Media mending the vocabulary gap: Polyamory and the Boston Globe

Last weekend, the cover of the Boston Globe Sunday magazine featured a good story about a topic I know well: polyamory. In Love’s New Frontier, Globe writer Sandra Miller did a far better job explaining this approach to relationships than most mainstream publications do. No wide-eyed, mock-shock sensationalism.

As a polyamorous person, I was rather tickled that this topic got such prominent play. I figured: Cool! There goes a chunk of the vocabulary gap!

If you haven’t heard the term, polyamory means being open to having more than one intimate relationship at a time, with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

Yes, I realize any new term sounds awkward until you get used to it. So: Get used to it. Because here’s what the vocabulary gap looks like to a poly person…

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Public Media Collaborative, Mar. 11 meeting, Berkeley

Scott Rosenberg, Susan Mernit, and lots of other smart people chatting at the Mar. 11 Public Media Collaborative meeting, Berkeley.

Scott Rosenberg, Susan Mernit, and lots of other smart people chatting at the Mar. 11 Public Media Collaborative meeting, Berkeley.

Last night I attended a meeting of the Bay Area Public Media Collaborative. I’m impressed by how this group is pulling together significant and diverse energy and talent.

The point? To “bring together bloggers, journalists, technologists, media and environmental justice folks, community organizers and activists from around the Bay area to explore and discuss social justice and emerging technology issues in a way that links theory and practice.”

One nonprofit group represented there last night, Independent Arts and Media, is planning a Journalism Innovations Expo II. Collaborative members discussed tacking a social/online media train-the-trainers Barcamp-style event onto the beginning or end of the expo.

I live-tweeted last night’s meeting. Here’s what I posted… Continue reading

Who is Amy Gahran?

Self portrait, atop Bear Peak, Boulder, CO, 2006

Some of you may be wondering who’s behind this weblog. It’s me, Amy Gahran. Here’s a little bit about me.

I’m an info-provocateur and media consultant based in Oakland, California. (I just moved there in 2009 after spending 14 years in Boulder, Colorado.)

Yes, that title is deliberately vague because I do a whole lot of things. I’m a journalist, catalyst, editor, mentor, trainer, speaker, project manager, community manager, coach, and semi-geek. (I don’t code, but I can assemble and work with tech teams, and help evaluate technologies for digital media projects.)

Most of my work involves helping people (including journalists) and organizations (including news and publishing organizations) wrap their brains around digital media, which includes web, mobile, e-mail, and social media. I also do a lot of work involving community media (like OaklandLocal.com), citizen journalism, and the evolution of media and journalism.

More details… Continue reading