"Chris Messina, 26, and two fellow Web2Open organizers stood on chairs in one of the Moscone Center's alcoves, addressing a crowd of about 80. Speaking without microphones, they asked everyone to introduce themselves and offer three "tags," or one-word descriptions, to give a sense of their topics of interest." from this article on unconferences by Scott Kirsner.
Seriously...months of hard work and being the 'lead' on the project, I get reduced to a chair perched by-stander? Luckily Chris has piped up on the subject before me, but wtf?! This ain't the first time. And I'm not imagining things.
Wanna know what this does to a woman who already struggles to be taken seriously in the web world as a woman and a marketer (both are strikes against me)?
- It makes me feel invisible and useless
- It robs me of a mainstream press mention that shows my ever being involved in such events - which, unfortunately, seems to be the measuring stick of any sort of notability (which Chris gets to keep due to the fact that he is a "notable developer" - hint: he's not a developer)
- It robs other women who want to get involved in BarCamp an example of someone doing it
- It makes me feel like an idiot for wasting my precious time to talk to reporters at all - time that could have been spent seeing more sessions and making sure that some of the components went better.
Yes, I'm bitter. Yes, I'm pissed. I'm busting my ass this week to give three talks at a government conference in New Zealand and the last thing I needed was a blow to my self-worth. It's NOT just about getting women involved, it's also about how you treat them when they are involved. If I'm the bloody project lead, I should get the mention. I wasn't being paid for it.