I came away from this hugely enjoyable gathering of blogging women (and a few men), hosted by De Montfort University, brimming with enthusiasm for blog writing – determined to do more of it, as well as posting my creative media. So here goes…
I gained so many useful insights during the day, but one of the things that sticks in my mind is the issue of how to deal with aggressive comments. It’s not something I’ve experienced on my own blog, but I have while contributing to other blogs. Personally it doesn’t bother me too much, in fact I often enjoy the rough and tumble of a heated debate, but I know many women are uncomfortable with it. The keynote speakers (or one of them, at least) pointed out that, generally speaking, men and women tend to have different commenting styles: men like to challenge more, women tend to be more consensual. No one’s denying that there are trolls out there, but it’s important for women to remember that a challenging comment is not necessarily an attack.
I enjoy peaceful discussion and consensus can be good – but I like variety and it’s exciting to get a shake up once in a while too. If women become overly concerned about online aggression, the danger is they abdicate from the discussion, they lose their voice, they silence themselves. It’s important to remember that online men have no real advantage, they are no bigger nor louder than any woman wants to be – and as Jory Des Jardins from BlogHer pointed out, collectively women are a powerful and influential online presence.
There’s nothing to stop individual women making their mark too. If a woman wants to carve out a space for herself, she’s got to be prepared to defend it. In a virtual web 2.0 world the balance of power is different… and still evolving… Don’t take your old assumptions into battle – and don’t assume it’s always a brawl.
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The blank canvas, the tabula rasa, the dread white planes of the empty space! I must scrawl something here – a few scribbles, a daub or two, anything to set me off on my new venture – the Wilx Collection.
My gallery, my great exhibition space… Ah… I pause to survey the cool white of this temporary lacuna. Soon it will be full of wonders. Exhibited here will be treasures collected from my travels – and others from closer to home – but all will be creative works that I value and wish to share.
Soon, once my space is ready. I refuse to exhibit until I’ve achieved the right ambience. So why have I opened my doors so prematurely?
I must apologise, dear visitor, if you’ve arrived here before my grand opening. Or should that be private view? Public/private view? Anyway, who can resist visiting new premises before the paint has dried and carpet laid? It’s a novelty to be in such an empty space, our lives are normally so crammed full of things. I couldn’t help but leave the door open for you too.
But I must get on, I have many treasures to unpack. There’s so much to do before I launch my first exhibit.
Now I’m testing Performancing for Firefox, another tool for posting directly to your blog as you browse in Firefox. As far as I can see it’s similar to the WordPress Sidebar except it splits the browser window into two horizontal panes with the webpage above. As I write this I have the Performancing for Firefox Handbook open, which is useful. It looks more sophisticated than the WordPress Sidebar and probably has more features. I’ll try them both for a while and see which I like best.
I’m trying out the WordPress.com Sidebar 1.2 for Firefox. I don’t know if it’s going to let me post to my blog straight from here, but that’s what I’m about to try. Here goes.
Hey, it worked! That’s going to be really useful. It means I’ll be able to view web contents and write my thoughts immediately alongside, then post it. I don’t know if I’ll be doing much commenting on web content (I don’t really know yet how this blog is going to evolve) but the ease of use of the sidebar may encourage me to go in that kind of direction.
So here I am starting to blog – crissXross – drawing connections – joining up the dots – crissXross – casting my net a little further. What am I going to write about? I don’t know (and I’m feeling slightly nervous now, tying myself up in knots). Go write!
A good word to start off with.