Tag Archives: Sue Kerr

Best of the Burghosphere: And the Award Goes To …

Almost every week, it seems, Pittsburgh is being named to yet another list.  You know the ones I mean: those clickbait morsels that proclaim something to be the Best This or the Most That or the Top 10 Whatever, all compiled by every type of media outlet from Forbes to Nerdwallet. Judging by the accolades bestowed on Pittsburgh in the last two yearsMost Livable City! Top Ballpark in the Country!  Coolest American City You’ve Never Been To! — the best of life can be found at the confluence of three rivers.

Pittsburgh also happens to have the best bloggers and the best blogging community in the country.  It’s true.  I read a lot of blogs and most of their creators don’t talk about their cities with the pride that we have here. They certainly don’t talk about the blogging community in those cities, if indeed one exists at all. They simply don’t have what we do, which is 460 bloggers (the number of members in Pittsburgh Bloggers, a Facebook group) who are dedicated, innovative, caring, and connected.

We capture the heart of Pittsburgh and its 90 neighborhoods, offer insightful perspectives on issues that may be glossed over by traditional and mainstream media, and mobilize others to engage in diverse initiatives that impact change in our city and elsewhere. Above all, we’re a community of many strong, passionate voices that care deeply about Pittsburgh and its people.

Several months ago, my friend Sue had an idea to celebrate all the fantastic blogs and bloggers in Pittsburgh.  The result is the inaugural Best of the Burghosphere, and I’m delighted to be among 20 bloggers who are taking part in this project, which launches today in conjunction with National Blogging Month.

Web Banner Best of

For Best of the Burghosphere,  participating Pittsburgh bloggers were assigned another blogger and asked to become familiar with their site, if we weren’t already a reader. Our task was to think of a fun Best of the Burghosphere award category of our own creation that fit that person’s blog and announce this prestigious honor with a special post on November 1.

Boos2I was assigned to Booferson J. McGrugen (not necessarily his real name) who blogs at Boo’s Insane and Inane Ramblings (formerly known as The Insane and Inane Ramblings of the Man Dubbed Booferson J. McGrugen).  I was only somewhat familiar with his writing before I had the pleasure of exploring his blog, which I would categorize as one where Boo offers his perspective and opinions on movies, television, comics, politics, and issues such as increasing the minimum wage, smokers’ rights, and the current state of journalism. His stream-of-consciousness, matter-of-fact posts are direct, honest, and without a shred of egotistical pretense.

For the Best of the Burghosphere awards, I wanted to create a Pittsburgh-centric category for Boo that would recognize and pay homage to his extensive knowledge of movies. With that, I am pleased to present Booferson J. McGrugen of Boo’s Insane and Insane Ramblings with this distinguished award:

Best of the Burghosphere:
Official Movie Critic Blogger of Everything Filmed in Pittsburgh. Ever.

Boo, I hope this reflects the spirit of your blog and your passion for movies.  I enjoyed getting to know you and your blog through this project. I look forward to meeting you at one of the Best of the Burghosphere events and to reading more of your ramblings!

Special thanks to Sue Kerr for organizing this fun project and to Most Wanted Fine Art for hosting two Best of the Burghosphere parties later this month. Interested in joining us?  Click here for more information.


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Join Me for “Books, Blogs, and the ‘Burgh” at Podcamp Pittsburgh

Podcamp Pittsburgh - blue

In retrospect, Podcamp Pittsburgh 7 (held in October 2012) was a pivotal moment for me.

It was my introduction to Pittsburgh’s social media scene – and make no mistake, this town absolutely does have a social media scene.

As a way to meet some of the folks behind the keyboards, I volunteered to help out at Podcamp and got assigned to a session moderated by Sue Kerr of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ Blog Since 2005. Sue has since become a good friend. Also on the panel was Tony Norman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who has since given me a slot on his team of freelance book reviewers in the PG’s Books section.

When the call for Podcamp Pittsburgh speakers went out this year, I submitted a proposal for a session I created titled Books, Blogs, and the ‘Burgh – and voila! That’s what we’ll be talking about this Saturday, October 5 at Point Park University.

Here’s the description:

With Pittsburgh being the 4th most literate city in the U.S., we’re pretty passionate about the written word. Perhaps you’d like to start reviewing books on your blog but need help starting out. Perhaps you have written a book and you want to make connections with Pittsburgh’s bloggers or simply talk about your writing in a way that doesn’t sound pushy or sales-like.

We’ll talk about the qualities of an engaging book blog; how to connect with authors; best strategies for getting bloggers to review your book; and how to let your creativity shine when reviewing books you love and hate.

Joining me will be two of Pittsburgh’s authors to talk about their experiences:  J.J. Hensley, author of the critically-acclaimed novel RESOLVE, a murder-mystery set in the midst of the Pittsburgh Marathon, and Laurie Koozer, author of WHAT HAPPENS ON SUNDAY, a novel about six women and their connections with the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers’ seemingly impossible Super Bowl quest –  and each other.

Sound like a good time? Join us! Podcamp Pittsburgh is FREE and offers something for everyone, regardless of your level of expertise. More details are here. Let’s get together to talk books, blogs, and the ‘Burgh!

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