Peeling the Banana
Last weekend, I attended the Banana conference of Asian American bloggers in Los Angeles with Byron of BigWowo.com, and I have to say it had a little bit of everything: interesting discussion of issues affecting the Asian American community in general and the blogosphere in particular; the generous hospitality of hosts Lac Su and Steve Nguyen; the chance to meet people you’ve only known through their online personas; sampling the nightlife of L.A.; and even a little bit of drama….
Overall, it was a rewarding experience and I definitely got something out of it. Here are some random thoughts:
– Lac Su and Steve Nguyen deserve props for conceiving of this event and pulling it off. This is probably the first significant conference devoted strictly to the Asian American blogosphere, and it wasn’t easy to bring together people from the East Coast and Midwest to SoCal.
– The conference panel itself maybe could have been organized into smaller sections each devoted to a particular topic. It was kind of cramped with 20 plus people on stage together. Lac said that he gave the event a grade of “C.” But overall, this was a solid effort for a first-time event. In general, I viewed it more as a social networking thing. And on this count, it was rewarding.
– It was great to meet the real people behind the blogs that I’ve read. It really gives you perspective on who they are as people. I got to meet Keon and Jillian of Minority Militant; Vu and Cynthia from BiCoastalBitchin.com; Sylvie of Anti-Social Ladder; Gil and Erin of Nikkei View; Erin from Hyphen Magazine; Curtis/Oiyan from APAP; Tanzila from Sepia Mutiny; Julie from Kimchi Mamas; Kevin from Channel APA; Suzanne and Emily of Absolutely Fobulous; the famous Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man; Nelson Wong of AA Rising (who has been involved with the web the since the early 1990s), and many others.
– It will be interesting to see what develops from this conference. Lac mentioned that this conference is only a part of what he has planned in the future. Hopefully, this is not just a one-off event, but can be the springboard for building a broader network of Asian American bloggers. It’s all about movement building.
– I wonder how many other Asian American bloggers are out there who would’ve been interested in attending. There’s got to be many others. After all, the Asian American population is at least 13 million people.
– Vu and Cynthia of Bicoastal Bitchin have an interesting secret project that I can’t wait to see unveiled.
– The Galvatron is a hella powerful drink.
– Keon: Westside baby (but no Ecstasy for your actor friend)!
Just to give you a flavor of opinions, here are some other Banana conference summaries: