Monday, October 29, 2007

Bloggers and Writers - Use Creative Commons Licenses - Here's Why

I had the pleasure of getting to know Cory Doctorow while I was volunteering for theEFF one summer. He is an extraordinary writer and networker, and his work is brilliant. So rather than trying to paraphrase his writing, I'll just quote it directly. It is, after all, under Creative Commons license:

"My writing career and Creative Commons are inextricably bound together. My first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, was published by Tor, the largest science fiction publisher in the world, on January 9, 2003, just a few days after CC launched its first licenses. I was the first author to use the licenses, applying them to my book and releasing it for free online on the same day it appeared in stores. Today, the book has been through more printings than I can keep track of, been translated into more languages than I know, and has been downloaded more than 750,000 times from my site alone (I don’t know the total number of downloads, because, of course, anyone is free to redistribute it)."


"CC turns my books from nouns into verbs. My books *do stuff*, get passed around and recut and remade to suit the needs of each reader, turned to their hand the way that humans always have adapted their tools and stories to fit their circumstances. As Tim O’Reilly says, my problem is not piracy, it’s obscurity, and CC licenses turn my books into dandelion seeds, able to blow in the wind and find every crack in every sidewalk, sprouting up in unexpected places. Each seed is a possibility, an opportunity for someone out there to buy a physical copy of the book, to commission work from me, to bring me in for a speech. I once sold a reprint of an article of mine to an editor who saw it in a spam message — the spammer had pasted it into the “word salad” at the bottom of his boner-pill pitch to get past the filters. The editor read the piece, liked it, googled me, and sent me a check."

"CC lets me be financially successful, but it also lets me attain artistic and ethical success. Ethical in the sense that CC licenses give my readers a legal framework to do what readers have always done in meatspace: pass the works they love back and forth, telling each other stories the way humans do. Artistic because we live in the era of copying, the era when restricting copying is a fool’s errand, and by CC gives me an artistic framework to embrace copying rather than damning it."

"Writers all over the world are adopting CC licenses, creating an artistic movement that treats copying as a feature, not a bug. As a science fiction writer, this is enormously satisfying: here we have artists who are acting as though they live in the future, not the past. CC is changing the world, making it safe for copying, and just in time, too."

Make it so. See Cory's post and select your license here.

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Obama on Net Neutrality

Anne Broache of CNET has a good article up about Obama indicating during the Mtv and MySpace forum that he's in favor of Net neutrality. This is nothing earth-shattering, of course, as all of the Democrats are in favor of an equal opportunity Internet, but it sounds like Obama has a good grasp of the concept, citing that companies like Google might not exist if it weren't for Net neutrality.

Broache also noted that, while Net neutrality is not a "make-or-break issue akin to healthcare, immigration or the Iraq War," it still holds some heat. As the question was posed by MoveOn, I would venture to second that assertion since they wouldn't waste their bandwidth on a question of little importance. As someone who works from a remote office and who has used everything from 300 baud to a T3, I say speed does matter and anyone who says otherwise is just selling something.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

If You Want to Write a Novel, There's No Time Like November

National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, begins again this Thursday, November 1st. It's a month-long journey into the experience of speed fiction, and tens of thousands (perhaps more?) have participated to date. "The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30." Loads of people do it, and they love it. The idea is to focus on quantity, not quality, and to come to the end and say: "hey, I wrote a novel."

NaNoWriMo was founded by Chris Baty, who also came up with my nickname, Sairy. He's a friend from high school and he now runs the nonprofit, the Office of Letters and Light, which manages NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy, and more based in Oakland. Chris also authored No Plot? No Problem! the handbook and kit for writing novels quickly. Chris is a brilliant writer, and NaNoWriMo has enjoyed significant success to date.

In any case, if you've ever wanted to write a novel, this is a great environment - supportive, fun, and low key. Best wishes to everyone who participates in NaNoWriMo this year!

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Environmental Activism Social Network eRedux

This is in just-launched mode, but it's worth a look - eRedux - "neighborhood-level social networking about the environment." It doesn't necessarily offer any features we haven't seen before in other places, but it's all targeted to local and environmental concepts.

For example, the front page currently shows a cool carbon footprint map by state, illustrating how population drives pollution. The site is primarily zip code based, and it has links to air quality and emissions, local farmers' markets, political contributions, lowest gas prices and more cool "green web tools." It also lists a green events calendar and a local map that I'm assuming will have more features in the future. They should be allowing local submissions of environment-related articles soon as well.

As a former city-level environmental commissioner and a local eco-activist, I think this site could really be of use to local groups like we have working in Menlo Park and Atherton. It would be nice to have one online hub for activities.

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10 Online Video Questions for Presidential Candidates

Most people who read this blog probably have already heard about 10 questions, but just in case you haven't, it's a project put together by TechPresident and several other partners, including BlogHer.

The idea is to choose ten questions from a selection of self-submitted videos to ask each of the presidential candidates. The first phase of video submission ends on Nov. 14. Don't be shy - pick up your camera and give it a try!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Site Updates

Just a quick note - is undergoing a couple of changes, so I apologize to those of you who are RSS readers who will be receiving a few generic documents that I'm just trying to publish under the Blogger format so I can have them linked-up on the site. I'm hoping for a new banner soon.

Also of note - a more comprehensive guide of everything I'm up to can now be found at I've been receiving email there for ages and finally decided to put something on the web.

As always, I appreciate feedback on both sites.


BlogHers Act for MOTHERS Act

We've all heard the stories - moms who are incapacitated by depression, launched into this state of anxiety, sadness, loneliness that they can't seem to break out of - it's called Postpartum Depression. But what many people don't know is that this disease is much more complex than it sounds. In fact, one thing I haven't seen mentioned in other posts about this is that depression related to pregnancy and childbirth can actually begin while you're pregnant, and can affect the pregnancy itself. An important issue, to be sure, and I applaud the BlogHers Act organizers for choosing to endorse this.

The Senate is now reviewing an act, called the MOTHERS Act ("The Mom’s Opportunity To Access Help, Education, Research, and Support" for Postpartum Depression Act). This is one of those bills that just says - hey, let's address this problem in a more cohesive fashion. I haven't had a chance to read the text of the bill in detail yet, but from everything I've heard, it's a worthy effort.

Rather than going on about this, I'll direct you to Glennia Campbell's post at the Silicon Valley Moms Blog where she goes into a bit more detail about the bill itself. Also, there are several other great personal stories on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog that I highly recommend reading, and of course at BlogHer.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hillary in Hillsborough

How could she not open her speech by talking about the weather on a day like yesterday? I could see across the Bay from this amazing property in Hillsborough - Redwood trees, gazebo and terraced gardens overlooked a tented lawn and the most perfect pool setting I've seen outside of Italy. Hillary Clinton, hopeful first woman president of the U.S. (applause please, everyone always applauds when this is mentioned and she's in the room), came to speak to 200 people. She sparkled as she came out into the sun before entering the tent.

This was my second time to see Hillary Clinton in person - my first was in the spring at a much greater distance. This time she was 10 feet from me, close enough to see the expressions on her face and notice the details in her jewelry. As she spoke - about the economy, energy policy, healthcare, education, innovation and terrorism - I felt both humbled at the opportunity and awed by how one woman, her voice hoarse from speaking around the country, can persevere through so much to achieve this simple but incredible goal of leadership.

Although most people in the group I'd peg as moderate Democrats, we had a significant share of Republicans at the event, which made the discussions during and after the event a little different than when I saw Senator Clinton last in San Francisco. There was more talk about bipartisanship and incentives for businesses, more discussion about making college affordable for everyone, and encouraging innovation while simultaneously bringing down prices in the healthcare and energy sector.

Senator Clinton spoke at length about her top priorities both now as a senator and for the future as president. She emphasized the need for a new energy policy "for our security, our environment and our economy." She jabbed at George Bush - "you cannot be a leader if no one is following." She discussed how in order to make the sweeping changes that are necessary, we will have to "reform the government."

