The last weekend of September was extremely busy, fun, and rewarding. I had been invited to speak at NEPA BlogCon and the PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference which had taken place on Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend. Both conferences were fantastically organized; they were well-promoted, sold out or close to it, ran on schedule, had great food options for attendees, tended to speakers really well, and were very professional. I look forward to attending and perhaps once again speaking at both events next year.
Both NEPA BlogCon and the PA State Atheist/Humanist Conferences were new events; these conferences had not taken place before. Since this is the case, and because both conferences had gone really well, the organizers of the conferences should get even more credit for successful events. First-time conferences are especially difficult because organizers do not have experience from previous conferences, are taking a huge gamble because they do not have an established group of people attending, and are relatively new to conference organizing (provided they had not done so in the past).
At NEPA BlogCon, I appeared on the “Using Media Effectively” panel and mostly discussed the podcast which I host. I provided tips to audience members and suggested for persons with podcasts to invite prominent and up-and-coming persons for episodes in order to grow an audience, establish credibility, gain new viewers, and offer new perspectives to audience members. My speech will soon be available and will be posted for your viewing pleasure.
At the PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference, I signed a memo of understanding with the Secular Coalition for Pennsylvania for which I had been appointed to be co-chair. After the signing ceremony, I spoke about church/state violations in Pennsylvania which had particularly impacted me. During the question and answer session, I answered a question from Sharon Hill who had asked — in light of my history dealing with controversy and being a controversial figure — what advice I would have for people who don’t deal well with controversy yet still want to be involved in the secular community as activists. My speech and the Q&A session should also soon be available.
Here I am with Jason Gogola, the media producer of the NEPA Freethought Society Podcast, and Dan Barker — the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation — who will be featured in the next episode of the podcast. Dan had graciously agreed to be interviewed and then joined Jason and I for dinner after the conference.
…and here I am at the NEPA Blogcon afterparty with conference attendees and entertainers of the Antipode Dance team.