Keynote featuring Tig Notaro, Plus the 10X10 Project


Keynote featuring Tig Notaro, and the 10X10 Project

Blogher's Mission: To create opportunities for women to pursue: Education, Exposure, Community and Economic Empowerment

Blogher Community Guidelines: We embrace the spirit of civil disagreement and we decline to publish unacceptable content, specifically: BlogHer embraces the spirit of civil disagreement.

Lisa: We are going to uphold to the highest standard of journalism.

Jory: Mobile is not a trend, mobile is a platform. We have taken it upon ourselves to embrace the change and to work it through the community. Now that video is so much easier to make and distribute, how do you get so much more people to view that video.

Lisa: The origins of this original conference started with a business purpose. We had to work to dismiss people in this space who viewed women as "just mommy bloggers." The diversity of sponsors we have allowed us serve the broad base of our bloggers. We didn't want to jump on technology platforms. We wanted to build our own. We connect
our site to Facebook, but we ask our users to create their own log in as well. First, 75% of your readership will be mobile. How is that going to change the way you write, headline, photograph, deliver? Secondly, your community is dying to see you on video. Diversify your reach.

Elisa: we do this to self express. Our readers love our stories but they love our service even more. This winning combination delivers results. It matters more than reach and size and lists. Results can be different things. Have you spoken out, have you been heard? Have you helped someone make a decision? Have you made someone's day, or made someone laugh? Have you done something with your reader that connects with your reader forever.

Thank you for the 10 years our conference.

10x10: Ten minutes on 10 years

Doug French: Things I learned about my Dad (in therapy), Sleep is For the Week, Laid off Dad, Cofounder of the Dad 2.0 Conference. I am a proud veteran of 7 BlogHers, I am the co founder of Dad 2.0 Conference, and I am a man. I am a white, straight, anglosaxon, 11th generation male, and I'm here to talk about minorities and how they have benefited me over the years. I've always felt very comfortable here as a part of your community and I hope I can express the gratitude I feel. That's me in 2008 as the first male to speak at BlogHer. The 3 events I can distill this down to is I began a blog in 2003, I was laid off, i wad a dad, I called my blog Laid Off Dad. I interacted with mostly women. I saw that all these women I was interacting with were coming together to a conference called BlogHer. so in 2006, I came to the next BlogHer.

In 2007, I got divorced and I didn't know if I was ever going to figure out who I was going to be again. So 2008 comes around, and I had written an essay called "Things I learned about my dad and I was so proud of it, and it was edited by Heather Armstrong who told me to get into this conference. I came to BlogHer to be a part of the keynote in 2008, that's when I realized that the conference was not just about a bunch of people hanging out in hotel rooms to talk about hand creme. There was real power here, that men don't have much contact with and don't recognize. I was the first male speaker at BlogHer so the Pandora's box was open. Men started speaking at BlogHer and then there was backlash about there being too many men at Mom Blog Conferences. The perspective of the backlash was something men don't really often, that it doesn't matter who you are, just the fact that you're a man makes women uncomfortable.

Dad 2.0 has the same template that BlogHer has. Trying to create a space, a voice for the inclusive majority. Recognizing the power in resolution, discussion, empathy. It helps me write my write a blog about co-parenting after divorce that I write with my ex wife. The empathy in helping each other be better parents in divorce.

Elise Bauer:
In 2001, I was an executive at an internet start up. My company went bankrupt, I had to layoff 100 people. I also got sick with the flu. I didn't really recover from the flu, I would get well then I'd get sick again. It went on and on until I was so run down, I could barely get through the day. Around the same time, my roommate and friend Elizabeth was diagnosed with brain cancer and she died a few months later. And I could still barely get through the day. I tried hard for 2 years to get better and I wasn't getting better, I was sad, depressed, could barely function.

In 2003, I just gave up, I packed everything, moved home with my parents. I felt like a complete and utter failure, i was in my early 40's and I was devastated. There was a little light in this sea of darkness, I had started a food blog. I had been collecting recipes from my family, hand coding them, and putting them in html. With blogging software, I was able to publish them easily. I didn't know how long I would have to be with my mom and dad so I just learned how to cook and documenting it. I ended up living with them for 7 years with chronic fatigue for 5 of those years. Every day was this mental exercise to choose between feeling sorry for myself or feeling incredibly lucky. It was really easy to feel sorry for myself. I had no job, no husband, no kids, no money. I could barely get through the day. I didn't blog about my life because I didn't want to look at my life too much or it would make me sad.

