Meeting Bloggers

A huge part of the fun of blogging, at least for me is connecting with a whole bunch of different people from all over. We discuss things on each others’ blogs; argue about stuff; give and receive advice; find out about one another’s’ families, jobs, friends, life; share photos; exchange ideas — have a laugh.

Sometimes I find bloggers with whom I seem to have a real connection. We have a lot in common – the virtual conversation is easy and fun. Maybe we go on to exchange emails or connect further on Facebook. Maybe we even have a telephone conversation or two.

You’re in touch with these people almost every day. Sometimes you tell them things you don’t tell anyone else.  Inevitably you’re going to want to take the relationship to the next level, as they say.

This Saturday I had the privilege of meeting up with 18 other Ottawa area bloggers for brunch. A few of us had met previously, but most of us were strangers except in the blogosphere. We had an Ottawa bloggers brunch a few months ago as well, but with a smaller and almost completely different group.

It’s so fascinating to have an actual conversation with someone whose blog you’ve been reading forever. Unless you’ve seen their photo they never look like you pictured them looking and most of the time they’re not even like you imagined them being.

You form an image of their personality from their blogs, but they can surprise you. For instance, Nat comes across as very philosophical,  staid and laid back on her blog; but in real life she is one crazy-haired ball of energy — interesting and fun, while still maintaining her philosophicalliness.

Jobthingy, on the other hand, I was expecting would be dancing on the table before the second round of coffee, but she was actually very subdued compared to her blog image. Maybe she gets wilder later in the day?  I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to her or to The Maven because they were way at the other end of the table but they seemed to be keeping the conversation going pretty well down there. And I did get to hug them both.

I also didn’t get to talk to Alison or Meanie very much, but they had been wanting to meet each other for a while, so they had a lot to talk about. Alison is a lot taller than I thought she’d be, but otherwise the same lovely, strong, funny person she is on her blog. Meanie, I’d met very, very briefly once before and is just so adorable it’s impossible to imagine her puking up Doritos.

I managed to talk to everyone else for at least a short while — except Jo, who always seemed to be talking to someone far away from wherever I was at the time.

David requested more cleavage from the female participants next time. Zoom and the GC were very late (we didn’t ask) and sat in the corner snogging, eating, snogging, talking and snogging. Everyone at some point mentioned Robin’s fabulous photos. Newsguy Bob was working, but flew in, scarfed down some food and flew back out so quickly I only managed to get a very blurry impression of him. And while he was there his Blackberry wouldn’t leave him alone. Guillermo was charming, though anxious to get back to his family whom he’d abandoned at the Santa Claus parade, in the cold. Hella Stella and Lynn found out they had a lot in common and, I think, swapped photos of their “children”, human and canine.  A&J are as cute as we thought they’d be and can’t imagine how their neighbours could be so mean to them. And Woodsy, who I have also met before, I just want to run away and elope with.

Next time perhaps we’ll manage to combine the people from last time with the people from this time and maybe even add a few others to the mix. (If you’re an Ottawa area blogger and would like to be on the mailing list for the next Ottawa Blogger breakfast/brunch, send us an email at bloggersbreakfast@gmail.com. Please include a link to your blog.)

As I mentioned, I wasn’t too happy with Saturday’s venue – the food took FOREVER to arrive and the really, really long table was not conducive to good mingling, so we’re on the look-out for a place that maybe has some round tables in a cluster and/or an environment that encourages wandering around. And it should be fairly central.

Anyway, this post is just to say how great it was to meet everyone.  And, to see if anyone else out there has regular events – formal or informal, large or small with bloggers in their area and how they’re organized. What do you do? Where do you go?

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37 responses to “Meeting Bloggers

  1. First of all a huge thank you (and Zoom) for organizing this. We will have to meet up again soon. And yes, different setting would be nice. I wonder how many people we would need to take over a smaller restaurant? That we could mingle amongst ourselves. (More than happy to help next time.)

    Staid? Really? Obviously I need to spice up my blog a bit don’t I? hahaha… I will have to expose more cleavage or something. David will like that. 😉 But I am going to keep the philosophical tag because I like it.

    I was surprised how many of us, seemed to get outside now and then. I was afraid we’d all be of the pale surgically-attached to our laptops variety. But this was so much fun. And my google reader is now officially overloaded. 🙂

  2. philosophicalliness? 🙂

    Clearly, someone has been having too much Mogen David (with grape juice…or with soda water and lime juice).

    Good work, XUP. 🙂

  3. Blurry? Never been called that before. C’mon, XUP, admit it: Even if I was blurry, I’m much more dashingly handsome than my photos give me credit for. 😉
    And the damned Blackberry was, indeed, the long-distance shackle to my desk. But I do have a mortgage to pay now.
    I, too, would have liked more time and opportunity to do more mingling/schmoozing, but it was a nice time nonetheless.

  4. Nat – Nope, not a pasty-faced geek in the crowd

    Falstaff – I’m allowed to invent words on my blog. It’s kind of a rule

    CTSD – Thanks, come again.

    Zoom – I believe there are witnesses AND photographic evidence. All in all you showed admirable restraint, however.

    Lost – Well, go organize something! It doesn’t just happen. Go now. What are ya waiting for? Go.

    Bandobras – Often these days your comments are so cryptic even a cryptologist like I can’t figure them out.

    Bob – Yes, of course, Bob, your photo images don’t half capture your full essence. Glad you had a bit of a nice time

  5. I have been busy, busy since the brunch and I am just now surfacing for a quick breath of the blogosphere… It was indeed a wonderful event… Well done Zoom and XUP! I am looking forward to the next one.

    XUP, Let’s do it!

