Conversation is ramping up about the dominance of white males in the emerging Web 2.0 world. Once place I’ve found the issues being discussed is over at the Mashable blog. What can be done? Here’s my two cents re steps that could help:
- Let’s prioritize bringing together the for-profit and non-profit worlds. There are so many proactive groups in the non-profit world working to shift power away from those with the most privilege. At the same time there are lots of people of color and women making careers both online and using the web as one of many tools. The folks over at are prioritizing bringing these two groups together. So if you’re in either sphere (biz or NPO) you might want to check them out.
- Let’s look to experts outside the “a-list” of bloggers to read, look to for advice, invite to speak and to provide assistance to. Mary Hodder’s great Speakers Wiki was created for just this purpose. It’s a directory of web folks from outside the white-male demographic.
- Search engines are notorious for reinforcing pre-existing privilege. While Google may have a huge index and powerful technology, check out social-recommendation enabled search engines like Wink. If we can find participants in ecosystems like that who have perspectives other than those of white men, then our searches will expose us to information that the dominant models might continue to marginalize. (I intend to write an in depth review of Wink later.)
Just thought I’d put in my two cents. I know I’m not interested in all these new web tools for their own sake, but for their usefulness in making the world a better place. I know that’s the case for a huge number of people online, including many readers of this site.