the blog Synergy

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Part 2 --- Yvonne DiVita on "The Power of We"

This continues the conversation that Yvonne DiVita and I shared over the course of a couple of weeks via email. The conversation has been edited. We had some fun putting this together and we think you'll enjoy it! If you missed Part 1, you can catch up on it here.
Steve: The Team Synergy discussion on Women and the Power of We has made progress this month with interviews with Mary Schmidt, Ronni Bennett, Andrea Learned and a few more still in the works.

What do you think of the April topic on the blog Synergy? ("Where are the women interested in the Power of We?")
Yvonne: It's funny that you should have this topic on your blog. I've been saying for a long time that women are really into blogging. I don't have stats for that, of course, but I have anecdotal evidence. For instance, I'm personally connected to dozens of women. Women who are not on the radar at the New York Times or much of anywhere else, except other women's blogs. And, having attended BlogHer last year (desperate to go this year - I could use a sponsor!), I can attest to the growing number of women bloggers giving a voice to women's issues. My sister, who blogs at Maryanne's Powdering Our Noses, knows tons more women bloggers than bloggers of that other gender. (She said with a wink).'s what I think about women and the Power of We... Women are all about WE. When did you ever see a woman do anything alone? It's "we this" and "we that" and we, we, we all the way to the mall, or home, or out for lattes. If we haven't been to your blog to commune with you... it's because we're busy doing all sorts of "we" things with each other. You need to stop by our blogs and introduce yourselves. Then, we'll we, we, we with you, too!
Do you have any suggestions on how the blog Synergy can engage women readers?
Yvonne: Well, Steve...I gave that answer away in my reply to your first question. You can get more women to your blog by ---- inviting us! Stop over at our blogs and leave a note. Better yet, challenge us to a duel. We can't resist showing off! A war of words's that? Invite a dozen women to write about a specific topic, one you're going to post on, then keep track of the traffic or comments - and see who wins. What fun that would be! Beyond that, having women over to engage in a little girl-talk will surely attract more of the ladies. Just don't patronize us with pink, or pretty bows, or frilly foo-foos. That's for sissies. If you're trying to attract women... save the baubles and beads for mardi gras and give us good conversation.
Do you have your own blog or blogs?
Yvonne: My, my ... I write in Lip-sticking, and at ThirdAge, and I contribute to my company blogs at A-ha! and WME Blogs. Then, I leave comments like confetti, all over the net.
How comfortable are you with technology?
Yvonne: LOVE technology! Great time saver, and connector. It helped me meet you, didn't it? Sometimes I hate technology - like when the computer crashes, or the Internet won't work, or my toaster burns my bagel (that's technology, right?). For the most part, I like all the gadgets, but only when I can push a button and everything works. I don't want elaborate directions, or technology that is still in beta testing. Too much frustration there! Besides, buggy technology makes me itch.
How much technology do you use blogging?
Yvonne: Blogging? Well, I use a keyboard. What else do I need? When it gets complicated, like adding widgets and stuff, I get my pool boy to help me. It's okay cause we're engaged. And, he looks really good in a wet T-shirt.
Did you hear of the blog Synergy before? If yes, how?
Yvonne: Seems to me that I came across your blog...awhile back. I found it by reverse search - checking my stats at Typepad and noticing a URL I didn't recognize. I really liked what I found. People sometimes think I'm gender-biased because I write about women's issues, but they forget that men are a part of women's issues. We like to rant and rave about our men. And other people's men, too. Mostly, we really like the way men are coming around these days. There's a synergy in how men are learning to connect with the women around them. Say, that's why I like your blog - because you understand the synergy of people connecting with people, via telegraph, telephone, or tell-a-woman; and even through technology. We have to teach you how to use mental telepathy, that's real fun! Yes, I'm kidding about the mental telepathy. Sort of! (She said with a chuckle).
Women tend to be doers more than talkers (and that may be a surprise) compared to men. Do you have anything to add to that?
