With Heather Barmore, Stacy Campbell, Kris Likey and AAG.
ALL PARAPHRASED AND CONDENSED
Speaking: Laurie Kahn-Leavitt, a documentary filmmaker - not a blogger, makes films about extraordinary, ordinary people from history: Eyes on the Prize, A Midwife's Tale. A big website called "DoHistory.org". A film about the history of Tupperware.
Wants to do a series of 10 films about extraordinary, ordinary women. "What you are doing is really valuable," she says, because the filmmakers and anthropologists of the future will find our work invaluable.
Kris Likey - from "I'm not a girl, not yet a wino." Started site in march 05. When began site, an outlet for creativity. Trained as a researcher. Her work isn't that creative. 2 readers in 1st year. It became her passion. When she attended BlogHer last year, it became even more of a passion, to make personal blogging legitimate.
"If you don't blog about something specific, if you don't have a niche...then somehow you aren't relevant."
Started IndieBlogger.org last year. it's all about writing, not about the niche.
If I have to summarize what I write about, I'm trying to write about life of a single woman in DC, still renting at age 33, not wanting kids - trying to capture that life.
Stacy C - writes for Jurgennation. Began in April 05. Blog about anything and nothing, my dog, normally about defecation. Just wanted something of my own. Really cool "Oh, look, therer's me." I had no readers for a long time.
Just to be completely honest on blogs - we feel like we have to hide from things in our lives (abuse, etc) - but being honest means so much. I have met so many people thru blogging.
Heather B - I write at nopasanada.com Started it after college "I've graduated college - now what do I do?" Started Aug 05. I just write about being honest about living in Washington DC, how much it sucks being and adult, making no money, what do you do when you hate your job - typical stuff that ppl in early 20s go thru.
I get drunk n throw up, I write about it.
I just moved in with my mom - I write about how much fun that is. I try to be as honest as possible. I try to be funny.
AAG (anonymous - aagblog.com) I'm nervous really nervous. Started 09/05. Writing about sex relationships kids divorce marriage, whatever crosses my mind. I try to be really honest about exp I have had.
Laurie K-L - asks audience "How honest can you be, how honest should you be?" Womens lives usually dismissed as trivial. All of your blogs, imagine someone 100-200 years from now stumbles across - what's missing?"
Kris L - That's something we all struggle with. My blog 1/2 and 1/2 for all of us you're only getting such a slice of someone's life, even if they are complegely honest. In my 1st year, I protected EVERYONE - relationship, family, whether it would hurt ppl. Relationship ended in 2nd year of site. Looking back at relationship blogging, it's almost like a false history. In my case, I was dishonest.
When I look around my neighborhood, ppl look like me but don't have my experiences.
Stacy C - I agree with most/all of that. We tell ourselves we blog for ourselves, but we blog for an audience, too. Keeping honest more difficult as readership grows. "How will this be interpreted, will I sound whiny?"
I've just tried to be me. What you see is what you get. I don't know if anyone will read Jurgennation in 100 years, but I just hope that we can have window - 40 years ago ppl never talked about depression. Hopefully all of us as blogosphere can provide many facets.
Heather B - In beginning, I was too honest. I used my real name as my URL, wrote about how much I hated my office. I ended up having to apologize. I had to stop being that honest, not saying "This person (that is real) sucks."
I AM whiny and petulant. I have no prob admitting it - that is just me being me. For a long time I thought my life sucked.
Everyone was really nice and said "Hey you know, when I was in my 20s I thought my life sucked too."
I hope in 100 years if ppl reading my site, hopefully someone in my 20s will read my site and think "Oh, things can get better."
I'm glad I'm keeping a record of this. For my children.
AAG - I kept my own blog in a little notebook under my bed and I thought it was too hot to handle, I didn't want anyone to find it and THAT's why I went online (laughter).
I am glad I am so anonymous - don't use my real name or location - so I can be really honest. I'm only telling the good parts, not the dull parts.
You can write about taking out trash and if you write about it well, it will be interesting.
Laurie K-L - The ordinary things in my life are valid and interesting. Is it different keeping diaries and journals? Someone this morning said something interesting - "It's just the same" then she caught herself and said "No it's different because if you have something bad happen, like you are walking your dog and pee in your pants -
Suebob - That was me
Laurie K-L - then you think "This will make such a good blog post."
Sarah Goon Squad Sarah - It's different because there is feedback. Found other twin blogs and found out I wasn't alone, so I started writing for them to let them know I was alone.
Audience member - Writing honestly as a mommyblogger. Parenting books can be so intimidating because they don't tell whole story like feeling like throwing baby out the window.
Stacy C - You get that feedback. Most warm and kinda fuzzy kind of thing is that it makes it ok to be human, to make it ok to be who you are. It's motherhood but it's everything...
Heather B - Wrote on day after 22nd birthday - what color is calamari after 14 glasses of red wine - other ppl gave feedback.
Audience - put plug in for I'm a mom and I blog - I love the idea of more of a personal blogger than a mommy blogger. Stupidly, when I had no readers, I told everyone I knew about my blog. My mom, neighbors.
Now I want to start an anon blog so I can say what I want to say.
Stacy C - my fam, my BFs fam found my blog,
Kris L - one of my worst fears still is...my parents...truly it would be awful for me for my fam to find my blog. My sister has tried to find it. I have that constant fear. My blog is for me, it isn't about them, this is separate.
Heather B - my landlords found my blog. In Washintonpostexpress I would post with my whole name as a URL and everyone would say "I saw your post today" and I would say "I don't want to talk about it with you."
I work in politics. My new boss came up and he said 'Oh yeah right here" to everyone "we have a blogger on staff."
Everyone at my work was reading it multiple times today from work and my mom works there too. I blocked my work URL and anyone who would google my name I blocked them, too.
Sarcastic Journalist - I am your example of what not to do. I have been fired for my blog. 2004 I was fired from my job - I was a reporter I was anon. Someone figured it out and told my boss and the next day they fired me 8 mos pregnant at the time. I'm here to tell you it can happen.
You can't assume to be anon. People will figure it out. They are smart. They can google. I found my cousin's sex blog. You can be honest but there are repercussions and it isn't fun.
Every job interview I go to they have googled me and they ask about it.
You can be honest. Blogging is great but this is the real world.
Jeanne - in the bottle.org - Last year was my first BlogHer - I caught myself telling people apologetic that I JUST had a personal blog. Others I met had food blogs, other niche blogs. Now I'm "I'm a personal blogger and this is what I want to do."
I'm not just a personal blogger, I'm personal blogger RAHR!
My boss's wife who works for me reads my blog and tells me about what she read.
My life is an open book and it is good and bad. Right now I have a lot of "rrrr" about work, but knowing my boss's wife reads it, what do I say?
I can leave little treasures for myself "It was kind of hard today" so that I know that was the day somebody said something retarded.
Kris L - Some things I don't have to document. I will remember them. I don't write about work, I don't touch work. I feel like other stuff is more important and I think you need to be good to yourself and take care of yourself.
Laurie - bodypolitic.com - We blog about body image in the broadest sense. You guys are all making art. Making art is selecting in whatever sense.
People's stories and ppls body image stories are so important. One of the things about personal blogs is the true story of what is happening are being told. I don't know if that has ever happened before. It's very powerful.
Hopefully people will be able in the future to touch them directly.
Do you think people will be able to look at this as a whole in succh little bits and pieces in a collection.
Laurie K-l - they will have to be put in context. In 200 years.
Susan Mernit - I'm interested in personal narratives. How do you make decisions about how to write about other ppl? I'm curious where you draw the line about writing about others?
Heather B - I make up names for ppl and hope they don't know I'm talking about them. I try to write about my reaction, not about what that person did to me. How I felt about what happened and how I always react in certain situations.
It's about ME it's not about other ppl.
Stacy - ppl believe its about them even when its not about them. There's nothing I won't talk about but only talk about my BF just peripherally. I respect him so much I try not to bring ppl into it that don't want to be.
Liz - It's a huge collective movement of women telling truth about their lives, a huge unstoppable juggernaut. I think our personal honsty is radically important.
Laurel Perdue - an IndieBlogger TIP- Postleves in wordpress - Googleproof plugin that is just awesome. Can set privacy levels.
Carrie Perns - Blogs at "my funny, funny family" - I used to be much funnier but my MIL started reading my blog.
