Posts Tagged ‘social media’

I’ve finally gotten at least the blog portion together at my new home, Webwallflower.com

I’m not sure how best to move readers over there, how to get SEO up, how to redirect links around the web, etc.  If anyone has any ideas, PLEASE let me know.

But if you came here looking for my weekly tech event updates, startup advice, event advice, or entrepreneurial stories, do please head over to http://webwallflower.com and check out the Upcoming Events and Blog sections there.

The rest of the site is still under repair, so bare with me.  🙂

Thanks Everyone!


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So I’m a bit biased this week, as I am one of the hosts of Tuesday’s SF MusicTech Mixer – I hope you can swing down to Roe and check it out.  Otherwise, it is a CRAZY busy week – here are my plans (and for once I actually plan to be at all of them).  Hope you can join me at one!

Monday 11/16

Today is the peak of the Leonid Meteor Shower, so screw any events going on tonight and head to the hills to see this!

Tuesday 11/17

SF MusicTech Mixer
6:00 – 9:00pm
Roe (651 Howard Street)

Wednesday 11/18
(This is a day of 3 2 events I would like to attend.  This is my order of priority:)

SF NewTech
5:30 – 11:30
Mighty Bar (119 Utah St.)

Social Media Club
6:00 – 8:00pm
Citizen Space

Thursday 11/19

Tech The Halls
7:00 – 9:00pm

Friday 11/20

Startup Crawl
5:30 – 11:00pm
Various Locations
(This totally depends where you are.  But I recommend both)

Startup Sandbox (hosted by Women 2.o)
Friday – Sunday; 6:00pm – 9:00pm; then all day Sat and Sun
Microsoft (835 Market Street (Westfield Center) Suite #700)
(postponed to Feb 5th – 7th)

Startup Weekend
Friday – Sunday; 6:00pm – 9:00pm; then all day Sat and Sun
Hacker Dojo

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A slightly tamer week (though work is definitely up for me.)  Here’s where I’ll be each night, if I can get the energy to go out each night.  🙂

Monday Sept 21st

EFF Fundraiser: XKCD Creator Randall Munroe
6:00 – 9:00pm
111 Minna Gallery

Tuesday Sept 22nd

How to Host a Kick-Ass Event
6:30 – 8:30pm
Sandbox Suites (123 10th St.)

(Im speaking at this one!)

Wednesday Sept 23rd

Engage Expo!
9:00a – 5:00p
San Jose Convention Center (150 West San Carlos St.)

Silicon Valley Tweet-Up
5:30 – 8:30p
Hotel Valencia (355 Santana Row)

Thursday Sept 24th

8:00p – 12:00m
Encore Karaoke Lounge (155 California St)

Friday Sept 25th

DineforChange Launch Event
6:00p – 10:00p
Temple Club

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Look around (on this blog or others) and you realize how inundated with events the tech industry (and probably many others) is.  Some are free, some are paid, some are invite only.  Some have informative panels, others free drinks.  This one’s for charity, and this one’s for PR.

Now free events don’t need so much consider, so let’s focus on paid events.  It can be tricky to know which is most worth your time and money.  It can be even harder to attend and really get your time and money out of it.  The main thing I’ve found helps is to Know Your Goal.

3 4 Reasons To Pay to Network
I’d say there are generally 3 reasons to pay to attend a tech mixer (plus one bastard child), and each requires a different attitude.  Do NOT try to focus on more than one at once.  You may change midway through the night, but balancing more than one means you won’t accomplish anything well.


