Yesterday I attended Straight Talk, presented by dot429 to discuss issues facing the LGBT community. Hosted and moderated by the awesome Cathy Brooks, the conversation included themes of transparency, trust, and privacy across many industries. I was particularly interested in the Media & Entertainment talk with GM of Logo TV, Lisa Sherman, and CNN host/author, Jane Velez-Mitchell.
“As a gay man, I’m overwhelmed by information. I’m overwhelemed by options. Gay people are at the forefront of early adopters and technology. How do you see us engaging these different [platforms] beyond Facebook and beyond Twitter to communicate our particular [positions]. How do you see us moving forward?”
This was a really good question taken from the audience and Lisa Sherman gave a wonderful response to consider,
“With the media, it’s not just about the way people are consuming the content. It’s a bi-directional channel now. Your audience now has an open channel to speak back to you. To create content.”
Lisa did a great job of pointing out how the LGBT community, or any community, could better utilize these platforms by speaking back to media outlets like CNN, MTV, LOGO and saying “here are stories that should be told,” and also by participating in the stories that are shared. That’s exactly what platforms like CNN’s iReport are all about. That is the power and effect of user-generated content. However, none of it works unless YOU, or the community at large, puts them to use. Is that the direction we’re moving in? I’d say yes, that’s the direction the entire world is moving in and look no further than the use of the media to document protests in and for Egypt all over the world.
Straight Talk was a great event with some passionate discussions on Politics & Current Affairs and the Design & Retail also. This was my first event involving LBGT topics from a professional standpoint. The discussions were new, but I was amazed to hear a few issues that others face when it comes to media and technology. I also saw how these topics related to a bigger picture of where the future is taking us and what that means for everyone.