Yvonne: Not a surprise at all. Women are at the forefront of most 'movements.' Just look at religion - isn't it Mom who gets everyone up and fed, then dressed for church? Isn't it women who organize the bazaars and charity events? Isn't it women who take charge when family and friends are threatened? We do it because we work well in groups. Women (especially women who are related by blood) rely on other women to step up to the plate, when needed. We're natural caretakers and nurturers - which makes us good at doing, not just talking about doing. Mind you, we rely on our men for many, many things in the mix. Men are absolutely necessary for moral support and providing a helping hand (sometimes financially). Women just don't like taking “No” for an answer. We know that bonding together gives us a better chance at getting a “Yes”. And, since we're better at intuition, gathering information from observing a situation, we know just which women to put to the task of getting the yes - from a man or a sister.
Would you care to comment on synergy and leadership as "male" words? or just overused?  whether buzz words or not?
Yvonne: Synergy is definitely NOT a male word. It's a good descriptive word alive with energy- and applies both to men and women. In different ways, however. Men use it to talk 'business' and 'shop.' They say things like, "There's a synergy between these systems." Women use it to build connections - between people, places and even events. We say things like, "If we create synergy, the feedback we gather will be more valuable." Leadership is another story. Definitely male. 'Leader' implies 'power'. It all comes from that good old boys' network, where power was handed out from the top down. Women don't operate that way. We give strength to each other from the bottom up. We prefer to work in groups, sharing the role of leader. Notice how leadership goes along with being "in charge"...also a male concept. Men talk sports and war. Women talk peace and togetherness. We're not immune to the concept - I know that. But, most of the women who venture over to 'the other side' do so because they've been put in a position of conflict, where they're competing with men. Then, they feel as if they have no choice but to play by men's rules. And, sometimes, they don't know how to get back to the softer side of life.
Are these words buzz words? Of course. They're words people use to communicate 'value' ... after a time, the value they represent disappears. They become placeholders for misunderstood ideas, concepts, and beliefs. Each successive generation that uses them, warps their meaning. Right now, synergy is still new enough to be useful. Leadership has long ago lost its value. It's just a sound now. The people mouthing it mean something entirely different than the people hearing it. Its meaning has become subjective. Worthless. Let's talk - relationships. That one is female, and on its way to - invisibility, but for a time yet, still useful. Social computing - that one is 80% female. Women are the social are into computing. But, social trumps computing every time,'s mostly female.
In the end, it isn't the's the action. As noted in your first question: which gender acts on the concept wrapped around the descriptor??? Usually women.
Steve: A clarification question if I may, on how you found the blog Synergy... you used the word "my blog" and I just want to be sure that you were referring to Synergy instead of Steve's 2 Cents. I recall finding you somewhere about Aug/Sep 2005 as that was when I found Rosa and Talking Story. As the year drew to a close, we were part of the Traveling MWA together.
Yvonne: Now that you've reminded me, I did discover Synergy via your 2 Cents blog, which I found via Rosa. Funny  - I'd forgotten that. Isn't Rosa the best? She's one of my top 5 favorite people in the whole world. And, I only know her through blogging!
Steve:  Yes, Rosa is a key member of the Team Synergy and a very good friend I have met through blogging. Team Synergy is a group that I am very proud to be part of.
On their behalf, I really want to thank you Yvonne, for taking the time to share your thoughts on the Power of We. I am sure this will inspire some further discussion on the blog Synergy.
To our readers, after leaving a comment here, please plan to visit Yvonne’s blog at Lip-sticking.
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  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger Oliver Jobson said…

    Your blog makes a very interesting read and I certainly enjoyed perusing a number of the topics.

    You may find it an interesting exercise reading Chapter 16 - Women: The Center of Influence - in the book "Expanding The Boundaries Of Self Beyond The Limit Of Traditional Thought". The book may be viewed at




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