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I sent this out earlier today to my bi-weekly email list.  Let me know if you’d like to on that.  Otherwise, here are the events I know of that look awesome.  😀


Discount TKTS: Virgance: Equinox II

Sept 15th, 6 – 11pm

Virgance builds companies that change the world by tapping into the hearts of activists and the minds of capitalists.  Each Spring and Fall, Virgance brings together its members, volunteers, fans, friends, and team who make this social venture possible.  This is a great opportunity to mingle with social entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, activists, and political figures in the Bay Area who are combining forces to bring sustainability to every aspect of life and business.  More information and exclusive SFbeta discounts at http://virganceequinox.eventbrite.com/?discount=sfbeta

15% off – Engage! Expo
Sept 23 – 24, All Day

Engage! Expo is the conference that covers the next generation of marketing, presenting the best practices, current trends, and effective strategies of social media and user engagement.  Topics include: Game-based marketing, Building a viral metrics infrastructure, The State of Social Media, and Market Size and Key Trends.  Leaders from major brands including Wal-Mart, Intel, H&R Block, and Kodak offer insightful discussions of their experience with social media, what worked and what lessons they learned.  More details at www.engageexpo.com Use code “RFOPvip” when registering.

SVB Pitch Event
October 22nd

Silicon Valley Bank is hosting a pitch event on for software and services companies seeking seed funding. You must be seeking funding between $500K and $1.5M to be considered, in addition, we are seeking companies in the software and services sectors (consumer, gaming, digital media, infrastructure, energy efficiency, SaaS, mobile, enterprise). You will have seven minutes to present to an audience of approximately 40 Bay Area seed investors. If you would like to be considered for this event, please e-mail your executive summary to Shai Goldman at sgoldman@svb.com. Your executive summary should highlight the company’s revenue forecast, management team, business opportunities, competitive landscape and milestones reached and should be no longer than three pages. Applications are due by Thursday, September 17. For more information about the event, visit the http://www.svb.com/ svbshowcase/

$100 off – BizTechDay
Oct 22nd – 23rd, 2009

Each year, 1200+ business icons, renowned thought leaders and inspired entrepreneurs get to connect, educate, and inspire each other over two days with the most practical strategies and innovative tactics on how to best use new technologies to start and grow their businesses.  From building a strong brand on Google, Yelp, or Facebook to successfully raising funds; from building partnerships with Fortune 500 Companies to building your online community from zero to millions – BizTechDay will cover all you need to know to ensure your business forges successfully ahead.  Check out http://www.biztechday.com for information, and use code “SFBeta819” at registration to get your discount!

DEMO: SNAP Summit: FailCon
October 27th, 8:30a – 6:00p
FailCon is looking for 20 awesome companies to demo.  Ideally, you’ve got a finished product, some user testing under your belt, and maybe an angel round (but no Series A).  We’ll be giving each company 3 hours at a station, to demo to attendees and rack up the votes for who’s going to make it through the next year.  The top two demos will be given stage time at the end of the day.  Details are at http://snapsummit.com/demos

15% off – Virtual Goods Summit 2009
Oct 29th – 30th, 2009

The market opportunity for virtual goods continues to expand as developers and publishers get a deeper understanding of how virtual goods work and how best to maximize the business opportunity around them. The 2009 edition of the virtual goods summit will bring together thought leaders in this space to talk about what’s changed, what’s working, and the key challenges facing the industry.
Register at http://vgsummit2009-failcon. eventbrite.com and use the code FAILCON for a 15% discount on General Admission tickets.


Virgance: Equinox II

Sept 15th, 6 – 11pm

Virgance builds companies that change the world by tapping into the hearts of activists and the minds of capitalists.  Each Spring and Fall, Virgance brings together its members, volunteers, fans, friends, and team who make this social venture possible.  This is a great opportunity to mingle with social entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, activists, and political figures in the Bay Area who are combining forces to bring sustainability to every aspect of life and business.  More information and exclusive SFbeta discounts at http://virganceequinox.eventbrite.com/?discount=sfbeta

TC50 AfterParty
Sept 15th
, 8:00p – 2:00a
TechCrunch50 is the global competition conference for start-ups.  Attendees enjoy an action-packed agenda, including pitches, panels, working breakfasts and lunch sessions, and after parties at the San Francisco Design Center Concourse, with 125,000 square feet of networking space.  But if you’ve missed the show, do be sure to swing by this free party!

