On Tuesday evening I participated in a three-person panel on the topic of blogs, bloggers, and how blogs can impact the local political scene and elections. Hosted by the Ellicott City and Western Howard County Democratic Club, the event, entitled "Meet the Bloggers", was held at Kelsey's in the Normandy Shopping Center.
Though you might suspect that events held in a private room at a place called Kelsey's were the stuff of wheeling, dealing, and secret handshakes, Tuesday evening was nothing of the sort. The folks from ECWHCDC are a friendly and humorous bunch. The meeting began with the usual sort of club business, discussion of upcoming events, allocation of ad purchases in event programs, and so forth. Dan Medinger presided over the proceedings with an easy, light-hearted touch.
On the panel: Scott Ewart, of Scott E's Blog, Jonathan Shurberg of Maryland Scramble, and me. We each had an opportunity to introduce ourselves, talk about the origins of our blogs, what we write about, and what our goals are. Then the meeting was opened up to questions.
They ranged from curiousity about things like numbers of hits, to promotion and advertising, to dealing with rude comments. Several people just wanted to know how you find blogs to read in the first place. (Someone did a quick explanation of HoCoBlogs at this point.) Those in attendance covered a wide range of experience when it came to the blogging scene, and the questions reflected that.
I would just like to go on the record in asserting that I did smile and even laugh during this event. I have yet to see any photos that reflect this. Sigh.
As Dan Medinger said in his introduction, you always learn something at events like this. While I knew Scott and was familiar with his work, I didn't know Mr. Shurberg and enjoyed learning about his journey into blogging and his goals for his blog. I also enjoyed meeting the members of the ECWHCDC and hearing from them throughout the evening. They are a curious, caring, and committed bunch.
I'd like to thank Mr. Medinger for inviting me, and Howard County Democratic Central Committee Chair Abby Hendrix for suggesting my name as a possible panelist. I had a great time talking about something I love.
Here's a close up of the shirt that I wore Tuesday evening. I wouldn't have even been in the room if it hadn't been for this man, Dennis Lane. His influence on my writing and how I see my blog has been immense.
Tonight: Board of Education Meeting addressing Budget issues at Central Office on Route 108, 7:30 pm. Who knows how early one would need to come to get an actual seat, so bring a blanket, bring a camp chair, bring your family, and turn out to support teachers, children, and families in our school system.
P.S. Don't take "the survey".