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LGBT blogging in 2006

There’s an interesting piece, The Cyber Mafia, in the latest issue of The Advocate by Greg Hernandez. It covers well-known gay blogs such as AmericaBlog, TowleRoad, BlogActive, PerezHilton, etc. — bloggers you all probably read. There are also interviews with John Aravosis and Mike Rogers, both of whom did great work this year exposing the hypocrites on the Hill.

In the print issue, there’s also a big photo layout of the “blog mafia” featured in the piece — Andy Towle, Perez Hilton and Seth Abramovitch. The Blend does get a mention — way down in the piece toward the end — in a section on lesbian blogs on the Web. I guess we should be content that the successful campaign against LIFEbeat by black bloggers was mentioned at all. C’est la vie.

In July, black lesbian and gay bloggers, led by Jasmyne Cannick and Keith Boykin, among others, organized a 48-hour protest against LIFEbeat, the music industry’s AIDS organization, and its plans to feature homophobic reggae “dancehall” artists Beenie Man and T.O.K. at a benefit concert in New York. LIFEbeat would cancel the concert.

“I think it’s a powerful example of what can happen when we fight together,” Cannick says. “This is the first instance where the black bloggers decided to work together in a common cause.”

Cannick’s JasmyneCannick.com site is one of the more prominent lesbian blogs on the Web, along with Pam’s House Blend by Pam Spaulding. Two other popular sites, Hothouse and SistersTalk, have been inactive in recent months. Sarah Warn, founder and editor of the Web site AfterEllen.com, wishes there were more lesbian bloggers-so much so that she started a blog on her site called “Best. Lesbian-ish. Day. Ever.” to help fill the female void.

“I think that lesbians are definitely interested in blogs,” says the New York City-based Warn, whose site was purchased this year by the LGBT cable TV network Logo. “Our blog quickly became the most popular thing on our site. Part of the reason we launched the blog was to look at things through a female lens, because that’s what’s missing. There is more of a gay male lens, but I don’t want this to be one of the only blogs for women. I’d love lots and lots of competition. This is one of the areas where there is room for multiple players. I wish there were more.”

  I’m sadly not surprised the article revolves around the pale male gay blogosphere, but the rest of the issue, including the “People of the Year,” holds true to the theme.

BTW, Bill Maher is the person of the year; friend of the Blend Wayne Besen (“the anti-ex-gay”) makes the list as does Andrew Sullivan (“thought leader”), and Helena Stone (“transgender trailblazer”). 

Looking back at 2006

Honestly I can’t complain that the impact of the Blend has been ignored this year — clearly winning best LGBT blog two years in a row is not something to sneeze at, nor is being honored with the 2006 Monette-Horwitz Trust Award for making significant contributions to eradicating homophobia. I was tapped to participate in blogger coverage of the elections for CNN, and have had a chance to represent the perspective of the blog (and you all, the Blenders) at several conferences, including the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (1, 2, 3), the International Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference, and was asked to do the first liveblog of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s 14th Annual National Dinner (they’ve asked me for another go-round in March).

Thank you, readers for continuing to come back and participate in the Blend community in 2006, particularly as we made the transition from Blogger to Soapblox this year (you’ll be happy to know that we’re up to 492 registered users/commenters since relaunch).  The Blend’s been holding its average of about 3,000 unique visits a day (it’s dipped down this week, as all blogs have, during the holidays) even through the transition, so I’m glad folks decided to update their bookmarks and return. The blog is clearly a labor of love for me, since I manage to cram in a lot of content despite a more-than-full-time day job.

Many thanks to permanent guest barista Russ, America’s Next Great Progressive Talk Star, whose writing always kicks the Blend up a notch, and a big collective pat on the back and thanks to all the commenters, tipsters and coffeehouse regulars who keep this a stimulating, civil place to pull up a chair and exchange ideas.

And last, but not least, a big mwah to my lovely wife Kate, whose patience and encouragement makes it possible for me to share my time with you all as I tap out the ideas and rants you read each day.

Happy new year to you all. 2007 should be an interesting year for our community.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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