Walking around McCormick Place during the weekend, it became clear that only a handful of the 1,500 conventioneers -- bloggers, policy experts, party activists -- are African American, Latino or Asian. Of about 100 scheduled panels and workshops, less than a half-dozen dealt directly with women or minority issues.While I think Vargas makes an important point about diversity, it's more about one convention than it is the entire blogosphere. To be candid, Vargas didn't find diversity because he only looked in one place at one time.
A panel called "Blogging While Female," held Saturday morning, was an aberration -- an overflow room of about 75, mostly women, a few of them minorities.
This is an important lesson for those who incorporate social media into issues management and public affairs strategies. As was discussed in a panel at BlogHer07 the week before Yearly Kos, "political blogs" are not the only online venues that discuss politics. The real diversity of opinion - and the homes for the truly diverse and substantive political discussions in which companies may want to participate - often happen elsewhere.
In fact, I'm more than a little surprised that the political media all but ignored a conference with 800 bloggers that featured a keynote from Elizabeth Edwards and launched an international political education initiative on global health and the environment.
And I have to say the program and audience at BlogHer07, with a couple of noteworthy (and outstanding) examples, appeared to skew left.
I really wish Stefania and Kelly had the time to go back to Chicago to ask the candidates the same questions they asked me.