Saturday evening and went to bed early. Anyway, I’m sure we’ll be at the same conference at some point, so I look forward to having a chat with you then. Best of luck with your new gig and your move.

    - Amy Gahran

  10. “Great reporter?” Awww, gee thanks Robert. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat, I meant to introduce myself. Maryam invited me to join your group for dinner, but I was pretty fried Saturday evening and went to bed early. Anyway, I’m sure we’ll be at the same conference at some point, so I look forward to having a chat with you then. Best of luck with your new gig and your move.

    - Amy Gahran

  11. [...] When Stereotypes are fostered July 30th, 2006 I wrote a relatively positive piece on Blogher over at Just Shelley. I guess I’ll ise the Bb Gun to write the negative stuff. Or perhaps address some of the comments that bring out the bitch in me. There’s this from a twenty something who since she’s never experienced any problems in her life, women can’t possibly have any problems, period: I don’t know how else to put it, but I say that to encompass my almost zero interest in most women’s issues and female activism and empowerment. Now, I think women deserve to vote and can have careers and can do whatever they want to. However, I hate the male-bashing and whining about it being a male world that so often dominates feminist conversations (but, as a caveat, not all conversations). For example, one of the take away points from the session was to hire women or help other women get hired, etc. Are you kidding me?! Hiring someone because they’re a woman is just as bad as hiring someone because they are a man. There seems to be a little bit of a double standard going on there. There’s already a double standard. Do you know that all interview techniques at Google, Yahoo, and other major companies are primarily devised by male engineers between the ages of 25 and 45? Now, you tell me: who is going to do better with these techniques? A woman of any age? An older man or woman? Or a male engineer, between the ages of 25 and 45. Most likely from the same socioeconomic background as those who devised such tests. To assume that because bias isn’t blatant it doesn’t exist makes one naive at best; self-centered at worst. Am I being hard on this young woman? Damn straight. She’ll most likel only get reaffirmation from her own set as to the justice of her views. I’m suggesting, strongly, that she develop a bit of empathy. The quality of empathy is understanding that just because you’ve not experienced an event directly, doesn’t mean the event doesn’t happen. ValleyWag already touched on Dave Winer’s obsessive use of chick when referencing anything women were doing at Blogher. To give him credit, he did make a statement about empathy, and how being a man at Blogher must be how a woman feels at ETech. I noticed he hasn’t said one word on the second day, but to give him the benefit of the doubt: much of that could be because of the blatant marketing of the conference. Robert Scoble wrote: Other things I learned from BlogHer? That the stereotypes about women are true (they talk about things like mothering, cooking, sewing, and soft stuff like feelings, sex, relationships, along with broader things like books and movies far more often than I usually hear among the male dominated groups I usually find myself in after conferences). But, the fact that they are true gives women HUGE economic power and content power that the tech bloggers simply won’t touch. So that’s what women are good for other than sex, having babies, and taking care of the house. We buy things. I shouldn’t rise to such bait, but I suppose it would be too much for anyone to contemplate that Blogher attracted primarly women who do want to discuss such issues. That’s more or less how the conference was promoted. Would Scoble be surprised to hear both men and women talking about open source products at OSCON? Or new technology at ETech? Having said that, there is a part of me that wishes the Blogher folks would not stress so much that they’re representative of ALL women in weblogging–because they aren’t. Theirs is a commercial enterprise which, more and more, is catering to specific types of interest, as the conference was geared more toward certain types of topics and discussions. By stressing their all inclusiveness, rather than band us, they’re branding us. Media companies, though, have to have a focus audience. It’s no different than Linux Journal’s focus being directed toward men, and certain types of men at that. That doesn’t mean that Linux Journal will appeal to all men, the same as Blogher’s conference won’t appeal to all women. To draw inferences from the given sampling to the global all is an example of failed logic. Now, having said all of that: what’s wrong with the ladies (and gents) of Blogher discussing these things? They’re terrific discussion points, and obviously, for the most part, the people who attended enjoyed the topics. The world is full of infinite variety–including men who liked the discussions just as much as the women. In fact, much of the more positive commentary I’ve heard on Blogher has been from men, and not just about women as marketing target. [...]

  12. Vox seems pretty cool. Haven’t played around with it as much as I’d like yet. Dragging and dropping your flickr photos in 20 at a time though doesn’t really work for me. I’ve got over 6,000 photos on Flickr and I’d rather a way to get them all moved over to Vox. A tabblo type import feature would be a slick tool to add.

  13. Vox seems pretty cool. Haven’t played around with it as much as I’d like yet. Dragging and dropping your flickr photos in 20 at a time though doesn’t really work for me. I’ve got over 6,000 photos on Flickr and I’d rather a way to get them all moved over to Vox. A tabblo type import feature would be a slick tool to add.

  14. I am currently trying Vox, and frankly I quite like it. It’s not perfect, but for sharing absolutely useless information with my family, friends and the world, its a good platform. I doubt I would ever do any serious blogging with it (I am too much of a control freak), but for getting pictures up, journaling a vacation instead of sending my parents email every day, etc etc, its ideal. It’s early, but I do think there is a place for it.

  15. I am currently trying Vox, and frankly I quite like it. It’s not perfect, but for sharing absolutely useless information with my family, friends and the world, its a good platform. I doubt I would ever do any serious blogging with it (I am too much of a control freak), but for getting pictures up, journaling a vacation instead of sending my parents email every day, etc etc, its ideal. It’s early, but I do think there is a place for it.

  16. Christopher’s absolutely right about “ski resorts that cater to beginners”. The world needs those, and they often do better than their advanced counterparts.

    Blogger caters to beginners. Myspace caters to beginners.

    What we don’t need are products that cater to idiots, which explains Microsoft Bob. (The “for dummies” books are being ironic. They don’t cater to dummies either.)

  17. Christopher’s absolutely right about “ski resorts that cater to beginners”. The world needs those, and they often do better than their advanced counterparts.

    Blogger caters to beginners. Myspace caters to beginners.

    What we don’t need are products that cater to idiots, which explains Microsoft Bob. (The “for dummies” books are being ironic. They don’t cater to dummies either.)

