It’s been a pretty hectic few days here, and normally, when I want to actually write about something rather simply linking to it, I like a few minutes to think about what I want to say. So I haven’t had a chance yet to write about the Denver Blogger Bash on Friday–so let’s remedy that.
It was a blast.
I’ve been online continuously since 1994 (actually, I was also in CompuServe briefly around 1982, but that didn’t last very long). And over the past decade, whenever I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve tried to meet in person those people whose pixels I’ve enjoyed reading. So with the help of some frequent flier miles, it was possible to shoot in and out Denver International Airport fairly quickly.
I’m not sure why the Denver area has so many great bloggers around it–but at 1:00 in the morning, while Steve Green was cutting Kim’s arguments defending suicide bombers to ribbons, (man I wish I was that articulate after four Martinis) I had an interesting conversation with Darren Copeland’s friend about the regional aspects of blogging. I tend to discount them; I’m of the opinion that thanks to the Internet (and especially, thanks to broadband), anybody anywhere who has an opinion can get a Weblog from Blogger or Typepad and get his thoughts online.
But having a community of friends for support and to bounce ideas off of is great. And the Denver crowd certainly seemed pretty unified. What was interesting was comparing the discussions of the bloggers with those who don’t blog. Steve noted his exchange with Kim, which was pretty darn heated. And simultaneously, I watched Darren’s friend pounding the table as his gave us his opinions. And I’m pretty sure that neither of them have a blog. There’s something about knowing that your ideas are going up on the ‘Net, and that your friends and acquaintances would be parsing them, adding on to them or rejecting them that makes one choose his or her words very carefully. It’s a very different medium from the bully pulpit of a newspaper where the communication is much more one way. (See also: Raines, Howell.)
So I can see where regular gatherings of bloggers would not only keep those who actively do it psyched to continue, it also provides a subtle push for others to join in the fun as well.
Curious, isn’t it, that the ‘Net, which was supposed to create an global village free of boundaries (that’s the mindset if you smoked enough McLuhan, like Wired did) ends up doing a far better job of strengthening regional ties.
Incidentally, this was my first trip to Denver, other than changing planes at DIA. But hopefully it won’t be my last. It looks like a great city. And the people in it aren’t too shabby, either.