As wide reaching as the blog world can be, if you’re a blogger who’s been at it for some time, no doubt you’ve made some incredibly special friendships. It’s nearly impossible to be involved in this type of a community without forming wonderful relationships from behind a computer monitor.
But in real life, that is, the world that revolves physically around us in the form of home, family and loved ones, blogging can prove to be quite isolating. In physical social settings, mentioning what I “do” leaves some a bit perplexed, and others asking, “How do you make money doing that?” Assuming that’s the point. Blogging as a social outlet has come a long way in the last few years, especially with the business and corporate communities embracing its value for networking and marketing, most people I know in real life are still unaware of its incredible and far reaching power.
A friend and I traveled together to our first bloggers’ conference earlier this year and I was quite impacted by the awesomeness of being in the presence of so many others who value their blog communities as much as I do. Being conference newbies had its own challenges, but having a friend to share it with was priceless.I learned many things about the business end of blogging, (much of which I have trouble remembering today as there is so much to know), but still feel that a conference designed for bloggers specifically was a fabulous idea.
Although I work full-time as a graphic designer, and do paid blogging for SC Johnson, our family’s finances are hardly in a position to send me off to all the places I would love to go in order to continually nourish my blogging passions, such as other conferences, or even returning to another year of Blissdom. But my desire to connect in the real person with other bloggers has in no way diminished, but grown stronger. I have enjoyed a few lovely breakfasts in town with Kate, aka: CentsationalGirl, after getting all of our kids off to school. We could talk non-stop about living a blogger’s life.
Avid blogger, Selena Cate and I met in the blogoverse and, also being local to one another, chose to travel plane-train & automobile to the Blissdom Conference in Nashville together. We became fast friends. Fast. A weekend of travel, conference and bunking together can do that. And we’ve been buds ever since. (Of course, good chemistry never hurts!)A couple of months ago, Selena and I began meeting regularly on Thursday mornings at WiFi coffee shops somewhere between our two towns as a sort of business meeting. We catch up on each other’s blog happenings, ideas, aspirations and share advice, business info, motivation and encouragement. Selena has a few more years of blogging than me under her belt and writes both the popular Apron Thrift Girl, and her fabulous new food blog, Flavorstitch. More often than not, Selena brings me a fun gift or two to our Thursday meet-ups, like last time when she shared her homemade pluots ice cream sauce!My Thursday morning calendar is completely blocked out for these meetings as they have proven to be so valuable both socially and professionally, not to mention a good reason to get out of the studio (read: cave). After our meeting, I drive back towards home, with lots to think about, and on to the Petaluma Kitchen where I wash the food-service lunch dishes once a week, something I truly look forward to. It’s the perfect place to get away from emails, housework, design projects, and daily stresses and enjoy the company of others outside of my own little bubble. All the while I knowing I’m giving back, if even in the smallest way. I finish the pots and pans just in time to pick up the kids from school. I♥Thursdays!
Selena just returned from a weekend at BlogHer Food ’10 in San Francisco and I can hardly wait for this Thursday to pick her brain about all that she learned while she was there! (And she promised some overflow swag!)
Do you have a blog that you invest a lot of time on, and if so, do you have a real-life blog friend to talk to? How do you connect on a regular basis outside of emails and social networking? Have you attended a blog conference and can you give a review? I would love to read about any of it, and thank you for reading this.