  18. Roundup – a weekly post overview of different bits and bobs of information

    Every once and while I find bits and bobs of information I feel is valuable but isn’t worthy a detailed post so every week I will try to do a roundup.  As well from now on they will just contain a number e.g. Roundup #1, etc
    So without further w…

  19. Roundup – a weekly post overview of different bits and bobs of information

    Every once and while I find bits and bobs of information I feel is valuable but isn’t worthy a detailed post so every week I will try to do a roundup.  As well from now on they will just contain a number e.g. Roundup #1, etc
    So without further w…

  20. I think what I like most about Vox is the low barrier to transformation. It can be about marathon training this summer, and then about your favorite college football team in the fall. (Not that this example has *anything* to do with me, mind you.) Switching templates, post content sources, and heck, even the blog’s basic title/description is so easy, you don’t feel paralyzed by the “greatness of your original design.” I know you can make all of these changes with TypePad and Spaces, but something about Vox just seems much more flexible.

  21. I think what I like most about Vox is the low barrier to transformation. It can be about marathon training this summer, and then about your favorite college football team in the fall. (Not that this example has *anything* to do with me, mind you.) Switching templates, post content sources, and heck, even the blog’s basic title/description is so easy, you don’t feel paralyzed by the “greatness of your original design.” I know you can make all of these changes with TypePad and Spaces, but something about Vox just seems much more flexible.

  22. I thought Maryam was wonderful on the panel and that Lynne’s liveblogging is a very accurate account of the discussion. I thought it was a wonderfully overwhelming conference, maybe next time I’ll do more chatting… er, networking. I’m already looking forward to next year’s in Chicago.

  23. I thought Maryam was wonderful on the panel and that Lynne’s liveblogging is a very accurate account of the discussion. I thought it was a wonderfully overwhelming conference, maybe next time I’ll do more chatting… er, networking. I’m already looking forward to next year’s in Chicago.

  24. Robert,

    Great, energized post. Thanks. Sounds like the perfect booster rocket for your new job. (Now to check Christine Herron’s)

    As for beginners, I agree with you: the trick is to make their first few steps easy and rewarding without limiting them. Give beginners a good result quickly and show them a path to great results. Don’t isolate beginners at the Children’s Table.

    Beginning skiers, skip the Bunny Slope at your peril. If you”re lucky enough to hear Larry Miller tell his Ski Trip Story, you’ll understand the perils of plunging–and I do mean plunging–right in. (Where’s that Long Tail when you need it. HBO has the program. They air it now and then. But can you buy it anywhere? Rent it? Steal it? No.)

  25. Robert,

    Great, energized post. Thanks. Sounds like the perfect booster rocket for your new job. (Now to check Christine Herron’s)

    As for beginners, I agree with you: the trick is to make their first few steps easy and rewarding without limiting them. Give beginners a good result quickly and show them a path to great results. Don’t isolate beginners at the Children’s Table.

    Beginning skiers, skip the Bunny Slope at your peril. If you”re lucky enough to hear Larry Miller tell his Ski Trip Story, you’ll understand the perils of plunging–and I do mean plunging–right in. (Where’s that Long Tail when you need it. HBO has the program. They air it now and then. But can you buy it anywhere? Rent it? Steal it? No.)

  26. Spaces could have been so successful- as well as Yahoo’s 360 , and MySpace blogs -

    but people apparently do not want to be locked into a Blog Identity as opposed to social networking

    Apparently Bloggers want complete freedom and customization abilities – the INDEPENDANT SPIRIT of bloggers is say, different from those who join Social Network communites – or the early users of Geocities.

  27. Spaces could have been so successful- as well as Yahoo’s 360 , and MySpace blogs -

    but people apparently do not want to be locked into a Blog Identity as opposed to social networking

    Apparently Bloggers want complete freedom and customization abilities – the INDEPENDANT SPIRIT of bloggers is say, different from those who join Social Network communites – or the early users of Geocities.

  28. GM was a platinum level sponsor and brought a fully loaded Cadillac Escalade, a Saab 9-3, and a variety of Saturn Sky convertibles and (unreleased) Aura sedans. They had a Vue hybrid and a hydrogen prototype I don’t think was available to drive.

  29. GM was a platinum level sponsor and brought a fully loaded Cadillac Escalade, a Saab 9-3, and a variety of Saturn Sky convertibles and (unreleased) Aura sedans. They had a Vue hybrid and a hydrogen prototype I don’t think was available to drive.

  30. Geez, I’m tagging my posts as fast as I can! It’s only been 24 hours, y’know.

    I must agree about the MenaGate affair. I use Typepad so I was quite interested to hear what she thinks the future is going to look like. To hear it only extends as far as this fall and is all about Vox…well, that’s just sad.

    Signed,

    Sheila (“So I take it you were some big mucky-muck at Microsoft?”) Livingston

  31. Geez, I’m tagging my posts as fast as I can! It’s only been 24 hours, y’know.

    I must agree about the MenaGate affair. I use Typepad so I was quite interested to hear what she thinks the future is going to look like. To hear it only extends as far as this fall and is all about Vox…well, that’s just sad.

    Signed,

    Sheila (“So I take it you were some big mucky-muck at Microsoft?”) Livingston

  32. Hi Robert:

    To be honest, I don’t care one way or another about the cars or marketing issues. For me, the great value of BlogHer was the intimacy, the diversity of viewpoints among women bloggers (who are often characterized as if we were all the same), the opportunity to meet terrific women (as well as guys like Robert, Dave Weiner, and Guy Kawasaki), the friendships made, and the overall good feeling that blogging is a good and worthwhile activity on so many levels.

    Jan Kabili
    http://www.tuaw.com

  33. Hi Robert:

    To be honest, I don’t care one way or another about the cars or marketing issues. For me, the great value of BlogHer was the intimacy, the diversity of viewpoints among women bloggers (who are often characterized as if we were all the same), the opportunity to meet terrific women (as well as guys like Robert, Dave Weiner, and Guy Kawasaki), the friendships made, and the overall good feeling that blogging is a good and worthwhile activity on so many levels.

    Jan Kabili
    http://www.tuaw.com

  34. Businesses don’te want to cater to beginners? Where did you ever get that idea? Beginners don’t want to hang on the the intermediate slopes because they don’t want to look stupid. Nor do the intermediates or advanced want them hanging out because they don’t want to get hurt. Quite the ridiculous example you used.

