This topic is especially close to my heart this year due to my experience last year of being targeted for a massive online harassment campaign by hate groups after speaking out about sexual harassment at a tech conference. As an introvert, I’ve been most comfortable operating behind the scenes to create positive change and opportunities for underrepresented groups in technology but I’ve come to understand that speaking out is a powerful tool for change and healing.
Join us for this core conversation on how to be a supportive ally, how to recognize and reinforce good ally behavior and the impact of activating bystanders to speak up and say something.
What: Building The Bridge To Equality With Allies When: Sunday March 9th, 2014 at 11am Where: Austin Convention Center, room 5ABC
This panel seeks to provide practical strategies to help attendees become respectful allies to marginalized groups of people and expand the understanding of intersectional diversity.
Every year thousands of people experience discrimination at school, work and in their communities because they don’t fit into the neat, little box of being straight, White and male.
For example, 43 percent of LGBTQ people have experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace and the numbers are similar for Blacks, Latinos and women.
In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case, many people felt upset, powerless and angry. However, both online and off, people are finding ways to organize and connect to demand justice. We no longer have to stand by and become silent partners to the problem, we can be part of the solution.
Attend this session to learn how you can make an impact in your community, schools and workplace through active leadership as an ally.
This took my breath away! There were over 100 entries into the contest. They selected 11 winners I applied at the tail end of the contest but thanks to my desire to be successful and your help, I won! Now there are other prizes they’re awarding as well but I really wanted to get some one-on-one time to get help and direction with my new startup!
Wow! I had such an amazing time this year thanks to the support of my friends and Twitterfam! I’ll be writing more about this but let’s move onto the photos.
This conference is a big deal. It includes music, film and interactive which means that everyone in entertainment, the creative arts and the tech space pay attention and attend.
In the last few years, there have been complaints that SXSW becoming too commercialized with ads and sponsors but I really liked how Erica Mauter put it that you have to show up to make a difference. And show up people did! I heard attendance this year was well over 15,000 with some reports putting the number near 19,000. Whatever the case, there were people everywhere, all the time but the conference was well run, well organized and extremely fun! I truly felt like I got the full “SXSW Experience” this time around.
This year, I spent more time talking to less people. There were many introductions made by friends to new people, which I liked. It completely removed the introverted discomfort I feel when looking out onto a very large room of people I don’t know. I actually can say now that I like networking!
The friends and Twitter folks I hung with this year were all about building, growing and success. They were also about having fun! While I did tweet at #SXSW, much of my time was spent using a group created in Beluga by Wayne Sutton to provide a real time discussion area for Brown people at SXSW. It was truly an amazing experience to have access to this private sort of Twitter as a backchannel to communicate with a specific group of people about a specific event who were all in Austin. No need for hashtags!
I didn’t use Foursquare very much but on my last few days in Austin, I did sign up for Gowalla and loved their hoodie t-shirt! (see shirt below). I spent a lot of time chatting, laughing and doing serious networking to get the word out on my technology training at Freshworkshops.
Normally I would say I’m not a party person but SXSW makes it all feel so different! The Mashable party this year again was at Buffalo Billiards and I had an excellent time! The TechSet party wasn’t so hot but I did meet some good people to know. I loved the WebInk party on the roof of the W hotel and afterwards went down to the lounge with @catpoetry and had more great conversations before heading to the 24 diner for delicious hamburgers!
I am coming to realize you can do dedicated networking where you’re on a “mission” to meet certain people and be at certain parties or you can go the route of serendipity. I’ve never been comfortable with the first so this time I embraced the serendipity that I would find myself in the right conversations that were aligned with my goals and dreams. If I found otherwise, I would politely excuse myself to find a more satisfying convo. And it worked!
I’ll be writing a blog post about my experience drinking at conferences, inspired by @violetblue. I had several friends at SXSW who don’t drink at all plus I had the opportunity get advice from others on how they handle drinking at events.
So the biggest tech thing to happen at SXSW this year was the announcement of the iPad2. Apple rented a local store space about half a mile away from the Austin Convention Center and opened for business. There were lines and the store quickly ran out of several of the lower capacity models. Folks I knew like Terrance Gains (@brothatech), Cheryl Contee (@ch3ryl) and Joselin Mane (@joselinmane) all bought iPad2′s at SXSW. More on this later.
The other big flavors at SXSW in tech were mobile, startups, QR codes, green technology and anything to do with gaming. Blog posts coming.
The rapid charging stations this year were amazing! My Nexus S went from 3% to 35% in just 20 minutes. Bring those back next year!
