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.