I would have to tell myself that I have healthy parents who love me and could take me in, I could cook, I could practice my cooking and photography and I get to be alive.

What's wonderful about food blogging is that food is nourishment, it feeds the body. It's history, chemistry, biology, and culture. it feeds the intellect. Food is loving, caring, life. It feeds the soul. My focus on my food blog is what healed me. It was focusing on that positive area in my life that was all about love and nourishment. I cooked myself, blogged myself, and embraced myself out of the sickness. It took many years. The one piece of advice I give bloggers who are starting out blogging is to blog what you love. That will help keep you going even when life takes much out of you.

In 2005, there were just a handful of food bloggers. At the time, no one made any real money from blogging. I made maybe a few dollars a day and that's after blogging 5 days a week, for maybe 5 years. Bloggers, including food bloggers got very little respect. We kept at it and supported each other. Now all those old time journalists have their own blogs. Now there are tens of thousands of food bloggers. What we have to do now as publishers of content is to be really aware of content and all these different platforms. It's no longer just cook, photograph, and post. It can be really overwhelming to be on all the social media platforms. I focus on always cooking with heart. Always doing anything with heart.

Deb Rox: @debontherocks
I'm here to talk about why you are so awesome. I want to talk about why I love blogging. Blogging is a parade and like any good parade, it's where culture explodes, including pop culture, to make change happen. You want to be at the parade of your generation, and when I realized that social media was the global parade of our time, I found you guys. I found people to watch that parade and live tweet it with.

Blogging gives us a front row seat at social media. Front row is where you get all the beads and the candy and you want all these. We're not just watching, we're creating this thing. We are leading the parade. Blogging is the fulfillment of a fairytale. My favorite fairytale is the Emperor's New Clothes. In the story, the emperor parades around in no clothes and all his yes men don't say anything, until one child points out the truth. Blogging is that child. You can tell your truth every day. We say how things are, which in effect says how things could be better. I love being the child calling things out. I love the call out culture. We actually playing every role in that myth. I can remember times when I've been the conman, or the silent townspeople, and I've definitely been the emperor who has made mistakes and needs to be called out. But that's all good. That's how we're learning and creating the capacity to do better and do more. Blogging lets us grow and become more as we are helping the culture become more.

We are already seeing that the global social media parade has made improvements in government, food, and fashions for example because we call out how things can be better. If we keep calling out the dicks when we see them, and if we try not to be a dick, then we can keep improving the community and live happily ever after.

(Before interview, Tig does a set)

Host: Elisa Camahort Paige (EP)
Tig Notaro (TN)

Elisa: From what I've read, you say you had a somewhat charmed life. Tell us about a comedian, coming out in Mississippi.

Tig: A charmed life means I'm happy and I appreciate who I am. But it certainly wasn't perfect and then it fell apart for 4 months. For 4 months in my life a few years ago, i had pneumonia, I took antibiotics, I contracted this potentially deadly illness called c-dif. I got out of the hospital and had lost 20 lbs, my mother had tripped and hit her head and passed away. And I was going through a break up. This all happened within 4 months. I did this performance talking about what had happened in my life.

Elisa: But you certainly were already a working comedian. Many people know you from Conan.

Tig: And Sarah Silverman, and Officer Tig.

Elisa: What was your process and has it changed since that point in your life when first all those things went wrong and you did this performance that went viral?

Tig: I didn't mean to create something viral, I'm not on twitter. When I did that performance at Largo, I had no idea people were tweeting and blogging, thinking that just the 300 ppl at the venue were who I had shared this with and then the next morning, my emails and voicemails were full. I was baffled, what on earth had happened while I was asleep? Things definitely changed for me, for my career. As for my writing process and my style, I would say what changed the most was that I didn't share too much personal stuff about myself before, now I'm more open to that. As for my writing, I actually write on stage. You would not find my material on my computer. I would write little notes like, "barefoot, cousins" and oh yeah, that story. I enjoy being on stage and letting my stories figure themselves out and unfold right there. Because there's this fight or flight thing that goes on in me when I'm telling a story and I feel like I can come up with the best punchline on stage.

Elisa: Has it always been that way?

Tig: No I feel like it has gotten more that way in the past few years. It was still that way before my set went viral. But I think my personal stories are coming out now and you have to find the punchline right when you're on stage. When I'm writing, it's not as electrifying for me than when I'm on stage.

