Lynne d Johnson



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05.01.08 10:31 PM

The Real Rock Stars of (Black) Blogs

There's been a bit of talk about me on the Interwebs lately, and though I'll take the shine, I've got enough sense to know I can't take all the shine on my own. There are people who influenced me, especially in the blogging game. Those who offered advice and friendship, and even connections. Those who always answer IMs and emails, no matter when they get sent.

He won the first Black Blogger Achievement Award in the Black Weblog Awards. He goes by the name of George Kelly and his blog is I met George on Afrofuturism, probably in 2000 or 2001. I had been working at, then the top social networking site -- period. After being laid off, I put up this Web site, but it looked differently back then as this is version 3 or 4.

Long story short. The site, originally, was like my business card, portfolio, and resume all in one. But I had this idea of starting an online diary, and flirted with it casually at first. But I started looking into what George was doing and talking to him about it, and quickly became fascinated by the idea of blogging. I learned about blogging from him. He gave ideas about comments and structure. And I was grateful. And still am.

In fact it was he who first started the idea of the Blogging While Black panel at SXSW. He and some of the others put together the proposal, they just happened to select me as the moderator. It was the first time many of us had met in person, but we were all immediately -- family. We had shared so much, for so long -- online.

He's always been my blog father because of this. So if I had to have a blog father, I had to have a blog mother too. Her name is Cecily Walker. Her original blog URL was taken over by the Formica corporation. I was salty when that happened. There was history there in a rich blog. One I had learned so much from. I not only learned from her blog, but from her as well. We shared some histories in our technology backgrounds and love of Macs.

George and Cecily were out there way before I ever was. And they offered sage advice and guidance to several bloggers (black, white, whatever) back in those early years.

And then I had blog brothers and sisters too. All who contributed to this evolution. All who hip me to as much technology and Web services as I do them. All who hip me to as much music and culture and ideas as I do them. And here we all are, seven and eight years later, still vibing. Still being a blog fam. Maybe I just lean a little more to that spotlight than they all do, but they all deserve it just as much.

I may miss some in this shout out. But this list goes in order of those I came to know first in this blogging game. There were others, who don't have as much of a Web presence as they once did, but I've got lots of love for them too.

Brothers and Sisters:
Jason Toney - my blog twin
Monique Judge
Jay Smooth
EJ Flavors
J Brotherlove - my blog baby daddy (which would really mean we're incestuous wouldn't it? and that's not even the real kee kee.)
Tiffany B. Brown

And my sons:
Kevin R. Scott
Hashim Warren

And my newborn baby daughter:

And then don't forget...

People like Donald, who played a role because he helped me get my site from hand coding it myself into MT, but I've known him since before the Web. Back in those Brooklyn Kokobar Cafe days, the first urban Internet cafe. Fellow writers and speakers like Keith Boykin had an influence in terms of us both learning to build online personal brands around the same time. And another fellow writer Jimi Izrael, who came to the blog game on his own kind of late, but was always an inspiration -- yep, prior to his blogging.

And finally, if it wasn't for George and MT, I would have never known Anil Dash (who until recently I didn't realize thought so highly of me). Anil is like the consigliere of this here blog game. And I don't mean that in a negative context -- I just mean he is the consummate blogger, and he's been doing this for many years, and I've been following him for all those many years. And with that, I've built a lot of blog entries off of his blog entries over those years. I've watched him shake and move in a predominately white, male blogging and Web 2.0 tech world in a manner that I've come to respect -- and well, yes, learn from. He, also being of color, has managed to find a way to not lose himself in the Web world.

posted by lynne | |


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