Tag Archives: blogging

Why Politics Matter

I’m feeling a strong need to say something.

I’m deeply troubled by some of the political posts I’ve been reading.  These posts are on blogs I subscribe to via RSS, because the normally non-political content interests me.  I believe these posts are spreading incorrect information, but I’m also troubled by the level of anger and fear that I sense in them.  I’ll likely have more to say about this later, but I need to gather my thoughts and feelings so that I can be constructive about it.

But why do I need to say this here at all?  This is TechnoEarthMama, not PoliticoTechnoEarthMama.  Can’t I just stay out of politics.

No.  I can’t ignore something that DOES affect other aspects of my life.  As a mother, I want to know that my children will be OK living in this country in the future.  I don’t want more wars.  I want them to have food, shelter and clothing.  I want them to have an education.  As a compassionate person, I want this for other people’s children, too.

As a person who cares about the earth, I want to have a government that supports and enforces sound environmental policies.  I want a government that recognizes that we need to get OFF the oil bandwagon, and that more drilling is not the answer.

I could probably come up with some technology-related concerns, too.  The only thing coming to mind now is that we do need to be free to use technology and the internet for communication, and for expressing whatever we want to express.  I don’t want to see that right abridged.

So politics does matter to TechnoEarthMama.  What I need to figure out next is how to express my concerns without alienating others, which is what some of these posts I’ve read are doing to me.

#wordcampdx Changes Lives

Today I attended the excellent conference/unconference WordCamp Portland, and was amazed.

Like at most conferences, the networking and learning opportunities were terrific.  I came away with several resources and ideas that I will use on my blog (look for a new theme soon), and I was very happy to meet many people in person for the first time.

But that’s not why I think #wordcampdx was a life-changing, and perhaps world-changing experience.

It begins with this, the WordPress philosophy, as shared with us by our fairy blogmother Lorelle Van Fossen:

You give your best work
You give it away
The universe will reward

And, she says, this is actually changing the economy.  Boy, if there’s anything we need right now, it’s a change in the economy!  Could the WordPress model be one of the keys to that?

There’s also the way this conference was run.  Aaron Hockley and his team did an outstanding job not only organizing this, but organizing this so that it was affordable for anyone to attend.  This conference cost $10 to attend!  And for that $10, we got the conference sessions, a t-shirt, and three meals.  You can’t beat that anywhere.

How did they do that?  With sponsors.  Those who have some money made WordCamp Portland affordable for everyone.  How cool is that?

The model is already being used for another upcoming conference — CyborgCamp.  CyborgCamp will also be offered for a low price (not officially set yet, but probably $10-20) with sponsors picking up much of the tab.

Is this the future of our economy?   Is it?  Because it makes me all giddy to think about it.  Not like that bailout thing.

Can we get the BlogHer ’09 conference for Portland?

Portland is one of three finalists to host the BlogHer 2009 summer conference.  Cyborg anthropologist Amber Case thinks this would be a great opportunity.  So do I.  Do you?  Amber’s setting up a database of people who would like to help promote Portland as the location for BlogHer ’09.  Go sign up!

If you want to know more about BlogHer conferences, Lelo in NoPo went this year.  I haven’t been to one yet, but would love to go, and having it in Portland would make that a LOT more possible.  Besides, Portland rocks, right?!

Social Kathleen

I do a lot of social networking online.  Probably not as much as some people, but quite a bit — Twitter, Facebook, a few Ning networks, a little bit of MySpace, several e-mail lists, and a fair amount of reading and commenting on blogs.

I’m really not very social in the flesh, though.  I suppose that is fairly common among those who hang out on the web.  If you’re reading this, there’s a high probability that you know exactly what I’m talking about (and if you’re not reading this, you may think we’re all freaks).

