Flame, Blame, Shame

A Panel Discussion

BlogHer 2005
40 minutes, 18.7mb, recorded 2005-07-30
Sabater, Spertus and Valdes-Rodriguez
Blogging is not a one-way street. Most blogs attract comments, which is one of the powerful aspects of blogging, but some of those comments can be negative, angry, hateful and even frightening. These are the "flames" that can make a blog's comment space more active than the blog itself, though not necessarily in a good way.

This diverse group of speakers from BlogHer 2005 discuss how flames influence their own writing and what can or should be done about them. Moderated by Liza Sabater, this panel brings together blogger Debi Jones (aka mobile jones), computer science professor Ellen Spertus and journalist/novelist/blogger Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.

The panel discusses whether men and women react differently to flames and whether gender even matters. They talk about ways to create a respectful dialogue with readers, whether there is a constructive place for anger and how to set boundaries. This lively discussion offers opinions, examples and solutions to the downside of open conversation in the blogosphere.

IT Conversations' publication of this program is underwritten by your donations and:

Liza Sabater is a refugee from the worlds of academia and corporate marketing, who now publishes culturekitchen, an online conversation, scrap book and idea lab about the decline of progressive and libertarian practices in the US and their impact on arts, culture, politics, sex and technology. Her work as a wordsmith has appeared in academic journals, art reviews, newspapers and magazines; but she is most happy when publishing on the web and creating affinity and advocacy communities online.

This past May she started The Daily Gotham, New York's new community blog dedicated to progressive grassroots news and activism. She co-produces the Brown Bloggers and BlogSheroes meetup series. Started with Nichelle Stephens, their goal is to promote, grow and network the cultural, racial and gender diversity of the blogosphere.

Debi Jones, also known as mobile jones, writes an eponymous blog about mobile and wireless technology. She has worked as a civilian contractor for the US Department of Defense, and in the private sector for Netscape, SGI, Sendmail and Palm.

She has worked with large public companies like Microsoft, startups seeking funding, established players like Critical Path, telecom companies, and new mobile media efforts. Clients have included Microsoft, Critical Path, Zingy, Colt Telecom and Entriq.

Ellen Spertus is an associate professor of computer science at Mills College, where she directs the Interdisciplinary Computer Science program. She is also a part-time software engineer at Google. She has been active in issues around women in computing for the past 15 years, as well as doing computer science research, most recently in computer-mediated communication and social networks. In 2001, she was named Sexiest Geek Alive. She and her work have been featured in The New York Times, Wired, and The Weekly World News.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is a journalist-turned-novelist. She was a staff reporter for the LA Times. She plays tenor sax. Her mother is a poet. Alisa's favorite writers aren't novelists - they're journalists.

Valdes-Rodriquez was named one of Entertainment Weekly's breakout literary stars of 2003. Her first novel, The Dirty Girls Social Club, spent three months on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. Jennifer Lopez and Spiderman producer Laura Ziskin optioned her first novel. Her second book, Playing With Boys was released in October 2004. In January 2005, she announced her new two-book contract with St. Martin's press for two more fun-filled Latina chick-lit novels; the first, Make Him Look Good, set in Miami, will be published early 2006; the second will be out the following year. In March, Valdes-Rodriguez sold her first young-adult novel. The book, Haters, is about a group of high school kids in Southern California and will come out sometime in 2005.


This presentation is one of a series from the BlogHer 2005 Event held in Santa Clara, California, July 30, 2005, and was recorded by Susan Kitchens.

For Team ITC:

This free podcast is from our BlogHer series.