Update to the update: I’m on a plane (yay) but lightning has the plane stuck on the runway (boo). Maybe I wasn’t meant to go?
Monday morning update: I missed my original flight and was unable to get on any flights last night on standby. I’m en route to the airport again, trying my luck again, hoping I can catch a standby spot. If I don’t make this flight, I likely will not be attending the event
Mala will be in Washington DC for the next two days, as I was selected by Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM) to receive a scholarship to participate in their first Top Blogueras Retreat.
The retreat, sponsored graciously by such outstanding corporations including Johnson & Johnson, Univision, McDonald’s, Mary Kay, Southwest Airlines, Procter and Gamble, Comcast, Fleishman Hillard, Disney/Babble, Macys, Porter Novelli, and Consumer Reports, will include opportunities for bloggers like me, to be mentored. The retreat, organized in partnership with Latina Bloggers Connect, will include a visit to the White House and meeting with such influential advocacy organizations as National Council of la Raza (NCLR).
If all of this sounds like it’s the antithesis of what I’ve been about for my blogging career, it kind of is and that’s precisely why I am going. As a political mami media maker (not a mom
blogger, not even just a blogger) I have covered everything from the Latin Grammy Awards, to the presidential debates, to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Our team coverage has included live blogs of Netroots Nation, The Allied Media Conference, and reviews of films, musical acts, congressional votes and always with big uncensored mouths, always unsponsored, unbought. I am attending this blogeura retreat because as I wrote last year on the 6th anniversary of VivirLatino, the Latino blog landscape has changed and continues to change. Many of my media making and rabble rousing friends have stopped because of shift in the accepted definition of “blogger”. Those of us who found ourselves courted in the pre-Obama era, have felt the walls of the non-profit industrial complex and corporate personhood closing in on us. It’s been a struggle for us to continue. So who are considered the top voices and who is not? What are those voices saying and what does that say about the future of truly independent media?
I and by extension, VivirLatino has had a complicated relationship with non-profits, lawmakers, and companies who want parroting instead of critical analysis. I will be the first to admit that I am a bad capitalist and my personal and business finances are essentially one and the same because blogging is more of an extension of who I am than a separate money making venture. This has led to a less than sustainable career but a career/life none the less and for that reason, with many years of experience under my belt, I claim my position on top shamelessly.
Please follow me here on VivirLatino and on twitter accounts : @vivirlatino and @mamitamala as I look at all these issues. And I want to hear what all of you think about the direction of Latin@ blogging and online media.
For more information about the First-Ever Latina Blogger Retreat, visit http://blogueras.latism.org/