Saturday, September 29, 2012

Anil Dash on Unintentional Exclusion

I've been meaning to link to two of Anil Dash's posts for some time:

1. You Can't Start the Revolution from the Country Club

2. Country Clubs and Deliberate Design

Anil expresses concern that new tools in development that will potentially push blogging forward, will also be built, designed, informed, and dominated by people who all look (and think) the same, namely privileged white male geeks.

They are both good, thorough posts, and you should read them.

On the one hand, why worry? Despite the tendency of tech tools to be created by privileged people (and there were plenty of women at the forefront of the first wave of these tools...Flickr, Blogger, SixApart, all co-founded by women), it's hard to keep the rest of us out.

Years ago Pew was already reporting that people of color were flocking to blogging at rates disproportionate to their Internet adoption. And we all know BlogHer even exists because women turned to blogging to form community, self-express, and ultimately even make some money. So, it'snot just hard; it's actually a losing battle to keep us out.

It's not hard to understand why: When the mainstream (or traditional, or old) media is even MORE of a country club, you'll ignore a little tone of exclusivity to escape those gatekeepers! Whether a tool was designed for you or not, you can use it. You can't exactly get yourself on TV or in the paper just 'cause.

So blogging allows you to create your own playing field and make the most of it. A good thing.

On the other hand, we founded BlogHer because we thought it matter that women be *visible*, be heard, be properly accounted for,  as new media grew and drove new success stories, new change, new power structures.

I continue to think playing first-string on the existing playing field is still important.

And that's why Anil's posts are important.



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