I think every once in a while, all women should step out and do something they think they might get in trouble for, and that's what I'm going to do right now.
I'm going to stand on a soapbox and ask you to consider one of the co-founders of BlogHer and all the enormous contributions she's made to social media—the conferences you love, the financial support you gain if you're in the BlogHer Publishing Network, the website you visit, the Voices of the Year you seek out and read and cherish and share, and, importantly, the female and feminist CEO, surrounded by a sea of men, staking a claim on tech for all women, for all of us. I'm getting on the soapbox, because she won't. It's just not what Lisa Stone does. Lisa doesn't need or want to be front-and-center, because her passion in life has always been making sure other women—ALL women—are seen and heard, that all women come to know their own power, that all women find the communities they need in life to support them through times good and bad.
And she just stands in the background and beams at everyone else's success, empowerment, delight, satisfaction. That's her reward.
But as someone who's worked in media for more than 20 years (as a magazine editor, at Redbook, Marie Claire, Modern Bride, Mirabella and more), I can assure you that Lisa's work—along with partners-in-crime and co-founders Jory Des Jardins and Elisa Camahort Page—has completely transformed the entire social media landscape for women.
So why am I telling you all this? Because Lisa Stone is a nominee in the Women's Media Center's 2011 Social Media Award, recognizing a leader in women's social media. There are, of course, many amazing nominees—some of my personal favorites, like Joanne Bamberger, aka Pundit Mom, and a few new discoveries, such as reproductive justice activist Steph Herold of IAmDr.Tiller.com and cultural critic LaToya Peterson of Racialicious—but in a way, I feel as if so many of the other nominees are Lisa's (and BlogHer's) children. (Not old, not old! She's SO not old!) But because what she, Jory and Elisa did was create a framework for the new world all of you were building with your blogs and your words and your dreams. And they took that framework and made it public, and visible, and brought advertising to it, and helped women see themselves as entrepreneurs and big, bold voices, and created a place for us all to get together and share our wisdom and business ideas, and, of course, to nurture our friendships.
I met Lisa way back in the beginning of the social-media landslide, in 2005. She called me up to say, "Wow, I noticed you're a magazine editor who's hiring bloggers and paying them, and all your Redbookmag.com blogs are unmoderated. Who are you?" I thought that was simply amazing: that she had her eyes so focused on the smallest changes in the media landscape, because she also had her eyes on the big picture—she was hellbent on promoting blogging's growth, to bringing blogging to the mainstream, to supporting blogging's movement so it could take it its due place in the worlds of media, publishing, marketing, advertising and writing.
So I am writing this post (which I'm sure Lisa will ask me to take down, so let me say it once: I was not asked to do this! And please share this with all your blogging friends) with a very specific request: please go to Women's Media Center to vote for Lisa Stone and BlogHer to recognize them for the future they built that we all get to live in today. Because every single one of us, whether we know it or not, has a little BlogHer in her.
VOTE NOW! (Voting ends November 15; please share this link with your friends.)
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