SF NewTech
Sept. 16th, 5:00 – 11:00pm

The SF New Tech Meetup is a series of regular events for VCs, journalists, hackers, techies, recruiters, CEOs—and you. It’s for people who want to see the latest and greatest new technology in their own backyard.  Expect a great evening, where about a half dozen people/companies get 5 minutes to strut their stuff—and then we get to ask questions, make pithy comments, and let ‘em know what’s up! The room talks it out and it’s always fun.  More information at http://sfnewtech.com/about/

SFBIG Digital Outlook Series
Sept 17th, 8:00 – 11:00am

In the first of a series of breakfast content panels focused on key Bay Area verticals addressing the evolution, trends and challenges of that industry, September’s inaugural panel event is dedicated to the financial services sector. The panel will consist of leading Bay Area-based marketers from influential financial services companies such as Barclays, Visa and Mint.com. Content will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing these businesses and individual marketers, and a discussion of their perspectives on digital marketing today and moving forward.  Check out Facebook for more information.

Alphabar: Q is for…
Sept 17th, 8:00 – 11:55p

A great time hanging out with fun people at various local bars around the city.  This week’s event hits Que Serah.  While I keep missing these, I’ve heard from various peeps that the crowd is laid-back and fun.  Check out their Facebook page for more information.

Launch of Trendy Lime
Sept 18th, 10pm – 3am

The time has come to DANCE and celebrate the launch of TRENDY LIME!!  After these guys have produced and co-hosted lots of cool events in San Francisco—from French Tuesdays and EuroCircle to the Digital Summer—they’ve now decided to join forces and start creating events together. This is how Trendy Lime was born, and “li-me” stands for Liana+Emmanuel.  Join us for their inaugural party at the Supperclub.  Info here.

Geek Reading: xkcd Creator Randall Munroe
Sept 21st, 6 – 9pm

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is hosting an exciting fundraiser for their organization at one of my favorite bars, Minna Gallery!  They’ve invited hit comic writer Randall Munroe (creator of XKCD) to talk shop, answer questions, and generally entertain the crowd.  While not specifically a tech networking event, I think looks to be great fun.  🙂  Info at http://www.eff.org/xkcd

How to Host a Kick-Ass Event
Sept 22nd, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Hosting an event can be a great marketing strategy for your business or a great business in itself. Learn tips and tricks on how to host a kick-ass event from San Francisco’s brightest event hosts – Edith Yeung, BizTechDay; Myles Weissleder, SF New Tech; and Cassie Phillipps, SNAP Summit.  ; For more information, check out http://kickassevent-eivte.eventbrite.com

Sept 22nd, 6:00 – 9:00pm

ecoTuesday is committed to changing the way people do business.  The monthly event provides a structured environment where sustainable business leaders network with one another and gain insight from industry thought-leaders and trendsetters.  Everyone in the room quickly learns about everyone else during the “introduction circle.”  EcoTuesday.com connects participants between events, serves as a hub for conversations and showcases local businesses.  Please join us in Silicon Valley with Marianna Grossman of Sustainable SV and in San Francisco with Marianne Williamson.  RSVP at www.ecotuesday.com

DineForChange Launch Event
Sept 23rd, 6 – 10pm

This is a great opportunity for you to meet many local professional organizations and non profits to see how you can get involved.  Come network and learn how you can get involved with DineForChange and make a difference in your community just by eating and having fun!  There will be a great live performance by Fat Magic from 6-7PM. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjP6bIEvFxw We are expecting a full house for the evening. Please RSVP with us ASAP to ensure entry.  If you are a non profit or profesional organization, please contact us via e-mail at info@dineforchange.com for further details on how your organization can be featured.  Otherwise, do drop by their Event Page to RSVP.

