Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the BlogHer Reach Out Tour here in DC (well, Bethesda but…whatevs). It was great and informative. I learned so much about online community building and I now know how to use the widgets on my WordPress template! I have to say that BlogHer really did try to add diversity to every panel. But when I looked around the room, there were very few Black women bloggers and even fewer bloggers of other ethnicities.
I even look at places I contribute to. I currently am a contributor to Pushback, a Gen Y semi-political blog. There are only three two Black bloggers out of a group of maybe 16.
I know we exist. Corey Richardson is one that I now frequent often. Rosetta Thurman from Perspectives from the Pipeline was there too (hay boo!). And there are several Black bloggers on the gossip blog circuit as well as politics….Jack and Jill Politics actually comes to mind. So why aren’t more of us present in the blogger conference circle? Part of me wants to say sheer cost (this one was 100 bucks for a whole day, but Netroots Nation, for instance, was 475, maybe 500, and that’s without room and board).
But part of me wants to know if we’re even interested in these kinds of events. Like if more conferences reached out to Black bloggers, would we actually go? Would we feel welcomed or needed there? I do think more outreach needs to be done, but I also realize that perhaps the demand may not be there.
The other question is this: I’m a Black Gen Y blogger…and I want to know how many of us are out there. I know we’re blogging; I can’t be the only one out there. And if we aren’t blogging, where besides Facebook are we hanging out and communicating online? I asked a fellow Black blogger this last night, and she said Crunk n Disorderly. Really? There have GOT to be some non-gossip communities we are kickin’ it at.
Actually, now that I think of it: Okayplayer may be a good place to start….but that’s only a small segment of Black Gen Yers–I don’t know very many of us who listen to the Roots like that.
Oh well. I find them eventually.
ps, we also have a few producing humor/general tomfoolery….check out Belle Jenkins and you’ll see what I’m talking about. They’re more of a Vlog, but there’s really no difference.