When I told the girlfriend I was planning to attend this week’s installment of the Las Vegas Beer & Blog meet-up, she tried wrapping her head around the concept, asking if it would just be people gathering in the same place but still hiding behind their computer screens, communicating only via tweets, texts and e-mails. I laughed it off, suggesting that this was a chance for relatively anonymous bloggers to come out into the sunlight, er, low bar lighting, and share ideas over drinks and revelry. And so, when I entered the Freakin’ Frog last night to see what all this beerin’ and bloggin’ was about, what did I see?
People … gathered in one place … behind computer monitors … with Twitter live in their browsers …
Actually, it wasn’t that awkward. I mean, the event IS called “Beer & Blog,” so you might expect a few … dozen … laptops popped up around a table or two (or three … or four …). But really, the turnout last night was quite impressive for a three-week-old event in Las Vegas: more than 40 people, including KLAS-TV anchor/voice actor/Twitterer Dave Courvoisier.
I’m not typically what you would call a “joiner.” Except for a brief stint on a soccer team as a young boy, I never played organized sports. I didn’t get into role-playing games or extracurricular clubs. I’ve preferred to work alone creatively, learning how to create all aspects of a project rather than split up the work. And I don’t like to share my interests with others, whether music, books or hobbies. It’s surprising I actually play in a band that is about as democratically run as they come.
Plus, I think I’m awesome all on my own. Hey, if I don’t say it, no one else will.
So even turning up for an event whose driving mission is “bloggers helping bloggers over beers” was something of an anomaly for me. But I like to play nice and most of the people in attendance have graciously followed me on Twitter or right here, so I figured the least I could do was shake a few hands and share a few beers with my fellow Vegas-based social media mavens.
And it wasn’t too bad. Of course, it helped that I knew a number of the folks there (and may have been indirectly responsible for that happening in the first place) from both professional and personal life. Some interesting discussions flew around the room, such as bloggers-versus-journalists, anonymity in blogging and people who confuse the medium with the message.
However, considering I was chomping at the bit to head off to get some actual writing done, I think once was enough for me. Were I looking for a Thursday night drinking hole or new friends, Beer & Blog might be more appealing, but given the last things I need are more distractions, I’ll leave a seat open at the bar for someone else and return to stowing away in the corner of a coffee shop, with only the blank page or screen to taunt me.
(Photo courtesy Living in the Future)