A new editor for Bent Alaska
When I founded Bent Alaska in March 2008, my goal was simple: to create a website for posting the news and events from Alaska GLBT News, the email newsletter I edited, along with photos and videos that couldn’t be included in the text-only emails. Alaska’s printed LGBT magazine had folded, blogs were popping up all over, and I figured it was time to put our news online. I had no idea what I was getting into!
Setting up the new blog was easy, but writing posts, developing the site, and keeping up with news and events around the state were time consuming tasks. I handed off the email newsletter to a new editor, Johnathan Jones, and focused on the blog.
Looking over the 1,000+ posts on Bent is like paging through a scrapbook on the recent history of our community. The annual cycle of holiday events and drag shows, Pride and Celebration and Coronation, is mixed with movies and protests, interviews and obituaries, local politics and national news.
The biggest change for the blog was when Bent joined Facebook. Bent’s friend list grew from a few hundred newsletter subscribers to more than one thousand people from all over Alaska and beyond. The profiles, pages, and groups of LGBTQA Alaska provide a virtual meeting place for our far-flung communities. Very little of that existed when Bent joined Facebook, and now Bent’s editors get much of our news, events and information there.
I could not have written Bent without the contributions of others: Johnathan and the Grrlzlist editors ME and Jill were the main sources of events before Facebook; Sara Boesser gave permission to post her weekly News List; guest bloggers brightened the blog with their diverse voices; many people answered my questions and allowed me to quote them; a few were interviewed or told their stories on Bent; and a network of individuals, organizations and groups kept me up to date on Alaska’s queer happenings. One of the guest bloggers, Melissa (Mel) Green, blogged for Bent when I was traveling out of state last winter, and she became the co-editor this summer. Thank you, all of you!
I also want to thank the readers and subscribers of the blog, especially those who comment, share and tweet posts, donate, and contact us. Your feedback is important and your participation makes the blog worth doing.
Obligations to my family, health and career will take me away from the blog again this winter. For Bent to continue, it needs a new leader.
I am pleased to announce that Melissa S. (Mel) Green is now the editor of Bent Alaska!
Mel values Bent Alaska as an important community resource and has agreed to administer it. She has already enriched Bent with her well-researched posts and first person writing. She moved Bent to WordPress, and set up the Event Calendar, Twitter account, and Amazon bookshelf, along with several new Facebook groups.
The best way for Bent to thrive is with your help. Mel works a full time job and will need more people to write posts, especially news and politics. If news isn’t your thing, please consider blogging art, music, photos, videos, humor, fiction, or whatever interests you.
I’m glad that Bent Alaska will remain an active blog and I look forward to seeing how it develops. I can hardly believe that I’m leaving, but I know it’s time to move on.
Thanks for joining me in this online adventure, and stay tuned for the next chapter of Bent Alaska.
~ E. RossE. Ross, Mel Green