    Even in the tech world, beginners that hang out or use tools by the more advanced users generally get ridiculed or shouted down by those with more experience. I mean, you even saw that with Cody.

    I think you are completely off base with your “beginner” theory.

  35. Businesses don’te want to cater to beginners? Where did you ever get that idea? Beginners don’t want to hang on the the intermediate slopes because they don’t want to look stupid. Nor do the intermediates or advanced want them hanging out because they don’t want to get hurt. Quite the ridiculous example you used.

    Even in the tech world, beginners that hang out or use tools by the more advanced users generally get ridiculed or shouted down by those with more experience. I mean, you even saw that with Cody.

    I think you are completely off base with your “beginner” theory.

  36. Wait, someone who runs a blogging business is aksed a question about where the future of blogging is going and they respond by talking about a product they have personally been working on for months? What the fuck do you expect?

    On one hand, we want people to be passionate about their companies, products, and their customers, but on the other hand, we shush them at any mention of that company or its products. Why don’t we be a little smarter about it and try to figure out who’s truly being a shill and who really has ideas and is proud of the products and companies that those ideas represent. From what I heard, Mena talked about Vox in response to a *single question* in a *75 minute* panel. Doesn’t sound like shilling to me. Microsoft bought keynotes at conferences on your watch; where was our beloved unappointed WWW watchdog then?

  37. Wait, someone who runs a blogging business is aksed a question about where the future of blogging is going and they respond by talking about a product they have personally been working on for months? What the fuck do you expect?

    On one hand, we want people to be passionate about their companies, products, and their customers, but on the other hand, we shush them at any mention of that company or its products. Why don’t we be a little smarter about it and try to figure out who’s truly being a shill and who really has ideas and is proud of the products and companies that those ideas represent. From what I heard, Mena talked about Vox in response to a *single question* in a *75 minute* panel. Doesn’t sound like shilling to me. Microsoft bought keynotes at conferences on your watch; where was our beloved unappointed WWW watchdog then?

  38. I gave them a list of things that they should do, starting with “improve your HTML quality” and “get tagging” and they didn’t do any of those yet, which demonstrates a lack of listening on their behalf.

    I think you’re confusing listening and disagreeing here. It’s ok, you’re a guy.

  39. I gave them a list of things that they should do, starting with “improve your HTML quality” and “get tagging” and they didn’t do any of those yet, which demonstrates a lack of listening on their behalf.

    I think you’re confusing listening and disagreeing here. It’s ok, you’re a guy.

  40. Mike: that’s OK. But if they want BlogHer attendees to switch, that’s what they tell me they care about too. It’s interesting that they spent the marketing money, but I didn’t meet any Microsoft engineers there (other than Sara Ford, who doesn’t work on the Windows Live Spaces team).

    As to the “beginner” thing. I actually have skiied at several of those resorts. They do NOT cater to beginners. How do I know that? Because less than 1% of their hills are for beginners. The trick is to get you onto the intermediate hills as QUICKLY as possible.

    They know that intermediates have a lot more fun and keep coming back season after season.

    If you stay on the beginner hill for more than a week you’ll never ski again and you’ll tell all your friends you hate skiing.

    Same with blogging. If you have to stay in some kind of “stupid area” (er, newbie area) you’ll give it up quickly. Why? Because all your friends that you read are in the “cool area.”

    Anil: that’s not the point. Wrong question. Next.

    We were talking about your positioning. Not about what your product actually does. The way Mena presented it was condescending toward newbies and didn’t make anyone in the audience feel like it was visionary enough to even care about.

    But, to answer your question: yes.

  41. Mike: that’s OK. But if they want BlogHer attendees to switch, that’s what they tell me they care about too. It’s interesting that they spent the marketing money, but I didn’t meet any Microsoft engineers there (other than Sara Ford, who doesn’t work on the Windows Live Spaces team).

    As to the “beginner” thing. I actually have skiied at several of those resorts. They do NOT cater to beginners. How do I know that? Because less than 1% of their hills are for beginners. The trick is to get you onto the intermediate hills as QUICKLY as possible.

    They know that intermediates have a lot more fun and keep coming back season after season.

    If you stay on the beginner hill for more than a week you’ll never ski again and you’ll tell all your friends you hate skiing.

    Same with blogging. If you have to stay in some kind of “stupid area” (er, newbie area) you’ll give it up quickly. Why? Because all your friends that you read are in the “cool area.”

    Anil: that’s not the point. Wrong question. Next.

    We were talking about your positioning. Not about what your product actually does. The way Mena presented it was condescending toward newbies and didn’t make anyone in the audience feel like it was visionary enough to even care about.

    But, to answer your question: yes.

  42. Flickr’s biggest mistake is thinking it’s a photo site. They seem to be making a big push towards “great photography” (check out the flickr blog) which is gonna create a huge barrier of entry towards new users who feel intimidated by the high quality of the photography they’re showcasing.

    VOX on the other hand understands that their success is based on making you feel like ANYONE can do it, and guiding you toward getting your thoughts out. As someone who’s always had a hard time writing, VOX has been a godsend, as I’m able to write for a small group of friends who I’m comfortable being honest with, and has even made me more comfortable voicing my opinions on a ‘public blog’.

    Let me know if you need an invite, Bob.

  43. Flickr’s biggest mistake is thinking it’s a photo site. They seem to be making a big push towards “great photography” (check out the flickr blog) which is gonna create a huge barrier of entry towards new users who feel intimidated by the high quality of the photography they’re showcasing.

    VOX on the other hand understands that their success is based on making you feel like ANYONE can do it, and guiding you toward getting your thoughts out. As someone who’s always had a hard time writing, VOX has been a godsend, as I’m able to write for a small group of friends who I’m comfortable being honest with, and has even made me more comfortable voicing my opinions on a ‘public blog’.

    Let me know if you need an invite, Bob.

  44. Mike: I’m already on Vox.

    05118: At least 15 women have told me they were disappointed in Mena’s keynote. I’m just passing along what I hear in the hallways, and adding my own take onto that.

    When you hear the keynote (it was recorded) you’ll hear why people reacted that way.

