Whoo! Netroots hasn’t even officially started yet but I’ve already had a great day with the LGBT Precon today. It was an odd sensation to be looking at the feeds I read every day and then look around and the bloggers whose sites I read daily were right there. For the whole morning, Pam Spaulding was sitting on my left (we were tweeting together if you were following the #lgbtnn10 tag), Mike Jones of change.org was on my right, and Joe Jervis and Jeremy Hooper (who took the pic below) were right behind me. And that’s just naming 4 of the 60ish folks who were there.
The focus of our day was really about bridging gaps in the movement. How can the organizations and the bloggers work together to move forward? Even though as citizen journalists we have an obligation to hold our leaders (both political and activist) accountable, we do ultimately have the same goals of seeing equality where it’s currently lacking. Everyone from HRC to GetEQUAL to Lambda Legal to GLAAD were on hand to talk about not just what they are doing, but how they can work with us to accentuate their efforts and spread their message.
I’ve been using the word “fledging” to describe my blog because in a lot of ways, I really don’t feel like I’m connected to things the way a lot of the folks I was around today are. It was really great to sit there and talk to orgs about how great it would be if they could send me the resources I need to do my best work here on the blog. The mere fact that I’m here at Netroots Nation speaks, I hope, to the idea that my blogging is worthwhile, but it’s incredibly validating to know that what I have here really can be a force for change.
As we discussed issues like immigration, marriage, employment nondiscrimination, and HIV/AIDS, it was inspiring that we didn’t just talk about how to use new media, we made commitments to using it together. We said, “This is a good idea, and we are going to work together to employ it.” It makes perfect sense for HRC and Pam Spaulding to cooperate on highlighting stories of people who have lost their jobs because they are gay. It makes perfect sense for Jeremy Hooper and I to work together on opposition research for anti-gay religious groups. It just takes us being in the room together and putting it out there and making the commitment. That’s the Netroots in action.
I must confess that my jetlag is catching up with me, and if I don’t nap now, I’ll have no evening of fun. I am in Vegas afterall. This is the first of many posts from Netroots Nation. If you are interested in what there is to learn here, please comment on the posts with your questions or shoot me emails!