Banana Conference 2009

Thanks to Lac Su and Steve Nguyen who organized a very fun conference this past Saturday in LA.

Yes, I eventually flew to LA. Yes, it was definitely worth it. And yes, the weather was excellent.

I know some bloggers are anonymous and prefer that I not post pictures, so I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll just tell you about some of the cool people I met and got to hang out with.

First, I got to hang out with the people in our little blog posse.  It really is GREAT to finally meet people with whom you’ve communicated regularly for a long time.  Aznheartthrob and C-Bruhs from BicoastalBitchin were there, as was Sylvie from Anti-Social Ladder; Larry from AsianAmericanMovement; and last, but of course not least, Minority Militant.  Azn, loved the Gravatron drink; C-Bruhs, next time New York; Sylvie, you’re going to do awesomely as a professor;  Larry, I have no idea how you’ve got so much energy; and TMM, it was a blast hanging out with you and Lady Militant.  West Side, baby!

Second, it was cool to meet new people:

I got to meet Nelson Wong from AA Rising.  For those of you who don’t know, back in the day, there were only two sources of Asian American news of which I was aware–the newspaper AsianWeek and AA Rising.  AsianWeek was a newspaper that I read in the library at college, and AA Rising was the only web resource.  Nelson used his website to promote Asian American artists and dialogue about Asian American arts.  He started in January 1990, which means he was writing on the web before I was even reading on the web.  Props to him.  His site is still going.

I also met Gil Asakawa, who has been writing an online column since the late 90’s.  He’s a big star and a pioneer on the web.  He runs NikkeiView.  He’s also got the world’s coolest job–Search Engine Optimization instructor.  It was awesome meeting him and his wife Erin.  I hope to meet them again soon.

I met Ernie from 8A, who is the third longest AA blogger on the web.  It was cool meeting Ernie since we had spoken many times before.  We’ll never find out the identity of the 44 commenter who called 8 Asians “liberal, ineffectual tools,” but the phrase shall last forever.

I got to meet Phil from AngryAsianMan.  You all know him, so I probably don’t have to say anything.  He’s a real cool down-to-earth guy.

I met my first KimchiMama (Julie) in person!

I also got to meet someone who was a big fan of the Fighting 44s.  He told me, “You guys were great.  You appealed to my demographic, which is highly underserved–heterosexual Asian men.”  I feel so fortunate to have played a role in blogging for the 44s.  It’s like part of my heritage.  So many people complimented me on the site–although to be fair, I only blogged for the last year and a half or so of their existence.  As it is, there’s not as much IR stuff on WOWO as there was during the golden age of the 44s, so I’ll have to refer y’all to Minority Militant or BcB or AlphaAsians.

The conference itself was good.  I enjoyed the questions and answers, and I’m honored that Lac put me into the militant category with Minority Militant and AA Movement.  I’m glad the panel brought up the gender divide thing.  (I don’t know when the live footage is going to go up, but C-Bruhs referenced the female gender divide podcast, which can be found here.  Give it a listen–it’s highly informative.)   Part of me wishes we had time to delve deeper into the divide, but part of me also knows that would probably devolve into a war.  I also wish I had more time to say something about parenting–other than Nelson Wong, I think I was the only father up there.  I was able to say most of the other stuff that I wanted to say.

It was a very good experience.  Thanks, Lac and Steve for arranging it!

Edit: Oh my goodness, Jonathan Yang, the author of the Rough Guide to Blogging, was in attendance at Banana!  I just saw his blog here

Before I started bigWOWO, I read three or four books on blogging, but the Rough Guide was BY FAR the best book on the topic.  It was concise, informative, and most importantly, inspiring.  If you’re considering starting a blog, you definitely have to check out Jonathan’s book.

11 thoughts on “Banana Conference 2009

  1. Wow, thanks for the edit section and nice words. I may have to blurb from you for any future editions, or at least make a nice t-shirt for myself. Thanks!

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  4. I’ve never read your blog until after banana, but man I didn’t think that there was a person who had very similar views as me. LOL. I met you…. kind of, but didn’t really get to talk to you at banana. Love what you have to say, because that’s all I’ve been saying to everybody for about 6 fucken years or so, since I was in high school. Keep up the good work. And hopefully next time we can talk more.

  5. Nice to meet you, Big Boy! Feel free to comment away and to meet everyone else. I don’t brag about my blog, but I do brag about my readers and commenters–I’ve got the best readers and commenters of them all! 🙂

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