Gloria Steinem & Greenstone Media

I was lucky enough to speak with Gloria Steinem about Greenstone Media the other day. She and Jane Fonda, among other great women, have created a national radio network owned by women and featuring women. You can read what I took away from the call over at Huffington Post.

Also on the call were these classy ladies:

Que Sera Sera
Mommy Needs Coffee
Motherhood Uncensored
Her Bad Mother
Three New York Women
Brazen Careerist
Mom 101
Almost Literary
Pamela Slim

Interview with Brandon Rogers

Brandon Rogers from One Child Left Behind makes me laugh. And laugh. And laugh until my gut hurts and tears are running down my cheeks. Sometimes, I have no idea what he’s talking about. Sometimes I do. But, it doesn’t matter because his writing is so creative and strong. It’s beautiful and honest. His own personal favorite post (listed below) is actually the first post I ever read of his and I admit it, I fell in love. Brandon has written for McSweeneys. And I hear he writes some pretty sexy material for scholastic books, of which I have not had the pleasure of perusing. Brandon lives in Washington State with his very understanding wife and two children, who ask him to bing them in the head with small, plastic toys. For fun. And, he has a potty mouth. If you are my mother, you don’t want to read any further.

Interview with Anil Dash

Anil Dash, contrary to what you might think when you read some of his responses below, is not always a man of few words. He sometimes has quite a bit to say, unless you want to know more about Blortals, in which case, he clams up. A blog oldtimer, Anil does a lot of public speaking on subjects ranging from the relationship between blogs and traditional media to the future of social communication online. He has been featured in Wired, the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN and PBS as well as radio and in print. You might remember his influence when the word Nigritude Ultramarine started showing up everywhere. Currently, Anil is Vice President at Six Apart. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Alaina, and their feline and canine. And, he really does love Prince.

Top Three Questions in My Inbox

Variations of #1:

I thought you were from Utah?
Are you in Missouri?
Where did you grow up?
Did your parent’s move?


I did not go to Missouri, although there is nothing wrong with that. Some of my favorite people live in Missouri. My parents have not moved and still live in Utah, where I went to visit them. Now I am happy to be home.

Variations of #2:

What are you working on? Is it a secret?
Did you get a new job yet?
What did you decide to do with your life?
Where are you working?
Do you remember me? I wrote you last year.
Tell me what you’re doing!


Yes! Of course I remember you! And thank you for writing me again. I haven’t told you about what I’m doing because everything is kind of ‘in the works’ and not solid yet. If I told you the part I could actually tell you, it wouldn’t be much and we’d all walk away like addicts without our fix. But, since you are so insistent, I’ll try. I’m working on some book stuff that I can’t talk about yet, except to say that I’m not alone in my working on it and some other people are involved and things are getting done way too quickly but not fast enough. And I’m finishing up some paperwork and stuff for doing some interviews that will not just be done through email.

See?? I told you. Totally unsatisfying. I’m going to go gnaw on my arm now.

Variations of #3:

You suck!
Why do you suck so bad?
Why do you delete comments I leave on your blog that tell you how much you suck?
Do you remember me? I wrote you last year.
And – you suck!


Yes! Of course I remember you! And thank you for writing me again and again and again. In your last email you told me you wished you could be here when I read it so you could see my face. Well, that is so sweet. I wanted to show you what my face looked like, too. Because, it is so sexy Bershon.

There Was This One Time…..

I did an interview with the amazing Amanda B of Very Zen once upon a time and while we were emailing back and forth, she promised me that at some point, she would get some music online for me to hear. And she did! And it’s here! And she’s good! And you should go listen!

Oh, Amanda! Thank you! Please, go to the recording studio or go sing at a nearby place so I can come and listen to you because I need MORE. Your voice is amazing!


A long time friend of Joe’s (and then luckily, friend of mine by default) has created Dandelife, a place to store your memories. Kelly Abbott calls it a Social Biography Network. He didn’t just create this as a hobby. He believes in it so much that he actually quit his job to do it full time. You could say that Dandelife is his life. (I know. Sorry.)

I tried it out a while back and realized that I could really use a place like Dandelife. It’s different than a blog in the way that you can chronologically write in the memories and stories of your life instead of what you ate for lunch yesterday. You can capture your story so you don’t forget it, and put in the details you might not want to go into on your blog but you do want somewhere. And, if you’re like me, it’s fun to see who else was doing things around the same time and where.

I asked Kelly a few questions about Dandelife and he was nice enough to answer.

LP: What was the inspiration for you to create Dandelife?

