Still digesting last week’s fem2pt0 conference

Last Monday’s Feminism 2.0 conference was a whirlwind of different kinds of experiences.

As a “twitter dropout” the heavy emphasis on twitter was strange to me. In twitter, for instance, there are different kinds of identities:

  • @Kim_Gandy — pretty clear who she is
  • @blogdiva — spoke enough at the conference that I’ve put a face and name to that nickname – and her name is in her twitter profile
  • @fem2pt0 — I still don’t have a face/name for that twitterer

So, as someone used to Facebook where you’ve got all kinds of context about your “correspondents,” twitter seems so context free that it’s hard (for me, at least) to use it to make connections with folks I don’t aleady know in real life.

Given that, I skipped last night’s twittercast on next steps. I did, however, review the transcript and have pulled out a few points that resonate with me:

digitalsista: there are so many interests in a wiki, ning and other forms of #fem2 aggregators. We need to make sure they remain connected
jdp23: @digitalsista agreed. wikis like Wetpaint make it easy to embed feeds and so work well with aggregators
Jillmz: I’m on a three or four nings – I find them a bit unwieldy #fem2
anandaleeke: @jlenoir i am all for writing blogs. i am happy to post reflections on bap living social networking site, facebook group, and myspace
Jillmz: like wikis too
Jillmz: re @anandaleeke @jlenoir facebook is proving to be a really good tool, I have to say
anandaleeke: if we spread our content around the blogsphere we can reach out more to women of color and other women we miss
anandaleeke: @Jillmz facebook is a great tool.
sairy: pbwiki is good for real collaboration; just for keeping in touch, I suggest something we’re all already on – facebook or ning
chicklitgurrl: @Jillmz I think it’s important to have some kind of agenda where people are strategically place to reach MORE people to the cause,
Jillmz: we have to accept that in any tool, many of us may read, listen then write or spread the word, but not necessarily engage via the tool
jdp23: discussions on Facebook are very limited though. also it’s much more white and male than MySpace [from the limited context on twitter, jdp23 appears to be white and male]
chicklitgurrl: @Jillmz What social media forms do we need a stranglehold on, of sorts, to reach more people,
Jillmz: @chicklitgurrl great point re: strategically placed – I’m smiling though thinking, what is that – what would it look like -do we know?
holdie1: @anandaleeke @chicklitgurrl. yup. that’s the whole concept behind fem 2.0–sharing skills that = whole greater than sum of part
holdie1: recognizing we will have some different niche constituencies, but there are opps for us to collaborate and have greater impact
sairy: often a 1.0 & 2.0 hybrid is useful; Google Groups for example allows for e-mail list with document sharing & collaborative editing

Where are we now? Darned if I know. Something more robust than twitter is needed –discussion forum, wiki, ning maybe or even a conference call/webinar. The one line agendas that have been used for these meetings (e.g. “can men be feminists”, “next steps”) are about all that a twittercast can handle — but to make real progress I think we need to tackle a few more parts of the puzzle at a time.

Some good notes from Ananda: — including a reference to the way the unconference “she’s geeky” pulled together. That is, I think, on target, but I guess I never articulated the question  — “Unconferences aren’t so brand new. This feels like one, but it isn’t organized like one. Why not?”

So, yes, I’m the one who is looking first at the technology platform. I honor all you folks who are writing the manifestos, the poems, and visions. But good meetings come from more than that.

I’m still not sure what this de facto community is trying to accomplish — but I’ll hang on for awhile longer with the assumption that we’re all in this together and looking for ways to support each other.