You know what I love about blogging more than blogging? Connecting with other bloggers.
I love social media, but when those connections spill out into the real world, it can be even more valuable.
It doesn’t always happen, of course. In the parenting blogger niche, just because two people are writers and parents doesn’t necessarily mean their characters or interests will be in sync. And it’s often an awkward proposition, meeting a blogger whose work you know only remotely. There’s that “I know you, but I don’t know you” element that can be disconcerting.
I find meeting new bloggers at once exciting and terrifying. Walking into a situation where bloggers have already split off into established sub-groups is overwhelming for me. I felt it at both Problogger and Bright Delight. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be my blog (as it is such a true reflection of me – to raise George Calombaris and see him one – “it’s me on a page”) and sometimes I feel like it is becoming larger than me if that makes sense. It’s much easier to chat to someone who you know has never heard of you – there is no expectation to live up to.
I often walk away from those real life situations feeling frustrated at my (self) perceived lack of social shesizzle. For someone who ordinarily has high self-esteem it is an uncomfortable place to be.
The first time I met a fellow blogger was in 2003. I’d only been blogging for about a year and got to know Kat online through her knitting blog Pinku. She also lived in Tokyo at the time so we invited her and her then boyfriend over to our little apaato for a beer. Poor Kat (sorry Kat) was nervous and a bit shit scared that we were going to be serial killers. She’s still alive, so fairly good odds that we’re not (just in case you were wondering). We consequently spent a lot of time in Japan getting pissed on chuhais and singing bad karaoke. She and Daz have now moved to Melbourne with their little boy and we are friends to this day.
In 2003, the blogging world was relatively new and there was no natural blogging community to fall into. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram. I thought my Tuka mobile was the BOMB because it flipped open. So young. Now I’m constantly hit over the head by ways that bloggers can connect in real life. For me, I’m a one-on-one kinda gal. I love me a pahtay, don’t EVER get me wrong, but if I’m meeting up with someone for the first time, one-on-one is easier. Not as intimidating. Less option for distraction (read: they can’t just run away when I start rabbiting on about the good ol’ days).
This week I had coffee with two wonderful local bloggers, Ros from Sew Delicious and Lily Mae from Berlin Domestic (not at the same time). More than being engaging bloggers and artisans, they are brilliant people. I feel like my life is just a bit richer because I met them. I feel like that a lot – not just with other bloggers, but with people in general, whether they read my blog or not. But I love that I can write some random shit on a website, then squeeze more random shit into 140 characters linking to my other random shit, and with a sprinkling of social media fairy-dust, I can make a friend. The Twitter is not always so magical for me (that’s another story), but the odds are still good.
And I’m a betting woman.