Entries tagged "“social media”"

Happy Pride: If you’re using that Facebook LGBT flag emoticon, a small request.

LGBT Pride flag photo credit: Ted Eytan cc
Happy Pride! I’ve got a few words for everyone who is excited about Facebook putting out a new rainbow flag icon during LGBT Pride month this June. Facebook sponsored the RNC after many many anti-queer stances by the GOP. A major Facebook shareholder has been a core part of Il Dupe’s campaign. Facebook sent its COO to help give Il Dupe a photo of business support when his new election was in doubt. Facebook also took a long time to address the real names policy which posed a true threat to many queer folks. Thanks to Roma Roma and more who advocated on this issue. Enjoy Pride but know that real LGBTIQQ2S leadership comes from lives lived, real risk and real backbone. Here’s to the drag queens and the civil rights activists and to every queer who came before me. Thank you. Here’s to every kid and every grown up coming out to themselves. Welcome! I care. Here’s to every small town queer, every swishy boy in the south, every person getting policed by someone else’s discomfort around gender.
 
If you’re not queer and you really want to be supportive, rather than focusing your energy on displaying something about you…ask queer folks you know about their lives, about the parts you don’t get to see, that people don’t always post about. Be an interested person and a willing listener to folks who have often been through a great deal. Among many other stories, there are people who have been through a plague and were never really heard by the straight part of the country. Signal boost their feeds this month. Realize that queer people you know are always reading your posts, all year long. Take some time and learn about the gay pogroms happening in Chechnya and the serious obstacles still here in the US for many queer folks legal and otherwise.
 
Queer folks often have to deal with their biggest challenges in the families they grow up in. This can mean anything from difficulty to outright abuse and losing a home and these things can begin as early as 3.
 
Now that Pride is a more popular and commercially acceptable thing to decorate for, I ask you to consider using Facebook for something that truly can matter and make a difference. And that will come from you, your witnessing, your time attention and caring, not from any symbol. Showing one queer person you care and are interested in really hearing what something was like to live through and deal with can make a meaningful difference. Queer lives are often code switched.
 
So this is my Pride wish: that every person on Facebook who isn’t queer and wants to use that flag emoticon thing also is willing to spend the time online to ask, listen to and acknowledge one queer person once this month.
 
Thanks for your time.

On Disinfo, Louise Mensch, Our Feeds and Can We Have A Legit 2018 Election?

 I came *this close* to posting this on Facebook without putting it here first. This is a bad habit I have acquired. I don’t get to spend as much time with my friends as I used to. FB designed a platform that lets us see each others faces/avatars and thread quicker it feels more like we are *with* each other than on blogs. I spent many years in Silicon Valley asking WordPress developers and many others to give us better tools for tummeling, for the social connection between us and to allow us to make it. I’ve advocated and tried to show how putting social and emotional goals *first* (and learning the skills to do so) makes all the difference in building more human social platforms that serve human goals and not financial ones of centralized control and manipulation. I have had some influence but the problem still stands. And it’s only increased because it seems the last election was turned in part, by disinfo.
Louise Mensch’s initial post about FISA warrants and Comey caught my eye and she was on it long before the MSM (I just went to her site to find and link it and couldn’t so that’s interesting in itself). It was the first idea I saw anywhere that there may have been more going on with the leaked letter about HRC’s emails than what was on the surface. I spent time in a whole bunch of twitter feeds around her to pick up some ideas and still do some. I filtered out personality as much as possible and read for info and then looked at many other feeds and sources and considered it. I didn’t pass on anything unconfirmed. But I unfollowed Mensch and Taylor on twitter once journalists I have more faith in are more involved and now that the FBI and whomever else (I don’t know) is managing a leak and other strategy. The game is on.
 
I’m generally dubious about anyone who leads with beefs and reactions and name calling. Our media has just been so full of that. It’s toxic to sit in that soup. I appreciate and endeavor to make mindful critiques. But non-stop reaction is not a great idea. 
 
That said I still embrace citizen journalism and parts of the threads between folks around Louse Mensch months ago reminded me a bit of earlier twitter days when twitter was just days ahead of CNN on major revolutions in countries. There is definitely bitterness and reaction beefs from MSM guys too who don’t like being scooped or feel like someone has to pay their regular media dues to be entitled to get cited and referenced.  
 