Elisa: Bloggers talk a lot about what their personal boundaries are for sharing their personal stories. Did it change for the people in your personal life when you share your stories?

Tig: My audience is all over the place. There are nerds, housewives with one boob from cancer, there's the gay community, there's NPR. It's just a sea of mystery out there. My step father never really took an interest in what I
was doing until my mother died. And then my set went viral and then he took more of an interest. He's typically so unemotional. Like C3PO but with less emotional.

When my album came out, he told me he downloaded it and listened to it. I thought he would have a problem with the performance I did because I had made light of certain aspects of my mother's passing. But he was very impressed
with my performance. I couldn't believe he listened to it and approved. But no, I didn't have much backlash from people in my life.

Elisa: So you got your diagnosis..

Tig: Actually, today is 2 years ago to the day that I was diagnosed. People will say to me that they're sorry. But to me it was one of the best days of my life because I got my diagnosis and it was the beginning of so many great days.
Like living my life and my health.

Elisa: How much did you know when you walked on stage in Largo, the ground you would cover?

Tig: My ability to eat food, cancer, my mother, my breakup. All of it. When I was told I had invasive cancer, I just thought it would be my last time to conform. And I love standup so much I thought I would do it one last time. Everything had fallen apart so i wanted to be honest and authentic with everything that had gone on. I pulled it off way better than i imagined.

Elisa: It would be so interesting to see the video because some people thought you were kidding until they realized you were serious.

Tig: I didn't know how to go into the material. In the shower that night, I kept thinking about how I would start talking about all this horrible stuff. I thought what if I just walked out and said, "hey how's it going, I have cancer." But I decided I would just get right in to it.

Elisa:There are differing perspectives on everything is up for grabs for comedy, or that some things are off limits. What is your perspective on that?

Tig: There are so many people who do it the wrong way. But there are so many comedians who can deliver it so well.

Elisa: Many of us are independent publishers, we are doing something without the gate keepers. A lot of women have created a business out of what they're doing online. You decided to put out Live through independent publishing.
Have you had a comedy album out before, through the traditional route?

Tig: The day after I did that performance, Louis CK said he thought I should release that performance as an album. I thought it's odd and scary to do a performance I had not practiced before and then release it. Louis CK said he wanted to release it from his website exclusively. I said no at first. A month and a half later, I thought about how I could help people going through cancer or just having a bad day. I hoped it would be helpful and thought I should put my ego aside and take that risk. Then we released it on his website as a pre-release for 3 weeks. Then it went to iTunes and record stores. But I do have a record label, it's an indie labeled called Secretly Canadian. The Record Label's stamp is still on Live as it is on "Good One."

Elisa: Would you publish that way again?

Tig: I don't know if my accountant would let me do it that way again. It was so complicated on my taxes.

Audience Questions:

Audience: My name is Sandy. My blog is Today's Mastectomies. I share my story, and other women's stories in a positive light. Would you be able to share your story on my blog?

Tig: As an interview? Sure. yes.

Audience: Do you still run into Taylor Dane?

Tig: I have not run into Taylor Dane. For those who don't know, Taylor Dane is this 90's pop star. I ran in to this singer several times, and I told her I loved her voice and every time she was rude to me. So I started to do a scientific experiment to see how she would respond each time and every time she was rude. After running into Taylor Dane so many times, after my diagnosis we met and exchanged numbers, she said call me if you need anything. It was nice that she had been so rude to me and after my diagnosis she was nice.

Audience: I watched a lot of videos where you had done interviews. You shared that you and your partner did a lot of voices with each other. I was wondering if "the baby helped you pack."

Tig: Yes, the baby helped me pack. This is so humiliating. This is a voice I did on Professor Blastoff. *does baby voice from Professor Blastoff."

Audience: You're not on twitter and I'm befuddled by that. Why have you chosen to not go that way? What would it take to get you on?

Tig: For some reason I find that my FB fan page is more manageable. I don't feel like every thought that I have I need to get out there immediately. And I don't feel like I should be reading everyone's thoughts immediately. I just don't want that constant interaction. I'm not refusing or holding off, it just doesn't interest me. I'm just the worst person to be here I think. Everything you love, it's just not my world.

Audience: What do you think about the line between rape culture jokes, and rape jokes. Or where do you find the line between what someone can do in an exploitative way and you seem to do in an enlightenment way.

Tig: I don't know. It's not really my style. I have peers who touch on that. I think some people miss the mark terribly. I think some people crack it open in a more helpful useful comedic way.


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