in on blogging

women of 2.0 (get up, stand up)

Bob Marley

It has been brought to my attention that there are no female web 2.0 bloggers or entrepreneurs in Australia. The 2Web guys were talking about it in one of their podcasts recently.

I know, I’m surprised too.

And I think we need to do something about it.

Of course, it’s complete rubbish to suggest that there aren’t smart, articulate women out there working in web 2.0 (or whatever other web-type label you feel more comfortable with). It seems, however, they generally do a pretty good job of hiding their lights under bushels (to make a vast generalisation).

Here are some smart women talking about this problem:

From what I’ve heard, engineering college grads are comprised of roughly the equivalent numbers of each gender. So, where do they go? Or are there oodles of women around who just aren’t profiled as publicly?… So, why aren’t there more women in technology? Or…to rephrase it…why aren’t there more prominent women in technology? Tara Hunt

From the folks at O’Reilly, these are the numbers from ETech: “We received 223 proposals, 15 of them from women, for 6% of the total. Of the women who submitted proposals, 46% were selected; for men, the acceptance rate was 32%.” ….At least for most of the O’Reilly conferences, the *only* thing stopping more women from being presenters is the lack of proposals from women. We should, and could, be doing more. Kathy Sierra in response to a Shelley Powers post (see comments)

… I have to say, there are very few women entrepreneurs, and we must do something about this. Women are naturally very good at the things this kind of work requires, and yet, we don’t do take it up very much. … women are afraid to sign up because they see other more accomplished people and find that intimidating, instead of realizing everyone starts without much and builds up (whatever: talks, experience, education.. it’s a process and there is nothing wrong with having less.. in fact, I think there is a huge opportunity there to show something new!)… if we don’t engage women, we are losing experience, perspective and opportunity to balance our products and make better experience. Mary Hodder

The issue even got a panel talking for an hour at the recent SXSW conference. (LiveBlogs from the Increasing Women’s Visibility session at SXSW this year are available from Dru Blood’s Blog, the Worker Bees Blog)

So, what to do.

I guess there are probably three main areas we need to think about:

  1. Helping to promote great women bloggers
  2. Encouraging women who *should* be blogging to get off their butts
  3. Creating a network to grow attention within the network

I know there are plenty of women bloggers webrings, and there’s Blogher of course (which does great work) and others in a similar ilk out there. I haven’t come across one that focusses on 2.0 issues. Have you?

What say we get a bit of a list together? A way that we can quickly find top women writers that we can add to our RSS feeds lists etc. What say we find a way to get the message out to women when conferences are calling for submissions and encourage them to submit something? (Is this what Misbehaving does… kind of?)

Just some initial thoughts. I’d be interested in yours.

Assuming there are women out there, reading this. I think my comment ratio is about 90% male at the moment.

(not to discourage the blokes, of course. bring it on).

ok. over to you.

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50 Comments

  1. Phew! What a hot topic. I think generally, there are lots of woman entrepreneurs out there, I know a few of them here in Australia, online and offline. Don’t worry about the 2web Crew, I think it’s great that they are controversial and you know what I could proberly kick the footy just as good and if not better and at the same time pull a finger at a wolf whistle. But, seriously Women just wait until they have made it…I don’t think I have made it yet, to my own expectations, but most of all I am enjoying connecting with my target market, that is what matters the most. However, I do believe in ‘giving back’, I realised this when spoke to 200 women aiming to influence them in the benefits of starting your own business. I am currently in the throws of setting up a tech conference, which one of the draw cards is women and tech.

    Woman in Tech just know how to play it with the boys, yet we don’t need to shout it out, our actions say it the most – I remember the days when i was the only female in the office, with the guys networked and paying quake with ling hair. The tech sector has come along way, woman are just busy getting better and better – noteriety will come on it’s own.

    Hey, Elisa, I’ll see you at Blogher ’06. The last time I was in San Jose, it was for SES (Search Engine Strategies) Conference, way back…

    Cheers, to the ladies. But, cheers to the boys as well for making it so interesting for us.

    For the 2web crew…
    What you don’t know you don’t know, what you seek to find out, will surprise you…

  2. Hi Leisa,
    this post just got a mention on bloggerati.com.au – it is still a classic :)

    Did BlogHer Oz ever happen? I was meaning to mention the concept to some friends involved in the Women in Communications group here in Canberra – I’m not sure whether it is more a Web 2.0/unconference thing or a WIC/women in IT thing, not really my call I guess (apart from thinking that it would be good if it happened because I would like to go as a male observer).

    Cheers, Andrew

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