Q-Notes might be a member of the so-called “traditional media,” but we also respect and appreciate the many contributions to the LGBT community made by thousands of queer and straight allies who are reaching out and speaking out through “new media” in the Carolinas.
“New Media” is usually defined as anything related to the Web and the blogosphere. There are North and South Carolinians making a difference every day through their writing and online activism and we want to profile these folks and their accomplishments just as we profile traditional political leaders, activists and community organizations.
Periodically, we will do so in this new column, Community 2.0. If there is a worthy blogger or online activist you’d like to see profiled here, send the name of their website and its address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A very special blend
Pam Spaulding is a big deal. In fact, she might be one of the most well-known LGBT North Carolinians in the country. Her popularity and credibility as an LGBT advocate and blogger have grown as steadily as her readership and her fanbase.
If you look at her early writings on her original blog in 2004, you will find postings of family pet photos and chatter about her wedding — hardly anything even close to the high-impact, deeply researched and controversial material she dabbles in today.
The change occured in 2006, when she totally revamped her website and created nothing less than a fully-featured web community. The new site allows users to register for accounts and post news at any time. In fact, Spaulding routinely promotes readers’ postings to the front page of her site.
Today, Pam’s House Blend is a sensation in the liberal blogosphere. The site gets close to 110,000 hits each month, making it one of the most widely-read LGBT-oriented blogs on the internet.
This popularity has come as a complete surprise to Spaulding. In fact, you can sense the excitement in her words when she writes that she has been invited to yet another conference or asked to be a guest speaker on some radio program.
Among other high-profile activities, Spaulding was invited to participate in CNN’s blogger coverage of the 2006 election and was asked to “live blog” the annual dinner of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. She has appears as a regular political and news commentator on Michelangelo Signorile’s talk show on Sirius OutQ Radio.
Spaulding introduced a guest blogger on her website last year. “Radical Russ,” who eventually became a regular contributor, now has his own progressive radio talk show in the Northwest. Spaulding has since added other guest bloggers and contributors to her site.
The rise to internet stardom hasn’t come without some sacrifices. Spaulding still holds a day job and she often finds herself getting up in the wee hours of the morning and staying awake late at night just to keep up with all the activity running through her web empire.
She has also learned to expect frequent attacks from the political right wing. “Open letters” with hateful vitriol or politicized rhetoric from folks like Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, ex-gay San Diego activist James Hartline and groups like Concerned Women for America have become common.
Spaulding doesn’t let the hate mail or the rhetoric get her down. She usually just laughs it off as she writes another blog post ridiculing the opposition’s faulty arguments. Such is the nature of Pam’s very special blend.