Ten Years Later: Attending the First LGBTQ Bloggers & Citizen Journalists National Summit in 2008

While I began blogging in December 2005, I believe that a significant milestone in our growth was the weekend Ledcat and I traveled to Washington D.C. for the first LGBTQ Bloggers and Citizens Journalists National Summit. It was December 5-7, 2008. I met a lot of folx there and my mind was awhirl with new possibilities for blogging.

More than 60 organizations and blogs were represented. I’m trying to remember how I was invited – I think I had been interacting with Mike Rogers (formerly of BlogActive, now know with Raw Story) online after he wrote about Rick Santorum. This gathering was a prelude to the Netroots Connection preconferences that began in 2009 (in Pittsburgh)

Rather than wax eloquently about my memories, let me share a few links.

Here are my original blog posts summaries My Preview  Day One Summary Post

Pam Spaulding’s write up of the weekend (Pam’s House Blend)

More from Pam

There was great coverage of the framing used by the right wing to demonize and restrict expanding LGBT rights and how the LGBT movement can counter that framing going forward with different political strategies.

Tony from Perge Modo has a post

Today, in the revolution that has now begun for ownership of individual rights, bloggers are the new Paul Revere, but there are hundreds of thousands of them and they are not all shouting the same thing about the British coming. They are shouting huge heaps of overlapping static. Sometimes they pull together suddenly like a school of fish responding to the force of the current. There is no skill to this. There is only speed. You almost need to be out of the water to see, let alone control this. Nevertheless, the political bloggers feel that coalescence is within their grasp.

Read the takeaway of a filmmaker at Working Films

Let’s get meta – a post about a media article about the gathering with links to other bloggers reactions (whew!)  What LGBT bloggers do when they write about blogging conventions

From Blabbeando, a list of blogs in attendance in alphabetical order (probably not a complete list):

Back to the present  – are you reading any of the above blogs or their spin-offs? When you have some time, I urge you to dive back into this glorious archive of LGBTQ activism and politics during the latter half of the 2000’s and reacquaint yourself. I hope someone, somewhere, takes the time to create an actual archive.

I interact with some of these folks via email and all sorts of social media. I’ve been to two follow up events associated with Netroots Nation since then. And I’ve continued to blog. During that first year, Laura and I met with media expert Cathy Renna for advice on my blog. She told us we were doing a good job and basically to keep on with what we had accomplished. Thanks to the wonders of a former webhost, you can see the original blog format from that very day.

A lot has happened in ten years. Netroots Nation will be in Philadelphia in July 2019 so I hope we’ll attend. One thing that has not changed is the lack of revenue in blogging – to get this lesbian voice and others to these events, there has to be scholarships and fellowships and other supports. It might interesting if someone crunched the numbers about the state of the blogosphere in 2008 versus now, including revenue data.

I miss having a chance for blogger connection. I’d like to see events that bring people together, old and new. I’d like to harness the power of experience to the energy and new ideas of today’s leaders.

Here’s a snip of video via Tony Adams survering the crowd. You can see me in the right hand margin wearing a black sweater and having very short hair.


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