Why There's Too Little Digital Diversity

Perhaps we have truly have achieved the plurality we seek, although it is not labeled as such.

By SHARE

I offer up several possible answers to the series of questions posed in this blog earlier this week. First among them, perhaps the blogosphere is more female than mainstream media present it. After all, two of the most popular and widely read blog websites are female owned and female dominated: Huffington Post and Fire Dog Lake.

Maybe, just maybe, those white male policy experts, bloggers, and self-promoters extraordinaire at the YearlyKos convention that I described two days ago have more time and money than they can wisely spend. Therefore they are more likely to have the luxury of attending a convention such as this. Perhaps, on a whimsical note, female and minority bloggers have better sense, so they stay home and get important work done. They are reluctant to waste valuable resources. Attending a convention/networking opportunity may offer some benefits, but is hardly a prerequisite to blogging.

In defense of those who did attend, perhaps white male bloggers are more aggressive in their marketing and self-promotion techniques. That would explain why they attend this annual Internet ritual and in the process, drive more traffic and attention to their websites.

Assuming the Washington Post is right, however, maybe proponents of natural selection are correct in their presumption that women are the more, perhaps overly sensitive gender.

This would not explain the lack of minority representation in the blogosphere. But it could help explain the paucity of women bloggers.

The Post reported, "A panel called 'Blogging While Female'...was an aberration...[with] an overflow room of about 75 (in attendance) mostly women, a few of them minorities. 'How many of the women in the audience blog?' asked a panelist. Nearly three-fourths of those present raised their hands. 'How many of you get harassed?' The hands stayed up. They complain of being harassed online for their views on issues such as abortion rights."

Maybe men and women have different definitions of "harassment." As someone who has written often on tough topics such as abortion rights and gun control, I've been the target of myriad unpleasant E-mails. Maybe other women would read these messages as threatening or harassing and give up. I just hit the delete button and move on. Maybe women bloggers should adopt a more "male" attitude to achieve equality in the blogosphere.

My final thought is, perhaps we are a nation that is woefully uniform in our political thinking. Maybe Ralph Nader was right and there isn't much variance between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. Maybe liberal men think like liberal women. Therefore liberal male bloggers stand in for or represent the views of women bloggers, so we truly have achieved the plurality we seek, although it is not labeled as such. The same would be true for bloggers of color and for conservative bloggers, no matter what gender or color. Ah, what a sorry state of affairs that would be.