Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Life Lessons at a Media Conference

This past weekend was a great one for media-making and activist women as it was the WAM! It Yourself mini-conference in select cities around the world. Here in New York, it was a fun-filled weekend with a happy hour Friday night, a conference Saturday, and a brunch on Sunday. For the second year in a row, I spoke on a panel for the Saturday conference and it was great to be back in a space with women (and a few men) committed to learning from each other and helping each other out.

The panels were about writing, media, and activism, but there were a few lessons that came out of the day and that still echo in my mind days later.

The first lesson came up a few times on the social media and activism panel I was on, and was repeated by several others (who weren't even at that workshop): use your authentic voice. Whether it's in the way you use social media or in your writing, being yourself and being authentic makes it easier to stand up for your feelings and beliefs when they're challenged, as they inevitably will be, and puts your real truth out there. It's harder to back up what you don't believe in, so why bother?

Another lesson is in the power of social media. As Deanna Zandt said in her closing keynote "technology will not solve our problems, we will solve our problems but we can use technology to do that." People are using social media every day to spark movements, stand up for their rights and the rights of others, and make people's lives just a bit better.

And the last lesson is that we can all be leaders and change-makers. In many ways, a lot of us are doing it already, we just don't give ourselves the credit.

Okay, so the lessons are not new, but it doesn't make them any less meaningful.

What lessons have you learned or been reminded of recently?

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