Lawyer turns sex blogger (and other social media wonders)

Voltaire Tupaz
Social Media Week 2012 revolved around the theme "Empowering Change through Collaboration"

MANILA, Philippines – The mission of sex blogger Stef Woods is simple: to educate, advocate and titillate. Woods’ blog, City Girl Blogs, has been making waves right at the center of American politics for its spunky entries on dating, relationships, and, well, sex.  

But with a cause. Woods exposed in her blog the use of toxic ingredients in sex toys and advocated self-regulation. She also joined the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and started teaching. 

Woods, who attended Wellesley College, studied legal policy before she gave it up for a successful blogging career, which she anonymously started as a fun hobby. 

The blogger recently spoke in a panel discussion dubbed “Sex, Politics and Social Media” organized in Washington, DC in February 13 in observance of the Social Media Week (SMW).

A series of interconnected activities and conversations on emerging trends in social and mobile media, the 3-year old SMW was held from February 13 to 17 in 21 cities around the globe including Washington, DC, New York, Singapore and Hamburg. 

‘Profersonal’

“How do we blend our personal and professional selves in a city seemingly as intertwined as Washington, DC?” This was what Woods was made to answer in the DC leg of SMW. 

Having dealt with the dilemma while writing provocative and controversial themes, Woods shared how she would balance her personal and professional life, a hybrid referred to in the forum as profersonal.

  1. Don’t engage haters, but acknowledge them. All they want is to be heard. 
  2. Don’t blog about your relationship. Use Twitter to discuss the topic.
  3. If you can’t contain yourself, at least don’t blog about it in real time. Lull time helps you develop the story and build excitement.



[Video credit: Today Digital]

Tweet Jam
 
To celebrate SMW in Singapore, a musical piece was collectively created using the popular microblogging site
Twitter. Using the hashtags #tweetjams and #smwsg, popular local hip hop band Sixx and audio-visual group Syndicate curated Twitter posts to form the lyrics of a song. 

It didn’t matter what tweets were posted: “Singapore’s music scene rocks!,” “I wish this gloomy weather would pass” or “I love to eat kway tow (fried flat noodles)! ” 

In February 16, Sixx played the woven Tweets accompanied with audio-visual effects in Singapore’s first-ever crowdsourced gig called Tweet Jam.

In New York, a forum on “Creating Music for the Social Web” was held to discuss the role of social media in music curation. In his keynote address, Pitchfork Media President Chris Kaskie discussed how music listeners are discovering music through automated listening processes and how his company uses social media not only in crowdsourcing musical pieces but also in providing context and reliability for listeners. 

Kaskie recognizes the changing concept and practice of “music ownership” and predicts that in the near future, music will be accessible through “log-ins to cloud accounts and not record collections.”

Policy sphere

Meanwhile, Hamburg tackled policy issues, answering the question: “How do we leverage social media to influence policy in the off-line world?” 

In February 17, bloggers around the world met on Google+Hangout to exchange ideas on how to use social media in advancing policy advocacy.

Online networks from the Philippines participated in the global discussion to share their related best practices in influencing policy formulation and social action.

Filipinothinkers.org presented how it advocates gay and reproductive health rights utilizing social media. GMA News Online highlighted its use of interactive flood maps for disaster preparedness.

Social news network Rappler.com shared how Twitter galvanized social solidarity for a local environmental campaign.

 

The online forum was organized by Future Challenges, an international network of citizens and organizations that look into the interactions among large-scale issues like changing demography and changing technology.

 

[How to conduct a social media-based advocacy: presentation of FutureChallenges.org at the Social Media Week 2012 in Hamburg]

Since it was launched in 2010, SMW has mobilized about 60,000 people who gather in various independently organized events.  Nearly half a million netizens connect to the annual conference online and through mobile gadgets. 

This year’s observance revolved around the theme “Empowering Change through Collaboration,” tackling the role of social media in effecting cultural, economic, political and social change in developed and emerging markets.” – Rappler.com



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