July 30, 2005
On Women Breaking the Rules
Charlene says to the crowd, “We have to network. We do not effectively network. Tell people what you need and what you can give. I’ve been at Forrester for years and I’ve seen 6 women CEOs…..I work in media and technology and I just don’t see women. When the argument is that ‘blogs’ are not good enough to make the Technorati A List, we shouldn‘t focus so much on the A list, we need to expand beyond it.”
Says Halley, “I happened to know A+ bloggers when I started to blog. I asked them to write about some of the things I was writing about. I would go back and ask again.” She holds up a book that says “Women don’t ask.” “We need to ask and ask again,” Halley echoes.
Someone in the audience comments that people, particularly men think its offensive when they ask for a link. She says “The A list does matter. Press only look at the A List.” Charlene interjects with three pieces of advice: Network, be relevant and be unique. Have a unique voice.
One woman stands up and says “I’m not listed in the Technorati 100 and I don’t care. I don’t write about politics or economics or technology.. I wrote about a chain of therapeutic schools and I received over fifty responses from parents. I’m writing about something important and have an audience. And guess, what - men are not writing about this.”
Halley and Charlene say, “The Technorati 100 list is incredibly narrow. We need to get beyond the list.”
dana Boyd stands up and says “Men know a lot more people but they’re weaker ties. Women know fewer people but develop stronger connections. You need to think about the rules you want to operate in. Do you want to be found by tags? their network structure? You should know what the rules are about how these structures are being created and validated. They’re playing by a different set of rules.”
For those who are concerned about traffic and links, “Men and women don’t think about their goals, don’t think about the links and the traffic, be clearer about who you need to reach and what you care about. Focus on your passion, less on the number of links.”
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