Also the abject failure of MSM in the campaign was enormous and they haven’t all just earned trust back. All the falling for HRC email crap? Where was all this Russia reporting then? Who looked deeply into Il Dupe’s obvious money laundering then? They liked the easy clicks and misogyny runs very very very deep in our culture.  
HRC literally spelled out the connection between Donald’s campaign and Russia in the debates. Did the mainstream media really grok that and pressure Il Dupe over and over on it? Mhhmm. Even with their own freedom to report in peril!   
 
FB has been almost completely let off the hook by a MSM happy to print puff personality and book pieces (and donations) fed to them by the company even as there has been admission or bragging by Il Dupe’s campaign they ran vote suppression campaigns on Facebook (on which presumably Facebook made money).  So everything we’re reading is influenced by ongoing disinfo.
 
When, as HRC said Il Dupe is Putin’s puppet, 17 ICs are investigating disinfo / hacking the election, what makes people and MSM believe we will have a legit 2018 election? This is not paranoia when it is just listening to investigations. Or perhaps I should say, what makes white people think we definitely will have a legit 2018 election? Because voter suppression has been a tactical strategy of the GOP for a long time. It is worth using this filter in reviewing everything we see in social media feeds and what comes up when. Many very smart people I know don’t grasp (and seem to not want to hear) that their FB feed is not just something they and their friends control.
 
It is important to ask what media you get access to and when you see it and what other motivations there could be. FB and twitter are huge media platforms not held to the same standards or understanding as traditional broadcast and print. We know FB ran emotional manipulation studies. They may still run them. Do they sell this? Our behavior isn’t just affected by artificial news but what we see who we see it from and when. All other media platforms are *dependent* upon them now for traffic. They control, without public accountability how much we see of the news from various sources. Both made our feeds  stop being chronological. There’s now no expectation you’ll see something when it was posted or from everyone your follow or friend. This is true in many countries with many political situations. Disinfo is now a major weapon of the war we are clicking in. We know that FB and many other tech cos willingly sent top execs and gave photo op of legitimacy to Il Dupe when he was in his earliest days and doubted the most. 
 
FB *sponsored* the RNC even after the GOP candidate mocked disabled people said all kinds of racist stuff and intentions, ran pror-Nazi style rallies, was incredibly sexist etc etc. FB has a Board member who is a major advisor to Il Dupe
 
FB and twitter *could have stopped and still could* the effort at autocracy anytime. They haven’t and they haven’t been questioned by other MSM about it much, if at all. These same media who depend on these platforms now to get, lunch so they hand over lunch money.
 
As annoying as it is and as imperfect as this post is I am not forcing myself to go to my website and post it there first. Because I know that without this practice media *is* controlled by these platforms. It was annoying to learn to always put my seatbelt on back in the days when it first became the law. But with enough practice it became a simple, much safer habit. Please do not forget we have the open web.
 
It is openness and real *earned* trust autocracy cannot bear. Autocrats trust no one. They only control. Trust cannot be built by hacking. Trust isn’t grown by twitter and Facebook . These companies rely upon the existing trust in networks you have and the ones you build. They have no accountability to the people using the platforms but to the companies to which they sell data.
Trust demands real openness and owned-up imperfection. There is no quick acquisition technique for real trust. We must practice openness and feel our own power in order for it to operate. Do not just hand it over to a guy who’d like to be an autocract or to some social media platforms that take full advantage of our fundamental hard-wired need to connect socially without doing much to assist it.
Let’s post on our blogs. Let’s take time to get together. Don’t get in the hole. 

“Closer to “consensual comedy” than traditional stand-up.” My interview with Hairpin

I’ll admit it I’m very excited about this piece. It’s the biggest interview ever published with me and we got to talk about all kinds of juicy stuff I care a lot about.

I had a lot of fun talking with writer Lili Loofbourow for this interview for The Hairpin in which I discuss my approach to making interactive shows, gender, who’s in the “audience,” how the room never ends now in performance because of social media, and the work of Marc Maron, Louie CK, the whole ‘women aren’t  funny’ thing, social media gender issues and all that “rapey” talk.

It’s always a delight to ge to give shout outs and voice to some of the women from whom I’ve learned  and been inspired. Some are famous like Jennifer Coolidge and some are not, but are infamous but not so known, like Cynthia Szigeti and some like my Aunt Fraida never even got a chance to get on stage. My Aunt Fraida is the funniest person I’ve known. Who’s the funniest person you’ve known?

morning Jew 9/22/13 The Pope, Israel pays for Propoganda and Pop Chips



Katie and I take on the latest headlines and ask: is it good for the Jews? All the good nosh here.

How often is business an exercise in stripping? Showing everything, allowing in nothing.

