Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Twitter helps get women on program?

Along with other women interested in public speaking, I've sometimes wondered "Where are all the women speakers?" Today, on Twitter, I saw another woman, Allyson Kapin (who goes by @WomenWhoTech), get frustrated when she saw a list of "top" folks in social media that, once again, omitted all but one woman. (We started following each other on Twitter after airing similar issues about women unable to get speaker slots at professional conferences.) Today, she tweeted:

Another top 10 list with one woman and 9 men. So irking. Hello we women in tech and social media experts do exist. Just look outside the box.

Soon after, a discussion ensued, and, within minutes, Kapin started a new "event" on Twitter: She put forward the idea that women imitate an established Friday event, called #followfriday, in which Twitter users suggest other users folks should follow. The difference? This would happen on Wednesdays, under the hashtag #women2follow. And here are the results, which are changing moment by moment. Women and men are suggesting women worth following on Twitter.

It remains to be seen how this will play out, but it's already a community-builder. It's a twist on what other women speakers have done--like create their own "speakers' bureau"-- in order to get visible in hopes of getting more women placed on conference program. If you're on Twitter, it's one more option to make you more visible as an available speaker. You can follow me on Twitter here.


Olya said...

Who in your opinion is the best woman public speaker? Please name a few if you can. I am doing a research - results are sad. Eleonore Roosevelt - very few recordings of her speeches are available. J.K.Rowling, author of Harry Potter - amazing speech at Harvard, yet read, not spoken...

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to know the origins of this and know what is happening. All i know is that suddenly my tweetdeck was bursting with @'s on wednesday's.

Thank you for finding out and thank you Allyson for being a great thinker.

carmen2u said...

As usual Denise, it always requires those who lack a place at the table to force entry. I think the idea of #women2follow is another organic feminist tactic. By calling attention when women's voices are ignored, we can wrest control of the conversation and shift its direction to greater diversity. It just comes down to us doing what we need for ourselves and our sisters.