May 25, 2010

GCB the Other Way 'Round: Annina Interviewed by the Mädchenmannschaft

Helga Hansen asked me a couple of questions regarding this blog. Read my interview in German over at the Mädchenmannschaft or follow the jump below to find out in English what GIRLS CAN BLOG is about, what to do to be featured, and what might become of the project in the future.

What is GIRLS CAN BLOG all about?

GIRLS CAN BLOG is a blog that would like to encourage girls and young women to get active on the Internet. To this end, I portray blogging women of all ages. They are meant to be role models and talk about their experiences online. It doesn't matter whether they are interested in fashion, politics, music or something else entirely. GIRLS CAN BLOG would like to show that we all benefit when women make their knowledge available to the public. And also that having your own opinion is fun.

What prompted you to start the project?

We all know that male bloggers make it into the mainstream media with their articles more often than female bloggers do. I was asking myself why that was the case and where our female opinion leaders might have hidden. Good and strong role models are important for the formation of our identity - especially for teenagers, who are known to spend a lot of time online. I was missing a directory à la: You're looking for something worth reading on X? - Click here! Searching the Internet takes time and it's happened to me before that I realized with hindsight only that I missed something interesting. The "Mädchenmannschaft", for example, I've only known since the beginning of this year. If there would have been a website similar to GIRLS CAN BLOG before, that wouldn't have happened.

How do you select the women you portray?

I select them by the standards they set for their blogs. Readers numbers or a blog's age are less important factors. I care about personality and regular posts. A clear and original topic helps as well. Especially when it comes to fashion I make sure that the blogs I feature stand out somehow - 5th formers that travel to Primark once a year and blog about their homework are not that likely to be introduced. I'd love to portray 5th formers who mix their own make-up in chemistry classes, though. 

I know a great female blogger, how do I suggest her to you? Does she even stand a chance to be featured in the Blogger Portrait Series?

Sure, all great bloggers stand a chance to be featured! Just send an email to girlscanblog (at) googlemail (dot) com, I appreciate input. It may take a while until the requested interview will go online, though: First I have to view the blogs and decide whether they match the project. After I send an interview request, it usually takes a couple of weeks until I get to format and translate a reply. And if the previous blogger concerns herself with a similar topic, the new post will be put off for another couple of weeks. This is to ensure that GIRLS CAN BLOG doesn't bore anyone.

Many of your questions revolve around technical issues, why is that?

There are many reasons: For one, I wanted to show that you don't need to be an IT expert in order to blog. For another, most female bloggers seem to have taught themselves what they needed to know to get by on the Net. We all can profit from this knowledge, not just the beginners amongst us. For me, too, it is interesting to see how others approach blogging, which tips and tricks I don't know yet. Besides these reasons, I wanted to prove everyone wrong who still thinks that women can't work technology.

In your about section it says you'd like to expand GIRLS CAN BLOG. How so, what did you have planned?

As yet, there are only ideas, no specific plans. I run GIRLS CAN BLOG on a voluntary basis in my free time, so unfortunately I can't use as much energy on the project as I'd like to. In the long run it would be great to take the initiative offline - for that, I'd need more PR (many thanks for this interview, by the way!). If you know of companies or organizations that support projects like GIRLS CAN BLOG financially or otherwise, please let me know. For the short term I'd like GIRLS CAN BLOG to feature more international bloggers - the first steps in this direction have been taken already.

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