Panel Discussion on History of Political Blogging in #Burghosphere


2016 is the tenth anniversary of the phrase ‘Burghosphere’ which was coined to capture the unique vibe of Pittsburgh’s blogging network.

To honor this important moment, we are bringing back the band by inviting some of the political bloggers from that era to have a conversation about the history (& future) of blogging. We also invited a bunch of contemporary bloggers to join the conversation.

Some are still blogging, others have moved on to new adventures. Still others are coming back to the Burghosphere. Join moderator Justin Laing of the blog Hillombo for a lively conversation. Everyone is welcome for this free event. Topics may not be appropriate for children.

The Panel
David DeAngelo, 2 Political Junkies
Bram Reichbaum, (via Twitter chat) The Pittsburgh Comet
Bill Toland, Recovering Blogger
Mike Madison, Pittsblog and Madisonian
Chris Potter, formerly blogging at Blogh (unconfirmed, but we remain hopeful)
Chris Briem, Pittsblog and Nullspace
Maria Lupinacci, (via Twitter chat) 2 Political Junkies
Sue Kerr, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents

Justin Laing, Hillombo

Doors open at 6 PM. Guest are invited to explore the gallery artwork featuring exhibitions by Jason Sauer and Sam Thorpe.

Panel begins at 7 PM.

This event will be recorded and preserved as part of the Pittsburgh Blogging Archives.

Most Wanted Fine Art is partially accessible. To request an accommodation or for more information, please contact event organizers.

Now, hey, that’s a pretty white panel and really male and all cis gender. That’s the reality of the burghosphere in the year 2006.  So, yes, this is a representative sample and does not include all people blogging politically in 2006 (especially those who were anonymous.) Everyone is invited to participate.

I did some digging to identify who actually coined the term ‘Burghosphere.’

My journey took me from the City Paper (Chris Potter & Marty Levine) to Chris Briem to Mike Woycheck to Mike Madison and Bill Toland. Do some googling – you won’t regret it.

The earliest usage seems to be the handiwork of Mr. Toland when he was the PG. This is from May 26, 2006

Let’s venture into the Pittsburgh blogosphere (blurghosphere? burghosphere? yinzosphere?) and see what the laptop philosophers think about Pittsburgh’s planning department and its endorsement of the Harrah’s Station Square casino proposal

Later in May, Mike Madison picked up the implied question and riffed a bit. Be sure to read the comments for another little jolt of blogging nostalgia

Isn’t Pittsburgh parochial enough without naming and claiming its own corner of the blogosphere?

Later that same year, Chris Briem also blogging at Pittsblog went a little further.

Did Toland every come up with a name for the Burghosphere? Anyway, I predict the greater blogosphere is going to short circuit itself self-referencing this article: the Chronicle of Higher education has an article just out on Mapping the Blogosphere.

Yes, the link is broken. Here’s a summary of the article on Mapping the Blogosphere.

City Paper used burghosphere occasionally into 2010. Take a read of this 2007 piece by Marty Levine on the origins of political blogging in Pittsburgh. Sadly, most of those blogs have long since shuttered.

We *might* be livestreaming (this will be confimed on Monday) but we will definitely be recording and hope you will join us!.


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