On Tuesday I went on the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio to talk about the upcoming close of the coffeehouse on July 1. I am honored to call Mike — a legendary LGBT activist and journalist — a dear friend and he’s been a big booster of the Blend over the years. He also recently co-authored with me a chapter about the Righthaven copyright scourge and its impact on media authorship in a book, Copyright Shakedown: The Rise and Fall of Righthaven.
Anyway, we chatted for about 15 minutes and discussed the state of blogging back in 2004 when the Blend launched, and how it has changed over the years, particularly with the recent high impact of social media on activism. You can read Mike’s write up on Huffington Post, where he is the editor of Gay Voices. A snippet:
Spaulding talked about starting the blog in 2004 and never imagining it would become the award-winning, highly-noted must-read site that often garnered media attention as well a notice from mainstream gay groups Spaulding sometimes criticized, like the Human Rights Campaign.
“There were not many blogs out there [9 years ago],” she said. I wasn’t blogging to an audience. I was just blogging about my frustrations about the virulently antigay campaign that George Bush was running. For the first year to year-and-a-half the most I had in terms of readership was 300 people. I thought that was enormous and that I’d never surpass it.”
Below the fold, some of the reactions on the Interwebs about the announcement. It was overwhelming — and kind of weird, like being at your own funeral without the pine box/urn. I say “unexpected” in the headline because I truly didn’t think it would matter this much.
I still have a hard time placing the work I do on the blog in the context of things like “success” or “popularity” because the latter is hard to gauge sitting here where, aside from a few comments on the blog or social media, just how far and wide your words reach, since most people lurk, not comment. The former is hard to define in today’s new media world — success can come in awards and honors (I do have a number of those), professional opportunities (those never materialized in any way that I could consider quitting my day job), or financial (that’s laughable). But apparently the Blend is well-loved by enough people that they kindly shared their thoughts on Sunday in numbers that surprised me.