My Session: What The Government Can Learn From Amazon
I did my presentation which was part of the Future 15 and touched on the frustrations of US citizens who are asked to provided identity papers everywhere they go yet it’s a huge hassle to get said documents. I offered several solutions the government could implement to reduce waiting time at the DMV, centralize identity documents and provide tracking options to citizens. I will cover the content in separate blog post.
My slides rocked since I used Sliderocket (Thanks Tara!).
Self constructive criticism > I wasn’t happy with my style. I know now that I’m going to need to revisit the idea I tweeted about last year of going in for stand-up comedy classes. Managing my content, the slides and being in touch with a large audience throws me off a bit and my normal enthusiastic, bubbly, smiling self is replaced by a more factual, serious version. Doh!
Oh my goodness did I have a good time! This was truly the first conference where I had to face myself head on and ask, “What do you want to get out of this?”. I fully committed to having a memorable experience, spending time with people who I felt good to be around, make solid networking contacts for my business and focus on feeling good in the moment. Because of this goal, I truly felt good and it showed! I decided before leaving I would dress in a way that I felt comfortable but also in a way that flattered my figure.
Not only did I get compliments every single day from both men and women on my hair or overall appearance, I felt radiant! So thank you my awesome friends who have encouraged me to blossom!
I have spent so many years hiding behind baggy clothes and glasses that I didn’t know how to be beautiful. Thankfully friends like Afrobella, Luvvie and Denise have helped me find that beauty and tweak it. They’ve overclocked my appearance! lol! These are a few photos where I’m having fun and enjoying how I look (even though I still feel a bit uncomfortable uploading them and posting them, I’m doing it anyway!).
I went around to say hello to folks I knew like Techsmith and Sliderocket. Cotton candy is always high on my list now that tech companies have caught on us geeks love that stuff and I made at least 3 trips to the Animoto booth. It was across from the Automattic booth which you may know as the parent company of WordPress. I talked with a few exhibitors about their products and services. More later as this is supposed to be a photo blog post!
I love good food and there was plenty of it at SXSW. It seemed everywhere you turned there was free food or delicious food begging to be eaten. There was also the very suspect “street meat” from vendors on 6th street offering things like bacon smothered hotdogs until late into the night. I had at least 3 burgers while in Austin, sushi, apple pie, pistachio cheescake, grilled cheese with tomato & basil soup, steak (free dinner rocks!) and breakfast nearly every morning (thanks Jay!). I am a food lover to the nth power!
Bluey ended up coming along for the trip! Her heart didn’t explode from the altitude in the airplane, she didn’t get crushed in the couch and she didn’t freak out so this was a very good experience to show me how I’m going to need to accept that she’s doing okay after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure and I can return to focusing on my career and life goals. It was awesome having her along and each day I’m feeling less worried about her health. Yay Bluester!
I’ve decided not to bring Bluey to the SXSW conference next week due to her recent illness of congestive heart failure.
Yes she’s been to BlogHer in New York, Gnomedex in Seattle, Blogword in Las Vegas and Blogalicious in Miami but I’m concerned if she were to have another episode in Austin, TX, I could lose her. I’d have to figure out how to store her body (in a hotel fridge?) and get her back to San Francisco (I’m sure TSA would just love me for trying to board with the dead body of a 4lb Chihuahua). So, I will be leaving Bluey here in San Francisco as I depart out next week for SXSW.
I’m excited to announce that I’ve been asked to return to SXSW and present again! This year’s topic has to do with improving communication and data access to American citizens for records retained and stored by the U.S. Government.
Last week voting opened up for SXSW and I’ve pulled together a collection of panels submitted by some of my favorite people on Twitter (and in person!) and I’ll be doing a followup SXSW post on cloud companies with panel submissions.
My submission made it in even though I didn’t get an email from the SXSW staff. I’ve been graciously invited to speak on two panels so if you want me presenting out SXSW, please vote for the second panel listed, WordPress: The Small Business Swiss Army Knife , because WordPress and business is where my heart is.
How to Vote for a SXSW panel
First off. How important is voting anyway?
Voting accounts for 30% of the final vote on which panels are selected. The other 70% is split between a SXSW board (40%) and SXSW staff 30%. Last year for my presentation, “How Sci-Fi Shapes The Internet“, I did very little promotion or “vote begging” and it was still selected. Cream will always rise to the top.
