Monday, September 6, 2010
I'm happy to be working a little bit today on what is a holiday-pay day off for most. Yes, I'll get some sun on this day (mostly) off. But as I type this, I'm messaging on Facebook with a fellow journalist who is in Chicago, and Googling notes on tech/geek web upgrades for work's websites.
Several panels at this past weekend's 20th anniversary NLGJA convention, held in downtown San Francisco, focused on web strategies to basically make articles more popular. There were also a lot of fun social events, and deserving awards given.
While I write about arts now, I get to touch back on gay sports via Out Q Radio stringer gigs, which uses my decades-old speech theatre etc, experience as well.
The latest story: The Federation of Gay Games and Cleveland Synergy Foundation, the non-profit created to bid and host the 2014 9th quadrennial LGBT athletic event, are battling over funding, licensing and other issues. Sources: Plain Dealer, WKSU (additional WKSU article).
That link-filled, "Five Ws" (Who, What, Where, When and Why) sentence should have been the first in this post, according to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques. But since this is merely my rambling blog, I 'buried the lead,' something you shouldn't do if you want your blog posts to be "popular." To get good Google-bot assistance, state the story's main themes in the first sentence. I often don't do that here.
I don't often indulge in coverage about coverage, but others do it quite well. You can find more interesting posts about perspectives on gay media issues at http://nlgjareact.wordpress.com/
To be popular, according to a sardonic quote from a columnist shared by an NLGJA panelist, you should use 'Lady Gaga' in every article. So... maybe, between lawsuits, some smart Synergy person will book Lady Gaga at Richfield Colosseum or get Lady Gaga to show up at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, because Lady Gaga loves the gays.
So, if this latest round of gay sports administrative infighting doesn't lead to yet another full-blown Gay Games controversy, we may get more stories about actual LGBT jocks with a new angle.
I'm relieved to not have to cover this new soap opera in depth, curious to see how it plays out, relieved that a gay story is not about homosexuality and simply about a bureaucratic catfight, and torn about even returning to Ohio in four years.
A truck photographed during my last winter visit to Ohio
While I understand the intent of bringing the Games to Ohio as a form of cultural outreach, and know from experience that there are many well-equipped sports facilities throughout northeast Ohio, I spent decades living there and know that blood-red state is intractable in its antigay politics (and probably responsible for massive 2004 presidential election ballot fraud).
photo: From Brazil to Bucyrus? Doubtful.
Touching back to Facebook and the clash of personal and work-related social marketing discussed at the NLGJA conference, I just chose not to "friend" a former high school acquaintance on Facebook when I perused his photo album from Glenn Beck's ridiculous "Restore America" rally, aka Whitestock. My brief glances at other similar people I haven't seen in three decades -and don't want to, ever again- revealed similar perspectives.
So, excepting a few Ohioan Facebook pals, and a gay oasis here and there, like Columbus' Short North district, it's also just ... boring, and staunchly rightwing. Non-US jocks are not going to travel across the globe to bowl in Parma and be berated by Tea Party nutjobs.
The "bring The Games back to America" campaign worked in Chicago in 2006, because the Second City's jocks and gay media have a big strong community (See lots of coverage linked on my old site, www.sportscomplex.org). This summer's Games, held in Cologne, Germany, appear to have been extremely efficient, fun, and lacking controversy, which is good. However, that doesn't result in much US media coverage, gay or mainstream.
Visit scenic Ohio?
Perhaps some bucolic images and features about javelin throwers training on a farm in Coshocton might stir up some sentiment in 2014. Perhaps the Gay Games will empower LGBT Midwesterners, and change the hearts and minds of the Republican-thick Buckeye state. Perhaps this newest administrative battle won't sully the Games' reputation, again.
Perhaps the FGG website's having deleted all info on its GGIX page isn't a bad sign, just a glitch.