When asked about how she would proceed in the "war on terror," she had a 3 point plan beginning with regaining the "moral authority that we've lost." "We're now seeing the results ofthe deterioration in Pakistan," she said. She thinks it's the most dangerous place in the world right now, and she thinks they have nukes. "We've got to be vigilant - not fearful bit vigilant."

On the environment, she said "it's not going to be easy (major environmental progress) but we are making some positive changes," talking about the time we have before the election. She lauded former Vice President Gore for his Nobel prize and for his efforts, but she said "I think Al would be happier with a policy than a prize," knowing there is much work that needs to be done on her part in order to make the necessary changes.

About healthcare, Hillary brought out her vast knowledge of that area and cited several related statistics. "We can't continue to spend more than anyone else in the world and not cover everyone." She also advocated on behalf of electronic medical records, saying it would save us $44Billion/year. That figure I find staggering, but I've often wondered at the disorganized fashion of most medical records as a technologist. This could build and expand businesses too, from what I know of the industry. She talked about creating new jobs and coming to agreements with everyone in biotech, insurance, "big pharma" and the rest of us and how it's unlikely the first step will be much more than a lot of compromise for everyone, but she indicated that may be the only way we can get everyone covered.

Senator Clinton spoke at great length about the challenges we have in education. She wants to provide pre-Kindergarten in 50 states. Because there's a huge drop-out rate by the third grade. Third grade! It makes me sick to think about it. She thinks it's deplorable what's happening with the cost of college education. "A lot of people in mortgage crisis are there because they took out second mortgages to send their kids to college," she said. She told stories about some of the people she's met in that situation. She also said that the U.S. is declining in the percentage of people who are going to college now, compared to many other countries.

The senator and former first lady spoke for over an hour and took Q&A for at least 30 minutes more before being whisked away to catch a flight to her next event. Hosted by Cynthia Shuman and Dan Banks and Chaired by former California State Senator Jackie Speier, the lunch event lasted longer than I expected. Jackie Speier, as always, was radiant in her introduction and shared personal stories that illustrate why she's supporting (and speaking on behalf of) Senator Clinton. There was some buzz as well about when Jackie will run for office next. Everyone in the room, of course, will be rooting for Jackie in her next race.

My mom, who happened to be in town this week, kindly sponsored my attendance to the event, since intimate political fundraisers (yes, 200 people is "intimate") tend to cost a pretty penny. She came along with me, and I was able to find one friend at short notice who came as well. She's one of the registered Republicans and she was impressed by Hillary's knowledge of the issues, but she's a tough sell (in this case because she knew one of the Republican candidates personally).

There's still a lot of talk among women and men about whether Hillary's electable - I thought that was past - but I guess not. The truth is we'll never know until it happens. Polling results say it's possible. I keep pointing-out to people that several of the first milestones in women's political history were in cases where women took offices their husbands previously occupied, so there's actually a strong precedent for this. People talk about her baggage, the smear campaigns against her, etc. and all I can say is it's sad how much of our tax money has been wasted to turn the American public against one woman - a smart, dedicated, driven, amazing person - who can and is making a monumental difference in the state of our world.

These are not simple problems Senator Hillary Clinton faces and they don't have simple solutions, nor is her list of adversaries small, but as I study her - through the debates, seeing her in person, reading what she writes, learning about her character from those who know her - I just can't help but feel that we would be in good hands if and when she becomes president. She's not sugar-coating what needs to be done and she's not making promises she can't keep. It's refreshing to me both to see a woman and someone who presents a realistic perspective on our situation as a nation, but who brings people together in a problem-solving fashion to address these issues in a proactive, insightful way. At one point during her speech, she rebuked Bush's choices as president and rhetorically asked, "how about appointing qualified people [to their posts in our government]?" Let's start by electing one.

