On Thursday I fly to the Gold Coast for Problogger Event. There will be conferencing. There will be drinking. There will be tropical festivities. Dear God.
The word on Twitter, Facebook and on blogs is that many bloggers, particularly relatively new bloggers, are quietly shitting their pants about attending, particularly the concept of walking into a room filled with hundreds of people and not knowing anyone. It’s a dilemma suffered by most people at some stage of their lives, but it’s also something I think makes many of us stronger, being thrust out of our comfort zone. But the weirdness of Problogger, or any blogging conference for that matter, is that it’s filled with people you don’t know BUT PROBABLY KNOW OF and admire and/or think are hot potatoes.
I have one thing to say to those bloggers who are coming to Problogger and shitting their pants about it:
You are not the only one.
But kindly clean up your mess first. Particularly if you decide to sit next to me.
It’s easy to feel unworthy when you are in the presence of creative and artistic people and many bloggers are very charismatic.I sit squarely and happily in the Social Introvert domain and have cultivated over the years a face of bravado in foreign environments (sorry, channelling David Attenborough there). But on the first day of Problogger last year, my façade nearly crumbled into a pile of I’m not Worthy rubble. I had just started blogging as Melbourne Mum and those first steps into a narrow balcony-space filled with chatting people who all seemed to know each other was so freaking overwhelming I nearly walked out again. Then I spotted a couple of people I had met at a Digital Parents the month before and clung to them for a little while. The truth is, that little room was filled with people doing exactly the same thing as me, putting themselves out there whilst desperately trying not to either spew or have an accident.
It actually didn’t matter whether I knew anyone or not, because during the first session I plonked myself somewhere randomly and got chatting to Seana Smith and Lori Dwyer whose blogs I was vaguely aware of. And as the day went on I tapped into that social persona and introduced myself to even more. Bloggers are generally friendly and welcoming people. In my opinion, blogging can be very cliquey, but I’d argue that it’s not often exclusive. Groups, cliques or whatever you want to call them are fairly dynamic in blogging, because I think blogging itself is a pretty fluid phenomenon – new bloggers get noticed, Uberbloggers go quiet. It’s just like real life, just a strange, sometimes egocentric microcosm of real life.
I remember being shit scared of the Uberbloggers last year. They all sat together, lunched together, drank together. It seemed such an impenetrable group, I avoided them (having not brought a spare pair of pants). So stupid. Later that night, once a couple of sparklings had greased my brain cells, I got to know some of them and earlier this year at DPCon made a concerted effort to introduce myself to a few more. And would you believe it, they were fucking human. HUMAN. Crazy shit, huh? Who knew? It’s easier said than done, though, walking up to a group of people you admire and breaking in. I recommend waiting until they’re alone, when their defences are totally down and they can’t run away or scream for help.
In other news, apparently the do on the first night this year will have a tropical theme. Bitch, please, I’m a Melbourne girl, my wardrobe is fraught with black. Last night, I lined up all the vaguely tropical fashion I possessed and, with the exception of a rather fetching parrot top, I have nothing. I wept. No, not really, I got my Melbourne AhFuckIt on and decided I’d wear whatever the hell I was comfortable in. Because trust me, nothing will make black plastic glasses look good.
And if you see me at Problogger, please come and say hi. I’ll be the one looking like a rosella.
Problogger-related posts and tips from last year: