Stephanie's October Conference Tour: Web 2.0 Expo Europe [en]

[fr] Après Lisbonne, direction Berlin pour la conférence Web 2.0 Expo, dont j'assure (avec Suw Charman-Anderson et Nicole Simon) la gestion des accréditations blogueurs.

Web 2.0 Expo Europe 2008
After [speaking at SHiFT](, I will head over to Berlin for the next stop in my October Conference Tour. Second conference:

Web 2.0 Expo Europe, 21-23 October 2008, Berlin

I attended Web 2.0 Expo Europe last year, taking notes (go to the beginning of the month) and giving one of my Babel Fish talks at Web2Open. At the height of my conference burn-out after FoWA, I was pretty cranky and critical of the conference (particularly the infrastructure), and it’s where I decided to start a company to organize my own events.

This year, I’m co-heading the Blogging Web 2.0 Expo Europe programme with Suw and Nicole (French post). I’ll be going to the event to have a chance to meet all the participating bloggers we’ve been working with over the last month (they’re listed in the Web 2.0 Expo blog sidebar) — and [Janetti](, who initiated this outreach programme.

If you haven’t registered yet, go and visit these blogs — all bloggers have 35% discount codes to distribute, so if you know one of them, ask! Here’s a short video of Suw and I where we tell you why you should come to the conference :-).

Setting up and running this programme has been a fascinating experience, and you can expect some blogging about what we did once the event is over. (Note: I’m doing something similar in spirit, though a little different in form, with [blogger accreditations for LeWeb in Paris]( — we have more than enough French- and English-language bloggers but are still looking for people to cover the conference in other languages.)

While I’m at it, I will be taking part in Suw Charman-Anderson’s discussion about Gender Issues in Web 2.0 Careers as a panelist. Neither of us are fans of “women in technology” discussions, as you can see from the title of the discussion, and I’m really looking forward to see where we’ll take these issues.

As an aside, when I organised Going Solo, I did not put tons of effort into “involving women”, and it turns out over half the speaker roster was female. Does it have anything to do with the fact I’m a woman?

So, see you in Berlin?

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FriendFeed Appeals to Women, Too! [en]

[fr] Quelques commentaires sur FriendFeed, un nouveau service de lifestreaming. Et en réaction à une liste de "blogueurs élite" quasi entièrement masculine, allez -- une liste de femmes de mon entourage qui sont sur FriendFeed.

*Scroll to the bottom of the post for **The List**.*

[Brian Solis on]( joins [Louis Gray]( in commenting upon the fact that [“elite bloggers” are joining FriendFeed]( in respectable numbers. [FriendFeed](http://friendfeed) is a lifestreaming service, which allows you to aggregate all your online presence and publications in one place.

The first such application I bumped into was [Suprglu]( (just checked, it’s still running, wow!), [two years ago]( I was happy with it for some time, and then disappointed that it had too much of a lag (they didn’t have much resources, at least at the time).

Then came [Jaiku](, which I liked, but I never quite got used to the layout and the fact that only titles were posted. [Tumblr]( entered my world at about the same time, and for a while, I wasn’t sure how to use both these tools without being redundant. I finally decided that [Tumblr wasn’t for lifestreaming]( At that point I was also on [Facebook](, and the newsfeed there was pretty nice as a lifestreaming service. Then the apps arrived and [things started to get ugly]( — but I still like my newsfeed, particularly as it does some editing for me (selecting stories I’m likely to find relevant, based on a magic mix of criteria including my “thumbs up/thumbs down” ratings on existing newsfeed elements).

Lifestreaming has two purposes:

– gather all my stuff in one place, so that I can point people to it
– gather all the stuff of all my friends in one place, so that I can follow them all together (this is more presence-like).

For the first, nothing beats (to this day) [Jeremy Keith’s lifestream]( in readability. I keep telling myself I need to [grab the code]( and do it for myself.

For the second, I’m ambivalent. I like jaiku, but I find it not very readable. The Facebook newsfeed is more readable and is edited down to a readable amount of information, but not everybody is on Facebook, and it’s not public. FriendFeed is promising, in that it’s rather easy to set up, but I don’t find it very readable, and it would need some editing features (so I can filter out stuff manually, of course, but also some automatic editing which I could turn on and off).

So, I like FriendFeed. I wish they’d make it easier to add people, though. One quick example. Here is a screenshot of the listing of my “followers” (=people who have subscribed to me):

FriendFeed - People Subscribed to Me

There is no indication of if I’ve subscribed back or not. Compare with Twitter:

Twitter / People Who Follow stephtara

This, in my opinion, is a user interface problem that has been “solved”. If you create a new social tool, please don’t give us an interface which looks like it ignores existing solutions to obvious user headaches, like figuring out if you’re following back people who are following you (there is a higher chance that the people you want to follow will be amongst the people follow you already).

So, I’m looking forward to seeing where this will go. As such, I’m not actually using FriendFeed so much as sitting on it, waiting to see when it becomes usable.

**Coming back to the two posts I mentioned at the beginning of this article**, my initial reaction while going through the list of “elite bloggers” using FriendFeed was “hmm, I’m not in it”.

Well, of course. I mean, I’m quite lucid about the fact that all this blogging and online presence does have at stake (amongst other things) receiving a certain amount of recognition — and although I’m reasonably good at not letting this kind of motivation drive my activities. But it’s there, somewhere in the background. I’ve talked about this a lot in French, I realise — particularly in [interviews I’ve given to the press](/about/presse) and [talks]( about blogging in general, but not much in English. Anyway, I’m not dwelling on this as it’s not my main point, but I always have this little secret hope (that I’m not overly proud of) that I’ll “make it” into this kind of listing. But enough with that.