Cardboard Tube Fighting
Sept 27th, 4 – 6pm

Alright, not a tech event.  But super fun, and I swear, I WILL be at this one (Ive even started making armor!)  From their site “Come one, come all, to the Cardboard Tube Fighting League Tournament. Prepare yourselves for a late afternoon of cardboard tube wielding mayhem as contestants vie for the title of Corrugated Champion. Prizes for the winner and best cardboard costume. If there is rain, and it is light, we will probably still be there.”  Info on their site at http://tubeduel.com/

Elance 101 – How to Find, Hire, Manage and Pay Online Experts to Get Work Done
Sept 29th, 3:00 – 5:30pm

Have you heard about the new way to work?  NYT calls it “tapping a new talent pool.”  WSJ calls it the “freelance economy.”  Others all it just plain smart.  Come to this session and learn about how tapping into the tens of thousands of online experts who are available to work for you whenever you need it can help you be successful in your business.  This will be followed by a networking Happy Hour (6:00 – 7:00pm) at nearby Varnish Art Gallery and Bar, open even to those unable to attend the earlier event.  Info and registration at http://elance101.eventbrite. com/ and http://thenewwaytowork. eventbrite.com/

Geek Chic Inaugural Event
Oct. 6th, 6:00 – 9:00pm

I don’t have much info on this amazing mixer, but I know it’ll be pairing life style and fashion with the hottest founders, investors, and media around.  To take place at Bima Loft; entrance will be $10, but the alcohol, activities, and music there will be free.  I’ll let you know as I learn more, but mark your calendars.  This will be a gala not to be missed.

Oct 1st, 6:30 – 10:00pm

Besides being used at LiveJournal.com, Gearman is also now used by other organizations such as Yahoo! and Digg. Development is now active again with an optimized rewrite in C, along with features such as persistent message queues and pluggable protocols. We’re also introducing new and improved client APIs, including new user-defined functions for MySQL, Drizzle, and PostgreSQL. The Gearman APIs and simple server installation allow you to have your own distributed computing framework setup in a matter of minutes, which enables you to focus on your own code rather than the plumbing. This talk will introduce these concepts, how to get started, and then describe a few common use cases.  Info at
http://www.sfphp.org/calendar/ 11251755/

GeeksOnAPlane: Europe
Sept 18th – Oct 2nd

GeeksOnaPlane Europe 2009 is hosted by Dave McClure, Founders Fund and Brady Forrest, O’Reilly Media. We are inviting Silicon Valley & US entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, and bloggers on a 14-day tour of Europe’s top technology cities, events, and people featuring stops in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Paris, plus a kickoff event in Washington, DC.  For more information and to request an invitation, check out http://geeksonaplane.com/


How do VCs Select Angel-Backed Deals
Sept 16th, 5:30 – 8:30
Palo Alto
, CA
Angels and angel networks historically provide more seed capital to entrepreneurs than the entire VC Community combined. Angel-backed deals should be the logical place for VCs to look for early stage deals. Yet, only a fraction of the deals that Angels start do VCs choose to take to the next level of funding and beyond. How do VCs choose which deals to back and which deals to leave behind? What types of companies do organized Angels finance? What makes Angel-backed companies most attractive to VCs? Join us and find out.  More information at http://www.VCTaskForce.com

SVASE VC Breakfast with Len Rand
Sept 17th, 8:00 – 9:30a

The SVASE VC Breakfast club provides a terrific opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet with VCs in a
relaxed, informal setting, to build relationships and get valuable feedback on their startup idea. Participating entrepreneurs deliver an extended elevator pitch for 8 – 10 minutes, and the guest VC provides immediate feedback, enabling fast, effective, accessible mentoring and relationship development.  A unique opportunity indeed for entrepreneurs to meet with potential investors who they otherwise would struggle to meet, and take away ideas, advice and possible leads from the guest VC as action steps.  More information at http://www.svase.org/?q=node/2258