My advice for anyone who feels strongly about getting votes for their panel is to write up a post expanding on the value your topic delivers to the SXSW audience, ask for a vote in the post and ask people to comment on your panel.
Voting for a SXSW panel
You can vote between August 11th – 27th.
You need an account at SXSW.com to cast your vote.
Here are instructions directly from the conference site:
Just sign-up for an account here. During the public voting phase (August 11-27, 2010) all you need to do is sign-up for an account. Signing-up is free, quick and easy. And your sign-up information remains completely confidential.
The SXSW Panels!
Here they are! I’ll tell you which one I voted for at the end *smile*
Adria Richards, ButYoureAGirl.com
Have you ever bought something on Amazon and wondered, “Why isn’t buying a passport as easy as this?” With over 300 million people in the United States, there is certainly room for improvement how their lives are recorded, updated and exchanged. If the Arpanet was created to provide a centralized, communications network, why are we not taking advantage of this access to lower costs and reduce data errors? Amazon processes, ships, and delivers packages all over the world and can now predict delivery within 12 hours of ordering. Why does your driver’s license take two weeks? We will explore what advances in digital data records and key benefits including: savings on redundant data entry and mistakes, less identity theft and fraud, rewarding efficiency and creating social benchmarks. The other side of this data coin includes managing expectations, privacy, security and opt-out from such programs. RFID’s in passports, pets and popcorn seem like the stuff of science fiction.
READ MORE Government and Technology government, Privacy, RFID
Stephanie Frost, Zero-G Creative, Adria Richards invited on panel
WordPress has been steadily growing in popularity as a CMS over the last two years because it’s free and relatively easy to learn–especially when compared with other packages like Joomla and Drupal. But WordPress is more than just a convenient choice — in many cases it’s the only web tool a small business owner is ever likely to need. WordPress isn’t just for blogs anymore, seamlessly handling media content, ecommerce, membership sites, search engine optimization, mobile sites, lead generation and much much more. Our panel of experts will describe the many uses and strengths of WordPress and demonstrate how WordPress is adaptable into just about any small business use. READ MORE Content Management Content Management System, small business, WordPress
Anjuan Simmons, Adverlyze
Mobile application design is a conversation that allows the developer to speak to the user. While manuals are able to guide this conversation, nothing is more immediate and enduring than the user interface of the application itself. Comic books have evolved through the years to maximize their ability to tell a story while confined to two dimensional static images. This presentation will explore the design principles Eisner shared in his landmark book and specifically apply them to mobile application design. Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics”, which built on top of the foundation laid by Eisner, will also be covered as well as McCloud’s later work “Reinventing Comics”. The comic book medium can provide a blueprint for blockbuster mobile applications as well. When attendees leave this session, they will know how to throw some Eisner onto their mobile application designs! READ MORE Mobile Applications applications, design, mobile
Erica Mauter, swirlspice.com
Social networking is supposed to be the ultimate facilitator of grassroots interaction between producers and consumers. In the tech space, these online interactions go offline at conferences and unconferences around the world. Are you hoping to attract more diverse audiences to your existing programming or are you tailoring your programming to diverse audiences? How can your product appeal to a diverse audience if you don’t have a diverse group developing it? Individuals, organizations, conference organizers, sponsors and bloggers will walk away with actionable steps they can take to diversify events. We’ll explore what event organizers like O’Reilly are doing to encourage new people to attend. We’ll explore the barriers individuals face when joining new online communities and when transitioning into offline participation, as well as opportunities for contribution within the community. READ MORE Social Issues Conferences, diversity, Events
Keidra Chaney, The Learned Fangirl – Adria Richards invited to panel
With women accounting for the majority of users on social media sites, there are exciting opportunities for women to take leadership roles in social media – as consultants, developers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders. Still, women make up less than 20% of panelists at major tech conferences, while women focused social media conferences like BlogHer, She’s Geeky, and Blogalicious continue to grow. Is social media is seen as a “soft” profession and drawing lower comparative salaries and less room for executive level leadership than other technology – oriented fields? Is this already happening? This panel of women professionals that work in social media will take a hard look at the unique issues women tech professionals face in the age of the social web, and discuss whether social media is helping to crack the “digital ceiling” of the tech world or creating a separate but equal space for women to lead? READ MORE Career / Work Concerns digital ceiling, women in tech, women in social media
Karl Rivera, Teen On Da Rise and Corvida Raven, SheGeeks.net
