I give thanks weekly, sometimes even daily. I also find Thanksgiving to be a bit of a farce followed immediately by one of the most massively marketed days of gross consumption as a national sport; not to mention the whole high jack your country vibe that the Pilgrim colonial story forgets to add to the small pox covered blankets so graciously shared with the indigenous people of the Americas.
I promise this post is a glass half full read.
And please, mansplainers, stay out of my dm’s. Thanks.
All that said, I will do my best to be an optimist about both gratitude and the digital community we can lean into with the current state of both the world and the ever adapting technologies which run it.
Afterall, we humans write the code, at least for now anyway. Though the writing committees have yet to be updated with inclusive practices aka developers and coders but we are working to make that happen before another group of cultural contributors are written out of the history books in trying.
My obsession with both using #techforgood and the importance of community is quickly becoming my life’s work. And even though I’ve only recently taken over as main contributor to the Boss Blog in the last few months, the myriad of contributors since we launched in 2021 fill my gravy boat with gratitude. Those connections to thought leading women and femme forward industry disruptors continue to form the ethos which runs LBI Digital’s big mission:
to build the safest and most importantly GENERATIVE place on the internet for women!
But lately, I need more than just gratitude lists and saying thanks for my $12 a dozen eggs and hard to find medications. Really, I swear, I have some uplifting things to say here. I have this constantly nagging feeling that we are quickly becoming less community focused and more tribal with a capital “I” globally. This leaves me and many others I speak to more anxious than ever about how we do community care; even with a more matriarchal way of leadership & developing tech with inclusion in mind at the very top of my wish & gratitudes lists.
Also, please remember the opposite of Patriarchal order isn’t a Matriarchy. The gentlemen who give the Wiki definition do mention Matrilineal leadership. But really Patriarchal organization is top down, “might makes right” and leaves little room for diversity, equity or inclusion.
Yes, a Matriarchal order does prioritize those structural inadequacies, it also does not leave out male leadership and or men. Again, mansplainers please stay out of my dm’s. Thanks!
Why I care & maybe you could, too!
I attended my undergraduate studies at a farm school. Not because I was a country mouse, far from it in fact. I was and still am a city mouse who likes all sorts of boots, not just shit kickers you wear when bringing the cows in from pasture. I chose Warren Wilson College because it had such a unique focus on community and student lead work crews; most all students, faculty and support staff lived on the sprawling 1,100 acre campus and participated in maintaining the pillars of the WWC triad: academic education, student run work crews ranging from cow pasture duties to HVAC, plumbing and pretty much anything a campus needs to run. Add a commitment to community service hours off campus and the average Warren Wilson student was decently exposed to circles outside their own upbringing, we grew to be fairly well educated from a liberal arts perspective and ambidextrous af; willing to put out a yard fire with a thimble and a garden hose.
In short, my 3 years at Wilson taught me the value of doing good work in the community and beyond, always returning back to campus to share meals and encouraged to participate in academic discussions outside your lane of study. We were taught to activate around political campaigns and learned to co-pilot student lead rallies and protests. WWC taught the value of civic engagement and our individual value was expressed through the collective. I received my Poli Sci degree from a gun toting Libertarian, a Red Book carrying Communist and a Wall Street Journal reading Republican. – Well this is how they all identified themselves at the time. Things may have changed.
Fast forward the tape give or take 20 years and many Wilson graduates have gone on to build amazing communities, businesses and social impact orgs of their own. One could say that my building of LBI Digital is an obvious extension of WWC’s triad training. And I can see that. And also often catch myself wondering if this insatiable desire for a community like that which raised a young, curious Rose into a globe trotting, digital producer with big visions of building a better, more inclusive internet on the web’s next update, is maybe just a pipe dream of liberal arts folk lore.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Certainly though I am grateful af for all the lessons I’m learning as a face planting, bootstrapping, creative tech businesswoman and possibly, even a visionary. Something about taking the long road is fun for Wilson kids.
Maybe I am a visionary. But so was Bucky, Jobs & Gates, too!
Most innovators are visionary, out of touch with the dumpster fire that can be reality and willing to continue the vision no matter the storm. I can relate. And likely most anyone who knows me well. Sorry and maybe… you’re welcome.