    Sorry, Vox is already in testing. If she had set it up with more of a “we have a big vision of half a billion bloggers and Vox is our first step on getting us there” approach then I’d agree with you.

    By the way, how did Microsoft get its horrible reputation? Do shit like this. Why did its reputation get better in recent years? It did a lot less of it.

    At Gnomedex, for instance, they didn’t do any product pitches, despite being a sponsor. Yeah, that was also due to the Gnomedex conference staff telling sponsors that they shouldn’t do that, but Microsoft did listen there.

  45. Mike: I’m already on Vox.

    05118: At least 15 women have told me they were disappointed in Mena’s keynote. I’m just passing along what I hear in the hallways, and adding my own take onto that.

    When you hear the keynote (it was recorded) you’ll hear why people reacted that way.

    Sorry, Vox is already in testing. If she had set it up with more of a “we have a big vision of half a billion bloggers and Vox is our first step on getting us there” approach then I’d agree with you.

    By the way, how did Microsoft get its horrible reputation? Do shit like this. Why did its reputation get better in recent years? It did a lot less of it.

    At Gnomedex, for instance, they didn’t do any product pitches, despite being a sponsor. Yeah, that was also due to the Gnomedex conference staff telling sponsors that they shouldn’t do that, but Microsoft did listen there.

  46. I had a good time on the panel keynote (I was joined by three really great women and Chris Nolan, our moderator) and from the response that I received afterwards, I take it that others liked our discussion. Sorry if I sounded too pluggy, I’m just really excited about Vox.

  47. I had a good time on the panel keynote (I was joined by three really great women and Chris Nolan, our moderator) and from the response that I received afterwards, I take it that others liked our discussion. Sorry if I sounded too pluggy, I’m just really excited about Vox.

  48. “We were talking about your positioning. Not about what your product actually does.”

    My feeling is that people judge technology by their experience, not by what anyone tells them. In your experience of Vox, was it condescending? And if so, was it more or less condescending than being told, “that’s not the point. Wrong question. Next.”?

    John Furrier’s never tried to make me feel stupid for asking a relevant question. I appreciate that about him.

  49. “We were talking about your positioning. Not about what your product actually does.”

    My feeling is that people judge technology by their experience, not by what anyone tells them. In your experience of Vox, was it condescending? And if so, was it more or less condescending than being told, “that’s not the point. Wrong question. Next.”?

    John Furrier’s never tried to make me feel stupid for asking a relevant question. I appreciate that about him.

  50. Anil: >>In your experience of Vox, was it condescending?

    Yes, it was. Vox is a better tool than just for beginners. When I read the positioning on http://www.sixapart.com/vox/ I don’t see anything that mentions that it’s for beginners or people who can’t figure out how to use TypePad or Blogger or WordPress. It makes it sound like a fun community to join.

    Your question was not relevant to this conversation. This isn’t about Vox. It was about how it was positioned on stage by Mena at BlogHer. You tried to make it about Vox. That’s why I challenged you on your tactic. I feel your comeback here is unprofessional as well for someone who represents a company — I wasn’t writting this as a PodTech member, in fact I’m on vacation right now. I don’t tag you with what Mena does, or vice versa.

    Thanks Mena for listening.

  51. Anil: >>In your experience of Vox, was it condescending?

    Yes, it was. Vox is a better tool than just for beginners. When I read the positioning on http://www.sixapart.com/vox/ I don’t see anything that mentions that it’s for beginners or people who can’t figure out how to use TypePad or Blogger or WordPress. It makes it sound like a fun community to join.

    Your question was not relevant to this conversation. This isn’t about Vox. It was about how it was positioned on stage by Mena at BlogHer. You tried to make it about Vox. That’s why I challenged you on your tactic. I feel your comeback here is unprofessional as well for someone who represents a company — I wasn’t writting this as a PodTech member, in fact I’m on vacation right now. I don’t tag you with what Mena does, or vice versa.

    Thanks Mena for listening.

  52. Because less than 1% of their hills are for beginners.

    Ummm, at least per my mentioned resorts, wrong, average between 20% and 30%…and you can fact check me at: http://www.ultimateskiguide.com :)

    Solitude Snow Ski Resort
    ——————–
    Beginner slopes – 20
    Intermediate slopes – 50
    Advanced slopes – 15

    Northstar – at – Tahoe Snow Ski Resort
    ————-
    Beginner slopes – 25
    Intermediate slopes – 50
    Advanced slopes – 25

    Sunday River Snow Ski Resort
    ————-
    Beginner slopes – 26
    Intermediate slopes – 36
    Advanced slopes – 38

    And it’s not just about the skiing and lift tickets, it’s a RESORT, re: Shopping, Dining, Hotel, Real Estate, Conferences/Corporate Functions, Weddings, Parties…all this plugs seriously into the beginner lessons, slew of casuals. Moving people into the middle and experts too fast, you lose the resort extras and the upsells…even people who don’t ski LOVE the resorts, heck if half don’t. They should even cater to the NON-SKI’ERS. I agree about ‘stupid’, but as long as don’t take an ‘insult your audience, better-than-thou smug attitude’, all is well…

    But why argue? Cater to all…condescending to none.

  53. Because less than 1% of their hills are for beginners.

    Ummm, at least per my mentioned resorts, wrong, average between 20% and 30%…and you can fact check me at: http://www.ultimateskiguide.com :)

    Solitude Snow Ski Resort
    ——————–
    Beginner slopes – 20
    Intermediate slopes – 50
    Advanced slopes – 15

    Northstar – at – Tahoe Snow Ski Resort
    ————-
    Beginner slopes – 25
    Intermediate slopes – 50
    Advanced slopes – 25

    Sunday River Snow Ski Resort
    ————-
    Beginner slopes – 26
    Intermediate slopes – 36
    Advanced slopes – 38

    And it’s not just about the skiing and lift tickets, it’s a RESORT, re: Shopping, Dining, Hotel, Real Estate, Conferences/Corporate Functions, Weddings, Parties…all this plugs seriously into the beginner lessons, slew of casuals. Moving people into the middle and experts too fast, you lose the resort extras and the upsells…even people who don’t ski LOVE the resorts, heck if half don’t. They should even cater to the NON-SKI’ERS. I agree about ‘stupid’, but as long as don’t take an ‘insult your audience, better-than-thou smug attitude’, all is well…

    But why argue? Cater to all…condescending to none.