  6. It was great fun meeting you all. XUP, I’m just sorry I couldn’t stay longer and talk to you a bit more. Thanks to you and Zoom for setting this up. I can’t wait til the next one. The only downside is that now I have more blogs to read, and no more time given to do that! 🙂

  7. zoom wasnt snogging at all.. she was right beside me

    and i dont dance on tables until after 5pm 😛

    i was actually exhausted. i was up late helping a friend paint her new place so she is ready to move this week and didnt crawl into bed until close to 4 int he morning the night before.

    i was in a sleepy hungry haze and the waiting was not helping.. at least the coffee was good and strong.

    it was great meeting you even tho we did not get to talk too much.. next time for sure.

    and ill be sure to bust out some cleave for david at the next one.. im on it!

  8. adorable *blush* thanks xup, and thanks to you and zoom for the get up and go to organize this event. so many people, i hadn’t done my homework, so like a little blog snob i stuck to those i knew. however, a suggestion. if there is a cafeteria type place (like Green Door) that might enable us to all get food at the same time and move around a bit so it would be easy to mingle without freaking out the waitress?

  9. I’m half jealous, and half relieved I don’t have to do anything like this. I would be terrified to meet other bloggers in real life.

  10. Group things make me nervous, so I would never do one of those. I’ve met 4 bloggers in more like on-on-one situations and I feel like I’ve run the whole gamut of what can happen. You’ve heard the expression “Once bitten twice shy?” Well, that’s where I’m at and don’t care to meet any more bloggers, although Scarlet begs to differ.

  11. My recollection is that it was specifically your cleavage that I requested because the first bloggers’ brunch had created the expectation and that when you suggested more cleavage from others, I agreed that more cleavage is always a good thing.

  12. Okay. I am officially incredibly jealous that I don’t live in Ottowa and can’t take part in the Ottowa Blogger’s Breakfast/Brunch. DAMN! I am so jealous, in fact, that I might immediately and dramatically relocate to Ottawa so that I would be ready for the next event…even if it’s this coming Friday.

    And I will bring my cleavage. You know, just in case.

  13. Loth – Everyone is a citizen of Ottawa – as soon as they spell it correctly!!

    Woodsy – Shhh, you’re on. I’ll get the ladder

    Kevin – No. Why? Should I be? Will something spectacular happen if I do?

    Guillermo – Likewise and thanks for coming.

    Alison – Having lots of blogs to read isn’t a downside! With a little determination and fortitude you can give up your job and neglect your children and get through all the blogs every day.

    Jobthingy – Aw, now you’ve shattered the magical Zoom/GC illusion I’ve been working so hard to create. And, ya the never-ending wait for the food wasn’t much fun. Somewhere different next time, for sure.

    Meanie – That’s an idea – some kind of breakfast buffet thing. I love Green Door, though it IS kind of squishy in there for a big group. Maybe a hotel? We’ll have to scout out some joints before the next one. We’re open for suggestions.

    Raino – Ya, we missed you. Everyone kept asking “Where’s Raino?” We expected you to pop out of the furniture with round black glasses, red and white striped touque and blue pants.

    Fairstar – Really? They’re all just completly normal, non-scary people who starve to death after waiting 2 hours for breakfast just like everyone else — maybe one or two at a time for starters would be easier??

    Geewits – Sometimes it’s easier in a big group where you can move around or just leave if you get fed up than in a one-on-one situation where you’re kind of obligated to stick around and be entertaining. I would be much more scared to meet a blogger from far away that I would then have to spend several days with either here or wherever they live. Because (like I pointed out) sometimes people from the internet aren’t at all how you expect them to be in real life. Ah well.

    David – Hmm, there were some potentially magnificent cleavages there on Saturday, so I didn’t want to close the door on any of them. Mine will pale by comparison (and by “pale” I mean in a smooth, milkyway of course)

    Lesley – It’s OttAwa – A not O. And we’d love to have you and your cleavage and the next event. I’ve heard so much about it, even I want to see it up close and personal. I don’t think the next event will be until after Christmas — probably some time in January when we’ve all recovered from the holidays and have sunk deep into the frigid January blahs and need some cheering up. That will give you plenty of time.

  14. Raino – Oh! I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing if I can meet you next time then.

    Stella – You’re on baby! I’m sure they’ll be lining up in the foyer to get a glimpse of our mammoth grand-canyon like cleavages.

    Bob – Yes, I was meaning to mention that we would prefer you NOT handle your “blackberry” during meals from now on. Now that you have your own house you have the freedom to keep your hands on your “blackberry” whenever you wish – within the privacy of your 4 walls. But really, in public it’s a bit unseemly to always be fiddling with it, touching it, looking at it.

  15. Thanks for inviting me — I had a great time and it was so interesting to meet the bloggers in person. You absolutely captured Nat with your “ball of energy” comment! I wish I had mingled more, but there’s always next time.

  16. Lynn – I think it would have been impossible to talk to everyone in a couple of hours anyway – no matter what the set-up or how fast we’d gotten our food. I’m glad everyone had fun and is looking forward to the next one — probably January some time, eh?

  17. By the way, to all of you who are thanking me for my role in organizing this event – I actually did nothing this time round. It was all XUP. All I did was help choose the date and show up late. (But that was Santa’s fault, not mine.)

    Thanks XUP for organizing this gathering!

  18. Zoom – Yes, you valiantly came to the initial organizing committee meeting. And also you did everything last time and people gave me credit then, so we’re all square.

    Lesley- There is no spelling requirement, but there is a pun requirement, so you’re good.

  19. I can’t believe I haven’t read this post until now! Thank you so much again for you and zoom organizing the breakfast. I’m really looking forward to the next one.

    Thanks for the kind words too. 🙂

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