BlogHer Aftershocks Rumble Through Blogosphere
The aftershocks of BlogHer rumble through the blogosphere…the confidence, the insights, the diversity, (and even the vitriol and invective), 700++ voices from the individuals who were there, as well as the multitudes who followed the conference online.
It would be easy to say that last year’s question…”Where Are The Women Bloggers?”…had been conclusively and definitively answered.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
On a lark, I took a peek over at TechMeme this morning. This is what I found:
That’s right. Five of the seven connected posts (71.4%, if my math is right) were by guys…yet, as Christine notes, 88.9% of the attendees at the conference were women.
I know (or at least I hope) that this kind of bias (def’n 3: “statistical sampling or testing error caused by systematically favoring some outcomes over others“) isn’t something that Gabe Rivera has intentionally built into TechMeme. Yet, it appears Mena’s point was spot-on.
How to fix this? Unfortunately, I think as a result of power law dynamics, there may always be the opportunity for these kinds of biases to become systemic in the tools. As a result, yes, we need to make better tools. But, more importantly, we need to make an individual effort not to just rely on the “Top 10” or “Top 100” lists, and instead get outside of our comfort zones and intentionally discover new voices and listen. (This echoes what I wrote about after the 2005 BlogHer conference. It’s still true.)
Now, I’m going to game the system, link to Dave’s post (yes, reinforcing the problem in the short term), yet hopefully drawing some notice to the issue so that future iterations of tools address this more effectively.
Christopher Carfi, CEO and co-founder of Cerado, looks at sales, marketing, and the business experience from the customers point of view. He currently is focused on understanding how emerging social technologies such as blogs, wikis, and social networking are enabling the creation of new types of customer-driven communities. He is the author of the Social Customer Manifesto weblog, and has been occasionally told that he drives and snowboards just a little too quickly.