The most shocking sight at yesterday's SF Pride parade wasn't the contingent of marching Googlers. It wasn't the Yahoo booth handing out temporary tattoos. It was the total absence of other tech companies, small or large, from what should have been a cheap and easy opportunity to build brand goodwill among the estimated one million attendees. Hello, Microsoft? Valleywag reporter Melissa Gira Grant helped build Float 183 for two nonprofit sponsors.
One hurdle is the huge price difference between fees charged to nonprofit corporations versus their openly for-profit counterparts — making money is the last taboo in this town. I haven't been able to get the numbers, but if the only company floats are from the likes of Clear Channel and Macy's, there's clearly room to make the event more affordable for startups. Come on, Web 2.0 marketers, negotiate something for next year. Also, be sure to put your logo up there as high and big as possible, so we needn't stand on tippytoes to see it.
If you don't live in San Francisco, here's the wrapup: 2008's gay-and-everything-else pride parade was nothing like The Onion's parody. As Americans have become more tolerant, SF Pride has backed off from the giant-penis aesthetic meant to "freak the breeders" or whatever. It's now tame enough that Yahoo's "Purple with Pride" slogan was one of the few dirty double entendres among blocks and blocks of sweater-bear family values statements.
The most conspicuously outsized demographic marching yesterday? Christians. Lots of 'em. Specifically, Christians willing to skip over Paul's admonishment against the Gays (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) in favor of a quote from the Big Guy himself: "Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." RTFM, people.
(Photo by Melissa Gira Grant)