Kgaugelo’s Weblog

Social Networking World forum- where my black sisters at?

Posted on: March 11, 2009

I went to my role-model’s website, Vincent Maher, just to see what he’s up to and of course read about what’s happening in the new media world and I noticed he had put up a post about the conference, Socaial Networking World forum, that he’ll be attending next week.

At first I was a bit jealous you know? He is leaving the dream-travelling and speaking about what he is passionate about. And I thought maybe one day it’ll be me…

The conference is titled ‘Shaping the future of social media’, now I know I’m a newbie when it comes to the new media world (hence I’m studying it now) however I realised something unnerving…the key speakers are from global brands, organisations, social networking publishers and developers, pioneering social media leaders, top agencies, and content producers.

Anyhow I kept reading and  about the Forum  and how it is “the perfect event for professionals to learn and discuss the future development of social media. The two day conference and exhibition will provide a focused platform for the global social media industry.

The conference aims to address core issues such as monetization, future technologies/services, engaging social groups with brands and how businesses can get the most out of social and business networks”.


After looking at the key speakers I noticed that they didn’t have a black woman representing or even speaking… I do stand to be corrected here and I’ll be glad if someone challenges me but why isn’t there a face of colour particularly an African black female face? Do not think I’m pulling on a ‘race’ card here but try seeing this from my view.

The world is becoming more digitalised and globalised than ever before. Moreover, more people are getting educated about telecommunications, intergrated marketing, social media, and new media.  And I felt that black women again are being side-lined.

Granted in Africa we don’t have many instutions that give us access but  isn’t  there at least one  black South African woman who is specialising in these industry? Surely black women also have influence in their cultural and economic circles? Surely global businesses are targeting the ‘other’ race because mostly black young and upcoming professionals are using social networking sites, creating business for it etc?

Yes, I understand that the forum is about social networks and  examining the current market conditions, future forecasts and predictions from leading analysts and so on but to answer my question about-If that’s the case we have still have a long way until everyone is part of this global wave of new media.

Hopefully ten years from now I can be that black beautiful, sophisticated and educated woman who challenges people about social networking along side fellow South African, Vincent Maher…

4 Responses to "Social Networking World forum- where my black sisters at?"

That was exactly my impression but not only were there no black speakers, there were also very very few women. I made this comment to one of the women I was sitting next to and she sort of waved it off saying “yeah, telecoms is still a white male thing”

The same is applicable if you look at the line-up of the Web 2.0 conferences in the US as well. Not sure what the solution is but I don’t think there is a quick fix for it.

Hi Vincent

Wow, can’t believe you actually commented on my blog -will so tell my friends *sigh*). Anyhow, it really bothers me that such functions are seen as representative of the global community yet women are hardly present. The New Media industry should not be part of the patriarchal ideology rather an industry where all can participate. Young, old, white, black, woman, man etc. In our media studies course we touched on representation so these sort of things now stick out like a sore thumb for me.

As a South African upcoming multimedia producer and hopefully new media strategist, I hope to somehow (by blogging and using other platforms) to challenge the status quo. Social networking is one strong wave that’s coming down from all angles and certain infrastructures should be put in place so that all are given an equal platform to speak and challenge others. Jude Matherine, our new media lecturer, just went to a conference in Germany and I’m quite interested to hear if any South African women were present.

when I first got to Cape Town, I couldn’t believe the scarcity of educated, black female faces. Seriously. I’ve been out somewhere and noticed that the only black people are me and the waiters etc. Thankfully, there is a mental shift taking place. (see my post, “Don’t worry GodFM…” But the fact that there is a vaccuum creates a platform from where we can extend our skills and knowledge. It’s not easy, but the opportunity is there. And,girl, you know we’re the generation who has to do it.

I’ll see you in first class on our way to a conference soon, girl. I have a seven year deadline for this goal.

This wheel will turn and black men, women and others who previously did not feature in the world digital arena will become respectable masters of their own destiny. Mark my words.

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March 2009
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