I wrote this as part of a grant application in 2004 I think. Maybe 2005. There’s a phrase in here I come back to again and again to describe what is missing in many situations and what I’m looking to change, the intimacy I want to make and the conditions for it I want us all to make and have:

There’s is a big difference between a strip club and sexual intimacy. I think we’re after the business difference too. How often are pr/ SEC filings, marketing and branding and advertising an exercise in stripping? Even when showing everything, allowing in/exchanging nothing.

Thanks to Tony Comstock for pulling this bit out and inspiring me to think that perhaps it’s worth sharing all of this. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

(one small note: I plan to bring the Heather Gold Show back as subvert with heather gold sometime this year. If you’re interested in working on producing the podcast let me know.)

There is no audience.

Interactive performance
Is one way to describe what I do. Other terms I’ve used include freestyle comedy, story DJ, interactive comedy, and human filter. It’s tough mapping language to experience and feeling.

I use personal storytelling, humour, improvisation, conversation, communal activity and other techniques to create a relatively quick sense of intimacy and connection in the room. In traditional theatre the story is the means. I’m exploring ways to make it the end as well, so that the catharsis is not somewhere over there on stage but inside of everyone in the room. What if the performance were not about someone who is a baker, but is unfolding as I bake with everyone right now?

This entails adapting to the audience and encouraging their participation and energy as a factor in the show. It means spending as much time designing conditions likely to create a live experience as it does scripting. It also means being as genuine and authentically ones self as possible. There are a host of little tricks and techniques I’m learning as this path unfolds. For example, I’ve found that if I “go first” it makes it much easier for others to open up as well. This authenticity means means being imperfect. In public.

The business world more than any other has, sometimes silently and sometimes in memos, asked us to leave our whole selves outside the door and bring only the “efficient” piece of our minds to the task at hand. It takes a whole person, especially the ungraphed and un-Powerpointed parts of our humanity to have fun, to play, to be open. Those things are necessary for real community and creativity to occur.

From The Law Project proposal for my next solo show
Because I write the show by improvising with an audience, I cannot know the threads that will be strongest and remain at the end of the process. My work aims to create live, intimate community by exploring universal subjects that connect us. My interactive plays create community through the performance: To use humour, personal storytelling, and most of all the audience themselves to create a deep sense of connection and inclusion. Unlike most stand-up comics or audience participation shows, I never make comedy at the expense of the audience. I create a space for them to shine.

In Cookie I bake chocolate chip cookies with the audience. In The Law Project I plan to teach law with the audience as I explore my own journey through law school. This will increase the challenge intellectually and emotionally for me as a playwright and performer, as I work to find a way to make the abstract tangible and the theoretical emotionally resonant.
I write by talking / improving and riffing in a long series of workshops that always involve some kind of audience. Cookie was the result of many performances, and I’m interested in creating experiences that challenge folks as well as bring them together.

The commons is shrinking quickly in this nation, with conversations, academic and otherwise, happening more and more between folks who already agree with each other, listening to more of what they already think. Performance (and the law) have the opportunity to strengthen bonds as they can bring folks together who are di”erent, or already in disagreement. “Creating the space” has everything to do with whether or not we’ll truly be able to explore disagreement, or just talk at each other.
I think that the rule of law needs to be seriously examined in a moment in which western cultures believe that it is what makes them unique, better and free . What does rule of law really mean? Is it as powerful as story or is it the arena in which we craft and choose which stories we will collectively live by?

My work builds on the solo performance tradition created by monologist Spalding Gray. Like Josh Kornbluth, who built on Spalding Gray’s work, I use improvisation to create a play that feels alive. But my work focuses on bringing the form to a place that excites today’s audiences. This means building in interactive threads and moments. This means not locking the script completely. This means involving the audience very literally in the show. Video games, then music and now television are all involving interactive elements in part because people are interested in each other. Performance has always been a way of having a unifying collective experience. I’ve been taking elements and principles I learned from a variety of worlds, including the Net and applying them to live performance. And its an ongoing lesson. I try to approach performance like software. I don’t expect it to be completely finished and I know that I will learn something new from the audience every time.

Live performance has an opportunity to do what our Congress, towns and perhaps our real courts are failing to do: Be a public space in we can be whole together. This is theatre as new commons.

