After sitting here thinking for quite some time, WOW is the best word to describe the blogger meetup in NYC this past Friday. I was able to learn about and connect with new bloggers, talk with bloggers who I was familiar with and meet some blogging heros of mine. Photos are available on Flickr (credit to CK for the shots).
How many times in your life have you walked into a room, never having met any of the people you are about to see and feel instantly connected on meeting them? I've always said that blogging is personal. You feel a connection when you chat with someone in the comments or read their posts. Loyalty extends to the blogroll and links inside posts. You can almost hear them talking to you. Now I know that meeting bloggers in person confirms those feelings and allows you to create immediate friendships.
CK, one of my blog heros, kindly set up the event and came through big time. CK has one of the best marketing blogs on the web and knows how to tell a story with great savvy. In person she is just as you would expect. Fantastic! CK is warm, energetic, a natural connector and a true marketer. CK has posted on the event here.
The first person I saw when I walked in the door was my other blog hero, Valeria Maltoni. Valeria is, as CK said the "blogging goddess". If you are looking to read an expertly written, insightful blog look no further. Valeria connects with you instantly in person just as she does on her blog and I learned so much just listening to how she connects and grows relationships. I have much more to learn from her. Valeria blogged about the event on her blog too.
Other bloggers at the event whom I have followed for some time were Lori Magno and her husband, Toby Bloomberg, David Berkowitz and Rebecca Edmonston. I also met some new bloggers and made fast friends. People like David Reich, Fard Johnmar, Mark Goren, Elana Centor, CB Whittemore, Megan Garnhum and Alex Geana.
So what were my takeaways from my evening? First, bloggers are very generous people. Everybody I talked to was open and honest, trying to connect people to each other and keep the conversations running once we all returned home. Second, blogging is personal, the connections are real and friendships can be made in a short amount of time. Third, people's offline voices are just like their online (you can't fake it on a blog or face-to-face). Fourth, bloggers are hungry to learn and discuss ideas to help each other out.
One of the best sayings I have ever heard is "People are created with two eyes and two ears and only one mouth...use them in proportion". In blogging, posting is like using your mouth. You have to do it, but the real value in blogging comes from replying to comments, commenting on other blogs, reaching out to bloggers through email and phone calls and meetups in person. So post often, but follow the leads of such blogging mavens as CK and Valeria and give back. Leave comments with value and add to the conversations going on around you. I promise, friendships and knowledge will follow.