Also posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hillary Hopes to Breathe Life Back into Work-Life Balance

I used to think creating work-life balance was a matter of just taking control over your own life. And to a certain extent, it is. But there are factors in our society as Americans that have really gotten out-of-control. In other countries, new mothers have an opportunity to take real time off to spend with their new babies. New fathers can spend a little time at home too. And without fear of losing their jobs or taking pay cuts for doing it. Here, that's hardly ever the case. After I became a parent, I realized work-life balance is actually very hard to come by here, especially in California where so many families need to have both parents working in order to just pay the mortgage.

Hillary Clinton, in a week of initiatives focused entirely on women, released a proposal to provide greater family leave options. The press release listed key components of the plan as creating a new State Family Leave Innovation Fund that will "expand paid leave across the country". She also proposes extending FMLA to 13 Million more Americans and requiring sick leave of at least 7 days a year. (How does this work with lame PTO programs that lump vacation and sick days all into one, I wonder?) She's promoting model workplaces and a federal telecommuting initiative (woo-hoo!), she has an affordable childcare component (no details here), and she's working to prevent discrimination, particularly in the case of pregnant women.

This week, Hillary Clinton has also spoken on a number of women's issues and for women's organizations. This is a key component of her campaign, of course, since she's the first viable woman candidate for president, but I personally believe it is much more than that. Having read a great deal about her now and having talked with and read stories about people who have known her well, it is clear to me that she has a deeply rooted commitment to women and families. This is a big part of why I support her candidacy.

It's not just about Hillary Clinton being pro-choice, a woman, a mother, or particularly vocal on key issues generally identifiable as women's issues like healthcare. Reading accounts from former staffers, she walks her talk. When she was First Lady, she allowed some of the people who worked for her to take long leaves for medical, pregnancy, post partum and childcare purposes, work flexible hours and in one rare case, bring a child to work.

If someone had told me all of that before I became a mother, perhaps I would have thought it was a weak policy or unprofessional. But now I realize how hard it really is to balance work and family in a way that is both satisfactory in allowing children to be properly nurtured and cared for while allowing parents to develop meaningful careers. Work-life balance is not some pie-in-the-sky idea that can only happen for the uber-wealthy or those who make major sacrifices. Look at Europe - it is possible. Hillary's plan is just a first, much needed major step.

I am lucky to be able to attend a lunch this Monday in California that will be hosted by former California State Senator Jackie Speier, a woman who has been a long-time champion of women and families. I won't go into too much detail here because I've blogged about this before, but Jackie Speier herself is admirable in many respects through all she's been through personally. I worked for her briefly before I had to go on bed rest in my pregnancy and she was so understanding; I never would've expected that, but she knew I made the right choice in resigning my post so I could make sure my pregnancy was sustainable and that my daughter would be born healthy. I think it's very fitting that she is hosting this event for Senator Clinton after a week of women's initiatives. It shows the real commitment that Hillary has to these new proposals and I have no doubt we will make tons of progress in this area if she becomes president.

Also posted at BlogHer.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

More from New York Times on Women Online & Politics

Today, Katharine Seelye followed-up her post, "Women, Politics and the Internet" (I mentioned it two weeks ago - she quoted me from my comments to her original inquiry) with Part II introducing some of the bloggers I know and love locally who started the Momocrats blog (looking forward to working with you gals in the general election!)

Seeyle also asked readers to let her know what online outreach methods are working to reach out to women. I look forward to reading what she learns, but I think what Mindy Finn is doing with tagging for Mitt Romney's campaign is certainly one good way. It still baffles me that so many campaigns are barely utilizing online tools, but it will happen.

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Tailgating with Sandra Day O'Connor

I was late arriving to a "tailgate" at the Stanford Law School on Saturday and nearly tripped over two members of the Secret Service. For those of us in the Bay Area (vs. D.C.), that usually means there's a presidential candidate in the room, but in this case, it turned-out to be two Supreme Court members - or one former and one current, to be specific. Stephen Breyer is the current Justice and Sandra Day O'Connor, first woman appointed to the Supreme Court and recently retired, was of course the one who caught my eye.

