F2F Blogs and More

October 29, 2003

in Blogging

Last nights Small World Meetup was a brilliant way to connect face-to-face with people who share similar thoughts and interests. We found out we are all doing our bit towards building something around blogging. It was fun and I’d do it again.

This is the second time in a few weeks that I’ve found myself experimenting with using blogs and topics to arrange a meetup. There’s a little trepidation with these things — “will anyone turn up?”. You need at least one willing partner and an excuse for a good meal. So thanks Dina for being both a willing participant and from coming far enough away that “here now” meant let’s do it!!!

When a “plot comes together” there’s a neat little story line. I think more deeply we met out of curiosity and the recognition that others are working and using new and emerging tools to both express themselves and get their work done. It’s happening around the world as Dina so well illustrates. When bloggers connect in person they are further empowered. I’m envious she has meetups planned in Philidephia and London too.

It’s also easy to find things in common. Phil, Dina, Clynton, Denise, Danah, Michelle, we just jumped into conversation. Blog Dinner 102803.jpg

The other story is I introduced Dina to blogging. Somehow (pre Skype) I set Dina up to use Radio via an IM exchange. It took a couple of hours while working on other things. (Even sending early templates through). Yesterday she reminded me that I wrote the title to her first post. Now we know it didn’t take her long to get going. Dina’s story is neat, probably not unique. Like me and others last night, she’s found blogging is letting her meetup with others around the world wonderfully brokering new connections. There was also lots of laughing. Thanks particularly go to Danah!

Blog Dinner 102803 2.jpg
This was a great reminder, for after promoting blogging to Clynton for part of the afternoon (I expect you to blog soon!) I realized again that the best approach is the simple instruction. Download this. write this, and repeat. Keep it really simple. I’ve also learned that opening blogs for others on my site doesn’t provide enough ownership — it’s still an experiment — rather than a commitment. There are better tools today than just IM — Skype and Glance. Until they make that first post there is no point in discussing much more.

Blog Dinner 102803 3.jpg

Then it is nice to find others have a discomfort of the public and private issues of blog life, or are simply wresting with how to integrate blogs and social networking tools into their companies. I’m beginning to learn what happens when you meet-up, add-in IM, Skype and all the other tools. Things can and do happen!

The voices of others, the collective thoughts, the willingness to “sense” out or let things emerge. The second wave of bloggers may just be better than the first. The first built a platform for publish publish, tell tell tell, the second wave will not embrace blogging in the same way. They are exploring the collective, they are connecting having never met before, they are designing and integrating blogging into work and life. Thus like a small world meetup it is not the blog but the conversations that matter. Not all are blogged.

I think we will find more value in connecting further. The common bond now is not just text, but sounds, images, laughter. Yet it just fuels a desire for more meetups, more variety, not for entertainment rather because it it puts a more human face on who we are and what we do.

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