Is a Podcast a Better Forum for Diversity Debate?

Bill Green, Angela Natividad and Hadji Williams Break It Down

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Bill Green, of Make the Logo Bigger, and Angela Natividad of Live and Uncensored, have launched a new podcast series called Adverve. Not ones to pull punches -- or make life easier for themselves -- their first guest is Hadji Williams, author of Knock the Hustle, blogger, frequent blog commenter and a guest columnist here yesterday. As Green notes, talking diversity isn't exactly the quickest way to pick up followers for a new venture, but it's something he cares about and something he feels gets kicked to the curb too often.

Podcasts are a lot of work to produce (hence the production issues with this particular one) and I think certain internet users are resistant to clicking on them. But I have to say I found the discussion perhaps more, I don't know, useful than the written word. Because diversity can be such a contentious issue, we tend to read both blogs and comments with our defense levels set on high. I'm as guilty of that as anyone. I'm sure any number of people reading Williams' piece here yesterday imagined a voice that was shouting angrily. But you listen to the podcast and everyone is, well, not only civil, but in almost good humor even though all three of them think the situation is pretty damn bad. As Green says, "It just has more impact hearing someone speak about it instead of having to sort through 100 comments from four people jumping all over each other." (Guilty, party of one, right here.)

Part One of the podcast is here. Part Two can be found here. For me, one of the most disturbing things about the podcast was listening to Williams chip away at the illusion that there has been some huge generational shift. I hear often from very young kids in the industry saying the pitched, emotional tone of the diversity debate is a holdover from the "old days." I think it's something many in the industry would like to believe. But you can hear how Williams' journey started out in much that same place -- thinking he'd let his work shine and keep his head down and he'd go places. Let those old guys fight it out. For reasons that quickly become obvious if you listen to the podcast (or read his book), he doesn't see things that way any longer.

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