Blogging has become more prominent in the past couple of years. Once thought of in a diminutive fashion as the realm of computer nerds and people that shut in and never leave the basement, bloggers have started to come to the forefront as authorities on varying topics. An indication of this shift is the Blogging While Writing event held on July 19th at the Schomburg. The premise of the event is to ask the question in light of all the changes in the publishing industry. The announcement for the event asked the question “Are bloggers the new writers?” Hosted by Jozen Cummings of UntilIGetMarried.com, this event was a sit down with three well known bloggers.
Mr. Cummings spoke with Erika Nicole Kendall, Gene Demby, and Rembert Browne about their experiences blogging, and what it means to them to write primarily for the internet. The event was about elevating the stature of bloggers, and the event did just that. Among the things focused on was the necessity of a blogger seeing themselves as a voice for themselves and others. “Some of us take it very seriously”, said Erika of The Black Girls Guide To Weight Loss on writing for her blog. Celebrating three years of its existence, Ms. Kendall gave the audience a few of her personal guidelines as to how she moderated what people said on her site.
Gene Demby who heads up PostBourgie and is now with The Huffington Post delved into issues of Black manhood and how he explored those on his blog. He described his blog as a anti-racist and feminist space, and spoke on how he is influenced by the work of filmmaker Byron Hurt. He notes that while still emerging, blogging is still fighting for legitimacy.
Rembert who writes for Grant Land and has his own blog at 500 Days Asunder spoke a little on the tension between being a writer vs. a blogger. Its a marked difference. This was a good event for a Thursday evening, and gave this blogger food for thought as I continue my own endeavors. As the blogosphere grows, and more people take to voicing themselves online, blogging will have to be regarded increasingly as a viable outlet. The Q&A session went well, and some great answers were given on starting a blog and setting your own writing rhythm. This was a good event, and I look forward to the next one. Kudos to Jozen, Erika, Gene, and Rembert on their successes in the blogosphere.
-Marc W. Polite
A Blogger from Harlem