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My Gnomedex presentation in progress…

May 5th, 2005 · 4 Comments


Elisabeth shows she is a Geeks Gone Wild Girl, playing with a notebook from Gnomedex 4.0 (picked up at a blogger meetup last fall).

To create the presentation I will be giving at Gnomedex 5.0 in Seattle seven weeks from Friday, I am starting with the talk I gave at Northern Voice titled Making Masks: Blogging as Social Tool and Family Lifestyle (partial list of reviews in this post) and adding two sets of changes.

First, I am compiling the critiques I received after Northern Voice and attempting to incorporate the recommendations that were made (for example here and here). If you have feedback for me, please comment below or email me harrowme AT yahoo.com – I would like to hear from anyone who can help me improve!

At Gnomedex I have thirty minutes for my presentation, so I will need to change my talk to fit the time. Probably the last third of the Northern Voice version will be shortened in order to accommodate my allotment.

I’m looking forward to speaking at Gnomedex. Writing my talk is a fun exercise in creativity. My presentation is a representation of me, with pictures and examples from our family life. I share how each of us, including our children, started blogging, and how I determine which aspects of our private life to make public. It’s a story made of stories.

What other bloggers have shared on their journey has played a part in my own story and in my talk. I’ve assembled a collection of quotes and I try to bookmark and tag them in del.icio.us. At Gnomedex I may not be able to share as many quotes or as lengthy quotes as I did at Northern Voice but I have still been influenced and encouraged by many bloggers as I’ve studied issues and examples of identity, community and privacy.

Here are a few examples:

We are aching for the real. Evelyn Rodriguez.l


As an African woman, who happens to be Kenyan too as an added bonus I know that this is a place where I can talk until the cows come home and will continue when even they are brought out for milking at dawn. You know that thing of where as a woman you are not supposed to talk much and the nice woman is one who defers to the man and let him talk you to death…. Well as a blogger the opinionated woman is capable of holding her own…

Nancy White’s How Some Folks Have Tried to Describe Community – Update 2005 contained a number of insightful quotes including this one

And again from M. Scott Peck, “If we are going to use the word meaningfully [community] we must restrict it to a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to “rejoice together, mourn together,” and to “delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own.” (The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace by M. Scott Peck M.D.)

Dan Pacheco:

I eventually came to the conclusion that a community is not defined by its focus or features, but rather by the people who participate and how they use it. I now believe that anything — whether it be online, in print, on a cell phone, or in some other medium — that connects people with each other is a community tool, and if the people who use it meet each other through it, they are by virtue of that fact “a community.”

In the post Blog: Geek Clique or Soapbox Confessional? amba pondered the line between public and private:

This makes me think about how I feel guilty and embarrassed in one way when I blog about personal stuff, and in another way when I don’t. [snip] …It’s a no-win situation, or maybe I just haven’t quite struck the balance that feels right to me yet. I tend to lurch from one extreme to the other. One way, I feel faintly exhibitionistic (and like I am exhibiting others, such as my husband, without their consent). The other way I feel masked and faintly phony.

Danny Miller’s post on five realizations of blogging is a favorite of mine:

You Can Find the Family That Abandoned You at Birth. What I love most about the blogosphere is its far-reaching tentacles and how you can hook up with like-minded or at least similarly obsessed people. I have become addicted to a bunch of blogs (see list at right) that I simply must read every day and I have to keep reminding myself that I never met most of these people.

I also appreciated his comments describing the effect blogging has had on his marriage:The first time she asked me to delete something I flew into a self-righteous fit. “How dare you censor me! What’s the point of having a blog if I can’t freely write about my life without worrying that you’re going to be upset? You are stifling my creativity, why don’t I just delete the whole blog?”.

Reynolds detailed How To Blog And Not Lose Your Job:

A lot of people won’t like being written about – I mean, the Internet is full of freaks and weirdos right? Who’d want any details of their life on the ‘inter-web super-info-highway’ so just about anyone can read intimate details about them? If you are going to write about other people, then anonymise them. How you do this depends on the style of your blog, do you give them all nicknames, refer to them as initials or call them ‘one of my workmates’? If you do give people nicknames, remember – they may well find out about it, and while calling your boss ‘SmellyGit’ may not be a sack-able offence, it may well have a negative effect on your chances of a future promotion.

Through Susan Mernit, I discovered Anastasia Goodstein’s YPulse with many insights into teens such as these statistics:

“…Half of the country’s teenagers would rather open up and discuss their feelings with a blog than with their parents.

Mary at Be lazy, go crazy ended her post with a quote on how we create and define our own identity:

A person’s identity is not to be found in behaviour, nor – important though this is – in the reactions of others, but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going. The individual’s biography, if she is to maintain regular interaction with others in the day-to-day world, cannot be wholly fictive. It must continually integrate events which occur in the external world, and sort them into the ongoing ‘story’ about the self.’ (Giddens 1991: 54)


Perhaps I’ll write a bibliography containing links to blog posts that were integrated and influential to my talk. At the moment though I wanted to give a glimpse into my Gnomedex presentation process. Hope to see you there!

Tags: gnomedex

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rayne // May 5, 2005 at 9:07 am

    Wow. That bit by Giddens is phenomenal, thanks for pointing it out! I’ve been having a conversation with Dave Pollard/How to Save the World about women and philosophy; I think this bit fits in nicely with my premise that narrative may separate some philosophy, make it more or less accessible. It might also be why the damnable question, “where are the women bloggers?” keeps popping up; perhaps women prefer narrative and the injection of narrative of the self in their writing, making it less accessible to men who’d prefer to avoid narrative. Hmm. Thanks again!

  • 2 joann // May 5, 2005 at 6:33 pm

    Hey Julie,
    I know you’re going to do great at Gnomedex. You do put alot of work into it. Good for you.

    I hope they’ll have an mp3 file for those of us who can’t make it. 🙂

    good luck,

  • 3 Jean // May 6, 2005 at 8:04 am

    The link to that great quote from Amba is not working and I can’t locate it in her archives. Please rectify, I HAVE to read the rest! And very best with your preparation for Gnomedex. I sat riveted to and moved by the audio file of your Northern Voice workshop, and I hadn’t even read your blog at that point.

  • 4 David Brake // Dec 21, 2005 at 8:30 am

    I am researching in your area and was talking to Nancy White who suggested I get in touch. I am listening to your Gnomedex presentation at the moment and am frustrated not to be able to see the slides to which you are evidently referring. The one about your kids’ renditions of what blogging looks like would be particularly entertaining and (with your permission and credit) I might want to use them in teaching or presentations of my own.

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