Gay rights movement meet blogosphere

This is guest post from Lane Hudson.

Unfortunately, the world of blogs and their worth to society seems to be a recurring question. It seems that the gay rights movement may be the least adept at knowing their value. At a recent event, a leader in the local DC gay rights movement told me that he "hates" blogs. Other gay rights leaders have been tone deaf when it comes to working with the blogosphere. I want to offer them, and the larger community, information about blogs that will hopefully increase understanding and appreciation for the large amount of work produced by bloggers.

There are millions of visitors to blogs every single day who are hungry for a new forum for discussion of issues. The overwhelming preponderance of bloggers are not compensated for their blogging. They work full-time jobs and contribute to public discourse in their free time because they view it as a valuable form of activism. As someone who blogs, I can tell you that it's not easy. It takes time to prepare a blog post and sometimes, ideas for a post can be hard to come by.

Many of the criticisms that I have heard relative to blogs is "those people can write anything they want, even if it's not true." I know this can be frustrating because it happened to me.

The regular media often get facts wrong as well. When they do, we respond to correct the record. You can do the same with blogs through commenting or by emailing the blogger with information. One thing is for sure: shrugging your shoulders won't make it go away. The blogosphere is a living breathing medium, responding to the input it receives from the public and its readers. Jump into the blogosphere and make your voice heard.

I can further tell you that blogs are largely self policing. I have written posts that my readers disagree with. They didn't waste any time in telling me so in the comments. If you have never done so, you should go to do some of the widely read blogs and read the threads of comments. It is really amazing the level of discourse that takes place. The quality of the debates that occur is far greater and much farther ranging than that which occurs in the main stream media.

Many people in the gay community are aware of what I accomplished with my anonymous blog, Stop Sex Predators. It resulted in the resignation of Congressman Mark Foley and exposed a cover up among the Republican Leadership. While that is certainly a big example, there are many other examples where the efforts of bloggers pushed important issues into the mainstream media or reframed discussion of major news items.

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