MobilePlay 2009
Sept 17th, 10:00a – 8:00p
, CA
Please join us as mobile industry leaders gather to discuss monetization strategies, location based services, mobile payment, mobile application analytics, gaming, and mobile device impact on the market. The conference will include a demo session featuring the hottest applications in mobile today.  Registration and more info at http://mobileplay.eventbrite.com/

TechKaraoke SV
Sept 17th, 6:30 – 11:00pm
Menlo Park
, CA
Alright everyone. It’s long overdue already, and we have a new venue! Bring your karaoke voices and meet us at the BBC to get your drink and sing on  Thanks to our sponsors – ZDNet and Cookies by Design! (Details at their FB page.)

SDForum Open Innovation and Research Forum
Sept 18th, 8:30a – 3:00p
Santa Clara
, CA
Sales are down, unemployment is at record levels, budgets are slashed and investment dollars are harder to get than ever before. How do companies continue to innovate during these economic hard times and plan for the future?  Hear key influencers from Silicon Valley’s leading high-tech corporations, including IBM, HP, Microsoft and Nokia share their thoughts, insights and best practices on how not only to survive, but to identify market share and growth opportunities. Learn how industry leaders innovate and how to partner with them.  Information is at www.sdforum.org

HackerDojo Grand Opening
Sept 19th, 7:30pm – 1:00am
Mountain View
, CA
Hacker Dojo wants YOU to come celebrate our first month of operation in style!  There will be a dj (or two!), great people and tasty edibles for your enjoyment.  HackerDoJo is a “Startup Un-Incorperated”! People volunteered to fix it up, wire the network, bring furniture, HD TV, games, wall posters/paintings, food, projector, fun photo booth., etc.  Conversation flows every where about new ideas, collaborative opportunities, coding tips, or just random “umm, I think I can bring …. next time..”  Info here!

SV Tweetup #3
Sept 23rd, 5:30 – 8:30pm
San Jose
, CA
Please join Brian Solis at Hotel Valencia (Cielo Lounge) for some cocktails and networking and book Signing.  Generally looks to be a great group of folks.  For more info, check out http://www.siliconvalleytweetup.com

Digital Family Summit
Sept 23rd, 5pm – 12midnight
Santa Monica
, CA
Join the Digital Family for an evening of exploration on the topic of “Managing Online Communities. Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo, will broadcast “This Week In Start-Ups” live from the event and his guests will be community experts Peter Hirshberg, chairman of The Conversation Group and Michael Jones, COO of MySpace. Results of the first-ever Managing Online Communities survey will be presented by Karen North, Director, USC Annenberg Program on Online Communities and Gerry Philpott, CEO of E-Poll.  Info here!

Kamala Harris Meetup
Sept 23rd, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Menlo Park
, CA
Not tech related, but something I’m working on and so just wanted to drop the word.  Since it’s political and I tend to try to avoid politics in this mailing, I will say no more.  Just let me know if you want info on how to attend, or check out http://kamalaharris.org/donate/event/503

PlugandPlay TechCenter Events

So PlugandPlay TechCenter has a ton of awesome events, and it would take an entire newsletter just to share them all.  Skim their calendar regularly to see what they have to offer. (I’m a fan of the entrepreneur-engineer mashup, myself.) http://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/calendar/

SVASE Series

SVASE, the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs, is the largest and fastest growing nonprofit association in Northern California dedicated exclusively to helping early stage tech entrepreneurs.  They hold events regularly in the peninsula, and occasionally the city itself.  There are too many to name in my brief email, but be sure to check them out for advice on investment, team development, financing, corporate leadership, and much more: http://www.svase.org/


Not to add another list of events to my list, but SDforum also has something every other day.  Essentially “SDForum is the leading Silicon Valley not-for-profit organization providing an unbiased source of information and insight to the technology community. SDForum provides a venue for engineers, executives, researchers, technology leaders, and venture capitalists to exchange information on emerging technologies and best practices.”  Info on their events at www.sdforum.com.

