Blogging While Brown was a small deep conference that rather than try to be all things to everyone approached its two days of programming more as a very focused meditation. It encouraged attendees a) to view themselves as media entrepreneurs and b) to take their blogs off the mat (as they say in yoga practice) into their communities.
This is where I was this past weekend…. at the Blogging While Brown 2012 Conference in Philadelphia. It was virtually impossible to lose one’s focus at this conference. Because no matter the session topic, panelists seemed to have been charged with answering the question of “how” one achieves their goals. For example, how does one turn their blog into a book, how does one moves their blog to the tv platform, and how does one communicate their personal brand.
Yes, these are topics you will find at most blogging conferences. But at many conferences I have found the approach is more on answering the question of “what” and “why.” You can get answers to these questions all day long and neither of these two questions will cost you any money. They do not however tell you how to get from point A to point B either.
If you want someone to tell you “how” to translate the answers to these questions to what you do, this will cost you money. Most people go to conferences when they first get started looking for these kind of answers unsuccessfully. This is what everyone wants to know. And Blogging while Brown 2012 scored big on this front.
I overheard several people offer to help others. So the networking was good. There was a John S. Knight Fellowship Meetup focused on the younger generation. There were a few baby boomers in the room. So I was encouraged. And for a brown conference, time was well respected [that was a joke].
Shawn P. Williams of the Dallas South News did an excellent job of keeping it moving for the crowd. Gina McCauley, Founder of BWB, with her dry wit and incisive mind, historically contextualized the entrepreneurial work of brown bloggers. We were like, “Yeah, we are media entrepreneurs and we have an important role to play in society. Aminah Hanan, ED of BWB was a joy to meet and an efficient organizational machine.
Have you ever heard of The Field Negro, Afrobella.com, Dr. Goddess, The Budget Fashionista, Luvvie Ajayi, Scott Hanselman, Black Girls Run, Black and Married with Kids, or Kaneisha Grayson of Be Your Own Boyfriend, or Black Love Rules? I mention these simply as an example of the diversity of who is out here in the soc/media arena. These are the better known black bloggers. But believe me, there are many others coming up and baby boomers, mid-lifers whatever you want to call us need to be among these folk.
Does your life matter? Is anyone interested in life from a baby boomers’ perspective? Heck yes. We have got to get in this mix. I will admit that being at this conference was a bit like being the only black in the room at a mainstream cocktail party. But like P. Diddy says, “Can’t stop, Won’t stop.” We have got to get in this game because we have a unique perspective to add to a plethora of topics.
For my reader/ boomer friends who do not blog and do not yet see the value or importance of keeping track of the social media arena, I say, keep an open mind. Bloggers are the new press. This particularly true for the black press. Just think about that for a moment and tell me what you think in the comments below.