The Web 2.0 Conference held in San Francisco a few weeks back garnered a lot of attention while generating a generous amount of buzz. I didn't make it there but I'm certainly glad Anil Dash did. Anil is a VP at Six Apart, the folks who offer up the Typepad blog service many people are using, including me. Anil offered his observations of the event, one of them being the lack of diversity represented by the panelists and speakers. He rightly concludes that this lack of ethnic and gender representation is "going to come back and bite the web in the ass if it doesn't change eventually." I came across Anil's comments by way of the Pet Cashmore's Mashable blog, in which Pete had a blog entry provocatively titled Web 2.0 is Made of White People that asked how can this situation be remedied.
All I can say is this isn't a new phenomenon. I've been going to trade shows four fourteen years and rarely do I see any representatives from the two largest minority groups (Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans) presenting. As a black guy it's something I've always noticed, and I know I'm not the only one who's been aware of this. It's not in the too distant future that the USA will be a minority-majority country. The perspectives of women and all ethnic groups really need to be apart of shaping this next generation of the web, and I'm glad people of all backgrounds are starting to question why this exclusivity is still so prevalent. I'm hopeful that there will be honest attempts to be more inclusive when it comes to finding participants for these important events. I'm happy to be presenting a session on CRM integration tools at the upcoming IDG CRM Real Time Solutions Conference being held in Boston. Hey, there are plenty of us out here working in these industries and we'd love to join the party. I think it's even possible to see a little more diversity at next year's Web 2.0 conference. If a black man can be hired as a head football coach in the SEC, anything is possible!