When I first starting blogging a little more than a year ago, I used to talk about how the blogging process had affected me, pretty much once a month. Little did I know then, as I know now, that blogging about blogging is considered declasse. So I stopped. Until now.
I can't help it. When my wife got home after school Friday, I had had a bit of an enervating day with Lydia. So I did what I seldom do anymore, since we've had the DVR; I channel-surfed. When I hit C-SPAN 2, which was listed as the Senate, I found myself at the "First Year of the YearlyKos convention, which brings together bloggers and elected officials", according to the overlay, held in Las Vegas, NV. Moreover, it was being shown LIVE.
My comments are impressions of the event, as I wasn't taking copious notes; since C-SPAN is forever rerunning stuff, you might be able to catch it yourself sometime.
As you might be able to tell from the name, four of the five panelists were from the Daily Kos, including the Kos himself, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. The fifth was from My DD [direct democracy].com.
I came in at the very end of the prepared remarks, but in time for the extensive Q&A. The Daily Kos is trying to figure out a culture code of civility. That said, they would like to concentrate on the writing, not on bylaws.
A great deal of the discussion was how to take a lurker to the Daily Kos, e.g., and turn that person into a political activist. At least one panelist noted that of any 100 people who go to the site, 10 will post, and one will do the diary. This has been a constant number over the last few years. Moreover, as Markos noted, the the "old-timers", who might have been on the site for a year, have always complained about the newbies. The site was compared to a city, where some people leave, sometimes for greater glory, and others come on board.
The conversation about keeping upwith one'ss reading wassuccinctlyy phrased: "How can anybody read all that stuff?" This lead to conversations about "high-impact diaries" and technologies that I was not quite following.
There was an extensive discussion about having a pseudonym online. A Daily Kos writer referred to as Hunter, addressed this. He believes some people operate with the "politics of division," and he was quite perturbed about it. Having a viewpoint that is outside of the mainstream, or even having a point of view at all can lead to nasty recriminations, with people calling employers of bloggers, etc., etc.
So as a blogger who uses his own name, how do I feel about that? Well, let me put it this way: if I had it to do over again, I might have done it differently. But not for my sake. I remember this former fellow choir member of mine named Holly, who, on her 50th birthday, went out and bought the car she really wanted. The reality is that I probably have fewer years in my future than in my past, so I don't really care for myself if I might tick someone off. Conversely, I do care about the well-being of my wife and daughter, so it's a tricky wicket.
Some bloggers who use their own names write terribly specific things in their posts: "the family and I will be in Milwaukee all next week," which presumably means that their house in Appleton is vulnerable. I never put out that I am away, only that I've been away, the credo of another named blogger I know.
Then there's the case of GayProf. GayProf is a gay, Latino history professor in a college or university in Texas. ("A gay, Latino history professor in Texas" - can there be more than one, or is his/my Longhorn bias showing?) Recently, a couple of his colleagues found his site. Apparently, as a result, he's been forthcoming enough to actually put his picture on his site, which I stole for this in-joke post.
My point is that I've come down on the side of the Popeye imperative: "I yam what I yam." And I hope it works out.
A forthcoming show of Alpaca Owners and Breeders is taking place in August. It struck me as funny, yet somehow appropriate that a National Fleece Show was taking place in Las Vegas, a place where, allegedly, people are being fleeced much of the time.
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