From The Heather Gold Show – my live talk show
I don’t force the specific topic of the show but let it grow organically from my lead guest (Thinker/represents light). I believe that passion is a requirement for a meaningful conversation, and that everything is like a wheel: if you can introduce any idea from the hub, then it will connect with any spoke. To curate guests, I choose people who will be able to give very different takes on the same subject, from the Entertainer (represents wine) and Doer (represents bread). These guests are always extremely diverse in terms of background, identity and point of view, but the topic, atmosphere, humour and vulnerability I share and connections I make allow all the guests and audience to come together. This means the show is about living the questions with the guests and everyone there.

From Open Source Management or Live! Corporate! Blogging!
There’s is a big difference between a strip club and sexual intimacy. I think we’re after the business difference too. How often are pr/ SEC filings, marketing and branding and advertising an exercise in stripping? Even when showing everything, allowing in/exchanging nothing.

From Design for Conversation, my business talk/experience
Why do people who make interactive experiences and focus on relationship in their business, have conferences in which the only time people interact is in the halls? How do you design for conversation? What are the qualitative factors in allowing it to happen?

What opens people up? What assumptions am I working from?

• inclusion

• everyone is welcome

• other people are funny

• its great if other folks get laughs too

• story is how we create meaning

• anyone can tell a story in the right conditions

• everyone is interesting when they’re present / authentic

• vulnerability is necessary for connection

• reaching the people on the edge will have an energetic domino effect on everyone else.

I welcome your thoughts and feelings.

Update 4/6/2013 Many thanks to BoingBoing for linking to this post in connection with the production of my interactive show “I Look Like An Egg, but I Identify As A Cookie” 4/8 and 4/9/2013 at Shotgun Players in Berkeley. Tickets for that are here. I learned a great deal of this stuff in making “Cookie.” Since I initially wrote this post I’ve done a fair amount of speaking and some workshop teaching and speaking coaching and a podcast related to how to create the conditions for conversation or “tummelling.” If you’re interested the workshop and talks at Google and Web 2.0 and Ignite, you’ll find much of it here. The podcast is called TummelVision and was done with Deb Schultz and Kevin Marks. It’s here.

“I am not my keywords” Life in Perpetual Beta video interview

At the last SXSW I went into the Ladies room at the Four Seasons Hotel with Melissa Pierce and between flushes, recorded one of my favourite interviews ever. She did a fantastic job of editing. I’m delighted to have this as part of her film and project Life In Perpetual Beta, a phrase I coincidentally used years ago in speaking at the first 140 conference about how everyone is learning to be “private and Public” and everyone is a performance artist now.

This interview gets at a lot of the feminist ideas I’m exploring in my new project #WITH.

WITH contd – Hey, social media commentators: It’s about us stupid.

Alex Madrigal, The Atlantic’s tech writer, has a really nice response to Zadie Smith’s critique of both the film Social Network and facebook itself and its meaning.

Madrigal is hitting on the main thing that most social media phobic critiques miss (eg. Jaron LanierGladwell and Sherry Turkle’s upcoming book which I had the chance to respond to at a recent conference at Bard): the technology is made by us. Us people. Our relationship needs and issues exist without and with the technology.So what is it we are going to do about it? Alex Madrigal mentions a need for a kind of “urban planning” to make facebook and social media better. This is like the idea Stowe Boyd had a while back to approach social media like architecture.  Ross Douthat today commented in the New York Times on Madrigal’s Atlantic comment on Zadie Smith’s NY Review of Books piece saying he weighed in on the side of Madrigal’s call for “mastery” of social media rather than avoiding it.

 

And even if these publications weren’t finally online and blogging they’d still have esteemed writers writing about each other and people would talk to each other about it and hey, that sounds an awful lot like social media and the Internet, only slower.

 

I disagree entirely with Douthat’s framing of the question or Smith’s that our challenge is about “how to remain human in a social media world.”  Our challenge is how to be connected to our humanity with or without social media.

 

Ross Douthat and Zadie Smith why are you so sure we have more human-ness before social media rather than after?

 

Dissociation is easy to come by. I did it with books for years. Does it make that act less real than when it’s done with a screen? You can do it with a drink, a thought, a snort, a fuck. You can check out and not see others or feel your own basic impulse extremely easily. Intellectuals are as good at this as anyone. Whether you got a PhD for your method of checking out or the delirium tremens our need is to fell what it is we really feel and to be able to handle those feeling, thus developing enough as people to be able to handle and see and enjoy what is in others too, including what is different.

 

I believe the real question we face is: how can we be ourselves and be ourselves together. How can we be WITH each other?

 

And I believe that social media is part of a major change in our getting closer to this. Because people who have only been able to manage analytically are getting forced to reconnect to the relational and the relational is getting translated into data where the analytical can understand it.

But does it scale?

scalespam1
When people ask me about how I scale intimacy when I’m speaking about How to Tummel (Design for Conversation) what they’re asking is “how can I make money?”

Although I’m showing how intimacy does scale. I’m interested in this unarticulated, but intended question.

When you ask “how can I make money?” before “how can I bring value?” (or it’s seed: “”what delights both me and you?”) then you are building from fear.

My biggest problem can be seen in a speech I’ve seen Guy Kawasaki give would-be entrepreneurs “How can I take your money and get it into my pocket,” he says.

Then you’re on a habitraille you can’t get off until you change your very first underlying question. The fear breaks down to an assumption that what matters to me doesn’t matter to you. Therefore I must make stuff that “scales” that everyone else will love NOT what makes sense to me. The emotional basis of this is “I can’t be myself and be loved.” That’s what the market is built on…what we create from our assumptions.

It’s just hard to believe that what we love and how we naturally are could be loved by others as well. Solution: day jobs we hate, alcohol and hockey stick graphs on start-up Powerpoints. It either sucks, or it’s a HUGE HIT.

Sustainable, happy living. An honest living (coincidentally the title of my work memoir in progress) is not either or thinking. You can have both. The answer to most either or questions is both. It’s a major mindset shift but once you make it, everything in your life looks different. And social media gives us the opportunity to connect more easily with more people. The barriers to approaching people are much lower. The barriers to being personal and genuine are culturally (and technologically) dissolving. And when you’re authentic, in public the opportunities that come are different. You can be filtered differently and you will filter differently.

You will see others for who they really and and you will be seen and feel seen. You will share what you genuinely care about and you’ll connect with others about the pieces of that that are valued by others too. Social media gives you that opportunity dozens of times a day. That gives you lots of feedback by which to observe the places of genuine intersection.

I want to keep exploring those places. That’s why I involve multiple guests on the Heather Gold Show and involve the whole room. More lines of thought and caring, more possibilities for intersection. Those nodes, they scale in a big way. But they are naturally the creation of many people. That’s how we find them collectively.

I’m not sure what to call them yet, but I’ve got a couple of contenders: truth and love.

New York, NY – 11/05/08

Vote today: Everything I Need to Know About the Web I Learned From Feminism

I proposed this as a panel at SXSW 09. I’m really looking forward to digging into this conversation with some really interesting feminist scholars and web / network thinkers. Voting for the panel happened here. To my surprise the room was packed. It outdrew Larry Lessig’s conversation. I didn’t imagine there would be so much interest and passion about feminism. We had a great conversation with Microsoft researcher/Harvard scholar danah boyd, Wall St Journal reporter and author of a book about MySpace Julia Angwin and Joseph Campbell collaborator and professor Betty Sue Flowers.

There is a really lovely compatibility about the notion of transcendence in both feminism and the Net….both of which give protection and community to those who have been invisible / “private” before.

The Net is quantifying / making visible the value of the social skills / communal skills that have previously gone unvalued by the market or “public” space.

This is inspired, in part, by something else I’m working on: a talk about how I do the performance I do….how to design for conversation rather than presentation all of which changes notions of where authority comes from. This is because the value is relational rather than one-off.

I think it always was..but that aspect was “hidden” by it being a silent piece of “private” life that women mostly carried out….preparing holidays, gatherings..maintaining relationships..creating  and giving physical and other bits of acknowledgement (gifts , cards ..the Christmas newsletter etc) and of course the “salon” which has been a big piece of the basis of how I’ve mashed up a new kind of performance.

There are quite a few ideas embedded in here and for the mag piece..perhaps best to focus on the social networking piece..but that’s just the latest business surfacing of something much deeper..which is the way the West is turning more relational this way…that’s my instinct.

It’s just too costly to market / force awareness of onesself/business without a network effect and any lasting audience/network  can only happen through what is community and community can only be maintained by this “female” stuff.

I found it very interesting in India where these social roles and conventions are still so deeply a part of peoples’ daily lives. I had an unusually deep experience of it myself because of the Niagara Falls shtetl in which I was raised.

I’m excited to see the value of this feminist stuff (as well as performance stuff) in the business arena…though I’m aware that I’m really out on the front edge of explaining and doing much of it..the social media consulting world and facebook shows this stuff to be shifting.

Note: I’ve further developed some of these ideas into a project called #WITH.



Copyright © 1998-2017 Heather Gold.

RSS Feed. Theme by Rodrigo Galindez.