  54. Christopher: when I say “beginning slope” I think mostly of the kind the ski school uses (the ones aimed at total novices). My son never got off of that slope. He hates skiing. That kind of slope is only a very small percentage of the slopes at Northstar (we skiied there a lot).

    The entire goal of the resort is to get you off of that slope.

    Oh, and the resort doesn’t make any money if there isn’t one skiier in the family. Why would a non-skiing family go to a ski resort?

    Just like, why would a non blogging family go to a blogging company?

  55. Christopher: when I say “beginning slope” I think mostly of the kind the ski school uses (the ones aimed at total novices). My son never got off of that slope. He hates skiing. That kind of slope is only a very small percentage of the slopes at Northstar (we skiied there a lot).

    The entire goal of the resort is to get you off of that slope.

    Oh, and the resort doesn’t make any money if there isn’t one skiier in the family. Why would a non-skiing family go to a ski resort?

    Just like, why would a non blogging family go to a blogging company?

  56. As for the GM marketing. I guess they are getting very desparate. But it was clever. Now, how many pissed off potential Sky buyers are there going to be when those women head down to their local dealerships and find out how long the wait is for one given that the average Saturn dealership only gets about 1 per month. Sure, you can order one, but we are already at the end of the model year, so expec a wait of about 4 months minimum. And if you want a Red Line, well, maybe longer. Plus expect to likely pay about $K over MSRP (sorry, “no haggle” for Saturn doesn’t apply to these cars, believe me!) But, Hey! At least GM showed the feeding tube is still working.

  57. As for the GM marketing. I guess they are getting very desparate. But it was clever. Now, how many pissed off potential Sky buyers are there going to be when those women head down to their local dealerships and find out how long the wait is for one given that the average Saturn dealership only gets about 1 per month. Sure, you can order one, but we are already at the end of the model year, so expec a wait of about 4 months minimum. And if you want a Red Line, well, maybe longer. Plus expect to likely pay about $K over MSRP (sorry, “no haggle” for Saturn doesn’t apply to these cars, believe me!) But, Hey! At least GM showed the feeding tube is still working.

  58. [...] While I agree with Scoble’s post for the most part, I don’t agree with his criticism of Mena Trott (Six Apart) with regard to her mention of Vox during her closing keynote. She was asked what in her future excites her; she answered. Personally, I would love to be able to get my mother and mother-in-law blogging, but the existing blogging products require too much HTML knowledge for them. They’re smart women, but it’s outside of their realm of understanding. HTML isn’t as simple as learning to insert code inside brackets — and if they’re writing they don’t want to have to learn a bunch of new rules to pile on punctuation and spelling. If it’s what she says it is, I’d look at it as a platform for them. I’m going to sign up for an invitation to give it a whirl. [...]

  59. robert
    your son needs a better instructor

    when he wants to come over to the dark side
    (snowboarding)
    look me up

  60. robert
    your son needs a better instructor

    when he wants to come over to the dark side
    (snowboarding)
    look me up

  61. BlogHer Conference: A Great Inspiration for Open Media Success

    Oh, what a crazy week! Five full days of attending conferences, first AlwaysOn Stanford Summit and then BlogHer.
    For our readers from the healthcare world, who have not heard of BlogHer, let me direct you to a profile in Boston.com ("Women tap the

  62. Who could have expected that working for Microsoft was keeping Scoble *less* evil. I look forward to more of this unfiltered snark and petulance on his part.

  63. Who could have expected that working for Microsoft was keeping Scoble *less* evil. I look forward to more of this unfiltered snark and petulance on his part.

  64. Hi Robert…

    well, I think this is the third conference that you and I were in the same place and neither of us introduced ourselves (but, that’s probably beholding to me, as you’re far more known and visible than myself…yet, at times I suffer from my own geeky-fear thing…)

    On MSN Spaces: the registration thing isn’t the problem. That’s actually a good feature (as Maryam pointed out). The biggest problem, and where they definitely shot themselves in the foot at BlogHer, was how the two women talking about it represented the product and themselves–like two valleychicks. I was sitting with a group of experienced women bloggers, and we were horrified not only by the way the two “girls” were talking about the product (in a very sales-pitch tone) but how insulting they were. The way they talked about home improvement stuff was just downright awful and actually made them sound like they were simply reading from a script–not genuine at all…

    but, when you’re a woman, you kind of get used to being patronized and develop a nice little kill-switch in your head that makes it all sound like a bunch of yadda-yadda-yadda.

    aside from that, it was good to see you not on the podium for a change ;-) and doing guy-stuff, like shooting video. and, eventually, we’ll meet…

  65. Hi Robert…

    well, I think this is the third conference that you and I were in the same place and neither of us introduced ourselves (but, that’s probably beholding to me, as you’re far more known and visible than myself…yet, at times I suffer from my own geeky-fear thing…)

    On MSN Spaces: the registration thing isn’t the problem. That’s actually a good feature (as Maryam pointed out). The biggest problem, and where they definitely shot themselves in the foot at BlogHer, was how the two women talking about it represented the product and themselves–like two valleychicks. I was sitting with a group of experienced women bloggers, and we were horrified not only by the way the two “girls” were talking about the product (in a very sales-pitch tone) but how insulting they were. The way they talked about home improvement stuff was just downright awful and actually made them sound like they were simply reading from a script–not genuine at all…

    but, when you’re a woman, you kind of get used to being patronized and develop a nice little kill-switch in your head that makes it all sound like a bunch of yadda-yadda-yadda.

    aside from that, it was good to see you not on the podium for a change ;-) and doing guy-stuff, like shooting video. and, eventually, we’ll meet…

  66. Trish, your yadda-yadda-yadda reminds me of that classic line from Seinfeld: “my old boyfriend came over late last night, and, yada yada yada, anyway. I’m really tired today.”

  67. Trish, your yadda-yadda-yadda reminds me of that classic line from Seinfeld: “my old boyfriend came over late last night, and, yada yada yada, anyway. I’m really tired today.”

