Since its inception, Netroots Nation has been a great place to meet, organize and learn from each other. With over 2,000 attendees, the conference not only provides the opportunity to connect with people people engaged in similar work, but also allows people who have worked together on line for months, or in some cases years, to finally meet face-to-face. It’s at Netroots Nation that folks are able to match faces to domain names, organizations and publicatons and, in turn interact personally.
More and more, we see AIM, Skype, Gchat and others replacing the traditional water cooler. And while technology has greatly changed the way we communicate (Email, Skype, online chat) there is nothing like people sitting down, in person, engaged in the exchange or information and ideas. Personal conversation is unlike calls that rely on a smartphone, computer program or web connection.
With these ideas in mind, in 2008 the National LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative was started. The effort brought together 60 online bloggers and journalists for a weekend of training, skill sharing and – as important as any part of the program – social time to interact with their fellow on-liners and build strong working relationships.
In 2009, the Initiative came to Netroots Nation. Two years of pre-conventions were so successful that in 2011 the Netroots Nation organization formally welcomed the program and named it Netroots Connect. The LGBT Netroots Connect program provides scholarships for Netroots Nation and hosts what has become one of the important meetings for LGBT leaders across the country.
In addition to the LGBT Netroots Connect program, Netroots Nation has expanded the program. In 2011 a Labor Netroots Connect was held and this year a Netroots Connect program is being held for activists engaged in on- and off-line organizing around women’s issues.
Look for information about thde LGBT Netroots Connect here. This year’s program will take place on June 6th, one day prior to the Netroots Nation conference. To join the LGBT Netroots Connect announcement list for the pre-conference and scholarship programs, drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.