Related Story: Spaulding takes a bow
In 2005, I was a college sophomore at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. I had the pure fortune and luck to choose going to a school in a community with a growing and strong local blogosphere. Citizen journalists there were stepping up and providing unique commentaries and voices, covering stories that either expanded on mainstream media’s coverage or filling in the gaps the mainstream media sometimes looked over.
My blog focused on LGBT life and politics at my school, in the Triad and North Carolina. It wasn’t long before I stumbled upon Pam Spaulding’s Pam’s House Blend.
A Durham native, Spaulding had begun her blog just one year earlier. I was instantly drawn to her unique voice and her passion. I learned a great deal from Spaulding and eventually came to contribute some blog posts to her website.
In short order, Spaulding became a guide, helping me to navigate the waters of my growing passion and interest in citizen journalism and blogging. A small-town North Carolina kid, I’d long been involved in local LGBT advocacy, but it was through Spaulding that I learned a great deal about the national movement. I became connected with other LGBT bloggers and writers. My personal blog could never have touched the same level of popularity or credibility that Spaulding had, but, without her, I doubt I’d be where I am today.
I’m proud to say: “With Pam as a mentor, I got a jump start on my blogging and journalism career.” And, that’s exactly what I told Equality NC for their day-long “Thank You Pam’s House Blend” campaign on Twitter and Facebook on July 1, the day Spaulding’s iconic blog shut its doors.
Spaulding will be missed — by me, by her many other readers both local and national, by other LGBT bloggers, LGBT media and mainstream pundits alike. Her unique perspective set a new tone and direction for LGBT reporting. Southern and African-American voices, along with other voices from the transgender community and other minorities, were given a platform like never before on Spaulding’s blog. Her attention to both local and national news of note was astounding. It seemed she was a super-woman with the amount of content that flowed from her mind and into the World Wide Web.
All that, though, has come to an end. Today, Spaulding turns her attention to her health and her family. For nearly 10 years, we’ve all kept her attention. I’m not happy we’ll lose her daily wit and wisdom, but I’m glad Spaulding will have a chance to rest. Blogging and journalism isn’t an easy pursuit, but Spaulding has pursued it well. She deserves the time she’ll have to herself now, catching up on all that sleep she missed when she kept the Blend serving up fresh and piping-hot content each day.
With the greatest of fondness and respect, I say goodbye to Pam’s House Blend. I hope we here at qnotes always strive to continue the local coverage Spaulding and us always did so well in reporting. We’ll can keep the torch of local LGBT media alive and, as I’m sure she already well knows, the pages of qnotes will always be open to Spaulding.