Our guest blogger, Marsha Lanier is definitely doing extraordinary things for the planet. Her mission is to "maximize the power of the technology revolution to create a just, peaceful and sustainable world." We interviewed Marsha for the upcoming episode of See Jane Do which features women who are taking part in the online revolution. Women who are connecting others and creating positive change through the use of social media.
A Day in the Life of Mom 2.0
By Guest Blogger Marsha Lanier
As I drink my morning tea and check my email, I notice I have comments from my daughter on the social network site we share. She's "tagged" me in her pictures from the beach. I click through to Facebook and smile; even though we are hundreds of miles apart, I feel so close to her.
I see some “notifications” so I check those and find that my feminist organizer friend has blogged about the upcoming International Women’s Film Festival. I can get half price tickets if I mention I found out about it on Facebook.
I’ve also been notified that my best friend has uploaded some new music to his Myspace page so I check that out and send him some marketing suggestions I learned about at the TechSoup conference, where cutting edge solutions for changing the world are awarded monetary prizes.
The moderator for the improv group I consulted for last year has uploaded a video about how to deal with the financial crisis and keep your sense of humor. So I watch and comment on that (along with dozens of other folks around the globe who have taken their classes). One of their African dance instructors is promoting an upcoming event in Morocco so I click through and see pictures from last year’s trip. Looks enticing and I plan on saving my pennies to go next year.
I realize I haven’t signed up for a Burning Man camp and even though it’s months away, I want to know who I’m going to be camping with so I check out another social networking site, Tribe.net, which is more “freak” friendly than the university student dominated Facebook. There I read profiles about the women artists and get answers to questions about water storage and the best kind of outerwear for the cold nights. I post that I need a ride to the next regional event and within minutes I hear back from 3 folks offering to carpool.
I’m working an environmental conference coming up soon, so I check email for their press release and post it to yet another social network site, Ning, known for it’s privacy options.
Then I get a “Twitter” from a couple of Silicon Valley colleagues I met at the Women in Tech conference, “She’s Geeky.” (They’re discussing their trip to the Austin indie music festival “South by Southwest (SXSW).” I learn that one of my favorite performers, Margaret Cho, is there, so I order her book from the library.) We’d created a wiki, a living document which can be easily updated by people from many different locations, at the last conference so I send that to another colleague.
A non-profit I volunteer for has requested info on how to grow their international organization and where they can upload a recent presentation, so I steer them to Slideshare where they can watch Power Points and get feedback from presenters all over the planet.
I head over to LinkedIn, another social networking site for professionals, to check on the Green Economy group I moderate there and find that a British colleague is planning a conference on the environment. I send that to my son’s girlfriend who’s working in London. I also see there’s an upcoming free webinar on a topic I’ve been wanting to learn more about and sign up for it.
After I read an online newspaper story about a successful environmental initiative in Philadelphia, I check the site to see if they have social bookmarking. Sure enough, they do, offering links via Digg, Delicious and many others. So that makes it really easy to share the news feed with my peers with just a click.
The women’s group I attend needs to plan an upcoming meeting and the facilitator is having a hard time coordinating 20 women’s schedules. I send her the link for Doodle, the online calendaring tool, to save her some time.
I check the RSS (real time updated) feed for my other daughter’s blog and find that she’s uploaded pictures from the park where she jogs near her Buenos Aires apartment. Then I read a friend’s post about how she’s coping with her mother’s dementia. I send her a link to the Area Agency on Aging which has tips for caregivers.
My website designer has uploaded the video of President Obama wishing Iranians “Happy Nowruz,” (Persian New Year). He’s overcome with emotion as he describes what it feels like to finally have his much denigrated culture actually given a warm embrace by such a powerful world leader.
Finally, I wind up back at Facebook where I find that a dear friend I haven’t talked to since middle school has found me and invited me to her lovely home in Chicago. I can see her recent knitting project online and compliment her on it. “Yes, I’d love to come!” I write back; “in fact, I’ll be there in July for the BlogHer conference.” I smile to myself feeling absolutely giddy that I get to see her again at a venue which celebrates thousands of female bloggers.
It’s only 9 am; I’m still cozy in my pink sock monkey pajamas but I’ve already traveled around the globe via Web 2.0 (interactive) tools. I’ve not only engaged friends and family, I’ve gotten a lot of work done.
How did I end up here? A middle aged woman using all kinds of tech tools which didn’t even exist a few years ago? My love for my kids and my passion for social justice motivated me. I saw how Obama, a community organizer like myself, was using Web 2.0 tools to engage his constituency and I watched how my kids stayed in touch with their friends when they were home from college on break. And I decided to attend every conference I could on how to use these tools to promote the issues that I care about. I became inspired by the stories of women around the world, just like myself, who were posting about their lives, both the mundane details and the big life changing moments.
And I became convinced that we are shifting the world, bit by bit, toward equality. That we are coming to know one another across oceans, across national boundaries, across ethnic, class and accessibility barriers.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother shared her stories with me at the kitchen table while we were canning tomatoes fresh from her organic garden. Now I can sit and hear stories from women all over the globe without leaving my home (or my locally owned, fair trade coffee shop)!
If you’d like to learn more, or tell me a story about what you like to do online, please drop me a line, or post, or tweet!
I’d love to hear from you!
(And a very special thank you to SeeJaneDo’s Elisa and Leta for highlighting so many inspiring stories on their show!)
Marsha Lanier, MSW
Director, MMP Consulting
Marsha uses Web 2.0 tools to create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world:
Want to learn how?