It is that time of year again where we submit our panels to the SXSW panel picker and make our feminist dent in an otherwise technology focused conference. SXSW is a 2 week festival in Austin, Texas that includes an interactive, film and music festival. I have gone many times before as many of you who have been reading for a while know, including lots of videos and blog posts inspired by the event.
This year might be my best panel yet. You can vote for it here.
Something my SXSW crew and I have talked about extensively is how to build panel presentations that aren’t explicitly gender focused in the title, but still brings the same type of content. The point of this would be to expand the pool of people that are going to show up to the panel, since so often in large conferences anything that has to do with the issue of diversity or marginalization is well, marginalized and attended by a smaller number of people.
Now, social is personal. From finance site Mint.com’s anti-immigration blog post gaffe to YourTango CEO Andrea Miller’s “How to Date an Indian (Advice for the Non-Indian),” social media fuses personal with public in a way never seen before. Whether sharing taste in hiphop, dating preferences, provocative political ideas, or insider information about a soon-to-be-launched business, social media strategically develops personal and professional reputations. Stories can build audiences, grow support for campaigns and change mainstream ideas about social issues. They can also alienate various communities, compromise business information confidentiality or damage brands. If social media has shown us anything, it’s that stories still matter. This panel will be a concrete conversation on how successful online personalities have managed their personal and professional lives using social media: telling authentic stories about our experiences, and using those stories to build powerful, engaged communities.
If you believe that diversity related programming is a must have then please throw your vote our way. We will greatly appreciate it and represent you well at SXSW.