  68. Why would a non-skiing family go to a ski resort?

    Dude, think marketing, at some it’s half an amusement park; lots of activities beyond skiing, and plenty of people outside of families go for Events, Parties and Functions and don’t actually end up skiing. And tons of non-skiing families come for the non-stop Weddings, at least at Solitude it was non-stop, it’s booked from here to eternity. I would say more than half (rough guess) of those families don’t end up actually skiing.

    Didn’t mean to argue, as I agree with thy central point, treating people like total imbeciles, never works.

    …the two women talking about it represented the product and themselves–like two valleychicks.

    Technically that’s not a problem, that’s their target audience. But yeah, Microsoft culture sure ends up having tons of Valleychicky marketing spokespeople, I think the extreme geek nature pushes the dimblubs into marketing.

  69. Why would a non-skiing family go to a ski resort?

    Dude, think marketing, at some it’s half an amusement park; lots of activities beyond skiing, and plenty of people outside of families go for Events, Parties and Functions and don’t actually end up skiing. And tons of non-skiing families come for the non-stop Weddings, at least at Solitude it was non-stop, it’s booked from here to eternity. I would say more than half (rough guess) of those families don’t end up actually skiing.

    Didn’t mean to argue, as I agree with thy central point, treating people like total imbeciles, never works.

    …the two women talking about it represented the product and themselves–like two valleychicks.

    Technically that’s not a problem, that’s their target audience. But yeah, Microsoft culture sure ends up having tons of Valleychicky marketing spokespeople, I think the extreme geek nature pushes the dimblubs into marketing.

  70. As for the GM marketing…well LayZ already said what I was going to say. I have a clone? ;)

  71. As for the GM marketing…well LayZ already said what I was going to say. I have a clone? ;)

  72. asking why a non-skiing family would want to go to ski resort is like asking why people who don’t gamble would want to go to Vegas. Or why poeple that don’t have kids would want to go to Walt Disney World. Or why people who don’t swim would want to go to a beach resort. C’mon Robert. You can’t be that tone deaf. Sheesh!

  73. asking why a non-skiing family would want to go to ski resort is like asking why people who don’t gamble would want to go to Vegas. Or why poeple that don’t have kids would want to go to Walt Disney World. Or why people who don’t swim would want to go to a beach resort. C’mon Robert. You can’t be that tone deaf. Sheesh!

  74. I would have to agree that nobody wants to be seen as a newbie. However, tools that make it easier for beginners are inherently useful. Easy is good because it lowers barriers to entry.

    That said, I would question the implicit assumption that the tools are the main barrier to entry for non-bloggers. I think attitude is the bigger problem here. Keeping a blog can be a significant time commitment, and it’s not one that everyone is willing to make. What is needed is something of value for those who take the time and effort to create blogs. By value, I don’t necessarily mean monetization–it could be anything from social recognition to an easy way to share information within a community (or with the world).

  75. I would have to agree that nobody wants to be seen as a newbie. However, tools that make it easier for beginners are inherently useful. Easy is good because it lowers barriers to entry.

    That said, I would question the implicit assumption that the tools are the main barrier to entry for non-bloggers. I think attitude is the bigger problem here. Keeping a blog can be a significant time commitment, and it’s not one that everyone is willing to make. What is needed is something of value for those who take the time and effort to create blogs. By value, I don’t necessarily mean monetization–it could be anything from social recognition to an easy way to share information within a community (or with the world).

  76. Even for someone like myself, who can code HTML and tag with the best of them, Vox is a useful blogging platform. It’s very like Flickr, and I think the functionality (such as making posts public to a select audience) and customizable integration with a boatload of services is a very big draw.

    Your list of things we women should do (improve the quality of our HTML and tag more) is condescending and presumptive. Was it intended that way? Seems to me that women at a tech conference already know enough about those things to use or dismiss them as they see fit.

  77. Even for someone like myself, who can code HTML and tag with the best of them, Vox is a useful blogging platform. It’s very like Flickr, and I think the functionality (such as making posts public to a select audience) and customizable integration with a boatload of services is a very big draw.

    Your list of things we women should do (improve the quality of our HTML and tag more) is condescending and presumptive. Was it intended that way? Seems to me that women at a tech conference already know enough about those things to use or dismiss them as they see fit.

  78. Blogging for Beginners? It’s really quite simple. Training wheels. This computer is a vehicle. Everybody learns to drive right?
    Come on. I’ll be the inept Guinea Pig…with wings, cause pigs can fly. If you have a few angels. Now the idea behind this is really simple. Get a bunch of folks together that aren’t technically skilled, like me, and give them a guru that can talk the same language, advise, and offer assistance…without hunting allover the internet. Come on, do you go on the freeway right after you get your licence? Put this in the right perspective. See…it’s simple really.

    TRAINING WHEELS…Where saavy techs can help you GET BEHIND THE KEYBOARD and DRIVE ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD YOU WANT TO GO. Really.

    So who wants to teach me…we can create a blog about beginning a blog with focus.
    Lets see…there’s the crafty mom bloggy. Or the super mom bloggy. The Granny Bloggy (photos and geneology), can you see this? I can.

  79. Blogging for Beginners? It’s really quite simple. Training wheels. This computer is a vehicle. Everybody learns to drive right?
    Come on. I’ll be the inept Guinea Pig…with wings, cause pigs can fly. If you have a few angels. Now the idea behind this is really simple. Get a bunch of folks together that aren’t technically skilled, like me, and give them a guru that can talk the same language, advise, and offer assistance…without hunting allover the internet. Come on, do you go on the freeway right after you get your licence? Put this in the right perspective. See…it’s simple really.

    TRAINING WHEELS…Where saavy techs can help you GET BEHIND THE KEYBOARD and DRIVE ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD YOU WANT TO GO. Really.

    So who wants to teach me…we can create a blog about beginning a blog with focus.
    Lets see…there’s the crafty mom bloggy. Or the super mom bloggy. The Granny Bloggy (photos and geneology), can you see this? I can.

  80. Let me say this…if you can teach me…then you can teach anyone. What is the intent of the blog…to display, portray, sell, inform, all of the above, or just to share.

    They call this an information highway. I want to cruise across country in a souped up convertable art car reading my poetry to anyone who will stop and listen.

    And not to leave the men out…there’s the fishing blog, car repair blog, and learn how to read a road map…or mapquest.

