May 28, 2011

Lynn Casper

After a long wait, please let me introduce to you today another achieved female blogger: Lynn Casper. Amongst other projects, Lynn produces Homoground, a weekly queer music podcast, and runs a personal tumblr called scantron.

If you'd like to find out how blogging helps us strengthen our personalities, why dead blogs are part of the process, and what unfortunate umbrellas have to do with Lynn's work, just follow the jump! :)

What's your name, how old are you, and what do you do for a living (or all day, for that matter)?

Lynn Casper. 27 years old. I'm a Social Media Strategist for Working Films and creator/producer of HOMOGROUND, an audio podcast featuring queer & queer friendly bands. I also do a lot of other things like my Unfortunate Umbrella project and other collaborations with my friends. You can see some of my other projects at

How long have you been blogging? How did you get around to blogging?

I have been blogging since Diaryland and Livejournal were the main "blogging" sites. I've always had a fascination with the Internet and started teaching myself HTML in my early high school years. Blogging was just something that came naturally. I was so used to writing for the Internet that when it became a "cool" thing to do, people would come to me to write for their sites or ask how to start their own.

What's your blog called and why?

My current "Blog" is called HOMOGROUND which is more of an audio podcast. I also run Be Yr Own Queero and a tumblr that I use for inspiration and project updates. I have also blogged for other sites like QueerCents, DigiActive and had guest posts on The Bilerico Project, The New Gay, and others.

What are you blogging about? Why?

On HOMOGROUND I write specifically about queer music. I've started many blogs over my lifetime and over the past few years have tried to narrow down my focus on whats most important to me. It made sense to take the things I was most passionate about, Music & Queer Equality, and combine them. Growing up in the South, I felt very isolated, especially when struggling with my identity. I didn't see any reflections of myself in mainstream media. The Internet was my savior. When I couldn't find anything to relate to, I sought the Internet as a place to find it and when I couldn't, I created it myself. I started Be Yr Own Queero and HOMOGROUND because I wanted to provide something for other kids out there who experienced what I went through.

Who's your target audience?

Anyone who loves hearing new music & anyone who believes that all people should have equal rights. Our biggest audience obviously is the queer music community. We have close contact with all of the bands that are played on the show and are very open to forming collaborations with others, so our audience is becoming more and more diverse. 

Who designed your blog? How much was that? In case you designed your own layout: Where did you learn how to?

As for now, the website is a tumblr template that I customized a bit and threw up a few weeks after the first podcast went live. I was mainly posting updates about HOMOGROUND on the Be Yr Own Queero site, but then decided HOMOGROUND needed its own home.

Which software and which host do you use? Can you recommend them?

Tumblr for the website, but we also have many other parts. Out Impact Radio is the site that launches our initial broadcast, and then we archived each episode on (for now. we were on podomatic when we first started, but maximized our bandwidth pretty quickly & either had to pay or find something else). & then of course we use social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter.

What role play photos, MP3-files or video clips on your blog? If you use them, would you mind showing us one?

Our biggest form of media is the audio podcast. New episodes stream on the Internet every Thursday at 9pm (EST) at & then we host the mp3s on for people to stream & download. We started incorporating more video lately and are testing out how we want to use it in a strategic way. We are a very creative and motivated group, so we are always thinking about ways to use different types of media and to collaborate with and support the work that others are doing. We also invite guests from different websites/blogs/bands/etc to submit their own playlists.

How many readers do you have? How many would you like to have? Does their number matter to you at all?

For HOMOGROUND We take a few things into consideration when arriving at an answer for this. Real time listeners who tune into Out Impact Radio for the broadcast, # of plays and downloads each archived episode receives, number of hits to the site, & # of Facebook, Tumblr & Twitter followers. Based on the # of returning visitors to our website I'd say around 1,000. We are only about 4 months into it and I can only foresee that number growing at this rate. Numbers aren't what matter to me though, I just want to make sure it gets out to the people who need it.

Can you learn how to blog? Do you need to know a lot about computers? Do you have any advice for beginners?

Anyone can learn to blog the same way that anyone can learn anything if they choose to. The question is: Are you blogging for the right reasons? If you are blogging just to have a blog it's kind of similar to watching a band and saying "man i wish i could be in a band" but not really putting forth the effort in creating a plan. If your blog is focused and you are truly passionate about the topics you are blogging about you will stay with it. Consistency is the most important part. Anyone can learn how to set up a blog and make their first post, but what matters most is that you keep up with it, even when that initial excitement of your first post is gone. And it's all experimental, so just because something doesn't work right the first time, it just means you need to tweak it a bit. I can't even begin to tell you how many failed blogs I've had. I had so many ideas and wanted to start a blog for everything, but you just need to reflect a bit and see what you want to spend the most of your energy on.

Have you made negative experiences with blogging, too? What kind?

Every now and then you get trolls and people who like to start drama, but you can't let it affect you. You just have to keep focused on what's important to you and the people who appreciate what you're doing heavily outweigh the haters. Everyone has their own agenda, and you can't waste your time trying to figure them out.

And have you ever made money through your blog? If yes, how so?

Not anything significant, but I have made a lot of genuine relationships with people that I wouldn't trade for any amount of money. I have always received many opportunities that I might never had if it weren't for blogging. I was writing for a blog about Digital Activism and was invited to do a training on social media and community organizing at a conference in the Philippines. All expenses paid! It was quite an experience!

Do you use twitter, too? Why (not)? What pros and cons do you see when it comes to twitter?

Yes, I use it personally and for other projects that I do. It really depends on what you're trying to do. I use it to network and build relationships with other bloggers and creatives.

Which other female bloggers can you recommend? Why?

Reise who runs the site AutoStraddle. I've watched her for years on the Internet, intrigued by how much passion she always put in her projects and her forward way of thinking. I respect her a lot & love watching AutoStraddle grow. I hope to collaborate with them when the time is right.

Also the girls who run International Girl Gang Underground. They have more of a background in zines and DIY riot grrrl. They believe in preserving this history and teaching younger generations their roots.

All of the people I mentioned are people who really LOVE their projects and want to share them with the world. I'm sure there are others out there who are loving the shit out of the things they love. And they too are the people who receive my admiration.

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