Women and the internet – a story “to be continued”

Digital & Media, Marketing

The relationship between women and internet, their way of relating with this medium and the reasoning why they aren’t even nearly that visible online as the men are were just a few of the topics  discussed during Women on Web, an event dedicated to Romanian women that have a visible presence online.

The event, organized by Cristian Manafu and Evensys, included 3 sessions in which the speakers presented their opinions related to internet, the women presence online and their actions in this medium.

Cristina Bazavan: “What are you doing when you are doing nothing?”

The 1st session of the event started with the presentation made by Cristina Bazavan, editor in chief of Romanian Tabu magazine. She chose to speak about something people usually don’t and that is what are people do when they are doing nothing. In the context, she referred to those periods of time when people are “on hold”, either being between two relations, two jobs or two projects, and when they have nothing to do.

She mentioned a theatrical exercise that the Romanian director Andrei Serban asked a student to make, and that was to sit on a chair and do nothing.  In the end, she mentioned that there are two typologies of women: the ones that reflect what happens around them and the ones that are closing themselves behind the walls.

Bogdana Butnar: “I would never abandon internet”

Bogdana Butnar, one of the very few women that are both known and appreciated in Romanian online, also spoke about internet and her dual relation with it, personal and professional.

On the professional ground, Bogdana works for Headvertising and was, until recently, the head of MRM Worldwide Romania, being this way one of the “authorized” voices in Romanian online.

On a personal level, when it’s about online information, she tries to keep her internet presence carefully controlled and limits as much as possible the spread of personal information. As she mentioned, she avoids being personal on web “since forever” and she recognizes she doesn’t interact very close with this medium personally, but mainly professionally.

She thinks women are not present online as much as the men because women have a “peripheral” perception of the world, noticing more things and processing more information than men. As she said, men are going straight for their target, without observing any other distraction.

Online, Bogdana says that, in what concerns the personal relationship with the internet, this medium has its risks, especially when you lose your grip on your personal image due to social networking. She gave as an example her own Facebook account, where she said she posted 10 photos she carefully chose, but where she finds many times images in which she is tagged without her permission.

In online, she also said women are less keen to be visible because they cannot handle with the same ease the negative comments and injuries.

Oana Dobre: A blog is an accessory for a single person

Oana Dobre, a well-known Romanian journalist, said she isn’t writing on her blog because she feels it’s not needed in her life anymore. On the other hand, she said that the internet is a very important part of her life, even mentioning that her husband was joking about her having everything if she has “coffee, smokes and internet”.

She observed that internet got over journalism and recognized that she wasn’t very happy about it in the start. Eventually, Dobre said that she had to fraternize with the enemy.
Oana Dobre said the biggest shock for her was when she was working for Realitatea TV.  At that time, in 2007, she was swamped with an avalanche of emails, messages on forums and so on, where she was described as “the blonde that yelled at politicians”.

Because she wanted the public to know her as she really is, with her personal opinions and thoughs, she opened her blog to show the public that she was more than what they perceived about her on the TV screen. The main reason for opening her blog was to make the public judge her on real grounds.

As for now, Dobre isn’t writing on the blog anymore, because she doesn’t find it necessary anymore. She mentioned that she just opened a Facebook account.

Oana Dobre wouldn’t renounce at internet, unless she would be forced to. Financially, she would 1st quit smoking before abandoning the internet.

Corina Dragotescu: “I would’ve never think that I would ever speak about internet”

Corina Dragotescu, a very well-known Romanian journalist that performed both in print and on TV and now is present online via a personal project, said she didn’t think she would ever speak about an activity over the internet.

She started her career in 1990, writing for Adevarul, entering the press industry fascinated about writing, as she always liked to write. Dragotescu says she appreciates very much the people who started their own blogs for their courage and because they didn’t look down or with reticence at the blogs.

In her opinion, a blog is a new mean of communication that cannot be ignored. She also thinks that you need courage for writing on a blog, especially considering you have to assume what you say or the way you say it.

Although she doesn’t own a blog, Corina Dragotescu said she started this year Facebook and Twitter accounts.

About her experiences with the internet, Dragotescu talked about the news site she started with a few partners – www.impactnews.ro. According to her, the content of the site is focused mainly on politics.

Dragotescu said that she thought it is easy to start a news site but she discovered it is pretty difficult, mentioning she needed about 6 months to learn how to write for the internet audience, as the style is more relaxed and friendly online than in print.

As for the evolution of ImpactNews.ro , Corina Dragotescu said the website applied for European funds and managed to obtain them. Also, she said that she negotiated with the Romanian news agencies special subscriptions to gain access to their newsfeeds and to use and pay only the information interesting for the target public of ImpactNews.ro.

Also, she said the initial investment in the web- site was of Euro 5,000 and reached to Euro 15,000.

During the event, Refresh.ro published the top of the 20 most influent Romanian women on internet, made by Biz and ZeList and which is as it follows:

At Women on Web, among the speakers there were also Bobby Voicu, Romanian online entrepreneur that spoke about how not to start an online project, Cristina Chipurici, Project Manager Monden.info, Andrei Rosca, Founder Pawnee, Dragos Bucurenci, Founder MaiMultVerde, Crina “Coco” Popescu, climber, Oana Bratila, communicator for Let’s Do It Romania!, and Alina Zara, initiatior of Chic De Zece project.

Women on Web was at its 1st edition and was organized in partnership with Activia (Danone).