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Ah, Monday. Somehow, my Monday got super delayed and all off. But so it goes. Here are my plans for the week:

Monday, August 24th
Nothing!  Nothing ever! My Mondays are just that: mine!

Tuesday, August 25th
Once again, I couldn’t find any Tuesday events that got the blood flowing.  Let me know if you have one.

Wednesday, August 26th

6pm – 9pm
Intercontinental Hotel
(I’m actually doing the logistics for this event.  Stop by and say hello!)

Thursday, August 27th
12 Hot Dates; 1 Fun Night

5:30 – 9:00pm
El Rio (3158 Mission Street)
These guys hold a fun date auction for charity!  I’ll be there with my friend Kenneth, I hope!

9:00 – 11:55pm
Temple Bar (600 Polk Street)
I haven’t made it to one of these yet, but they always sounds totally fun!

Friday, August 28th
Monsters of Webcomics

7:00 – 9:00pm
Cartoon Art Museum (655 Mission Street)
Nick Gurewitch, creator of the Perry Bible Fellowship, speaks on the creation of the comic, the artistic process, and how they got where they are today.  Love it!

Saturday, August 29th – Sunday, August 30th
Women 2.0 partner with Startup Weekend

All Weekend!
SFcube (18th and Tennessee)
I love both of these organization, and sfCube has an amazing space!
(sfCube also has desks to rent, for $ or equity!  Let me know if you are looking.)

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(Please note: I want to address the lack of racial AND gender diversity at tech events.  However, in this post I plan to make assumptions – as a woman – about women (already dangerous), and place some of the blame on women themselves.  I would not be comfortable saying these things about other races, since I wouldn’t have personal experiences to share.  That said, my goal is still more racial and gender diversity at events.)

Tech event coordinators have been getting a lot of shit lately about their speaker list: that it’s a white washed, testosterone infused boys club.  A lot has now been said on the issue, but it’s important to me, so I wanted to chime in.  Ironically, I feel this is an issue that needs less blogging and more action (as Cathy Brooks also ironically says).  Shouting into the void just seems to anger one side or the other, and isnt changing many people’s minds.  Organizers, female speakers, and leadership lists all need to take responsibility, rather than push it on.  This post includes:

  1. A summary of the debate and POVs, as I understand them.
  2. What conference organizers need to be doing.
  3. What women who care about this need to be doing.
  4. Why is this important?

1)  The Debate
So, no one (of merit) is saying women shouldn’t be speakers.  The basic organizer debate boils down to “I don’t want to choose a speaker BECAUSE she is female.  I want to choose based on merit and accomplishment.” and “There are incredibly accomplished women out there, you need to actively pursue them and not just wait for them to submit a speaking proposal.  Diversity takes work, and conference organizers need to allocate time for it.”

Stephanie Bergman has a wonderful post on BlogHer 2009, and the risk that comes with sticking women on stage just to have women.  In a nutshell, you risk finding people who aren’t really experts, and set back the entire movement to get women onstage.  Let’s avoid this.

The debate itself is also dangerous.  Now, when attendees see an African American on stage, or a woman leading a workshop, they may question if this was really the best speaker, or if its just politics at work.  Essentially, it’s the Affirmative Action debate all over again.  And as an organizer, I NEVER want to sacrifice quality for diversity.  Ever.  There are women out there with unique experiences and incredible knowledge, who will teach attendees new things.  You just have to work a little harder to find them.