Covid gave us a window to really reprioritize how we spend our time, resources and energy. And I will add to my gratitude list that I’ve had a lot of time to study the internet and the community of women I’ve been building since 2014 when I started my women lead production company and then when I started LBI in 2017 as an in person conversation focused event series with ‘bossy’ women. Certainly taking my skills from camera tech to digital product tech hasn’t been easy but I am ever grateful for being curious and finding the good mentors to answer my questions in my various programs of study.
And in this ‘getting back to normal’ phase in a ‘post covid’ world, I’d say we are anything but normal. With the intention to stay optimistic on this post, I won’t include the long check list of current dumpster fires that likely number far more than what was B.C. ‘normal’.
( B.C. = Before Covid)
And we now have an even clearer view into the crack in the facade of both how communities congregate and how technology is being utilized. And for some wild reason, I do remain glass half full on how we can put our humanity back into both.
What can we do now aside from making gratitude lists, passing the sweet taters and sending thoughts & prayers?
Yes we can be kind and hold open doors, use our damn blinkers and help old folks cross the street. Great ideas. Always. And let’s activate more sharing as actual caring, aka Mutual Aid.
Sharing IS…actually f*cking caring.
(and so is conscious use of SEO, LLMs and back linking !! )
I started this blog to better share proper SEO with people who are interested in searching the web about women so that when anyone starts to Google such a phrase as ‘Women in…..’ the first 5 things that come up would not be related to our body parts. Please and thanks.
Also, true story. In 2021 when testing this experiment, the results were not exactly academic and were borderline pornographic if not full on Hand Maiden’s Tale-esque.
** Update: I did a quick Google check and we are doing a slight bit better, ladies. Certainly there is still much work to be done but at least the Women in labor, orgies and similar scenarios are further down the list.
I want the community of internet users to eagerly search about ‘Women in…..and find immediate SEO generated keywords like: Women in the White House, Women in Business, Women in Tech, Women in Leadership, Women in shit kicker boots, etc.
I mentioned before, with all the possibility of info share that exists circling the globe with cloud computers at our fingertips, it is not an accident that the coding bots have programmed this version of the internet ( Web 2) to be not exactly equitable in both the gender and race categories.
I’m throwing around some commonly heard but possibly not always commonly understood tools of tech and their creative uses so that we can use #techforgood. I hope to break down how doing things like simply connecting our threads of thoughts, gratitude lists and resources can be to build a better internet for its next version.
Web 3 built by all the humans for all the humans!
When we use the simple tools of this version of the internet (Web 2) cloud sharing (you post on someone’s wall, add a photo to a feed or send an email ) you can imagine the invisible threads you are stitching across the interwebs, right?
So when we think of tools like SEO and backlink sharing, we are building our own tiny webs of the information we share both between each other and between our shared missions, sales funnels, offerings and indexes.
Sometimes this info gets to people as intended and other times the algorithm gods have other plans.
And sometimes companies like to find that information and sell it back to us.
Yea for extractive internet-ing!! Just kidding. It kinda sucks and I think it can be so much better. Don’t you??
Most coders & developers know this but not most common internet users!
And just like the podcast made internet radio casting available to anyone with an iPhone (initially), such template website building tools like Squarespace, Wix and the like have made building websites a click or two away for the pedestrian technician, so now is app building and most content creation. See the Balenciaga Pope.
And as Sam Altman return to his post as CEO of OpenAI and rebuilds a fully new board that won’t throw him out with the bathwater, we better also start to learn more about how Large Language Models work because whether we like it or not, we are contributors to them. Send in the LLM’s !!
If that LLM bot is pulling data from an internet largely built & written by a specific sector of humanity, then this is important to notice how it will be biased. And so let’s thank the AI bots for their work thus far and add some diversity to the pot, shall we?
Flooding LLM with articulate conversations about equity for women and other underserved groups will teach the AI bot and its budding data sets exactly how to include all of humanity in its advances.
Using SEO wisely on our personal and professional websites that aim to build a better & more inclusive world with equity driven economics will be foundational components of Web 3 builds, beyond Bitcoin bros and Crypto dumpster fires.
Hence the resounding question of 2023 :
If video killed the radio star, will AI kill all our content creation jobs??
With gratitude, my answer is yes & no.
Yes because technology always asks us to evolve.
No because we code for the bots by teaching the bots what to code for.
I’m also grateful for no mansplaining dm’s.
Are you dizzy by modern tech updates ??
I got you.
Want to ask a Creative Technician anything??
This session we will talk Owning Your Own Brand on ye old internet and building up that LLM strong.
Thursday Nov 30 at 430pm PST is your next chance to Pick My Brain.