TechCrunch: Mike Arrington: Blogging And Mass Psychomanipulation: how perfect blogging is, with its constant feedback loop, as a training ground for mass psychology and manipulation ..... any blogger worth her salt could start, say, an extremely successful militant religious cult ...... Any blogger will tell you how frustrating the early days are. Getting someone, anyone, to link to you. Your first comment! etc. ..... If there is something nasty that can be said, someone will say it. Over and over ..... Bloggers have a direct line to the collective mind. .... I imagine priests and rabbis and career politicians have much the same experience. Speaking publicly so frequently they learn exactly how to manipulate the audience, or the camera, to get the reaction they want. It doesn’t work on every individual, but the masses as a group are easy to manipulate. and your audience tends to self reinforce over time, meaning the people who buy what you’re selling tend to come back for more, and others wander away.
Mike Arrington wrote this defensive blog post because he is not all too happy with the reaction his earlier post on women in tech seems to have gotten. I was one of those who did not take kindly to what Arrington had written. (Mike Arrington Is A Sexist Pig: Say PeeeeG!)
Kudos to Mike for at least bringing up the topic. Most men treat gender as a taboo topic. You just don't talk about gender. Most men have at ready knee jerk reactions. He obviously has had the courage to stick his neck out.
But that still does not take away from the fact that he sounded like he was defending the status quo in tech. The status quo marginalizes women. It is indefensible. And Mike Arrington does not have a clue.
To say there is a problem would be a good starting point. And Arrington is not there. This is not about blaming men. This is about identifying a malaise and then thinking up solutions as to how we can make things better. The world of tech has to be turned into true meritocracies.
Someone like Mike Arrington who has a big megaphone has the option to play a constructive role.