  81. Let me say this…if you can teach me…then you can teach anyone. What is the intent of the blog…to display, portray, sell, inform, all of the above, or just to share.

    They call this an information highway. I want to cruise across country in a souped up convertable art car reading my poetry to anyone who will stop and listen.

    And not to leave the men out…there’s the fishing blog, car repair blog, and learn how to read a road map…or mapquest.

  82. Thanks for joining us. It’s rare to get 750ish amazingly diverse and talented women in one place at one time. Lucky are you and the other brave men who came to listen and extend the conversation.

  83. Thanks for joining us. It’s rare to get 750ish amazingly diverse and talented women in one place at one time. Lucky are you and the other brave men who came to listen and extend the conversation.

  84. Robert Scoble doesn’t get why there’s a BlogHer conference…

    The very first thing he does is promote two guys in his post about BlogHer: I think it’s interesting that I met two of my favorite bloggers for the first time at BlogHer (both of whom are men, Guy Kawasaki and John Battelle). Talking about a conf…

  85. Interesting perspective from a male… In some of Saturday’s sessions, I felt like several of the men who stood up to ask questions were actually shilling a product, which was interesting.

    As for the closing keynote: the whole damn thing was depressingly amateur.

    Four amazing women up on that panel, and nothing really impressive or eye-opening to walk away with.

    My tablemates and I remarked that all the so-called “questions” from the crowd were either more like confessionals or requests for affirmation.

  86. Interesting perspective from a male… In some of Saturday’s sessions, I felt like several of the men who stood up to ask questions were actually shilling a product, which was interesting.

    As for the closing keynote: the whole damn thing was depressingly amateur.

    Four amazing women up on that panel, and nothing really impressive or eye-opening to walk away with.

    My tablemates and I remarked that all the so-called “questions” from the crowd were either more like confessionals or requests for affirmation.

  87. Why is it depressing when four “amazing” women are on a closing keynote and nothing stunning happens?

    The more I read the Blogher comments and articles, the more I’m wondering if that .25 of a chromosome is now giving women super powers. It wasn’t amazing, and that’s bad? If they weren’t used to that kind of a situation, it’s kind of inevitable that it’s going to be less than stellar.

    I think the last line in Fatemeh’s comment (#61) is interesting. I’ve done sessions at Macworld with women in the audience asking questions, and I can tell you they were just as technical as any of the men. I’ve taught too many seminars where most of the audience were female IT managers. Trust me, they weren’t asking for affirmations, and the only confessionals had to do with the evil things they’d like to do to their users sometimes.

    I asked a few of my geek female friends about Blogher, (note, none of them went) and I got pretty much the same two answers:

    1) It’s too close to the WWDC/I have better conferences to go to
    2) Who the hell wants to talk about that crap for days? They’re not teaching me a damned thing other than what it’s like to be a woman with a blog. I think I’ve figured that part out for myself.

  88. Why is it depressing when four “amazing” women are on a closing keynote and nothing stunning happens?

    The more I read the Blogher comments and articles, the more I’m wondering if that .25 of a chromosome is now giving women super powers. It wasn’t amazing, and that’s bad? If they weren’t used to that kind of a situation, it’s kind of inevitable that it’s going to be less than stellar.

    I think the last line in Fatemeh’s comment (#61) is interesting. I’ve done sessions at Macworld with women in the audience asking questions, and I can tell you they were just as technical as any of the men. I’ve taught too many seminars where most of the audience were female IT managers. Trust me, they weren’t asking for affirmations, and the only confessionals had to do with the evil things they’d like to do to their users sometimes.

    I asked a few of my geek female friends about Blogher, (note, none of them went) and I got pretty much the same two answers:

    1) It’s too close to the WWDC/I have better conferences to go to
    2) Who the hell wants to talk about that crap for days? They’re not teaching me a damned thing other than what it’s like to be a woman with a blog. I think I’ve figured that part out for myself.

  89. Thank you for the video shooting pointers. I immediately tried to put them to use with this:

    I think I only made 1 out of the 3 mistakes (rule of thirds in terms of framing) …

  90. Thank you for the video shooting pointers. I immediately tried to put them to use with this:

    I think I only made 1 out of the 3 mistakes (rule of thirds in terms of framing) …

  91. Filtrs…

    Robert Scoble gives blogher some good press. The part I have to comment on is:Let’s say you have a cell phone camera. And you want a black and white photo, but your cell phone camera doesn’t do that. Well, you……

  92. Robert,

    Recognized you running the video at BlogHer and thought “how cool!”. I enjoyed a lot about BlogHer, but it fell short of my expectation mark.

    I think some of the sponsors hit the mark, and MicroSoft?? Didn’t even know where the target was.

  93. Robert,

    Recognized you running the video at BlogHer and thought “how cool!”. I enjoyed a lot about BlogHer, but it fell short of my expectation mark.

    I think some of the sponsors hit the mark, and MicroSoft?? Didn’t even know where the target was.

  94. I think your assessment about marketers is spot on. Personally, as one of those “beginner skiers” I liked hearing from Mena. Your points are good but listening to her as an entrepeneurial young woman more so than a woman there to promote a particular technology, I found it inspiring.

  95. I think your assessment about marketers is spot on. Personally, as one of those “beginner skiers” I liked hearing from Mena. Your points are good but listening to her as an entrepeneurial young woman more so than a woman there to promote a particular technology, I found it inspiring.

  96. “improve your HTML quality” and “get tagging”

    I’m actually kind of stunned that you said that. Were you talking to a group of super beginners? Everyone I knew there had been blogging for years. My girlfriends would have smirked at each other and rolled their eyes. I can’t imagine a guy saying something like that at SxSW, for example. I know your intent wasn’t be insulting, but I would have been annoyed had someone said to me, “There’s this amazing and powerful thing you should be leveraging called… TAGGING!”

    “Six Apart’s Vox product is doomed to fail.”

    Not sure who you were talking to, but in my slice of the Blogher community, Vox invitations are like gold. Women are digging the social networking aspect and the ability to whisper to friends instead of shouting to the whole world. I didn’t see Mena’s speech, but one clumsy (or overly excited) product pitch doesn’t equal eternal doom for a product that has something to offer.

