One of the premier women in our industry, Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Users was suppose to keynote at ETech, as well as present a workshop. She had to cancel. Why? Would you believe death threats are the reason? As crazy as it sounds, it's true.
Over the past few weeks, Kathy has been dealing with crazy comments appearing on her blog, each time they seemed to get increasingly more "threatening". For full details, you can check out her detailed list of events that have lead to canceling her speaking engagement.
As someone who likes to shine the light on the accomplishments of women in our industry and really encourage them to stand up and get involved by speaking and participating in the industry events - this makes one think twice before doing so. Sure, this could be one crazy, obsessed person, however you can never tell and on the other hand one person can cause a lot of damage.
As a fan of Kathy's blog, I for one, am saddened to hear about this. As a women in the industry, it makes me a bit ticked off that someone resorted to these types of methods to "scare her off." I hope that Kathy finds out who this was and they are properly prosecuted so she can go on with her life and continue to accomplish more great things that other women in the industry can look up too.
Update: Scoble's taking a week off "in support" of Kathy. He's encouraging the blogosphere to "discuss" how to fix this type of culture from continuing. I for one am all for that!