KA: Loved blogging a little too much, you could say. That’s the short version. The less-short version? Dandelife Origins – I’ve got 11 posts and counting on our blog that create some kind of picture as to why I would drop everything for Dandelife.

LP: What does Dandelife mean to you?

KA: What is it to me? It’s my baby. It’s funny, but I’ve been giving birth to this idea for many years. You can read some of those stories here. But what Dandelife means to me deeper, I suppose, than just a business. I often joke with people that it’s the culmination of my being. I love photos. I love storytelling. I love the Internet and community building online. In a way, Dandelife is the logical progression of bring all of those desires I have into one place.

LP: What kind of mark do you think Dandelife will leave on the world or with individuals?

KA: The mark that Dandelife should leave on individuals is simple: I want people who visit to be entertained by the stories people are sharing here. For the members who’ve signed up, I want their lives to be an archive of sorts. A trusted venue for housing their memories is important to do right. Which leads to the world at large. I want the community at to reflect the world as it is. The stories people are sharing are quite different from the stuff you read about in your daily news. The connections being made run deeper than those you make at MySpace. What’s happening on Dandelife is very real – even if it is “virtual.”

LP: What is your favorite part of Dandelife?

KA: My favorite part hasn’t been developed yet. Users are giving me recommendations on a daily basis. That combined with the constant loop of ideas that we have going on internally, there are some pretty creative features coming. I can’t wait to tell you about them.

If you were to put my feet to the fire, then I’d have to admit that my favorite part right now is the timeline you see on the home page. It’s what our members love the most and seems to be what the blogosphere digs the most as well. People just love the idea of seeing their life – visually – at a glance. Keep hitting refresh on the home page and you’ll start to see some pretty neat stories popping up every time. I sometimes find that I’ve wasted an entire afternoon bouncing from one good story to the next. Of course, for me, that’s not an occupational hazard at all. 🙂 For you – I hope it’s a nice diversion from the daily grind.

Thanks, Kelly.

The Recap


I was still going through my questions and finishing up last items on Thursday but I felt pretty prepared by the time I went to the dinner on Thursday night. All day Friday and all day Saturday I interviewed some amazing women. I was so busy that I didn’t get photos of all of them. Dang. In fact, I was so busy that I didn’t get to meet nearly as many people there as I wanted to. On the flip side, I got to really talk to those women that came in to film. We had a few problems come up and some people were very understanding and patient as we figured out the kinks (THANK YOU) but all in all it was a great weekend. Isabel Kallman, founder of Alpha Mom is truly an amazing woman and I thank her so much for sending me Mario for the weekend, without whom I might have died. And Chris. And Jesus. Can I get an amen?

The panel I was a part of went well, I thought. Danah was a great moderator. I wish I would have had more time to talk to her because I find her smart, fascinating and sporting great hair. It was great to finally meet Jenn, Denise and Erica in person. You can read more about our panel here on PBS Mediashift by Mark Glaser and here on The Huffington Post by Liz Henry. I was watching Liz type furiously during the panel and wondered how she could possibly get it all down. All in all, it’s a pretty accurate account. One part where she quotes me as saying, “Leah Peterson: I don’t blog about my kids, I have 4 kids all teens. And also my relationship with my husband.” was just a little off. I said something more like I make sure my kids are ok with what I blog about them and if they ask me not to blog something, I don’t because I want to make sure they always know they can tell me anything. But, wow, Liz can type fast.

And if that all wasn’t enough, Arianna Huffington sat down with me and Alpha Mom for a few minutes to talk about her new book. On Becoming Fearless….in Love, Work and Life is truly inspired. I think everyone should get a copy. I’ve read it twice now. I don’t know when any of the TV segments will be coming out but I’ll link to them when they do.

There were a few things like weird/spotty and not free internet connectivity and a large, laid-out conference area that made things challenging. And even though I only got to pop into one other panel besides my own for about 20 minutes, I was acutely aware that some people there were harboring and fostering some types of negative energy which made me sad. In my mind, when you get 700+ women together, we should all be planning to do something good, like switching things up in the government or figuring out how to make the perfect pair of high heels that make our calves look fantastic but don’t create blisters, rather than turning on each other. Just think what we could all do if we worked together! It would truly be a tragedy to waste the creative opportunity for greatness that Blogher facilitates.

Update: Sour Duck says some nice things about the panel here.

You Can Touch My Weenis at Blogher

What’s really, really funny is to walk around saying ‘weenis‘ all the time. Just ask my kids. They come up to me and pinch my elbows and say, ‘Oh, sorry. Did I hurt your weenis?’ and then laugh and laugh. And laugh. And then they do it to each other and laugh some more. Not only do I not find it funny, I think the word ‘weenis’ should die a quick death. It’s a dumb word. Who invented it? I’d like a few minutes of their time. Creating a word that sounds like another word, that happens to be what we in these parts call a Potty Word, is just dumb. I’m living in a sitcom laugh track over here. Come on!

I have Blogher on the brain. I’m a little nervous about my panel but since I’m doing it with such great women, I’m mostly ok with that. But, in an insane moment, Alpha Mom asked me to do interviews with some pretty choice women. These are FILMED interviews. And I’m nervous because, dude, I am not used to being on the other side of the camera. All I can say is that it’s a darn good thing there is a makeup artist there to help me when I have something on my chin that looks like cheese doodle. So, if you’re going to Blogher, I’ll be the one that is going up and down the elevator every fifteen minutes before, after, and in between the workshops trying to fit in time to speak with all of my internet rockstar idols. I can’t wait to meet them all and I hope they don’t think I am too much of a dork. Unless they like dork. And then, my friends, they will be blown away and fall in love with me.

Here is a list of all the wonderful women I get to interview in no particular order besides the order that I had them written down in Notepad:

Marrit, Yvonne, Amy, Tracey, Tracey, Alice, Angela, Eden, Kim, Jen,
Grace -n- Molly, Andrea, and Catherine. And probably Heather, if I can get her to put down the martini and sober her up with some coffee. Or, I could just film her while she’s sleeping.

There are some other women that I can’t wait to have a drink with and do their hair and nails and if you are going, this probably includes you. I’m driving up Wednesday. Anyone else around that early?

Update: I’m a dweeb. I left off Melissa. And also Karen!

Interview with Derek Powazek

Derek Powazek has a thing for stories. He tells them through pictures and words. He was a Senior designer at Technorati, is the founder of Fray, a co-founder of JPG magazine and an Online Director of AlterNet. He wrote a few books and his photos have been in exhibits and in various publications including San Francisco Magazine, Curve Magazine and also online. He’s won awards like the Silver Award in PhotoJournalism from the Society of News Design and is currently starting his own publishing company. Derek is inspiring to me. He is true to himself, follows his dreams and has more than enough talent to take him anywhere he wants to go.

Interview with Laid Off Dad

Even though his blog’s name says he’s laid off, LOD is actually gainfully employed and living in New York with his wife and 2 kids. It’s not that he’s lying; it’s just that he’s already gone through the getting laid-off and the getting rehired process. If you missed it, you can read all about it in his archives. Laid Off Dad is not just funny, although he is that. He likes to use semi-obscure words and writes with finesse. His writing sometimes reminds me of The Good Example I could never hope to be as good as from my college writing course. His words intertwine and arabesque and then make you laugh so hard you almost pee your pants. You can also find Laid Off Dad at The Blogfathers.

Interview with Amanda Brumfield

Have you met Amanda B.? At Very Zen, Amanda talks about pretty much everything, including sensitive subjects such as her history with depression and anxiety and how she deals with them. She’s funny and witty and clever.

Amanda and her husband have spent the past year wading through bureaucracy up to their armpits trying to recover from Katrina. Their home is getting closer and closer to being done, just in time for this year’s wonderful storm season. There have been other hardships as well over the past year, and you might expect someone in her position to be mostly, rightfully and out of necessity, focused on herself. But in Amanda’s case, you’d be wrong. She spends her days helping people with their medical claims and often goes above and beyond the call of duty. Case in point would be Chester as well as various animals found in the wild that need a good home and nursing back to health.

When you read Very Zen, you understand very clearly how much she cares – just genuinely cares. And you feel it loud and clear. When you read between the lines, you see how big her heart really is.

In the ‘Also’ category, Amanda writes and sings songs in the bathroom and has met Chewbacca.

Interview with Pierre Kim

Partially in the interest of not missing any sections of the blogging spectrum, but mostly because I think he’s really funny and insightful, I asked Pierre Kim of Metro Dad if he would be interested in an interview. I know, I’ve done some daddy-bloggers in the past, but not for a long time and it’s way over due. Pierre lives in New York with his wife and daughter. He’s part snake venom, which I find quite intriguing, and will give you his seat on the subway, if you are old or pregnant. Just keep that in mind. He’s also a stickler for good grammar but can take a joke quite well. You can also find Pierre at Rice Daddies and DadCentric.