First, I should rewind and say that what was called a tailgate at the Stanford Law School was really a pre-game party for the Homecoming footaball game that occurred in the court yard at the law school where they served Kansas City-style BBQ chicken and some fabulous ice cream sandwiches among other items in the well-presented buffet. And the fully stocked bar (with wine and really good margaritas) did not reek even remotely of cheap beer and chips. Having never been much of a football observer (so sue me, I know it's heresy for a UofM grad to say this), I'd never been to a tailgate before but I'm guessing this one doesn't really count anyway.

I ended-up at this soiree at the invitation of my dad - it was his birthday - who graduated from Stanford Law School in '62. He invited my sister, her partner, (both of whom are also Stanford grads), me and my husband to come with him and his wife to the tailgate and then to the game. It was mostly an activity for alumni to catch-up with each other. If I had come earlier, perhaps I would've said hello to Sandra O'Connor. I certainly thought of things to say and ask, but mostly I wanted to thank her for her service and for helping break the glass ceiling. I didn't know how to come across as not cheezy - I'm a little shy when it comes to in-person meetings like this. I figured she wanted to just talk with friends. She clearly had her fill of people coming up to her and talking to her, and then suddenly she was gone, probably whisked away to the game or some other event.

What I did learn while I was standing in line for my chicken (not eavesdropping, I swear), was that she's still a sharp woman. She was partaking in discussion about tax law and policy and had opinions on what may or may not pass with Congress. I'd rather not write what I heard specifically because she didn't know I was there, but nevertheless, just her presence at an event like this shows that she's still making a difference through her service, and I'm sure her legacy will continue. I'm hoping our next Supreme Court Justice will be a woman appointed by a woman, and I really hope she's around to see it. All I can say is next time the law school has a tailgate, I hope I'm invited back. They know how to party.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Announcing Playborhood - A Site for Developing Neighborhood Communities Surrounding Play

I'm participating in a new project - - just launched within the hour, where our goal is to reach out to people who seek better play-based communities and neighborhoods for their children. So many families now have structured play all the time and neighborhoods where they don't feel safe letting their kids just go out and play, we're lucky to find the rare place where they can (I did - I feel lucky anyway). So Playborhood aims to become a great community resource where parents can go to find the right neighborhood for them and engage others in that neighborhood in the process of creating a safe, inviting Playborhood. Please check out the site and send us feedback.

Here are two articles on the Playborhood site about why this issue is important: "Mike's Manifesto" and "What Kids Want Most In a House is Not in the House". is already full of great resources for parents who want to be proactive and help their children grow up with the same opportunities for free play outside as we had when we were young.

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Philanthropy & SFBayStyle

I have a lot to post on this blog, but it may be a few days... I'm working on getting a couple of collaborative sites rolling. I've mentioned before - it's really growing now. We're adding writers and events. We have a whole lot of nonprofit philanthropic events we'll be covering in the next few months. And we're working the eco angle as well, so environmentalists, stay tuned for that.

I've moved my art, music, fashion and philanthropic posts that are unrelated to tech over to SFBayStyle because it seemed to be a better fit, so will continue to house the old posts, but it's now really going to focus on what the tagline says - tech, politics (candidates & policy), philanthropy (nonprofits & causes) and culture that relates to those things... the original plan for this blog. That way since many people are only interested in one vs. the other & not both, they won't have to weed through whichever doesn't interest them in order to find what does.

I'll post later this week or next about the other launch I'm working on...

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Live-blogging Mentioned on Daily KOS

Tracy Russo (aka Tracy Joan) posted an incredibly detailed account yesterday of the Silicon Valley Moms' meeting with Elizabeth Edwards, "Have you heard about Elizabeth Edwards and the Mommy Bloggers?" on the JohnEdwards'08 Blog and cross-posted it at Daily KOS.

