November 20, 2010
A Little Update from Yahoo's Carol BartzHear the latest from Yahoo's Carol Bartz at this year's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
November 15, 2010
Saying Goodbye to Your Most Primal Connection
In this chapter lived a little girl who was told half her heritage was French although it wasn't clear that "it" really counted because part of the family had come over from France and well.....part of the family was French Canadian not far from the New York state border.
It was a bit like the other side of her family which didn't really count either - a probable Jewish grandfather whose father likely changed their name when they hit America's shores, a long...long time ago. And, like a chameleon, he pretended to be Irish, Welsh, German, Polish or Russian depending on who he was selling to or telling jokes to at the time.
He looked like he could be all five and very well may have been; he also looked like he could be an Eastern European Jew who was more focused on making sure his family succeeded financially and socially in America than trying to adhere to a religion. The only thing that may have given it away to anyone who was paying close enough attention was the food in the fridge and in the cupboards and what sauces and beer he drank when no one was looking.
In the French Connection chapter of that old dusty book, the little girl's mother had disappeared in the sixties while pregnant with the little girl's brother, who was later born somewhere in a place only a local child protection unit would have a record of, if at all.
The little girl was told to erase the French Connection from her mind, including all fantasies of meeting her one day, based on some whimsical ideology that a mother/daughter relationship is so primal, that any mother if separated from her child, would eventually seek out her own.
The little girl was told that it was an old Chapter that had now passed, and what was passed was done and over and after all, why dig up old skeletons when she never really wanted a little girl anyway?
The little girl learned several years later that a couple of other little girls were also left with a haunting memory from that same French Connection and while they may never have been told to leave the past in the past, the alcohol breath of one of four husbands and mental anguish over the years was enough for the little girls to push such memories behind them without much help.
I wonder....does the memory of any little girl's mother - real or not - ever diminish forever even when she's been told that she isn't 'real?' Even when she's been told that it doesn't matter and that what is real, is in front of her, not in her mind's eye?
What of that bond that comes from a blood connection alone, even if a relationship was never consummated, even if there was no memory of a shared love?
One day, when the little girl was her early twenties, she finally met her French Connection, who she thought would look like Meryl Streep based on the only photo she had of her before that one intense meeting. With the photo in her memory and her heart beating wildly, the girl, together with her older sister, knocked on the door of their shared French Connection's house with no research, no warning, no notice, and no real thought as to what the consequences might be.
The ending was not one from a romantic American movie, the kind that always ends with a hug, nor was it an experience that resulted in strong bonds, emotional exchanges or a continued family relationship.
But what it was, was a stake in the ground that kept the French Connection alive, even if only alive not burning. The beautiful memory of what 'could have been' was shattered but the reality of what it was and what it is, remained. The French Connection was real, pretty or not.
Have you ever noticed that there's always at least one complex thing about one's heritage that changes an otherwise beautiful ending to an ugly one? You know, something in the DNA and history so deeply buried that nothing can get "it" to 'think' or 'behave' differently.
Sometimes that complexity means that an authentic conversation never happens between a man and his son before the man dies, or two estranged sisters.
Sometimes that complexity means that a man would choose to gamble his family savings away before he used the money to feed his children.
Sometimes that complexity means that a woman would choose to die rather than ask for help when she is faced with a terminal disease.
Sometimes that complexity results in a family becoming homeless when it wasn't necessary because of a tribal pride that could not easily be undone.
And, sometimes that complexity means that a woman may choose never to fix the unraveling chaos she created by leaving her children behind when she could have made a healthier choice.
We learn over time that we need to accept some of the things we've been dealt or experienced in our lives, in order to be at peace with the world.
We also learn over time that we can create our own destinies or change existing ones in a heartbeat, and it can be as instant as the moment we make a decision that it's time for change.
And, we also learn that we can paint our own canvases because we are the creators of our own lives. Our lives are not the stories we were told by our parents and grandparents about the way "things need to be or the way we should behave."