My second reaction was: **where are the women?** Now, sorry to pull the whole “sexist” card — and those who know me are aware I’m far from a flag-carrying bra-burning feminist (though who knows, in another place and time, I might very well have ended up burning underwear in public) — but when lists of “influential/elite/top whatevers” show up and women are totally unrepresented in them, I think “ah, another guy who is mainly interested in what other guys have to say, and who might suggest at some point that we need to talk about the problem of ‘women in technology'”. *(Nothing personal, Louis — this is more about my reaction than about who you are.)*

So, in an attempt to encourage you to check out **some of the women in my world which I have found on FriendFeed**, here is a list of Some Women On FriendFeed. And yes, I’ve put myself in the list, of course. **Oh yeah, this *does* have a taste of linkbait.** But I won’t be offended if nobody picks it up. So, here goes.

– Ambiome / [Ambiome[Dot]Net](
– Cathy Brooks / [other than that…](
– danah boyd / [apophenia](
– Dannie Jost / [uncondition](
– Dori Smith / [Backup Brain](
– Emily Chang / [Strategic Designer](
– Gabriela Avram / [CONIECTO](
– Gia Milinovich / [Gia’s blog](
– Hillary Hartley / [static{fade}](
– Laura Fitton / [Pistachio Consulting](
– Lilia Efimova / [Mathemagenic](
– Lisa McMillan / [Lisa McMillan dot com](
– Nicole Simon / [Cruel to be Kind](
– Stephanie Booth / [Climb to the Stars](
[]( *whoops, sbooth, not steph!*
– Suw Charman-Anderson / [Strange Attractor](
– Tara Hunt / [HorsePigCow](
– Virginie Pfeiffer / [Mistress of the Web](

*Self-promotion: follow me on [Twitter]( or [FriendFeed]( and don’t forget to [blog about]( [Going Solo](, or even [register](!*

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Inde spirituelle ou matérialiste? [fr]

[en] India's materialism is not anything new. If you dig into vedic religion, it's centred on sacrifices and actions more than interior spirituality. That side of Indian religious expression came about later. As for Gandhi, I think it's important to keep in mind that his background includes connections to the Theosophical Society, and that his philosophy is therefore not a pure traditional product of Indian thought.

J’écoute en ce moment à la radio une émission sur l’infanticide féminin, en Inde entre autres. Sujet et émissions intéressants, mais à l’instant, quelque chose qui me fait bondir. Parlant de la dot, l’intervenante (dont je n’ai pas bien compris le nom) nous dit que l’Inde moderne devient en effet matérialiste, tournant le dos à ses idéaux spirituels du passé, et même à la philosophie de Gandhi.

Holà. Primo, si on va creuser dans la religion védique, c’est une religion du rituel et de l’acte, et non pas de la “spiritualité intériorisée” au sens où nous l’entendons. Ça, c’est venu plus tard. On voit encore aujourd’hui cette primauté de l’action, lorsque vous trouvez des gens qui pratiquent consciencieusement les *puja* ou qui passent au temple faire des offrandes, sans pour autant croire à l’existence des dieux.

Mais bon, c’est pour dire que l’importance du matériel en Inde n’a rien de nouveau, et que la spiritualisation de l’Inde est entre autres grandement due à son intéraction avec l’Occident. On y *voit* plus d’expression religieuse, mais cela ne veut pas dire que les gens sont plus spirituels que chez nous, où la religion est une affaire privée et souvent avec peu de manifestations extérieures.

Quant à Gandhi, souvenons-nous de l’influence qu’a eue sur lui la [Société Théosophique](, et que les valeurs qu’il a prônées (totalement indépendamment de leur valeur) ne sont donc pas un pur produit traditionnel indien.

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One Chay And Two Cancellations [en]

India is the country of the unexpected. A nice cancellation, a more unpleasant one, and a cup of sweet Indian tea.

India has always been to me the country of last-minute plans (like my departure for Calcutta barely two days after having met Aleika) and cancellations.

On the menu last Thursday, two cancellations — one which upset me, and the other which pleased me tremendously.

First of all, Madhav sent me a message cancelling dinner and our evening stroll in the university campus. I love Madhav dearly, but he does have a tendancy to try my patience (just as I try his, in other ways) by changing plans on short notice and and cancelling meetings I look forward to. I called Nisha and luckily, it wasn’t too late for her to include me in her dinner plans. She cooked a really nice dinner, by the way — puris and home-made gulab jamun — had she guessed that my spirits might need lifting a little?

I was woken up during the dark hours of the night by the sound os somebody coming into the flat. I was supposed to be alone with Nisha that night, as Sagar works night shifts and Shinde had run off to some festival with his fellow disciples from Markal. In my half-sleep I assumed it must be Sagar coming home early. A few minutes later I had gathered together enough of myself to check the time — it was only midnight!

I got up, and to my surprise found myself face-to-face with Shinde. His festival had been postponed by a day, which meant he would have missed my last evening here — so after some internal debate, he cancelled. We stayed up a good two hours chatting before I finally went back to sleep again.

In the middle of all that, or rather before, the chay.

I had been sitting for quite some time in front of my Internet Café during a notable power failure which seems to have wiped out all trace of electrical activity from M.G. Rd to Aundh, waiting for the message which would cancel my plans for the evening (though at that time I didn’t suspect it) or for Bijli Devi (the Goddess of Electricity) to give up her strike and resume normal activity. Sitting and waiting can become boring, even if you have stuff to write up and brightly-clad female construction workers to film on the other side of the road. As he was ordering another round of chay, the Internet Café owner kindly asked me if I would like one.

Sweet, hot indian tea in a small glass. It was nice.

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