Women of Google+ : A.V. Flox

As we come across amazing women in Google+, we wanted to highlight some of them and give you the opportunity to find out how fabulous they are for yourself.

Women of Google+ : A.V. FloxFeatured G+’er : A.V. Flox

How did you originally get invited to Google+?

My friend Ben Parr is an editor at Mashable. He knew I would love the service, so he sent me an invite. He was right.

What benefits are you seeing from being in Google+?

I feel that Google+ has taken everything that is useful from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LiveJournal to create a massive conversation hub. It has all the benefits of Facebook, which makes it a top-notch social network out of the gate. It has the non-reciprocal following aspect of Twitter, which enables one to be more selective about whose streams they tune into. It offers the speed and user friendly interface popularized by Tumblr, with the added benefit of comments, which were late to come for that platform. From LiveJournal it took the idea of filters, enabling a user to share with the public, just with friends, or only with a select group of friends, and to consume the stream through these filters as well. But it has gone far beyond that with the Hangouts, which allow people to have meetings on-site, and Huddle, which enable group SMS conversations. The lack of character limits on posts and comments also make it more conducive to developing conversations. And, of course, it has the bookmarking capabilities pioneered by Delicious and other social bookmarking sites. This full integration allows for an incredible amount of discussion, discussions I have not encountered anywhere else before except for blogs with really engaged readers. It’s hard to get a blog to that point, so Google+ has become an excellent alternative for a lot of content producers who seek to start conversations around specific topics.}

How does Google+ fit into your life or career?

I’m a writer, currently working as the Love & Sex editor at BlogHer.com, one of the biggest women’s communities on the web, with over 26 million views per month. I have always seen my columns not as the last word, but as the beginning of a conversation. Before Google+, my most active network for conversation was Twitter, but the character limit prevented conversations from unfolding naturally, and the individual nature of each tweet kept other people who were also discussing a topic from seeing what was being said. Google+ has brought the conversation to a central location so everyone can see what points have already been made before offering their views — taking up as much space as they need to do so!

A particularly interesting story or thoughts you may want to add regarding Google+

I was suspended for a few hours two weeks ago because my name was not in compliance with Google’s Real Name policy. I wrote a blog post explaining that this was my professional name, and making a case for pseudonymous users. Anonymity does not mean a user is not accountable. People may not know the name I was given at birth, but they know where I work, they know who to contact if I say or do something that causes concern or injury. Many pseudonymous users are active in the community: we give panels, lectures and talks. We have built our reputation and curriculum vitae online around these names. Many of us are happy to meet with others, attending networking events and conferences. We simply do not use our real names. I do worry about trolling, harassment and bullying on the internet, but I believe people should be judged by what they do, not what they call themselves.

Where can I find more information about this fabulous woman?

I’m a Peruvian ex-pat living in Los Angeles. I am currently the section editor of Love & Sex at BlogHer.com, a women’s network that receives 26 million views monthly. I have written for other publications, including Village Voice Media, the LA Weekly and Los Angeles Times’ BrandX. I am passionate about the web — the start-ups, the people developing the space, the things we’re doing, the customs we’re adopting, and the things we’re leaving behind as we venture forth into this uncharted territory of trial-and-error, where more and more, the digital is colliding with the analog. I am passionate about freelancers’ rights. I am passionate about incorporating journalistic ethic even on a small single-writer blog. I believe in understanding materiality while acknowledging the cathartic properties of the overshare, and think it’s imperative to be as polite on the internet as we were taught to be IRL.

1 Comment

  1. Gisela Gibbon /

    Interesting… the subject of pen names, stage names,..never having given them much thought and now I’m wondering, in the age of open communications where hiding ourselves away is really less and less possible, is there still a need for them at all? Isn’t it just simpler to own up to ‘all of you’, rather than ‘parts of you’?

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