Bil Browning

BlogIndiana conference: All good things must come to an end

Filed By Bil Browning | August 18, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: blogging tips, BlogIndiana, conference speaking, Indiana bloggers, Indiana blogging conference

I really enjoyed myself at the BlogIndiana conference. Shawn Plew and Noah Coffey are to be commended for organizing an informational and fun weekend. If you didn't get a chance to attend this year, make room on your schedule for next year's conference!

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about presenting at the conference. My shtick is usually political or queer speeches and not on the topic of blogging. Still, I seem to have done okay from the feedback I've gotten. Take this e-mail from a session attendee:

Bil,

I attended your BlogIndiana presentation this morning and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Not only with what you had to say but how you presented it. Yours was by far the most informational session of the entire weekend for me.

I've been blogging for a couple of years now so I didn't take a lot of notes this weekend. That is, until your session when I wore my fingers and laptop keys out.

I look forward to applying many of your concepts to both my business and my blog. Thanks again!

More on the conference after the jump.

I noticed a couple of other mentions around the blogosphere that I thought I'd share as well since I really liked their blogs and I've added them to my RSS reader. You should too.

First up is raypawulich.com (just because I laughed when I read his post's title - "Getting Noticed the Bil Browning Way"):

Right now I'm hearing Bil Browning talk. Never met him before but he's the publisher of The Bilerico Project, which is one of the top LGBT blogs in the country. This is probably one of the most valuable sessions as far as breaking in to the larger blogosphere, although my interest is more in bootstrapping a local media property, which is a slightly different beast. Still, Browning is your classic opinionated media queen and this session is about whipping the stupid out of you.

Media queen? Who are you calling a queen, Ray? *grins* I loved the "whipping the stupid out of you" quip. I tried to keep it at a high enough level to interest the more advanced bloggers while still popping a few misconceptions newbies have. I guess I succeeded.

Next up is a blogger I really wish had introduced herself at the conference. I'm sure we would have had some great conversation. I'll be adding her blog - The Feminist Review - to our blogroll on Bilerico Project and Bilerico-Indiana.

I was glad that one of the workshop leaders and panel speakers, Bil Browning, is the publisher of the Bilerico Project, the second-largest LGBTQ blog in the world. His participation was not only in the context of being a gay man, but specifically focused on this site. This was unapologetic, as it should be.

I noticed right away that while there were a couple of people obviously uncomfortable with my blog's subject matter, it didn't stop them from taking copious notes. About half the room looked up in shock though when I referred to the site as a "queer political blog" during the panel discussion later that afternoon.

Speaking of the panel discussion, I thought it was much more on topic and in depth than the first day's panel. The addition of a moderator helped quite a bit; Scott Abel did a spectacular job of questioning the participants while still adding his own ideas. Steve Dalton and Renee Wilmeth were also panelists who gave really good advice to the attendees. I'm a fan of both bloggers even though Steve and I don't see eye to eye politically. (Hey, if I can be friends with Josh Gillespie and Ryan McCann, I can handle Steve!)

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience. I met a lot of new people and connected with a few Hoosiers I only knew via e-mail and their blogs; Doug Masson and Steve spring to mind immediately.

I'll be there next year. You should be too.


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thanks for your reflections, Bil!
it really was a great conference, even though i wanted to see some naming and intention around mainstream/margin dynamics in the blogging world, and an acknowledgment that some of us have contradictory aims (corporate vs. consumer, e.g.). you can read my fuller thoughts, if anyone is interested.

your session was great! i gave it, and one other, a "very high" rating on the survey i just filled out:-) and i enjoyed the panel you were on, as well. the question i wanted to ask (but we ran out of time) was:
when is it time to bring each of these blogging communities together OFFline? how does that work for you all at Bilerico?
thanks for the shout out, too! i've got you on my blogroll now:-)

Your seminar was very helpful, even if we don't agree on political matters, we agree that the discourse should be free and open.

Thanks for the link

Steve - We do agree there. We do. Too often lately the discourse has just turned to angry yelling and complaining.

Anna - Your blog is GREAT! I'd really encourage our readers to head over and check it out. (Although since this post is about an Indiana blog conference, I doubt many will - which is a crying shame.)

As for your question, one of our main challenges has been building an offline community. Our contributors are everywhere from California to Florida to Massachusetts to France. Obviously, we can't get everyone together at the same time! Instead we tend to meet separately. We've had a meetup here in Indiana a couple of times and other contributors had one in DC once. At the Creating Change conference, there was a Bilerico Project meetup for contributors and readers - and we'll be doing another around the DNCC in Denver next week (although we're piggy backing on someone else's meetup that we'll all be at!).

We'll also be hosting a session or two at next year's Creating Change on blogging and reaching out to the netroots.