I have dark thoughts and have self-censored - What if something happened to my child and then people would read my blog and what about Child Protective Services?
AAG - Its so sad we don't talk about this stuff but I have done the same thing.
Liza Sabatere - CultureKitchen.com blog - one of top feminist blogs in US. Started as a mommyblogger. As I started writing about politics, I found I had to start writing less and less about myself.
I made decisions not to pub my kids' names, I had been blogstalked very early on, actually had ppl come to my door.
It's fascinating for me to hear about personal bloggers as my blog had more and more readers, it kept having less and less and less personal stuff. Blog had life of it's own.
It's an interesting dilemma.
Laurie K-L - Do personal blogs allow us to get over stereotypes?
Liza S - Was asked by a latino journalist how I could be an atheist, how dare I? But that is the whole point.
AAG - I think it breaking a stereotype because I am not of a certain age, not thin, I'm not what you would think of as a stereotypical sex blogger...but I am haveing really good sex.
Heather B - everyone thought I was white because my name is Heather. I write about my experiences of stereotypes, of people commenting on how I know all these big words and how well I write - then I started posting pictures and people are like "You're not white?"
AAG - you (to Heather) wrote about ppl thinking you would have 3 diff kids by 3 diff fathers. But I am the one with 3 diff kids by 3 diff fathers.
Kris - when ppl meet me, they ALWAYS ask me if I have kids. Then they want to know if I am married. They find out you can be a thriving 33 year old women with no children and no man in your life.
Kris of Crib Ceiling - Maybe this isn't the most accurate history to look back on because we color our blogs so much. Living in a small town, I don't want to offend neighbors, ppl around us.
Laurie K-L - I deal with personal records all the time and none are complete. People have always censored themselves.
Stacy - You do that just when you meet ppl, too.
Kris - that would be the case (in any form of communication)
Kristin - Boobs and (something) and Dr Pepper - My rule: If I can't call you an asshole to your face, I'm not gonna put it out there. I try not to write anything hurtful. We're from very small town Mississippi and I hope I'm breaking that stereotype - I have a full set of teeth.
Laurie K-l - Does anyone have a journal in addtion to blog?
Audience - That's the drafts folder.
Kelly Mocha Momma - I have put my photo on my blog and ppl still say "But I didn't know you were a person of color?" Racial conversations always have a stopping point. If you constantly talk about race, people say "All she wants to talk about race."
Heather B - Let me ask, do you all talk about being white all the time?
CrankMama - for those of you who are courageous enough to write from heart, it is really wonderful and empowering to women. So I want to thank you all.
AAg - when I wrote about sexual abuse, ppl say "You are so brave" but it's not that. It s about something that HAPPENED TO ME, not about me. I want to encourage ppl to write about it, if you are nodding, write about it this week.
Stacy - If you are ashamed and one person writes about it and knows they aren't alone, that makes it worthwhile.
Matt Miller - Maybebaby - What I find most is when I travel to other infertility blogs, I get in trouble because ppl don't think I (as a man) have a right to talk about parenthood, about infertility. I don't keep things personal, my whole office reads it, my whole office knows I have to ice my testicles and where do we go from here? I am closer to ppl now than I have ever been.
Audience member - thru blog I can tell fam things we don't talk about on a daily basis.
Sarah, goon squad Sarah - I want to ask. With ppl who don't want you to write about them. Now I have friends thhat WANT me to write about them. Why didn't you write about my engagement? And I'm like it's not about YOUR wedding.
Heather - my friends ask me if I am going to write about our trip to grocery store.
That's when it's time to say "Get your own blog."
Stacy - I have really dysfunctional family. I know they can find my blog. If they have been idiots and jerks, sorry, I am going to write about you being iditos and jerks.
Mary Tsao - MomWrites - this is a gift we give to the world. Some people tell you personal intimate details and want to confess to you.
Shash - Crazed Mommy - Diary of a Crazy Mommy - I get flak for name that I named my blog. People say it is derogatory to crazy people. Have other people gotten that?
Femalicious.com - I think something important is a blogroll or blog directories. Linking to something else, linking to something a bit different, that's how we can create that complete arcive, knowing complete perspective from that time perios.