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Not exactly live blogging

Ok we all know I could never live blog, my spelling and typing are just too bad. Husband Tom Kibler once gave me a bookmark that says “I type like I live, fast and with a lot of mistakes.” Don’t worry I didn’t take it personally, well ok I did but since he was right…

But as usual I digress. Our AAAS session, Blogs, Boards, Bonding: Using Electronic Communities to Support Women in Science" was really good. One of the themes turned out to be “if you build it, how do you get them to come.” Rosa raised some interesting points about synchronous vs asynchronous events. She pointed out how important it was, when introducing or wanting to expand a blog or a board or whatever, to have as many synchronous events as possible—webcasts, web-less casts, conference calls, radio shows to help people feel part of the group. Other thoughts were- “give the people what they want”, update regularly, give them a chance to contribute and remember unless you friends in very powerful places who are willing to link to you, it is going to take a while to build that community.

Based on a comment from Jolene, the discussant, Annalee took on the issues of electronic stalking of women. Her concern –this fear of stalking is being used to decrease women’s confidence online, keep them from speaking their piece and even keep them off line. Her point—being stalked is not fun on or off line, but at least on-line you can kill comments, delete accounts, filter out different IP addresses. In many ways you have more control on line than off. By the way, on the safety front- Stay Safe has some great suggestions for online safety.

There were also some interesting generational differences. When I asked the presenters how electronic communities affected their lives, Rosa and Annalee just looked at me. As Rosa said she can’t imagine a life without electronic communities—where she said would you get data, a dentist, a date? Annalee agreed. Claudia, who still doesn’t program her remote, spoke of improved communications. And speaking of communication she pointed out how in the world around us it is NOT Information Technology, it is Information Communication and Technology. She also pointed out that her more limited use of electronic communities has actually been helpful to her work with women in developing countries who have had so much less access that we.

And that was just a taste of what was covered. I’m going to check to see if the session was recorded. If so I’ll let you know and we will probably put up audio pieces of the sessions with powerpoints as we did for three speakers at last year ’s “Miscommunications, Misunderstandings, and Mistakes: Gender, Science and the Press” (I’m all over that alliteration thing aren’t I?):
Why Don’t They Hear What I Say?
Reporting Gender
Getting Gender Reported


Quick update. The session was taped and can be purchased from www.aven.com. It is session AS8118

Update number 2. The very nice people at Aven have given us permission to post audio excerpts of the presentations. Stay tuned for a new section of FairerScience: "Building Electronic Communities".

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