Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blog Love

Networks!

I recently received the following email from a very kind reader:

Dear Elizabeth,

I am just a lowly undergraduate student who is majoring in gender studies and government. I have spent the past two years attempting to explain to my family and friends (and myself) what the hell I plan to do with a Gender Studies degree. I have always been fascinated with feminism and what it means to be a women in this day and age. So imagine my surprise when I was randomly googling women's studies and law topics on my computer and it pulled up the George Washington University website where (gasp) they offer a joint degree in women's studies and law! Well I'll be damned! There is a place for me! Anyway while I was exploring the site I stumbled upon your page and I thought that it was the smartest, funniest most honest website that I have ever encountered. Me thinks you are my new "her-o" (which is a million times better than being a he-ro). Keep up the good work!!!!

Take care,
Your apprentice,
Ej = )


Now, I'm posting this email here (with permission, of course) to accomplish more than mere self-congratulation. For me, this email is an amazing example of the networking possibilities that the blogosphere (and the internet more generally) presents for feminists and other social activists.

Scenario: Person A is interested in X and contacts Person B, who popped up in a Google search because of a blog post, and finds out about Y. Now, person A lives in Missouri and Person B lives in Quebec. But Person B thinks that Person A is someone really worth discussing X and Y with because of the topic of Person A's blog despite temporal discontinuities; they both share a lot of ideas. And, with their web powers combined, they are able to accomplish Z, a project they came up with through blog dialogue - because they are networked through their common interests and online visibility. And all this online activism translates into offline activity and, importantly, offline media coverage. Which leads other folks back to the blogosphere to check it out for themselves...Repeat ad infinitum!

How cool is that?! Now multiply by the number of web users out there. And the internet's viral-ity. Rhizomes, rhizomes, everywhere!

Kudos, Ej. You are my her-o, too. Along with all of those other feminist bloggers out there who are rocking the blogosphere...

PS Tips for Ej and folks with similar interests? Do share your comments; there's nothing like a little feminist mentoring.


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