The should and need parts of any story, whether it's through a parent, husband, school teacher or priest, are only there to keep us connected and safe, a perceived connected and safe perhaps....but nevertheless, connected to the very 'tribe' that brought us into the world.
Once you deviate from that tribe, it no longer feels safe, nor does that tribe embrace you as one of them. It's very primal and such an integral part of human nature, that we're even seeing similar behavior in online communities today.
A long long time ago, the little girl was told to leave her French tribe behind and create a new one.
Then one day, she was told by an old boss to leave another tribe behind when it didn't subscribe to her professional goals.
And later, when she moved to Europe, she was told to leave her American tribe behind and after the girl divorced, she forced herself to leave yet another tribe behind. And then a corporate tribe. And then a country one. And then a regional one. And then a technology one. And then her family, at least the one she sort of kind of knew.
And, soon she learned, that you leave tribes behind all the time and that everything is temporary and nothing is permanent.
The girl learned to march on, forward on her life journey and look back for reflection only, not for a notch in a ladder that would add to her growth or sustain her in any meaningful way.
And, she became very good at marching.
Then one day, the girl, who had become a grown woman, received a phone call. Her French Connection had cancer with only a few days to live.
Did she ever really know her French Connection? Did she ever really know the woman who called herself her mother and once looked like Meryl Streep?
The woman who liked markets and gypsy jewelry as much as she did yet they never shopped together.
The woman who didn't like to burden people so did everything on her own, just like she did.
The woman who had this odd freckle on her wrist in the very same place she had one.
The woman who gave birth to her in another chapter, in another time and what now felt like another galaxy.
It would not be like losing the mother who raised her, this she knew. It wouldn't be like losing the man who raised her, who wasn't her real father.....this she knew too.
But, what was clear was this. She knew that the French Connection would finally die a permanent death, only to be remembered as a Chapter with its own name, the one in the forgotten book that had gathered dust and mildew.
In the chapter now over, one which was kept alive by a flickering dim light for nearly a lifetime, the story ends too, and with it, a generation as well as an era in time. It’s the kind of chapter that closes another family's photo album and history book just like it has since the beginning of time itself.
And for the girl...it was death to yet another tribe, the most primal one, but in a period of time where it was no longer necessary to tell her it was time to move on.
November 08, 2010
Meet the 2010 PopTech Fellows
November 8, 2010 in America The Free, Europe, New England, On Africa, On Being Green, On China, On East Africa, On Education, On Health, On Innovation, On Science, On South Africa, On Technology, On the Future, On Women, Social Media, United Kingdom, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
November 01, 2010
CarWoo Drives Vintage 78 Camaro to World Series to Raise Money for Breast Cancer
By bridging two significant events together, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers fans can show their support by giving to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to raise money for breast cancer.
The story: CarWoo! bought a 1978 Camaro and painted a pink stripe down the center.
Then, at the second World Series game at San Francisco's AT&T Park on Thursday, October 29, 2010, they asked Giants fans to donate to the Susan G. Koman foundation in exchange for being able to sign the Giants' side of the car in support of their team. They are doing the same thing for Rangers fans at the fifth game of the series on November 1, 2010.
The fans who raise the most money will win the “competition”, and all of the funds raised will go towards the Susan G. Komen chapter in the team's respective city. The car, complete with all of the signatures, will be auctioned off, and the proceeds from this sale will also be donated to the foundation.
Specifics can be found on CarWoo’s World Series page and at CarWoo Cares on the Komen site. Details of the car’s trip across the country and its ultimate exact location at the stadium in Arlington can be found here.
October 26, 2010
Yeung Attracts High Number of Women Entrepreneurs: #biztech
Go Edith Yeung, the founder and organizer of BizTechDay events, now in New York, Seattle and more recently San Francisco. She attracts a higher than normal number of women entrepreneurs -- attendees and speakers -- and does high touch things like "here's your buddy, go find them on-site" as a way to not only engage attendees but give them a creative and fun call-to-action that will encourage participation and networking with people you otherwise may not have met.
