CommunityPam's House Blend

So what's the big PHB news? Here you go…

NOTE: I was told there would be livestreaming of the Lizz Winstead’s Morning News Dump today, but it looks like that’s not going to happen so hopefully one of my peeps here will shoot vid and have it up soon.

So…the decision: Pam’s House Blend is becoming part of the Firedoglake family. From Jane Hamsher’s post:

Pam’s House Blend has long been one of the most compelling and influential sites in the blogosphere. Founder Pam Spaulding has used the platform not only to speak out herself as a woman of color and a member of the LGBT community, but also to play host to many other fine bloggers who have worked with her to build PHB into a robust activist community.

Pam was also one of my first friends when we were both posting at Daily Kos, before Firedoglake even existed.

So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Pam’s House Blend will be joining the Firedoglake family of blogs. I think it’s a perfect union – as the task of hosting a blog and performing the tech, legal and security work to keep it up and running becomes more and more complex and expensive, it will free Pam and her fellow bloggers to spend their time doing what they do best, which is blog. It also allows us to feature the work of a really amazing group of writers on FDL, and be tremendously enriched by the PHB community.

Remember back in March when I ran the PHB Reader Survey?

The text-based answers to two questions can be read more clearly as PDFs: Click over to see: “In what areas does the Blend need improvement, and “What impact, if any, would there be if the Blend were to shut down?”

You want the Blend to continue in some form. While I didn’t ask this as a Yes/No question, most of you are not happy with my idea of shutting down the blog as a viable option. It wasn’t a trivial question at all. I’ve been doing this since July 2004, with few breaks (mostly because of illness), and even with the most prosperous advertising year (2008), I certainly couldn’t quit the job that puts a roof over my head. And I have the job in the family with anti-discrimination protections, another reason for the lack of flexible options for me. That’s why I’m thankful for the baristas and Blenders who contribute interesting and varied content from around the country. That model of authorship has always made the coffeehouse interesting. But for those who are particularly interested in seeing more content from me, I feel for you; I wish I could do this full-time, but no one has come up with a sustainable model that allows editorial freedom. Someone may figure this out, but don’t see it happening in my blogtime; it’s a problem that has been on the table for progressive blogs generally, never mind a niche blog that doesn’t take skin ads. (BTW, bonus points for the respondent that said they wanted no ads on PHB! LOL.) Everyone likes to get things for free.

So, I’m keeping the option of shutting it down on the table, people. Putting tips in the jar won’t make a difference; it really comes down to time. I don’t see how I can ramp up for 2012 coverage, help with the marriage amendment battle in my state, hold down my day job, produce content for the blog, and work a third job I now have. No Más.

The blogosphere would lose my particular perspective as a black lesbian from the South, but I’m sure someone would eventually step in to fill the void, or at least I hope that someone will. I’m not unique at all, just an early adopter whose audience grew over time.

Jane Hamsher and her team asked me whether it would make it possible for me to continue blogging if I didn’t have to worry so much about the back-end matters of the current platform. The opportunity to bring new readership to the Blend (more non-LGBT progressive voices) into the debate on equality is also a big positive for the Blend, so I thank Jane for the chance to expand PHB readership.

What does that mean for you, the readers? We haven’t worked out all the details, but the switchover will occur sometime in July, if all things tech go well.

  • Your bookmarks will change. While I haven’t decided on the subdomain, it’s likely to be or something similar.
  • A cleaner design and platform change. It will still be a virtual coffeehouse for vigorous discussion.
  • The baristas move over with me as well. Someone has to brew, serve and do the virtual housekeeping.
  • All past Blend content on this platform and Blogger will move over (we’re going to throw a fundraiser to help out with this).

And the obvious question – no, I’m not quitting my day job. As I said in the reader survey post, it’s hard to see that happening in my blogtime, but hopefully I can reclaim some zzzzzzs.

More to come, but for now, what are your thoughts, questions?

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