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March 04, 2005

Comments

Roland Tanglao

Hi all:

The blogosphere is already very diverse but the diversity needs to be nurtured and needs to be pointed out.

It doesn't seem diverse because a lot of people for whatever reason (and no, I don't think it's racism or any other "ism", it's just a case of linking to who is easy to find and who you know) seem to link to only white men.


E. S.

(Warning: full of strawmen and strong opinion)

I find this rather condescending, actually.

Often "encouraging diversity" turns into this idea that we, the white/northeast/male/whatever elite, need to help our less represented ("less fortunate") brothers and sisters along. This, of course, is because they can't do it themselves -- and we need the entertainment of their "diverse" views (only to ignore them or attempt to speak for them at the end of the day).

Illiterate people will never be writing for or reading a newspaper. And they may hold very interesting opinions. They and those without a computer will never be writing blogs, and you will never hear from them at all. Oh well. You loose a little entertainment after you return from your well paying job and sit behind your bespoke computer...

If blogs do become critically important (this is not a foregone conclusion, btw) to one's daily life, people who need their opinions known will gain the ability to make their opinions known and start them. And you bet they will make damn sure that they are heard in the blogosphere. If they don't it really is their loss, and not anyone's responsibility but their own.

They do not need the "help" of conferences at Harvard held by mostly upper middleclass academics. The academics are so detached that they try and showhorn preexisting real diversity into their plastic playland blogosphere for their entertainment. They do not really seek out diverse opinions for someone else's sake, they want them for their edutainment needs.

Consider how the desire for diverse voices changes as you run the scale from well-to-do black feminist author to poor white rural KKK member. You have a right to not assign equal weight to these outlying opinions. THis is completely valid -- everyone does this. The point is that you cannot mask this desire to hear opinions from people you want to hear from behind "diversity", because it isn't.

Karen

there's also the issue of age diversity.

There are a lot of 15-22 year olds on the Internet, who have blogs, but how many of them do any of you read?

I'm guessing not very many. Is that because they don't have anything valuable to add or simply nothing to say that interests you? This is likely true in many cases, but not all. Most in this younger age range were not early adopters, so are not very established. But people in this age range represent Generation Y, the Echo Boom, whatever you want to call it, and are increasingly becoming a major force in the economy. So maybe more people should care about what they have to say.

CJ

On the Internet, as the saying goes, nobody knows you're a dog.

Why does skin color matter in terms of blogging? Either you've got a perspective & style of writing that attracts readers, or you don't.

To assume that a black woman who lives in the suburbs of an American city has more need to be heard than a white farmer in Zimbabwe is absurd, bordering on racist.

gamlyn

I haven't seen the demographics on who is in the blogosphere but I think there is diversity already.

The cross-section you perceive probably depends on what info you are blogging for. I'm interested in the unfolding events in Nepal right now, for instance, and I'm not seeing blog entries from many white male Americans on the subject.

Rich...!

I'm with Roland. The blogs are out there. However the old adage "birds of a feather, stick together" applies.

Want to learn about South Africa? Feel free to read our local blog:
http://www.joblog.co.za

There are blogs on every topic, by every group, however blogrolling tends to make this all circular. It's community driven, there are a few blogs that seem to defy this, but the rest of us are in a link loop. If you want to appeal to more people, start linking to blogs you've never seen before...!

Walks_with_chairs

I am not exactly sure what you all speak of, but it does sound interesting and I would love to read some more about this information if anyone might have some good links to any pages, or some good refrences to any books or other kinds of information sources, thank you.

BobbyMasteria

I think the Blogosphere is diversified but we don't see it because of 1) the languages and 2) the topics.
For example, most English metablogs are written by white males.
But I assure you that those English metablogs have their equivalents in Japanese - for example.
We also got to remember that blogging first massively started in the USA.
However and for your information, there are 30 millions of Chinese blogs out there (yes you read me right).

syntax_L

Is this an issue of diversity, or delivery & desire. I would suspect that much of what is being done on the net misses the mark. Most computer users, regardless of ethnic background, see their computers as utilitarian machines. The computer's tasks are to complete school or work projects, deliver the email (due to spam this task maybe replaced by phones that text message), download music, and organize family photos, search for ways to repair their PC, and research topics of interest. The gaming consoles are are giving desktops a run for their position in the gaming world.

My point being that most consumers want the computer to be an appliance that does the job that they need it to do. Most most of the mainstream still watch the news, read magazines & the newspapers. The political points of view are determined by family, friends, work, and the institutions they associate with. I'm not certain that many have the desire to do the work required to click on a blogger's link (that may not interest them) let alone explore RSS or XML to get it delivered to them. Not to mention that many who work in front of a monitor all day may not want to rush home and sit even longer in front of another computer to read a some blogger's musings. To sum up this point; the digirati and the media are locked in an onerous relationship that holds little meaning to mainstream America.

I believe that in order for blogging to have wide impact it will have to be delivered in a format that bridges the digital divide, as well as the diversity divide. When Churches, PTA's, employers, the Kid's Soccer League, and school sports teams start blogging and PODCASTING required information the mainstream, and diverse groups will rally to media. A required caveat is that car radios will need to accept some sort of flash media card so that the podcast can be heard on the way to work, or that the podcast can be downloaded to the cell phone.

Duncan

Rebecca
Roland has hit it straight on the head, there is diversity there, its just not highly mentioned or featured amongst the "A" list bloggers, and I think for two reasons, one, the A list consists nearly entirely of middle aged white men based in the United States, with the occasional female blogger thrown in for good measure, but usually only on the basis that the female blogger is normally very close to the white men, and secondly, even amongst the "A" list, there is a cultural divide based on geography which, without wanting to sound like American bashing (really, Im pro US on a lot of things), is not untypical of many Americans, with the upmost belief that the USA is the centre of the universe and the only thing in it worthy of thinking about.

Go to the "B" list and look at the difference in geographic diversity amongst the English speaking blogs. Personally I've had discussions and dealings with any number of Canadians or English people and I live in Western Australia, and link to a variety of them. Compare the geographic diversity of a blogroll of a any number of Canadian bloggers, or even my own humble Blog Herald, to that of the average "A" list US based white male blogger.

Yes, I'm generalising a little, but I think you're own support for encouraging diversity in the blogosphere is more of an indication of your own insular American viewpoint of the internet and, for that matter the world, than any reflection of the state of diversity in the blogsphere today.

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