Prepping for NetRoots Nation 2012

Ledcat and I are very excited to be off to Providence, Rhode Island for the 2012 NetRoots Nation Conference. It is especially cool because we have scholarships so this a mini-vacation (best we’ll do for this year) as well as conference. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to absorb, but the chance to here Paul Krugman and Elizabeth Warren speak is healing for me!  

One of my obligations as a scholarship recipient is to blog each day about my experiences. So I’m getting a head start tonight while Ledcat surfs for cool things to do in Providence – we’ll have zero time, but it makes her happy. I’m simply excited about 1) Megabus 2) hotel room cable and 3) meeting some of my online LGBT friends.

Our conference starts with an all-day LGBT session which should be very engaging. We met some of these folks at a 2009 LGBT Summit in DC so that’s comforting. And even though I’m just a regional blogger from Pittsburgh – no one has ever made me feel “just” anything. Except “just” welcome?

I’m also planning to hit up sessions on reaching female voters with social media, a caucus on Pennsylvania, Twitter training for elections, the War on Women, Transportation as a Social Justice issue and an overview of Transgender advocacy. One session that spoke to me is called “When Democrats Aren’t Democrats” – boy, does that sound familiar.

So my obligation is to blog each night.

I’m taking my reusable SIGG water bottle and my reusable Crazy Mocha coffee mug (I can’t bear to take Starbucks and possibly lose it) and am going to try my best to avoid disposable stuff. I suspect some of the meals might be a challenge.

I have a tote tucked into my purse in case we make unexpected souvenir purchases so we can avoid bags.

I put something on my iPod other than GLEE so I won’t be totally nuts when I get to Providence after 13 hours of travel.

I’m going to use my earth911 app to find nearby recycling bins so we can dispose of the plastic bottles of water we’ll inevitably buy.

I’m also determined to finish my VI Warshawski novel and a few magazines that have been gathering dust (Oh, Bitch, I’m so sorry.)

So what do I hope to learn and bring back to Pennsylvania? Well, that’s a great question. I certainly hope to network with some engaging people and determine if they have a presence in Western PA and how we might collaborate. I’m also hoping to put some names to faces and strengthen my ability to get the word out about what’s happening (or not) in Western PA.

I’m very excited about the social media workshops. I have a plan to help capacity build so this will fit right into that.

But mostly I hope to become a better blogger. Not necessarily more focused on an LGBT agenda, but better informed and more skilled?

Or at least eat some good seafood?  I might also sneak in a hotel bed nap (apparently, we got upgraded to king size!)

Stay tuned!