My very first blogger con

It occurred to me this morning that the oddest thing about being at the blogger con yesterday was probably us being introduced jointly as "Tym and Terz", which could easily have had people who didn't know better assuming that he's the Tim and I'm the Terse.

Not that I introduced myself thusly to anyone. I let other people do the talking, or I used my real name if I had to, without acknowledging ownership of any blog. (I never followed up on that brainchild of setting up a fake blog.)

In fact, the latter formula seemed to be the rule of thumb for the day. Most people whose hands I shook murmured their (ostensible) names, not blog URLs. Or maybe the game was to figure out the rest on your own.

No wonder the mainstream media were baffled. Half an hour before the event was scheduled to begin, I overheard a press photographer remarking querulously to his reporter colleague, "No banner outside, nobody at the door --- all so secretive." During the con, I saw another reporter repeatedly approach different conference organisers, entreating their assistance in unmasking a hitherto unidentified-in-real-life blogger, because she'd decided that was the angle for her story. In this morning's paper, the mainstream English press pronounced the event "one big YAWN".

How could they be expected to make sense of a non-profit event that doesn't need a banner because its main target audience gets the information directly from the organisers via the web, not the mainstream media or a banner hanging outside a community centre? How could they expect to interview, let alone unmask, a popular blogger, when the local blogosphere thrives on goodwill and (largely) mutual tolerance and respect, not just for the views expressed in each other's blogs but also for personal decisions to reveal/conceal personal information, including one's identity? How could they fathom the uncontrollable disorder of the backchannel chat running concurrently with the conference proceedings, the easygoing chitchat that burbled steadily in the background while the panellists spoke? How could it be that all these people with exciting things to say in the written medium, weren't putting up an equally striking song-and-dance for them in person?

It didn't occur to them that for some of us, we went to the con to hang out and say hi to friends, old and new. For others, it was the opportunity to see the more prominent bloggers in person, snap some pictures and exchange a few words or stories with them. For yet others, it was about learning a little more about the blogging itself. And, oh, what the hell, for still others, it was all about the free drinks.

Yeah, most people were pretty "polite" because, let's face it, if you're a schmuck, you get dealt pretty short shrift in the blogosphere, just like in the real world. And because there were kids running around and responsible parent-types in attendance, not to mention all the hard work the volunteer organisers had put in, everyone was on reasonably good behaviour.

None of which, I guess, makes for what passes as a sexy news story these days. It's a good thing we have blogs, so that other voices can be heard, other perspectives shared.

My story: I shook more hands than I expected to, drank more drinks that I should've (that's what happens when you're dry for several weeks and then try to keep up with a younger man), told and listened to more stories than I thought would've been possible at my virgin meetup, and tumbled into bed much, much later than I'd planned.

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was: "On the bright side, at least I didn't throw up in mr brown's car."

I also learned a couple of various nifty blogging tricks and, like any good student, will put what I've learned into practice immediately. Ergo: (invisible) Technorati tags and trackbacking this post to Tomorrow.sg.

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At 7/17/2005 11:55 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! Best commentary on Bloggers.SG evar! Wooohoooo!

At 7/17/2005 12:43 pm , Blogger Davester said...

I guess the media was looking for hint of scandal. Misuse of public funds to buy vodka, for example.

At 7/17/2005 8:52 pm , Blogger Alvin said...

yes, i think mainstream media still don get it abt blogging (digital diary, wah piang!).

I read the ST article, I detect some sense of sourness. they must have been out to drag for trash...

At 7/17/2005 9:25 pm , Blogger Cowboy Caleb said...

forgive them farvver, for they know not what they do

At 7/18/2005 3:47 am , Blogger Threez said...

The reporters were hoping for some of the nudies to appear as themselves. Or hoping for people to turn up in giant bear/bunny outfits ala CSI.

Eh, Tym, can titch me how to put a 50 minute MP3 on my site?

At 7/19/2005 12:25 am , Blogger NARDAC said...

I always find it alarming and slightly useless with the papers start reporting on blogs... I mean, they usually reveal themselves to be so out of the loop... The blog circuit is all about word of mouth... and alternative form of getting to information... net-based and not from an "all-important" voice... I suppose that's why newspapers are so weary about it usually... they understand their authority is completely undermined at that point.

On another note, I believe Liberation did a write up on the lates Paris Blogue-t-il event... I just never read it.

Which reminds me of yet another absurdity... people who write blogs with dreams of it being published in book form... What's up with that? Why would I pay to read something I read for free? And the format itself is so particular to the net... blah blah blah blah...

sounds like you had a fun time :)


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