BlogHer aftermath: more on the speakers list
Nancy joins me in my uneasy feelings about the speakers list and teases out few more things in a conversation with Mary Hodder in the comments. I feel like adding to it...
First the disclaimer: I believe that the initiative to get more new names known is a worthy one and I think Mary did a good job acting on it. I have my problems with it, but I don't have a better solution yet, so I'm trying to articulate what are the issues hoping that it would help working it out.
I guess there are a couple of reasons why I'm uncomfortable with adding my name to the list:
- Reinforcing existing status quo. I came to check the list and I saw the usual suspects. Yes, most of names in the list are women, but most of them I know well - their names make circles through weblogs and conferences. It's just another A-list...
- Lack of confidence and benchmarking. I read some of the profiles the list - those people look so smart and so experienced - my confidence is lost... How do I know if I'm good enough to be in that list? How do I find out?
- Need to aggressively market yourself (this is how I feel looking at the list). This may be part of the game, necessity and a skill to be learnt, but this is not something what I feel comfortable with. I don't like when other people do that, but I even more uncomfortable reinforcing it by doing the same. If we talk about games I don't want to play this is the one.
I also have to add that for me the specific issue of the speakers lists is just an indication of the broader set of feelings and uncertainties that I can't describe well yet. Or it's a indication that I probably know my answer to my personal version Shelley Powers' questions - do I want to compete more?
I feel that somehow all these is related to accomodating diversity and helping others to enter unknown worlds, we just have to figure out what the new rules of the game should be... BlogHer was a good model for that, a welcoming world where
Every person I spoke with was someone who, under any other circumstance, I could spend hours with in delicious conversation. Ronni Bennett