I really enjoyed sitting on the Roosevelt Institution’s Expo panel on blogging. I was concerned because the other panelists were from nationally focused liberal group/organized blogs, and I’m so not. The crowd was good and they had good questions.
Something that was touched upon in the Q&A, regarding breaking into blogging. I was in disagreement with the other bloggers, and maybe that disagreement may be rooted in our different purposes for blogging and audiences. What I heard in their answers was a need for organizations/ organized blogs like CampusProgress.org and FireDogLake.com to bring up young bloggers, and supporting minority, gay/lesbian, and feminist voices because blogging takes time and money. Annually, this blog costs me between $75 to $135 a year, and that’s only because I host it on my own site (not blogspot, which is free) and I have my own domain. So I don’t see the barrier to breaking into blogging as a big deal, so I quote Nike and say “Just Do It”.
Blogging is easy/Writing is hard
Getting a Blogger or LiveJournal or other freebie blog account, grabbing time on your own or a library’s computer to bang out a few thoughts is the easy part. What to bang out is the hard part, and for the time being I have inspiration and a pinch of talent. This wonderful neighborhood with all its ups and downs inspires me to write.
Writing is a talent. I’m not writing this to toot my horn, as I consider myself a mediocre writer, but I’ve seen some pretty bad writing (such as academic/ technical journals) to not take readable writing for granted.
Serve a need/ Scratch a niche
Besides being somewhat readable, I’ve got an audience. ‘Cause an audience would explain why my server rates went up. However my stats tell me half of you are looking for a Thai X-ing menu. [note- Taw needs to send me an updated menu, his prices went up]. So my niche, the unserved need I fill is for people looking for good Thai with a personal touch on Florida Ave. And then there is that other thing about writing about east of 9th St Shaw and other neighborhood observances. There’s still room in the niche and I’m sure there are other DC neighborhoods with little/no coverage from the MSM in need of good storytellers.
On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dumpy black chick
“We need to give voice to [fill in the blank],” tends to raise an eyebrow with me, since I am aware of there being at least a couple of good blogs written by at least 2 of the supposedly voice-less groups mentioned. Maybe I have a different interpretation of “a voice”. So if anyone cares to gently explain it to me, I’d be happy to hear what is meant.
I am an African-American woman and I think I have a voice. It’s just that I’m vocalizing another aspect of my being and that is of bitchy, broke, homeowner in the hood. There are several other bloggers who lend more ink/ pixels to chronicling
life as a black woman in a way, better than I could ever try. Several enough that the conservative black woman in Washington, DC POV is also out there in the blogosphere.
Though I use “I” a lot in my posts, I don’t really talk about myself in a descriptive way. You may also notice I don’t put up pictures of myself (there are several reasons for that, including my discomfort with taking pictures with people in them). So understandably in the early years of InShaw, people thought I was a gay white guy. Nope. That may of had something to do with the demographics of noticeable Shaw newbies /new comers and blogging in the early 2000s.
Nope. I’m just a black chick with a blog, a house, and wacky neighborhood.