Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Done Lately?

I'm not writing here much right now, but I have been busy on many many collaborative sites so I wanted to share a brief update about that...

I recently joined the MOMocrats. I've been blogging about politics on and off for a while, and doing it on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog gave a few of us the idea of doing it for our respective presidential candidates. I was frankly too busy to start another collaborative blog myself, so I just blogged about Hillary wherever I could (which has other advantages of reaching a broader audience vs. preaching to the choir), but some of my friends started blogging together about John Edwards and their site was great. We talked early on about working together once a nominee was selected and it was sort-of de facto that we would put our efforts together whenever that point came. When Edwards dropped out of the race, most of them began supporting Obama, but they also opened up the blog for everyone to participate and so I joined. I'm in the minority there as a Hillary supporter, but we have a great dialogue and it's a wonderful group of intelligent people. So I haven't written much yet, but stay tuned, especially toward the election.

For Playborhood, I did some research about preschools and wrote an article about the preschool search pertaining to kids and play. I also put that research to use when interviewed for Bay Area Parent magazine. And I wrote a brief article for Bay Area Parent which I believe will be in the May issue. I still write regularly for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, including putting up a post last night about meeting Maria Shriver, First Lady of California, which was a real treat - especially after reading her latest book.

I spent last weekend in Sacramento being trained on legislative advocacy in the State of California since I'm now the Junior Representative from the Junior League of Palo Alto/Mid-Peninsula to the State Public Affairs Committee for the Junior Leagues of California. (I know it's a mouth full. Sorry.) What that means is that I get to review proposed bills, research them, meet with legislators, and vote within a committee over the next two years as to any legislation the Junior Leagues will support. As we focus on women and children, our issue areas are education, health, family support, and domestic violence prevention. It's a great learning opportunity and it's a wonderful feeling to know we're helping change lives.

Early last week, I compiled some materials that USACM had written about our positions on national technology policies into a paper that we submitted to the Yale Technology Law Journal for the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference that supposedly will be submitted to the next presidential administration as recommendations on information technology policy. I like keeping active in the tech policy arena when I can, and as a member now of USACM for over 10 years, I enjoy the people involved immensely. Anyway we'll see if the paper is accepted. I would like to think the next administration could learn from USACM - some incredibly brilliant people are involved.

SFBayStyle is growing strong. With a large group of interesting writers, we're getting some great feedback and we're having a lot of opportunities to cover some fantastic events. What I love about creating our own blog about style and fashion is that we can do whatever we want with it, which to me means emphasizing the nonprofit, philanthropic and community component as often as possible. And we have nearly 300 articles up in under a year.

I recently began blogging for ecofabulous, a great site for finding everything that's beautiful and eco for homes, clothes, dining, travel, etc. I also covered the World Figure Skating Championships for BlogHer (Sports & Fitness) and I look forward to writing more for them in the future.

I'm still writing on occasion for Acceller's Digital Landing site. It's a great place for learning basics about technology - TV, phones, computers, etc. So I know my audience here is above all that, but you can send your parents there.

Looking back at this list, it seems like I'm doing a lot, and I am, but I like participating in a lot of different venues because it means I can write about all sorts of topics that I find interesting while working in the community as well. For anyone who wants to keep tabs on my current endeavors for whatever reason, see Otherwise, please be patient and I'll write more of my own thoughts here soon.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Six Degrees of Tom Perkins

I hosted a book club meeting for the first time last night and the book I chose was a little different than the novels we've read in the past. The book club is for my (relatively new, as of a little over a year ago) neighborhood and the group is largely social, but also highly intelligent, well-read, well-traveled, and full of interesting people. I'd read some good reviews about Valley Boy, Tom Perkins's autobiographical book, and had made it through a few chapters when I made the selection. Some of the neighbors who came to my home liked it; others didn't, no big surprise, but nearly everyone had some kind of connection to the book either through people they knew, places they had traveled or worked.

Perkins, founder of Kleiner Perkins (later to become Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers), the most well-known venture capital firm in the world, wrote about everything from sailing to IPOs, and he wrote it well. Various people had their opinions of Perkins and his opinions after reading the book, of course, but everyone thought his take on the HP-Compaq merger was interesting as well as his philanthropic endeavors and what he wrote of his love life. (For those who don't know, he was involved with the San Francisco Ballet board, he lost his wife of many years to cancer, and he was briefly wed to Danielle Steel.) He also helped build Tandem Computers and Genentech. He's now on the board of News Corp.

Here is a bit of a bio and a recent photo of Perkins, here is the publisher's info, and here is his Wikipedia entry. Even if you're not a fan but you find these topics of interest, check the book out at the library - it's an interesting read.

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