Guess those speed typing drills in junior high school were good for something after all - she seemed to like my live-blogging. I was impressed by the amount of time she must have put into reading all of our posts and compiling them, and by her support of the mommybloggers being given adequate respect in the political arena. Thanks Tracy!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ellen Malcolm, Women Bloggers & Partnering with Women Candidates

Today, I had the privilege of being invited to meet with Ellen Malcolm, Founder & President of EMILY's List. EMILY's List, for those who don't know, is the largest PAC in the U.S. and also a phenomenal training organization for pro-choice Democratic women who want to run for office and work in campaigns. (I have also had the privilege of being through their Political Opportunity Program training in 2005 through Emerge and it is incredible. Highly recommended.) 'EMILY' stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast" because early money in campaigns shows candidate viability and makes the difference between who stays in the race to win.

Thanks to Ramona Oliver, EMILY's List Communications Director, a small group of us met over lunch in San Francisco and discussed how to utilize the Internet, particularly blogs, to get the message of women candidates out. Others in the group included Elisa Camahort of BlogHer, Gina Cooper of Netroots Nation, Elisa Batista of MotherTalkers, and Page Rockwell of the "Broadsheet". (A couple of others were invited, but being busy women, were already double-booked.) We spoke about our own experiences with online politics, the blogosphere, and how to get more women mobilized online.

Sitting across from Ellen Malcolm, who according to Wikipedia, was "named one of America's most influential women by Vanity Fair (1998), one of the '100 Most Important Women in America' by Ladies' Home Journal (1999), one of the 'Women of the Year' by Glamour (1992), and 'Most Valuable Player' by the American Association of Political Consultants," gave me a real feeling of empowerment - knowing this woman created an organization that has launched over 11 senators, 55 congresswomen and 7 governors to their seats, not including all of the statewide women she helped attain public office. One woman, harnessing the power of other women, can really do all of that. I've heard these statistics before, and I've seen her speak at major events before, but somehow sitting at lunch together made me feel like what she does is more real. Hearing her speak on a personal level about her dream of seeing Hillary Clinton sworn in as our first woman president was really inspiring to me.

First, we talked about Hillary's hair (just kidding - that never even crossed our minds). Seriously though, the topics ran the gamut from utilizing blog advertising to helping women bloggers learn more about working with the 'mainstream' media (see yesterday's post relating to the New York Times article about women in politics online). The one point I wanted to get across to EMILY's List was the importance of candidate and high-level buy-in about online tools for campaigning; in order to use them effectively, the campaign manager, communications director and state directors (if it's national) need to totally grok why and how the net can help them win. Or at least they need enough confidence in the explanations given to them by people who do grok it who they feel they can trust. I got the sense that they already knew this, but it never hurts to have another person who's worked in the field support that notion. I've found it's absolutely essential in conducting a competitive campaign online.

It was a great lunch, and I enjoyed learning more about the other amazing women at the table as well. I hope I have the opportunity to work with all of them in one way or another in the future. I won't spill the beans on everything else discussed, but let's just say that I'm looking forward to mobilizing women for women to win in '08 and beyond.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

New York Times & Women in Online Politics

Yesterday, New York Times reporter, Katharine (Kit) Seeyle, published an inquiry on their blog, "The Caucus", asking readers to respond to "why more men seemed to be involved in politics online than women... if you agreed with that and... why or why not." The discussion is still going strong in the comments there, and today Seeyle published her artilce, "Women, Politics and the Internet", on the New York Times site. (Note: I was quoted - minus my last name and without much context, but it's in there.)

Morra Aarons of BlogHer and Women and Work, was interviewed by Seeyle and followed up quickly with a post asking for more women to participate in the discussion yesterday afternoon before the deadline of the article today. Following her lead and looking at the post on the New York Times blog, I noticed a lot of women frustrated about the apparent lack of attention paid to women in politics online, and many people addressing the topic of blogs and how the discussion often turns derogatory.

