Something truly sad happened this weekend. Brit Ruby was cancelled:
The Ruby community has been battling with issues of race and gender equality. We at Brit Ruby were well aware of this fundamental and important issue. This was one of the reasons why we encouraged everyone to submit a speaker proposal. Sadly, Brit Ruby was used as the arena to air these issues on Twitter and this has fundamentally destroyed any chance we had of addressing these issues. Instead the community should have worked together and allowed us to bring these issues to light at the conference. How can the community address these issues if every time someone tries they are shot down and accused of such awful things?
This makes me very sad.
The guys running this event were doing so in their spare time, because they wanted to make something happen.
I’m blogging about this, because I’m an event organiser too. I’ve been doing it for about 5 years now. The reason I’m still going, and making bigger and better events happen? Because I’m selfish; I organise these events for me.
If I didn’t, then they wouldn’t happen, and the community would be a poorer place.
They wouldn’t happen because I’d have no reason to put them on. They wouldn’t be something I wanted to put on, attend or give up my precious time for. I wouldn’t have the passion and the drive if I tried to make an event for others.
The thing to remember about running any event is that people will complain. There’ll always be something that someone doesn’t like. They’ll get vocal. They’ll kick off. There will most definitely be a heated debate on TEH INTERNETS, it is after all the home of trolls.
The Brit Ruby organisers said they wanted speakers who were awesome. They were purely focused on the sessions. They wanted the event to have the best content and delivery. Those guys didn’t care WHO delivered the talks.
What’s wrong with that? I’d rather I was chosen to do something because of my skills, not my gender.Positive discrimination is still discrimination.
Absolutely nothing. Unfortunately TEH INTERNETS looked at the photos of the invited speakers (there were still 5 places which they were going to award to the best submissions) and decided “they’re all white men!” and went all shouty and opinionated as the internet is wont to do.
Unfortunately because of this Brit Ruby got cancelled, which ruined it for everyone.
So essentially, people decided they didn’t like how an event was run, they bitched and moaned. I’ve been on the receiving end of this (perhaps not to the same extent) and what I’ve had to do is harden my skin.
If you don’t like the event I’m running, then don’t come! Or event better, why don’t you organise an event yourself, the way YOU want.
You can’t make everybody happy, but you can make yourself happy. Spend your time on things that you enjoy, you want to do and you’re passionate about. Taking on constructive criticism, comments, ideas and help is a great thing to do. What you can NEVER do is to dilute your vision, your agenda and your selfish reasons for doing this. Otherwise you aren’t going to be able to give this thing the love, time and attention it needs in order to become awesome. Passion draws the sponsors. Passion brings the attendees. Passion is what will make sacrificing hobbies, friends and sleep that bit easier.