So glad that David Sasaki had stirred the pot a bit with his recent post about the South African blogging community not being nearly diverse enough.
I know that it’s frustrating when you feel that you’re only trying to help, but I’ll put this out there: how much are we as a blogging community really trying to do to heal the divides and build a bit of diversity into the South African blogging community? Diversity, as we’ve learned all too well in South Africa, is not just the right thing to do to build a stronger nation, it’s the right thing to do because it improves the quality and uniqueness of the industry. And in a world where quality and uniqueness are so important to stand out from the global crowd, this is the *most* important thing that we as a blogger community can do to uplift a frankly tired and staid local industry into something that we can be proud of.
Again the question: what have we done?
Have we actively sought to invite a diverse range of people to blogging events like the 27 dinner?
Have we done anything to bring new bloggers into the field with any training or mentorship?
Have we sought out the opinions of bloggers from people outside our own circle?
Have we commented on and supported the posts of new bloggers?
I say this because I accept some of the blame myself. This is a community. A community where we take collective responsibility for moving the industry forward because it’s important for all of us. Bloggers tend to be huge individualists, and I think that’s why we’ve focused on being better bloggers, getting better contacts, extending our own individual networks. But I think the time is ripe now to give some time and energy to the collective.
Let’s try to be less defensive and more reflective. You might think that David was being overly harsh. But the really average thing to do here would be to keep things as they (averagely) are.
Let’s make some communal new year’s resolutions to try. Because, frankly, I don’t think we’re trying hard enough… in fact, we’re not trying at all.