  97. “improve your HTML quality” and “get tagging”

    I’m actually kind of stunned that you said that. Were you talking to a group of super beginners? Everyone I knew there had been blogging for years. My girlfriends would have smirked at each other and rolled their eyes. I can’t imagine a guy saying something like that at SxSW, for example. I know your intent wasn’t be insulting, but I would have been annoyed had someone said to me, “There’s this amazing and powerful thing you should be leveraging called… TAGGING!”

    “Six Apart’s Vox product is doomed to fail.”

    Not sure who you were talking to, but in my slice of the Blogher community, Vox invitations are like gold. Women are digging the social networking aspect and the ability to whisper to friends instead of shouting to the whole world. I didn’t see Mena’s speech, but one clumsy (or overly excited) product pitch doesn’t equal eternal doom for a product that has something to offer.

  98. Maggie: I wasn’t telling BlogHer attendees that. I was telling product planners on MSN Spaces that.

    And if Mena had pitched Vox like THAT instead of positioning it as for beginners, then that would have gone over very well (a pitch would have gone over much better if it fit into an actual answer to the question — when asked for “vision” your first answer shouldn’t be a product that people can use today).

  99. Maggie: I wasn’t telling BlogHer attendees that. I was telling product planners on MSN Spaces that.

    And if Mena had pitched Vox like THAT instead of positioning it as for beginners, then that would have gone over very well (a pitch would have gone over much better if it fit into an actual answer to the question — when asked for “vision” your first answer shouldn’t be a product that people can use today).

  100. [...] I guess that was the great joy of the conference at the end of two days, though. That there was both a sense of community as well as a sense of audience – a great aspect of being content producers as well as consumers at the same time. And like Robert Scoble said, which other techie conference would have the entire bunch of participants sit down on the floor for a session? Or have a blog devoted to the bags and boots of the conference? The last tough (or perhaps not) question is: are women really the stereotypes they says we are, or do we try hard to be the stereotypes in order to make sure we don’t upset the markets? And that’s all we are? Markets? ouch. [...]

  101. Hey! I was looking for you and didn’t get the chance to say hi. (I’m Gil’s ex-wife. Isn’t that cozy? When I saw John podcasting last year’s BlogHer I said, “Look, there’s my ex-husband’s ex-boss. And now current boss.”)

    Thank you for noticing what an economic force the women are. Decisions are made jointly, but as you heard, women talk and compare and shop it to death first. I was shocked when I suggested to one startup CEO that he create a car directory searchable by number of kids, car seat capacity, etc. and he responded, “But wouldn’t I want to talk to the men?”

  102. Hey! I was looking for you and didn’t get the chance to say hi. (I’m Gil’s ex-wife. Isn’t that cozy? When I saw John podcasting last year’s BlogHer I said, “Look, there’s my ex-husband’s ex-boss. And now current boss.”)

    Thank you for noticing what an economic force the women are. Decisions are made jointly, but as you heard, women talk and compare and shop it to death first. I was shocked when I suggested to one startup CEO that he create a car directory searchable by number of kids, car seat capacity, etc. and he responded, “But wouldn’t I want to talk to the men?”

  103. I, too think that the “Be Jane” crap was absolutely ridiculous. So off target. So typical Microsoft.

    Saturn was great – I loved test-driving the convertible and I, too, took pictures of it. Brilliant. And no sales-pitches, either.

    The GM freebie bag had Crabtree & Evelyn products, but the condescending brochure about women and cars was quickly tossed out.

    I have to disagree with you on vox. I love it. I’m a web/blog design who uses Movable Type, Typepad, WordPress, and Blogger and I find this a really easy-to-use tool. I don’t think it’s condescending at all. I think it’s a brilliant way to connect people.

  104. I, too think that the “Be Jane” crap was absolutely ridiculous. So off target. So typical Microsoft.

    Saturn was great – I loved test-driving the convertible and I, too, took pictures of it. Brilliant. And no sales-pitches, either.

    The GM freebie bag had Crabtree & Evelyn products, but the condescending brochure about women and cars was quickly tossed out.

    I have to disagree with you on vox. I love it. I’m a web/blog design who uses Movable Type, Typepad, WordPress, and Blogger and I find this a really easy-to-use tool. I don’t think it’s condescending at all. I think it’s a brilliant way to connect people.

  105. I don’t know what BlogHer you attended, but the one I went to was not only about “soft subjects.” We discussed technology, cool new gadgets, travelling, how much computer memory we really need, apple vs. ibm, american big beast cars ruining the environment, how to make blogher a more racially and sexually inclusive community, and the list goes on. It looks like BlogHer didn’t teach you anything as much as it seemed to re-affirm your stereotypes…The way you begin your post by citing two men already suggests this…BlogHer was a chance for women using technology (in this case blogging platforms) to get together and discuss. And that’s what we did. It would have been more academic of you to not generalise and situate your remarks within your personal experience of BlogHer rather than stereotyping all women.

  106. I don’t know what BlogHer you attended, but the one I went to was not only about “soft subjects.” We discussed technology, cool new gadgets, travelling, how much computer memory we really need, apple vs. ibm, american big beast cars ruining the environment, how to make blogher a more racially and sexually inclusive community, and the list goes on. It looks like BlogHer didn’t teach you anything as much as it seemed to re-affirm your stereotypes…The way you begin your post by citing two men already suggests this…BlogHer was a chance for women using technology (in this case blogging platforms) to get together and discuss. And that’s what we did. It would have been more academic of you to not generalise and situate your remarks within your personal experience of BlogHer rather than stereotyping all women.

  107. This is a fair amount of planning and we have yet to reach the water. Then there is the challenge of allocating quality time without negatively impacting personal duties of church, family and work commitments. The complications of scheduling time may increase (exponentially) as one adds fishing companions. As one famous fisherman quipped, “If your job interferes with your ability to fish, then quit your job.” An ideal that many fishers strive for today while others fall short.

  108. This is a fair amount of planning and we have yet to reach the water. Then there is the challenge of allocating quality time without negatively impacting personal duties of church, family and work commitments. The complications of scheduling time may increase (exponentially) as one adds fishing companions. As one famous fisherman quipped, “If your job interferes with your ability to fish, then quit your job.” An ideal that many fishers strive for today while others fall short.