Wednesday, October 13, 2010

are visible minorities invisible in canadian social media?: part 2.

Last month I got up on my soapbox about the lack of diversity in speakers and panelists being featured at the upcoming Blissdom Canada conference.  Well, yesterday I received an email from the organizers with a call for session topics asking:

What do you want to see? 
What are you tired of seeing? 
What have you always wished someone would discuss? 
What is the best use of your time and investment?

Seeing as I made a point of complaining about lineup on my blog, I figured I'd better provide some input.  I sent the organizers the following email (I used a lot of the comments from the blog to support why I thought a session discussing visible minorities in social media was important).  Thanks in advance to everyone who commented on that last blog - hopefully my suggestion will be taken seriously.

Subject: BD11 Session Proposal

Hi Megan,

I would LOVE to hear from some speakers with different ethnic origins than currently on the speaker list (all white to date). Also, while I appreciate that hearing from bloggers who have large audiences and who have been at it for a long time is a natural place to start, there are a lot of new bloggers and social media experts out there who are relatively unknown who are producing fantastic content and have terrific insights.

The experience of visible minorities is important. There are a tonne of talented social media experts/ bloggers/ technical people available in all colours/ creeds/ classes. The voices of women who come from different perspectives enrich us all, and not just about lack of privilege. All women are not created equally. We face some common issues, but we face them from different social locations. This is why I think it's really important that women from a variety of races and classes be invited to speak.

Also, imagine if every day, you never saw a representation of yourself in mainstream media? You would start to question your validity, and your very existence in not only this country, but in the world - which is crazy because the majority of humans in the world are not white.

This seems obvious to me, but clearly it is not so obvious to everyone: It is important that every woman have a voice - especially at a social media convention geared towards women.

Title: Are Visible Minorities Invisible in Social Media?

Session Outline:
  • how does your background / current social stature come through in your writing?
  • do you write with a specific community in mind, or do you write without any preconceived notion as to who is reading your blog?
  • how do you feel about the fact that the majority of social media conventions are dominated by white people? do you think this is an accurate reflection of who is using social media?
  • what can bloggers who are considered a "visual minority" do to more effectively get their voices heard?
Joanne B. - writer/editor
Lulu P. -
Bariah K. -
Elaine Lui -

thanks for considering this topic,

Kat C.


  1. I should note, that since the original list of speakers was announced, they have added one blogger who is of a visible minority - a great start!!

  2. Also - the US Blissdom is much more diverse than the Canadian Blissdom. That doesn't let the Canadian conference off the hook, but it's good to know the main event organizers do it a little differently.