I’ve attempted to offer some analysis — however imperfect — of what happened and why with regards to the Clinton blogger lunch. I got some things wrong in the process, and have tried to clean up my side of the street in those instances. Now I want to try and offer some suggestions for moving forward without rehashing any that if I can help it. More to the point, I want to address what I think progressive bloggers of color — or any other constituency of progressive bloggers, really — can do to help ourselves and others in our corners of the blogosphere, independent of what anyone else does or doesn’t do. The primary point is to strengthen ties and communications between us, and secondarily to help us find, support, and promote one another. So, I offer this as a proposal in response to Jeffrey Feldman’s diary on Daily Kos.
I’ve been thinking about the question I had on my mind as I left YearlyKos, about the possibility of establishing an lgbt netroots site, which instead became weekly lgbt diary rounds-up on Daily Kos. That seems to be going well for now, but , I’ve begun to think that establishing a central site/network or progressive bloggers of color might be a step towards building and strengthening or own network, parallel and complimentary to — not separate from —the larger network of progressive bloggers. This is “not a lets take our ball and go home proposal. I don’t envision people ceasing to participate in the larger progressive netroots, nor do I even remotely want that. Our communities stand to gain too much from a successful progressive movement, and like wise that movement from strengthening its diversity, to allow that to happen. The focus of this proposal is to combine our resources and strengthen our connections for everyone’s benefit
Inspired by one of Chris Bowers’ posts, I posted earlier about the realities of traffic as related to issue specific blogging. And I guess I’m inspired by Chris again, in saying that those of us who’ve expressed concerns in the last few days would do well to focus on what we can do to address at least some of those concerns ourselves. One of the things we can do is to build and strengthen our own networks, develop leadership, and define success within those networks. Doing so may yield positive results beyond those networks, the larger progressive blogosphere, and progressive politics in general. But it starts with us.
There was such a network at some point, called Brown Bloggers, but as of right now there’s nothing at that domain. But it’s part of what inspired the idea I have in mind. The other inspiration is the Progressive Blog Alliance. (That’s one of the reasons I emailed Aldon to get his thoughts on the idea, as he’s one of the people behind the PBA.) What I’m suggesting is blending various aspects of the two in order to establish something like the Progressive Blog Alliance for progressive bloggers of color. It’s functions could include:
- serving as a place where members have individual blogs or diaries to which they can crosspost content from their own blog
- a blogroll that members would then post on their individual blogs.
- a blogroll of members, listed by state
- aggregate RSS feeds from members.
That’s a start, but it could also encompass better communications between members, organizing realtime member events, coordinating actions on various issues, etc. Most of all in could serve as a place for new bloggers to get exposure, for established bloggers to expand their audience, and a resource for anyone who’s interested to discover blogs and bloggers they might not have come across otherwise. it might also serve as a place to continue discussing diversity, for anyone who’s interested in participating. It could serve as a place to promote stories that might not otherwise get much exposure. Ideally, it would help build a community to nurture and promote voices from our communities. It could help promote and support ideas like FuturePAC, which promotes progressive African American women for state and federal office.
That’s as far as I’m willing to speculate about the possible benefits. Will it boost anyone’s traffic? Maybe, maybe not. Will it boost anyone’s link ranking? Maybe, maybe not. And maybe those aren’t the appropriate metrics for success we should be using for something like this. Success might mean new readers for some of the participating bloggers. It might mean media exposure some participating bloggers. It might mean coordinating successful actions in or between our communities; or between our blogs. It might include establishing an advertising network via BlogAds.It might involve taking a borrowing a page from BlogHer and having a conference, or having a workshop/roundtable at YearlyKos.
All of those things are possible. But first it has to be built. Or rather, first people have to decide if it should be built.
So, I offer this as a possible way of moving forward, and I’m willing to commit myself to helping build it if there’s support for it. Beyond that, I’ll commit to helping and working with any proposal to move forward on this issue that has sufficient support to make it happen.
Beyond that, I’m not sure what else I can do or offer, but I’m open to suggestions.