One of the commenters, "woman on the inside," (comment #34 and accidentally republished in #41) wrote about how the men tend to pat each other on the backs and help each other out more and tend to be louder and more brash. She says that there are many women working in online politics, but they're not getting on "Meet the Press." This goes into another issue that, a partner to The White House Project and is trying to address - getting more media attention to women whiich, I think is at the heart of this matter. I'd like to hear what Women in Media and News thinks about this topic.

I noticed this phenomenon in the Mother Jones article series on online politics a few months back and wrote about it here. Morra and Esther Dyson were two out of like 4 women interviewed vs. approx. 20 men for that series. The editor wrote back that she reached out to Arianna Huffington and looked for more. In her defense, it's not like there's a list out there of who all is involved in this field.

"woman on the inside" (I think I know who you are, but I won't out you) also uses the example of Karina Newton from Speaker Pelosi's office, and she mentions Zephyr Teachout (from the Dean campaign) and Amanda Michel among others. I'll name a few more names of women who are involved in the presidential campaigns this time around - Tracy Russo and Amy Rubin are working for John Edwards and Crystal Patterson blogs for Hillary Clinton. Mindy Finn (just to prove we're not all Democrats) is Mitt Romney's Director of eStrategy (and formerly of the RNC).

More names: Laura Quinn, Liza Sabater, Jane Hamsher, Taylor Marsh, Chellie Pingree, Susan Crawford, Becky Donatelli, Mary Katherine Ham, Heather Mansfield, Dahlia Lithwick, Chris Nolan, Maryscott O'Connor, Jeralyn Mertitt, Allison Hayward, Mary Hodder, Kathy Mitchell, Lorelei Kelly, Heather Holdridge, Jeanne Jackson, Michelle Malkin, Kate Kaye, Allison Fine, Amanda Marcotte, Barbara O'Brien. These women play major roles in political blogs and policy nonprofits. And of course we can't forget the BlogHer founders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort and Jory Des Jardins or even Elizabeth Edwards who blogs frequently and likes to meet with bloggers. What about some of the companies that work on the back-end? There are a few that are women-owned and run like ROI Solutions, run by Gina Vanderloop or Orchid Suites' Tanya Renne. So while this is not even a remotely comprehensive and I don't have everyone's current affiliations, my point here is to show that there are not only many capable women working in online politics, but there are many capable women leaders working in online politics.

In my post about an event I attended a couple of weeks ago, two of the speakers were women (out of 6, that's progress) - Michelle Kraus and Perla Ni. And what about the mommybloggers? Elisa Batista of MotherTalkers, Stefania Pomponi-Butler (who wears many hats like me but also blogs about politics), and Grace Davis all blog actively about political issues. Ann Crady founded Maya's Mom as a social network or parents, but it's not like parents just talk about parenting. And of course Joan Blades can't be missed - she founded MoveOn and MomsRising. I'm not even going into the long long list of women involved in technology policy list including a majority who run the Electronic Frontier Foundation. (Bet you didn't realize that! Much credit for this should go to Shari Steele.) Also women play major roles in ACM, EPIC, Creative Commons and CPSR, all leading technology policy advocacy groups I've worked with. Well-known names in that space include Annalee Newitz (see my blogroll).

Anyway, back to the New York Times. Emily McKhann of BlogHer was also interviewed and quoted in the article, and Erin Kotecki Vest of BlogHer and Queen of Spain got in on the comments, just after mine. (Mine is #48; Erin's is #49.) (Emily and Cooper Munroe are spearheading BlogHers Act.) I then tipped-off the Silicon Valley Moms about the discussion and Beth Blecherman and Glennia Campbell submitted comments #59 and #63 respectively. Rather than reprinting my long quote here, I'll just note that my main points were not about how men and women communicate differently (because I really don't know much about that - I am both a problem-solver and a consensus-builder, unlike what I said about the generalizations I've read) but I do want to point out the variety of ways women are involved in politics, not just via blogs. I think that's a huge point that may not have had enough emphasis in the article. Many women are involved and just because we're not out there spilling our guts in the blogosphere, that doesn't mean we aren't playing a dynamic, important role.

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