Jennifer Locke brought the youngest and cutest follower of Huckleberries Online to Blogfest 2013. Jennifer, Bjorn Handeen, Northerner and I had a good conversation re: "astroturf" and the number of Republican factions in the Kootenai County area. We stopped counting the latter at 7. (Don Sausser photo special to Huckleberries Online)
I enjoyed another blogfest Saturday -- and was energized by it. I find it easy to get unfocused re: the impact of Huckleberries Online, when I'm dealing with the occasional troll, angry commenter or complaint off-blog. But Blogfest brings things into perspective. I know something's happening here when individuals with different agendas, politics and religious persuasions -- and even somewhat hostile to one another in cyberspace -- can break bread together and discuss common ground. I had the pleasure of watch Adamsfly, a regular critic of Dan Gookin and Tom Hamilton, introduce himself to Gookin at Blogfest 2013. The two men then had a constructive conversation. I spotted only one bonafide Democrat at Blogfest (Dan of the Community). But I suppose the Far Right will continue to say Huckleberries is run by and for "libruls." Reagan Republicans, United Conservatives of North Idaho and Libertarians were well represented at Blogfest. Saturday's event was held on the exact date that I began this exercise 9 years ago, Feb. 16. During those nine years, it has evolved from something best described as the Wild West of the Blogosphere into one of the few newspaper blogs in this country that attracts civil discussion. I'm proud of that. I'm thankful that the SR continues to pay me to be a full-time blogger, serving Kootenai County and North Idaho. Huckleberries has been able to show that most of us have more in common than we think. The blog has grown to almost 11,000 readers in the last nine years. I'm happy about that, too. God willing, I'll be around for Blogfest 2014 -- and two more beyond. As we approach Blogfest 2016, I'll see what shape I'm in and if I want to continue on. Until then, let's continue to enjoy the moment -- DFO.