Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where's the Diversity in the Blogosphere?

Is Jane Hamsher right?: Perhaps there is no "cabal of straight white males who sit around a table and decide who does and does not get linked to"....**

and yeah, Jane's right about the political blogosphere. Even if we look beyond the examples given in her post, since the '04 election season, there's been an increase in diversity in the political blogosphere. There's some good representation on the state level in gender diversity--as with Connecticut and Massachusetts, where there are women bloggers with significant voices (I'm thinking of Left in Lowell and CT News Junkie for instance...)Not to mention the fair number of minority and women bloggers on the Right...

But what about diversity in the rest of the blogosphere?

In the recent AdAge Power 150 only 13% of the bloggers are women--as calculated by Kami Huyse...which precipitated The W List (Toby Bloomber's iteration here) Sure, 13% ain't a huge portion of 150--but there's been small progress over the past two years (I'm not sure of the participation of minority bloggers in the marketing blogosphere--the percentage may even be fewer than women. theres an interesting conversation re the W list at Lewis Green's blog--the issue's raised a good, solid conversation in the marketing 'sphere.)

And women in the tech blogosphere??? Well, when we're pretty under-represented in so many of the bastions where link-love occurs..

But there were two things that happened last week that demonstrate there's some troble with both gender and race diversity in the tech blogosphere: Kara Swisher wrote The Men and (No) Women Facebook of Facebook Management and the Feldman ignorance/subsequent debacle at PodTech. In these post, it became a bit clearer that there are plenty of places where women aren't, as there are places where those who are quite visible are unaware there are indeed blacks their 'sphere...

So, yeah--there may not be a cabal of white guys sitting around a table deciding who does/doesn't get linked to.Maybe that whole idea is out (and maybe the A-list idea is out, too) But maybe women could link to one another more often and help one another out. Maybe it's a matter that we don't support one another as much as we should--and maybe in certain corners of the blogosphere it's still a bitch for women to get a link in edgewise among the boys...

And I do wonder if Feldman was, in some weird way, channelling the way *some* tech bloggers see their world....which means they might need to get out more and look around at their world.

Still, there's been some progress. Incrementally. But let's also not forget that the blogosphere's still got a long way to go...

**Jane also notes the preponderance of white males attending Yearly Kos--well, no real surprise there. Most of the conferences I've attended, including some of the better ones, are still attended by predominantly white males. But that's a socio-economic/free time thing as much as any other factor. Women may not have the free time, and lots of people across all gender and race lines don't have the requisite funds to attend pricey blog-related conferences. Holding more un-conference style events on a regional basis may help this--but can we get important names to these events? Perhaps.


Anonymous said...


I have a suggestion. All one has to do is read my post as cited in your article here to know how I feel about segregating us by gender, race or color. Here are my thoughts on two ways to increase links:

1. When we find a good blog, no matter the gender of the blogger, we should add it to our blogrolls and write a post about the blog and the blogger.
2. Comment, comment, comment. I write at five blogs, including my own. Most of them are highly rated. Most of the comments come from men. One of the ways we discover bloggers is through the comments.
3. Self-marketing. Without marketing there is no blog.

And thank you for the shout out!


Tish Grier said...

Hi Lewis...and thanks for the comment! As you might suspect, I totally agree with you. esp. about comments. Comments become a way of self-marketing, as much as they are a way to share opinions and have conversations out here. They've been invaluable in me introducing myself to a number of influential male bloggers--in some instances just as much as links in my blog. Sometimes I'll comment in a contentious tone, but more often than not it's to add a point to the you did. thanks again :-)