In the wake of the inaugural Third Monday with Shel Israel, Ryan Anderson reflects on how bloggers reach out to one another in the real world. And as we do, we apply the online blogging culture to those encounters. Ryan says,
I go to a lot of events where I don’t know anyone, but I’ve always found that events with bloggers who I’ve “met” through comments or just reading are always much easier.
We are a group of like-minded individuals, who are accepting of each other by virtue of a membership to a group, which we earned through a ritual of writing and reflecting and of sharing our insights with other bloggers. Our beliefs, independent as they may be, are largely influenced by a book that is at the core of the culture. When we come together as a group, there is an automatic acceptance, because we know that bloggers are there not to self-promote, but to share. Those that were there to promote, were kept outside the group because they were there for themselves, not for the greater good.
I think he’s right on here. I’ve been at bloggers events in the past week in Chicago, Ottawa and Toronto. And at each one, people approached one another with an openness and an eagerness to share stripped of all the usual trappings of competition. We’re happy to meet the people with whom we share so much online and we approach them as we find them – through their thoughts and words, not as competitors or rivals.
In fact, I was reminded of this at the Third Tuesday in Toronto. When Shel Israel referred positively to Sun CEO blogger Jonathan Schwartz, a voice was heard from the back of the room boasting loudly, “They’re our client.” YECCCHHHHH!
The boaster clearly didn’t get what the evening was about. It wasn’t about bragging about wins. Or who is winning at the competitive table. It was about exploring the frontier of social media together.
And the crowd demonstrated this with their response. They room responded with silence and by ignoring this outburst of braggadocio.
We were there for one another. Not to make points.
That’s just one of the many things I like about blogging and bloggers.