Life in the blogosphere
Lisa Witter is the chief operating officer of Fenton Communications, the largest public interest communications firm in the country. She heads the firm's practice in women's issues and global affairs for clients including Women for Women International, MoveOn.org, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association and many others. She is a co-founder of the award-winning website SheSource.org, an online brain trust of women experts to help close the gender gap among commentators in the news media. She was honored as an outstanding activist and expert on women's issues by Oxygen.com for her work on a national campaign against privatizing Social Security during the 2000 presidential election. Lisa is a blogger and political commentator with her work appearing on MSNBC, Fox News, The Huffington Post, AlterNet and Anderson Cooper 360. In 2004, she was a contestant on the Showtime reality show American Candidate. Witter is co-author of The She Spot: Why Women Are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them.
She is on the advisory board for Indianapolis University's Women and Philanthropy Institute, Pop!Tech, Momsrising.org, Women for Women International and Climate Counts.
Question: What’s your advice to female bloggers?
Lisa Witter: I think if I had advice for a young, you know, aspiring blogger, trust your own expertise, you know, I hear from a lot of women “Oh I can’t write about that because I’m not an expert” and really the blogging world has opened up, a lot of blogging is opinion with some research and frankly men aren’t afraid to tell you their opinion at any point. You know I founded this thing called she source which is an online database of women experts for media to go to and I did it with the White House Project and Women’s Funding Network because I would see there weren’t many women on TV as political experts or pundits or pundits on anything and so I started asking bookers and producers like “Why don’t you have more women on television?” and they said “We don’t know any.” I said “You don’t know any, how can that be?” so he said “We call up women and we’ll say hey I see that you’re an economist at Columbia, can you come and talk about gas prices?” and they’ll be like “Oh I’m not an expert in gas prices,” you know, so I would say, you know, be comfortable with knowing that you can learn things pretty quickly, get your ideas out there and really be confident that you can write about anything, I mean you don’t have to, you know, blogs like 600 words, you just need to get your ideas out and your analysis out, don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect. You know, when it comes to blogging it’s about getting things out quickly and reacting to the news cycle. So just be on top of it, there are more women blogging than men, so I think women are really getting this.
Follow your expertise, says Lisa Witter, but do your homework as well.