TechCrunch Disrupt SF Women In Tech Panel: @digitalsista's view

The second blog post in this space about Tuesday's TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2010 "Women In Tech" panel started a conversation. Indeed, one that's more valuable than for AngelGate.

The post, TechCrunch Disrupt SF Women In Tech Panel - Where's The Black Girl?, called for the need for all to embrace the objective of diversity if we're really going to "change the ratio" of women and people of color at tech conferences like TechCrunch Disrupt SF

Two observers brought a blog post by Shireen Mitchell aka @digitalsista (pictured at left) to this blogger's attention.   Called "a tale of two challenges at tech conferences," it's a great and intimate view of how Shireen, recognized as one of the " 2010 Top Women to Watch" in Tech (and note, in all of Tech, not just the black wing), was left out of a panel at the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit called "Women and Entrepreneurship," even though the other panelists lobbied to have her on it.

Lisa Stone of BlogHer was even willing to give up her seat to Shireen just to have a diverse panel.

Wait. Couldn't they have just added an extra chair?

At any rate, Shireen then notes she was, as they say, "cool with it" until a panel started called "The Open Media Revolution Is Over: Are we Better Off?" and with, as Shireen reports:




Michael Arrington, Tech Crunch, Robert Scoble, Scobleizer, Quentin Hardy, Forbes, Josh Tyrangiel, Bloomberg Businessweek and Chamillionaire, rapper moderated by AlwaysOn's own Tony Perkins.

Shireen correctly observes that Chamillionaire is an entertainer and his own Twitter page explains that he's "Bio Platinum & grammy award winning recording artist. Tech conference tourist. Professional sports trash talker. Knowledge seeker. Boss."

When the irony of having a non-techie on a panel was brought up to colleague Erika Alexander, Erika observed that one can be a "tech-entertainer." While Shireen says that's a good point, I disagree. In this case there's no evidence that Chamillionaire is a person who's established his own tech start up like, say, Sports Business Simulations. Had he done so, he would qualify as a "tech-entertainer."

At TechCrunch Disrupt SF, the one black entrepreneur who should be on someone's panel is MC Hammer, who was the founder of a startup called DanceJam that he later sold and reportedly for a profit.   MC Hammer is a true tech-entertainer.

In fact, he's, well, uh, OK, the entertainment headliner at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.

Michael Arrington. Man, put that dude on a panel.  Will ya?
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