Blogger Meetup

I went to the Cleve­land Blog­ger Meet­up last night. It wasn’t quite what I expect­ed it to be because it exceed­ed my expec­ta­tions. I was, of course, the youngest buck there, but the dis­cus­sion that took place has inspired me to mild­ly but sig­nif­i­cant­ly change my present style of blog­ging into some­thing a bit more use­ful to the clam­or­ing mass­es that are fruit­less­ly search­ing the inter­net for the spe­cif­ic type of infor­ma­tion I am going to pro­vide. [yeah, right]

Although only sev­en attend­ed, the ini­mate atmos­phere, thourough­ly-thunk think­ings and exten­sive knowl­edge were quite the eye-open­ers for me. In atten­dance:

Lori Kozey from Vir­tu­al Lori
Nate Paige, who main­tains Pop Life on cleveland.com and is the com­mu­ni­ty pro­duc­er for that site.
Jeff Hess is the cus­to­di­an of Have Cof­fee, Will Write
Norm Roulet, a self-described “civic entre­pre­neur” is respon­si­ble for the quite inter­est­ing REALNEO project.
Will Kessel keeps the gears run­ning at Col­li­sion Bend.
George Nemeth of the ever-pop­u­lar Brewed Fresh Dai­ly. You can see a shot of us over on his blog.

So those are the shoutouts. A quick run­down of what I gained from the event: Blog­ging has the poten­tial to be much more effec­tive at cre­at­ing a well-informed vir­tu­al com­mu­ni­ty that can mir­ror the events and zeit­geist of a cer­tain region. This was Norm Roulet’s area of exper­tise. By hav­ing a well-con­nect­ed and savvy net­work of peo­ple blog­ging on ultra­spe­cif­ic top­ics of local inter­est [say, focus­ing sole­ly on Tremont] peo­ple who wan­der their way into the net­work from one end will be quick­ly direct­ed to exact­ly the infor­ma­tion they need. This is hard to build sole­ly online, so I feel that mee­tups such as last night’s are valu­able brain­storm­ing and knowl­edge shar­ing get togeth­ers. They might not exact­ly pro­vide a spe­cif­ic direc­tion for a NEO blog­ging com­mu­ni­ty to take, but by know­ing what oth­er folks are up to or inter­est­ed in see­ing; an effec­tive com­mu­ni­ty can hope­ful­ly con­geal.

We also talked a bit about the tricky areas of Free­dom of the Press ver­sus Free­dom of the press and how blog­gers fit into this sce­nario by virtue of leas­ing our band­width and serv­er space from com­pa­nies instead of pub­lish­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing things our­selves.

The first thing I just talked about is what seems to be spurring me to action, I’ve sort of been in a blog­ging funk late­ly, but I think what I’m going to try to do is turn this blog a bit more Cleve­land-cen­tric and Tremont spe­cif­ic. So I’m going to try to build some con­nec­tions in Tremont art gal­leries, restau­rants, stores, bars, the guy who wants the war dog memo­ri­als, that old awe­some aban­doned build­ing, the church­es, the his­to­ry and any oth­er lit­tle bits of char­ac­ter that float to the sur­face, local events, whatever; and make a crazynuts com­pendi­um of every­thing Tremont. It is going to be ulti­mate­ly quite fly-by-night since I don’t have very effec­tive expe­ri­ence doing the whole inter­view thing, so I’m sure that it will seem ama­teur­ish, but That is Fine With Me. I’m not try­ing to be awe­some, just some­what use­ful and mild­ly humor­ous. And I’ll still blog about my own life and my wacky the­o­ret­i­cal con­structs involv­ing gen­der, moral­i­ty and the fin­er points of mak­ing kick-ass fudge. I’m going to try to be a bit classier and a bit more link-luvver­ly.

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