It's A Long Road To Digital Diversity

Yet another cultural pillar as supposedly take-it-to-the-bank reliable as the freedoms guaranteed us in the U.S. Constitution has come to a crashing, disappointing tumble. The blogosphere is not wide ranging, open to all manner of opinions and diverse in its viewpoints. In fact, according to some media reports, it is singularly white, male, somewhat sexist, and possibly even racist. What, say you? How did this happen?

Technology brought with it the promise of equal access and distribution for all. Progressive websites and blogs were supposed to displace the narrow preselected spectrum of viewpoints televised on corporately owned conservative broadcast and cable networks. The Internet would showcase the underrepresented and broaden the offering of mono-vision viewpoints displayed by the nation's most powerful printing presses. The blog world, as futuristic and forward looking as it promised to be, was supposed to be equally female and male, as black as it was Asian-American, Latino, and so on.

Yet the just-concluded fourth session of the annual Daily Kos convention (the now ritual convening of progressive American bloggers) is anything but what was promised. According to the Washington Post, "only a handful of the 1,500 conventioneers--bloggers, policy experts, party activists--are African-American, Latino, or Asian. Of about 100 scheduled panels and workshops, fewer than a half dozen dealt directly with women or minority issues."

How and why is it that the garden of digital diversification that was supposed to bloom rampant like kudzu in the South never even took root?

By Bonnie Erbe