Blogging While Brown Conference Strives to Make the Blogosphere a More Diverse Space

Tech Startup of the Week: Blogging While Brown Strives to Make the Blogosphere a More Diverse Space

In 2008, Gina McCauley launched Blogging While Brown, an annual conference where bloggers of color can network with one another, gain new skills to maintain their technical mastery in social media and technology, and gain opportunities for sponsorship.

BWB’s speaker roster is very estrogen heavy. What can black male bloggers gain from attending the conference?

Computers don’t care about gender. Twitter is Twitter, Facebook is Facebook. If you’re uncomfortable being in a room full of women at a technology conference, welcome to our world! But don’t worry, you won’t be the only Black male in the room. We have a nice contingent of some of your favorite Black male bloggers who have already registered, but we are incredibly proud of our speaker lineup and especially proud that in a world that claims to not be able to locate women in technology, we have an abundant display of technical prowess.

Why did you feel like BWB was needed?

Because back when we started, Black bloggers were complaining about being treated as invisible by the largest social media conferences in existence at the time. Despite all evidence to the contrary, there is still this “myth” that Black people aren’t experts in social media and technology. Of course we are. As a practical matter, it gives us the ability to be visible. But more importantly, we help to insure that people who look like us maintain the technical mastery required to create and distribute their voice and vision online. We also make sure they have the connections.

Explain your relationship with BlogHer.

BlogHer has been a sponsor of Blogging While Brown since the very first conference in 2008 in Atlanta. I’m proud that many of our attendees go on to attend BlogHer conferences. Many of our speakers are recruited and apply to speak at BlogHer conferences. I consider their founders to be mentors and a tremendous resource for Blogging While Brown and our attendees. They’ve done a considerable amount of work to help professionalize blogging because they realize that their future viability rests in bloggers being paid for their work.

What advice would you give to bloggers about introducing new technologies, software, and analytics into their blogging process?

You have to stay up to date with the latest technology and tools as a blogger. One of the great things about the digital space is that you can provide concrete numbers. You don’t have to wonder or speculate, analytics tell you exactly what is going on, whether you’ve been successful, and whether you’re converting and being effective.

Blogging While Brown takes place from June 21-22, 2013 in New York City at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Black Enterprise’s Alfred Edmond, Jr. will be a moderator at the Blogging While Brown closing keynote session; Janel Martinez will moderate, “Crowdfunding Your Creative Project.”