I was recently invited to submit my blog to a new resource, Blog Local which bills itself as the resource "putting local blogging on the map."
BlogLocal, LLC advertises and promotes local blogs. We want to make it even easier to find and connect to local blogs in your city, town or neighborhood. Blogs are listed by location and by topic. If you're looking for a cooking blog in San Diego - we can help you find fellow San Diego food bloggers.
I thumbed through some of the listings and realized that there were few LGBT bloggers listed (such as MY blog which is very local.) I had a chat with the project founder and discovered much to my surprise (and delight) that it was an acquaintance of mine based in Pittsburgh. My suspicions about anti-LGBT bias went out the window as I realized she was launching a new project amidst her already full schedule and was simply coping with a time issue to add blogs.
Why should this matter to Bilerico readers (and bloggers)? Well, if you want to catch the vibe of a local community, you really need to know *if* there are LGBT bloggers in that community.
Here in Pittsburgh and even across Pennsylvania there are not many. There are LGBT folks blogging, but not necessarily about LGBT issues. I think that still counts because they are out, and that's political in and of itself.
It is also important to identify LGBT bloggers who do cover local issues. I read many of the "national" LGBT blogs who do pick up on the significant issues around the nation, but there aren't many that reported on the fact that Cheltenham became the 27th Pennsylvania municipality to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance. GayNightLife, a Philly blog covered it. (GayNightLife - don't forget to register on this new resource!)
Clearly, non-discrimination ordinances are a key factor in the "vibe" of a community, especially in a state which has recently swung widely to the right. It is an indicator that people use to determine where they might want to live, work, or play, but that isn't often picked up by larger blogs, because it's local.
The converse side is that local LGBT blogs tackling political issues also sends a positive message about our community. The name GayNightLife sends a message, but if you actually look at the content - you see a nice balance of social information and political/cultural information. It isn't what you might assume. Neither is our community, eh? You can participate in the leather scene, enjoy a night out at a gay club or a drag show and still be an informed citizen parent involved in the PTA and working to get your kids into a local youth program.
When I spoke with the founder, she asked me how to connect with local LGBT blogs around the nation (over 90 municipalities and counting). I told her I would simply spread the word. "Local" blogging means at least 60% of your content is focused on your region. She's flexible with that definition. We discussed at length how critical it can be to contextualize national LGBT issues against the local scene. She agreed that would absolutely "count" as a local perspective.
"The goal of BlogLocal is to create an easy way for people to find content about thier communities. In the future the BlogLocal Blog Map will be searchable by location and topic . LBGT bloggers provide an important perspective on the local conversation from political discussion to finding local LGBT friendly businesses and it is important that they are included on the BlogLocal map as well," explains founder Lindsay Patross.
I was quite pleased at her response and her willingness to discuss terminology and other issues with me. She has a lot of nationwide support as well as a strong track record with a similar project based on Pittsburgh alone.
I encourage my fellow LGBT bloggers to be "listed" on this resource. Let's make sure the vibes of our communities reflect the LGBT culture as well as food and sports blogs. To list your blog, complete this form.
Wouldn't it be terrific if there was an online LGBT blogging presence in all 99 communities? What a powerful message that would send.