2) What can organizers do?
It’s one thing to start a petition saying you demand an organizer have more women; it is good to raise awareness of the issue, and call out events (like O’Reilly’s) that garner press, have huge production teams, and set the bar for all others.  It’s another to set unreasonable standards.  I think, in a field roughly 25% women, having 20% of your speakers being female is pretty darn good.  I think having an event of entirely white men is terrible.  As an organizer, some things you can do include:

  1. Be aware of the issue: think about it while you design an agenda.  It’s easy to be all male: I have received 65 speaking submissions for SNAP Summit. 2 of them are from women.  If I want qualified speakers and a balanced roster, I need to do some research.
  2. As Allyson points out, contact Girls in Tech, Women 2.0, WITI, and dozens of other organizations.
  3. Look at the agendas for events hosted by the above organizations, as well as BlogHer and She’s Geeky.  These can be great leads.
  4. Diversify your team.  For FailCon, I’ve got a female assistant, an African-American PR rep, and dozens of student, women, and minority groups working on outreach with me.  This has been, thus far, one of the most creative and exciting teams I have worked with, and I have already begun reaching groups and speakers I never talked to before.
  5. Check online for Women Leaders of 2009, Top Entrepreneurs of Color, etc.  These are great people to reach out to: they’re probably experts AND they diversify your agenda.

3)  What can women do?
For FailCon, we have reached out to easily over 20 female speakers.  15 of them responded to our emails, only 3 of them said yes.  As I mentioned, of the 65 speaker submissions I’ve received thus far, 2 of them were for females.  Does it sound like OUR fault this conference is mostly masculine?  So, what can women be doing?

  1. Come on ladies, as Susan says: promote yourselves!  Kaliya Hamlin, from Identity Woman, points out “Women don’t self-promote like the alpha dog’s in the industry do. Sorry it is just true.”  (Kaliya goes on to give some great speaking suggestions for women, and prep advice for organizers in that article, so I’m just picking at details :\.)  But I still feel compelled to point out that women need to start putting themselves out there more, that we can’t hide behind this stereotype that we are not aggressive all the time.  My speaker submission rates continue to surprise people; hell, they continue to surprise (and sadden) me.
  2. Come up with an inspiring, relevant, unique, and informative topic and start submitting it.  If you get a “no,” don’t complain, but instead politely ask why, and for help making it stronger for next time.  Usually, my “no” is because I got 5+ submissions just like it, because it wasn’t relevant to my audience, or because I wasn’t compelled by the topic.
  3. Promote each other!  Rather than write organizers to complain about their agenda, email them a number of speakers you feel would make it stronger.  I LOVE getting those emails: they are more positive and inspire me to help.
  4. Maggie Fox also has some great, concise tips on how to get noticed on Technically Women.

4)  Why is this important?

A lot of people argue that it will fix itself; that as more women get into the field, the numbers will even out.  Too bad the ratio of women is dropping in tech.  Why?  Well, one thing I’d say is a lack of role models.

Some do say that tech just isn’t for the estrogen inclined; that whether it be society or evolution, women aren’t fit to take the risks involved with a startup, or do the math involved with high tech.  One of my (many) issue swith this is that it is cyclical logic.  If we keep saying this, we discourage women from joining, so we assume women aren’t fit to join, so less do.  We miss an entirely new perspective on the issues we all face.  I have frequently found that the startup teams I meet that seem most balanced and likely to succeed are 2-3 co-founders, one of which is a woman.  I’m not arguing the two genders are identical.  It is in fact our differences that make it important we all be recognized.  If women are making up easily half of your users (as we see in blogging, online gaming, and twitter), shouldn’t you have a few women on the team?

And finally, it is an issue of understanding.  I hate the casual remarks I get now and then: “You have a pretty good hand shake for a woman” or “I don’t need to get into the details, I don’t think you’d understand” or “You know, getting women on stage will get the boys there!”  (Yes, Ive had all of those said to me.)  No, I am not being a “too sensitive” when I get irked by this, but I don’t fully blame the men who say these things, either.  How many female equals do they work with?  How many women have challenged one of their ideas, or countered them in an argument?  How often have they had to try a different tactic to reach an understanding?  We need to work together to create the most innovative software and useful social media tools, and to do that we need to be able to communicate with one another in a respectful manner.  Hearing these experienced and confident women on stage will be the first step for both genders.

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