Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Meeting on a Tuesday Night

It started when I stumbled across another blog that I really liked. I added it to my list of other blogs, a.k.a. blogroll. A few days later, the author of that site posted on my itty-bitty new site, and damn was I flattered! I figured he could track who had linked/posted to his site, but that didn't mean he had to post to mine. I posted to his site, he posted to mine a couple more times. I e-mailed him, and he said he was coming to dc. I invited him out for a beer if he had time, he said he was getting together with other dc bloggers and I should join them. I said I'd be out of place as I'm not a real blogger, he responded by adding my site to his blogroll. So I went.

I arrived at 6:30, ready to meet complete strangers. I was looking for two women and one man, didn't see a group that looked like that, walked around the block figuring I was early (it was a beautiful evening to be outside). I came back, went to the bar, and discovered that the group of three men and two women to my left were Brandon and the other bloggers. So I was introduced to kat, supine, Jake, and kat's SO Seth. Jake was somewhat of an outsider too, as his blog is less of a journal than the others' blogs -- in a sense, they're part of a sub-group of blogging. We did drinks for a while, and based on my past experiences with meeting people from online, it was no surprise that all of them were quite nice. Jake had to leave after a while, but the rest of us eventually made our way over to a Mexican place where we stayed out pretty late for a school night.

Thoughts on the evening:
  • It's somewhat different from meeting other beer geeks or boggle players. With beer or boggle, you talk about your common bond and your life outside the common bond. With blogging, the distinction between the two is blurred -- generally speaking, blogging already is all about your life.
  • The weird thing was that, even as I was worried that I wasn't "worthy" to be in such august blogging company, the others felt like their own blogs were inadequate. Brandon writes so poignantly, and while he acknowledges that others like it, you realize that he doesn't truly believe it. Supine doesn't think much of her stuff, even though she recently was a finalist for best new journal.
  • One difference between most of them and me is that I don't hide who I am in my blog. Kat and Supine are anonymous. Heck, Supine said her closest friends don't even know she writes her blog. Anonymity enables them to talk about anything, and because their blogs are well-written, it attracts a good audience. As I've posted earlier, my blog is for my friends and family, and if others enjoy it, great. The downside is that I can't be quite as open about certain matters, and so don't generate as wide an audience as I might otherwise (also my writing isn't as good, but we don't need to go there). Brandon asked if Kathy read my blog. I think I surprised him when I said that not only does my wife read it, so do my parents.
  • So why do they blog? Kat said she blogs because she wants to get published, and she's in need of practice after law school beat out all her creativity (I can certainly understand that feeling). It was interesting to hear Brandon and supine talk about their need for recognition -- that they check how many hits their site gets, that when Brandon isn't getting many comments he goes back to earlier posts that garnered lots of hits, to see what he should change. They also said that the best way to get comments is to post on other people's sites -- they'll comment back on yours (apparently some people get mad if they post on yours and you don't post back). And it felt like this was particularly important because they want to maintain or, preferably, increase readership/comments. Still, they always want more, and I wonder, if they increased readership/comments twentyfold, would they be looking for ways to increase traffic to even higher levels within a month? I admit to having an interest in readership, but I don't think the blogging bug has hit me as much as it has them (which stands to reason, since they've been doing it much longer).
Overall, I learned a whole bunch about blogging, and was introduced to an entire culture that I have only just scratched the surface of. More importantly, I met several really cool people that I hope to get to know better in the future (assuming my pop-psych analysis here doesn't piss them off).


supine said...

Aaron, it was great meeting you too! I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one nervous about the big meet-up. ;)

ducky said...

aaron, i KNEW you would be cool. and your analysis of me was spot on. look me up when you come out to seattle, buddy.

Jake said...

comment orgy! comment orgy!

Yeah, that was fun and superweird!

My mom reads my journal, too.

Ms. Muffin said...

As a new member of the blogging community I thought I would take a browse this morning and here I have stumbled upon yours. I wanted to comment on how much I appreciated your photos of the cherry blossoms. Having moved from the west coast back to Ontario that is one thing (of many) that I miss seeing. Also there is definitely a cover up in the states about Mad cow (BSC) the evidence is overwhelming from what I have heard on our national radio (CBC). Finally don't worry about having to check out my blog (I was not aware of this custom) or comment, my blog is just for me, and I've only started so its pretty boring!

scott said...

Okay, so here's the thing: I have read all the accounts I could find about your Tuesday night blogger-summit (no, it's not because I'm pathetic and need a life, it's because an ex-girlfriend of yours is paying me to watch you). I like yours the best. And I'm not just telling you that. (emphasis on YOU)

Cool site. I agree with Ms. Muffin (I'll bet that's not her real name). The cherry tree pictures are cool.


Debbie said...

Well, it sure looks like your traffic has picked up on your blog! Good for you. I haven't started to blog yet, so you don't have to worry about returning the favour of posting on mine. I went back to work this week, my confidence level is down a whole bunch, but it will come back. I'm still dealing with the fatigue issue though. Thankfully I can work 4-5 hours a day to start. Keep up the good work Aaron

kat said...

Aaron, I wish my blog was as anonymous as I'd like it to be....

It was great meeting you, and I can't wait to catch up on your blog!

Nat&Jim said...

I like your blog a lot. I always liked your postings on RB and I miss them there that is why I*m reading your blog. I do love your thoughtful postings and they force me to think about things I would have not thought about otherwise.
But I know what you mean about the postings of personal stuff. I do feel like an intruder sometimes when I read personal postings on your blog (or others) and I feel guilty somehow reading. I can*t describe it. That must be the feeling you have when you see a diary of somebody on a desk and you are alone in the room...:-)

Anyway as mentioned before I just do like to read your postings - it is a different world for me and opens my mind - Thanks for sharing this world a little bit with me.


honestyrain said...

i used to look at blogs where the blogger would get 10 comments per post and think ooohhhh i want that. now i get that and more and i'm still thinking more more more. i'm not even sure why. i have no idea why it matters. i do know this, i took my stat counter out and have been much happier since.