We heard from Squidoo's Megan Casey, Gymboree's Joan Barnes, Kiva's Jessica Jackley, Sue Kwon from CBS, SmallBizTrend's Anita Campbell and Facebook Era's Clara Shih. Also check out 25 amazing women entrepreneurs you should make an effort to meet. Below taken at the San Francisco event by Michael O'Donnell.
October 25, 2010
Stephanie Coontz: What Is Love REALLY? What Makes a Marriage REALLY?
What is love really? What makes for a happy marriage? Marriage was invented for in-laws--connected in-laws--says Stephanie Coontz on the PopTech stage in Maine this past week.
Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families and the author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, says the answer lies in understanding that marrying for love is a radical idea.
Coontz notes that little interactions between couples are important indicators of a successful marriage. It reveals how much interest and respect a couple has for each other.
What also counts in a marriage, say Coontz, is how well a couple can manage household duties together. Here, it should come as no surprise that men and women have different understandings of marital satisfaction.
The best predictors for marital satisfaction among men? The answer, perhaps not surprisingly, is how little criticism and how much sex he gets. According to Coontz, that has not changed since the 1960s. What has changed is how he gets it. A modern-day marriage, says Coontz, requires much more give and take—and much more help around the house. One of the predictors of a woman’s happiness in a marriage directly relates to how much a spouse contributes to household and childcare tasks.
Coontz concludes with a win-win situation scenario for each sex: The more that household and childcare duties are split between a couple, the less criticism and more sex that the man is likely to get, and the happier the woman is likely to be. Here's a link to her presentation. (it's the first time I haven't seen the embed video option on any site).
Republished from PopTech Site - Collen Kaman - Photo credit: Kris Krüg.
October 22, 2010
25 Amazing Women Leaders You Have to Meet
At this weekend's BizTechDay in San Francisco, women leaders join the conversation and the stage. They range from business leaders, elites and investors to journalists, CEOs and media personalities. Below are ten amazing women BizTechDay says you should meet. If you're not in San Francisco for the event, then reach out and engage.
|Jessica Jackley - Founder of Kiva and Profounder
|Joan Barnes - Founder of Gymobree
|Megan Casey - Founder of Squidoo
|Shaherose Charania - Founder of Women 2.0
|Sue Kwon – Chief Editor, Editorial and Digital Media at Gap
|Anita Campbell – Founder of Small Business Trends
|Maggie Mui - Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo
|Jennifer Van Grove – Associate Editor of Mashable
|Kathy Sacks - VP of Communications
|Regina Dick-Endrizzi – Executive Director, Office of Small Business of San Francisco
|Leslie Milloy – Chief Marketing Officer at San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
|Ellen Pack – Vice President of Marketing at Elance
|Clara Shih – Author of the Facebook Era
|Poornima Vijayashanker – Founder of Bizeebee
|Tammy Camp – Entrepreneur. World Record Holding Kiteboarder.
|Sofia Echeverria Keck – Sell It In Spanish
|Cassie Phillips – Executive Producer of Failcon
|Donna Wells – President and CEO of Mindflash
|Starla Sireno – Founder of Founder at Fearless Women Entrepreneur Networkhttp://twitter.com/fearlessbeast|
|Emily Borders – Founder of BORDERS + GRATEHOUSE
|Krystyn Chong - Geek, Web Content Producer, Blogger
|Renee Blodgett – CEO and Founder of Magic Sauce Media
|Gwyneth Borden - Commissioner at San Francisco Planning Commission
|Adryenn Ashley – Founder of Wowisme
October 12, 2010
Organizing & Curating Events: #Pearltrees Meets #140ConfI have written about Jeff Pulver's 140 Characters Conference (more known by its now popular hashtag #140conf) on more than one occasion, starting with his first Los Angeles event now more than a year ago. He has since held events in Tel Aviv, London, New York, Boston, San Francisco and other locations, with more on the way, including a small town one in the Midwest.