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” -Neil Postman, The Di… “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” -Neil Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood (introduction), 1982 As we move into an era of digitalization, today’s youth are poised to reap the rewards they sow (and tweet), and have been given the opportunity make history along the way. The youth are taking the reins on this technological era to generate more options for our lives than ever before. Youth from all over the globe are using digital platforms and tools to transform communities and building our very own empire. Free from financial limitations, cultural pressures, and stigmas, the Internet is serving as one of the biggest platforms to help the youth make impacts in everyday life. We’re creating new jobs, rebuilding communities, expanding networks, developing critical business skills, and learning how to preserve our history. We’re using the internet to “connect the dots” and this panel will take a deeper look at how the youth are making changes. READ MORE New Technology / Next Generation community, Impact, Youth
Denise Jacobs, PapillonEffect Consulting
What if you knew your project would be a success from the very beginning? What if we could do away with dreading the inevitable scope creep, budget blow-out and overrun schedule, what if every team member could take control of the project outcome and make it a win? Join us for a fun, interactive session to learn solid communication skills, great project management tools, and how to cultivate an effective and enjoyable team culture. Leave the session with a fresh approach to looking at tech and new media projects and ways to apply new management skills to your personal workflow. READ MORE Career / Work Concerns communication skills, project management, team culture
Luvvie Ajayi, Awesomely Luvvie
With people facing chaos in their everyday world and the constant threat of layoffs, debt and war, a little humor can go a long way. When people want an escape from daily life, they turn to the Internet for entertainment and laughs. In this session, learn how to set yourself and your brand apart from the rest by using humor to engage your audience, build value and get your message out. READ MORE Branding / Marketing / Publicity brand, humor
Panama Jackson, Liz Burr, Very Smart Brothas
Do you author a blog that has engaged in its fair share of controversy resulting in a lot of negative attention and hateration? If so, you’re not alone. “Hate” is a good problem to have. How you deal with the hate can determine if you sink or swim. Join us for a panel discussion on hateration, how to make the most of it and make it work for you with guests who are no stranger to controversy.
READ MORE Community / Online Community Audience, blogging, community
Maurice Cherry, 3eighteen media
Since the 2008 Presidential election, politicians nationwide are realizing that social media can be an effective tool for reaching out to constituents, media, and potential voters. Unfortunately, most of them are completely unaware as to where to begin with integrating social media into their campaigns along with other technologies. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook…how does it all work to get votes? Using best practices and case studies of proven tactics from municipal and federal campaigns, I will show you how to unlock the power of social media and technology to help take your campaign to the next level of engagement. READ MORE Government and Technology Political engagement, Social Media ROI, Technology
Web 2.0, social media, digital communities and relationships – what next? Can we be doing more? We’re at a climactic turn for technology and how it’s become an immovable piece of business operations and our personal lives – but: *can we be doing more?* Are we balancing our ability to produce, sell and acquire more with improving the overall quality of life for ourselves and our planet? Or are we making it easier to fit more work into the same amount of time. Analysis, thoughts, musings, hopes and inspirations from my brain, and the brains of my friends and industry peers who believe in the same things and share the same hopes. READ MORE humanity, progress, social
Nancy Lyons, Megan Wilker, Geek Girls Guide
We’ve all heard about the importance of user-centered design (hopefully). But, how can a person, a team or an organization hope embrace it as a core value if the entire organization isn’t focused on who those users are? How can we bridge the gap between a typical web developer who is male and between the ages of 18-29 (according to A List Apart’s “Survey for the People Who Make Websites”, 2008), and the 45% of the senior population in the US who are now on the Internet (According to Pew Internet and the American Life Project, 2009)? From design to production to project management to customer service and support, this session aims to help web development teams view work product as a direct outcome of a work culture that includes and respects users at every level. We’ll prove the hard business value of soft, squishy terms like emotional intelligence, intellectual curiosity, collaboration, and vulnerability. But no hugging, we promise. READ MORE Career / Work Concerns social media, users, work culture
The making of this video
A big thank you to Anjuan (@anjuan) and Amani (@urbanreporter) for their help and guidance on making this video!
This video was recorded on the Canon VIXIA HF20
It was converted to .mov using Prism Video converter on Windows 7
The intro text was created in Screenflow on the Mac
The music was added in iMovie
and then exported and uploaded to Blip.tv
I’m getting better at this whole video thing. Certainly not as intimidating as it was one year ago. I’ll need to learn about lighting, audio and conversion tools.
It was a wonderful change from the packed, dark parties of SXSW. I invited about 10 folks to join me and had a great time sampling the St. Supery wine. I only tasted the red wines and loved the Elu! Continue reading →