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July 28, 2006

BlogHer and the culture of generosity

By Charlene Li

I'm heading to the BlogHer '06 conference today, being held in San Jose (disclosure: I'm on the advisory board for BlogHer). I'll be hanging out with hundreds of other women bloggers, learning how to "primp my blog" (look for some changes soon here!) and leading a session on tagging.

As an analyst, I attend tons of conferences every year and this is the only one that I really, really look forward to (OK, I admit that the geek side of me also enjoys CES). In fact, I enjoy it so much that I give up a sacred weekend day with my family to hang out with like-minded women.

I love BlogHer because I learn and grow so much personally -- as a blogger, a woman, mother, wife, person. That's because the level of engagement is so high -- the attendees are here not because their company sent them but because they want to share their passion for blogging.

This passion comes from what I call a "culture of generosity". As I wrote earlier about generosity, bloggers tend to be very giving by nature. So if you put a whole conference together of them -- and galvanize them with the common goal of supporting each other -- you get a powerful, moving experience with heated discussions, moving moments, and loads of laughter.

But why even have a conference focused on women bloggers? The idea of a conference first surfaced in March 2005, just a short 18 months ago. The theme of the first conference last year was "Where the women bloggers" and one of the goals was to highlight and support women bloggers. The goal: to dispel the myth that the blogosphere was heavily male (and white).

And here's some data that we have to further dispel that myth -- this comes from an online survey we did in Q1 2006 of US online consumers.

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Writes a blog at   least weekly

 
 

Writes a blog ever

 
 

Reads a blog at   least weekly

 
 

Reads a blog ever

 
 

Women

 
 

4%

 
 

11%

 
 

11%

 
 

33%

 
 

Men

 
 

6%

 
 

20%

 
 

13%

 
 

46%

 

Base: US online consumers
Source: Forrester’s NACTAS Q1 2006 Devices & Access Online Survey

While women still aren’t writing and reading blogs as often as men, we’re catching up, especially when it comes to reading blogs at least weekly. But there’s still a lot of work to do – and I’ll be doing my part to support women bloggers this weekend.

Ladies, we’ve come a long way and I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.

Update: I just ran into Caterina Fake and had a quick discussion with her about the "culture of generosity" which she wrote about last fall on her blog. Kami Huyse's also has a nice post on "The Culture Of Generosity In Social Media". I wanted to not only give credit where it's due but also hopefuly further the dialog around this idea.

Update: And here's a post about footwear that you'll probably never see at any other technology conference!

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» Get Good Content, Good Advice for Small Business from Facteon Blog
As many of you know, I am a big fan of BlogHer. My web-friend Charlene Li tells us why the meet-up was so helpful, I love BlogHer because I learn and grow so much personally -- as a blogger, a... [Read More]

» Give it all away from "Write now is good."
I keep thinking about a post written by Charlene Li titled BlogHer and the culture of generosity. In it and another post linked from it, she claims that the best blogs give a lot away to their readers: tools, freebies, [Read More]

Comments

Jill Asher

Hi Charlene.
Look forward to meeting you at the conference tomorrow!
Jill Asher
Co-Founder, Silicon Valley Moms Blog

Kami Huyse

I too would love to see more about this idea, which was highlighted by Doc Searls.

Chris Dowell

I blog all of the time and it drives my wife crazy. She will read your blog, but hasn't commented. I agree that more guys are blogging.

Jessie

Charlene: am new to blogging. thanks so much for pointing me to blogher. it is really useful and i signed up.

Alex Bukinis

this is particularly very good info and stats I posted on blogher recently and vey shortly my comments were on google and msn serach engine , I was very surprise when I saw a replies on my comment given the understanding that it have happened in 2-3 day time frame I would say that the blogher blog is highly effective in attracting its relevant customer base and people of interest are there regularly.

continued research on hoodia http://www.offshelf.net.

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