What I love about his events (and no, I don't work for him :-) is that he pulls together passionate people who know how to tell really compelling and engaging stories rather than pitch them or throw insights out on a panel on the "same ole same ole" topic with the "same ole same ole" people. Let's face it, life is about storytelling. Branding is about storytelling. Kids are about storytelling. Money is about storytelling. And when we perk up and pay attention, its because of a really good story, one with passion and authenticity behind the 'voice.'
I wrote about some of the 'characters' who participated in the LA event in a post last week. And in the same week, I posted a number of videos of many of the heartwarming storytellers, entertainers and performers who spoke in LA. Just search for 140 conference or 140conf on the We Blog the World YouTube Channel to find them all.
And in the same week, I posted a number of videos of many of the heartwarming storytellers, entertainers and performers who spoke in LA. Just search for 140 conference or 140conf on the We Blog the World YouTube Channel to find them all.
Finding and sifting through content after an event is overwhelming isn't it? It's overwhelming because A) there is simply too much content out there, B) search is not perfect nor is it customized for the way we (humans) think and C) there are simply too many 'channels' and social media outlets where things are posted.
In an effort to get more organized and save time searching, browsing and reading, Pearltrees can be a useful way for you to organize and curate content the way you want to see it. Why count on a generic, broad search engine or a geeky bookmarking service to display your world of interests and passions?
Below is the Pearltree I created just for the 140 Conference in Los Angeles, which includes customized pearltrees for each of the categories I decided to curate. In other words, I created a Pearltree for just women attendees, another for speakers, one for entertainment tweeters, educators and moms who are using social media in interesting ways and so on.
And, notice that I have embedded the Pearltree inside my blog post, which was as easy to do it is to embed a YouTube video. Copy and paste the code baby and you're done. It takes seconds to share it with an audience! Imagine the branding opportunities here.
To give you an idea of how easy it is to customize and share, below is the Pearltree I created at the Los Angeles event that contains only 'women tweeters/attendees', making it a great way to keep tabs on people's activity in one central place.
You can bounce from pearl to pearl faster than you can from web browser to web browser, getting quick updates at a quick glance. It also helps you find content quickly and readily and is a helluva lot more compelling to look at than a long geeky bookmarking list. I did the same thing for speakers.
Below is a Pearltree I created for the entire 140 Characters Conference, which includes links to the schedules of other city-hosted events Pulver plans to have or has had, i.e., Boston, San Fran, Detroit, London and so on.
Below is a screen grab that I took to show you how you can organize your Pearltrees within greater folders/or pearls if you like. My 140 Conference Pearl is within a Pearltree I call Conferences & Events, but you can slice and dice it however you choose, since you, are the curator and organizer, not Google. Here's a link to how Techcrunch Disrupt was curated using Pearltrees, a very effective way to capture the best of (or all of) an event. Refreshing isn't it?
October 12, 2010 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Client Media Kudos, Conference Highlights, Europe, On Branding, On Innovation, On Search, On Technology, On Women, Social Media, TravelingGeeks, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 06, 2010
REDF President Carla Javits Helps Thousands At Bottom Of Ladder Get Work
At the Social Capital Markets SOCAP event at Fort Mason in San Fancisco this past week, Isabel Maxwell asks the President of REDF Carla Javits, to talk about their programs and what she does to make a difference.
September 22, 2010
Ellroy's Hilliker Curse
The year was 1958. Jean Hilliker had divorced her fast-buck hustler husband and resurrected her maiden name. Her son, James, was ten years old. He hated and lusted after his mother and “summoned her dead.” She was murdered three months later.
An 'out-there' memoire, The Hilliker Curse is a predator’s confession, a treatise on guilt and on the power of malediction, and above all, a cri de cœur. James Ellroy unsparingly describes his shattered childhood, his delinquent teens, his writing life, his love affairs and marriages, his nervous breakdown, and the beginning of a relationship with an extraordinary woman who may just be the long-sought Her.
A layered narrative of time and place, emotion and insight, sexuality and spiritual quest, The Hilliker Curse is a soul-baring revelation of self. Elroy in action on YouTube, in a discussion with his publisher about the book and in The Guardian.