On Twitter, or in a chat room, I don’t hesitate too long before jumping into a conversation.  In person, approaching someone, or a group of someones, is much more difficult.  If I’ve “met” someone online, it’s a little easier.  I have managed to introduce myself to Lelo and Melissa Lion in person at Back Fence PDX (where I also somehow introduced myself to Betsy Richter without having met her online first).  I’ve also met Corina and thirdculturemom, and hope to meet others from our little network someday.

I’m sure I saw some of you internet people at the Portland Pie-Off.  Some of you I spoke with, even if we didn’t officially introduce ourselves (hello, Jack Bog); some I probably didn’t recognize — or I wasn’t sure, and was too chicken to ask!

Anyway, I’m grateful for the networking opportunities offered on the web.  They are perfect for introverts like me.

Which brings me to the subject of ORBlogs.  ORBlogs is (or was) a blog aggregator/directory for blogs in and about Oregon. I’m not all that knowledgeable about it (go to Silicon Florist for more info and links), but I know that it’s been a great resource both for finding other Oregon blogs and for promoting Oregon blogs.  I used it to promote the Camp Arrowhead blog while we were trying to save the camp, and while we were recruiting campers for this summer.

Sadly, ORBlogs founder Paul Bausch has announced that he is closing the site:  “I’m shutting ORblogs down now because the site continues to grow and the job of maintaining the site at the level I feel is necessary to keep it valuable has grown with it, putting it out of the bounds of a hobby.”

Oregon bloggers are already looking for a way to save this valuable service.  In fact, ORBlogs will be discussed tonight during Beer and Blog at the Green Dragon Bistro and Brewpub.

If you’re interested in the effort to save ORBlogs, be sure to stop by for Beer and Blog or head over to Silicon Florist to read and comment.

LAST MINUTE ADDITION:  @turoczy just tweeted this link, saying “@mettadore may be our ORBlogs knight in shining armor!”

WordCamp Portland — I’m Going!

I’m really excited, because I’m going to a conference, and it’s only costing me TEN DOLLARS!  That’s right — WordCamp Portland, a conference for bloggers and developers using the WordPress platform, sometimes known as WordCamPDX, costs only $10.  For that, you get one day of speakers and breakout sessions, a t-shirt, and a a WordCamp Portland WordPress theme.  It’s being held at CubeSpace, where free wi-fi will be available for conference attendees.

WordCamp Portland will be on September 27, 2008.  Go sign up! Even if you blog on a different platform, you may find this conference beneficial.  See you there!

Where Have I Been?

Good question.  Mostly right here.  I started my summer job last week, and it has been leaving me extremely exhausted and unmotivated.  That’s OK.  It’s only temporary.

The next blog post was actually written in a notebook on my first day of work.

I have some more thoughts kicking around somewhere.

Oh, here’s one — in brief:  Facebook is WAY better than MySpace.

A Post is a Post

I’ve been writing down ideas for blog posts on sticky notes as I think of them, but somehow the notes always disappear!  Now I’ve got time to sit down and write, but I have no idea what I was going to write about.  Actually, that’s quite appropriate, given the current title of this blog.

In truth, I do remember one thing that I made a note of.  Thom Hartmann mentioned on the (local) radio that a certain libertarian politician thinks paper money is unconstitutional.  That intrigued me — why would someone think that?

Well, after searching online for more information, I’ve decided I’m no longer interested.  There are, apparently, a number of people and organizations that believe paper money is unconstitutional in the U.S.  Their reasons are not particularly exciting.

So, here are a couple of things that I am interested in right now.

1.  Detoxing from Church.  I’m still definitely a Jesus follower.  I just find that I’m less and less interested in the institutional church.  My husband and I are seriously considering a detox.   The author of these articles details the process his family went through in detoxing from what we know as church.

2.  On the other hand, Pastor Becca’s blog entry about her United Methodist Annual Conference tells about something that I do value in the traditional church.  Does this “tingly feeling” only happen inside churches?  Probably not — but I don’t imagine it’s quite the same, either.