Sunday, February 11, 2007

Newsflash: Blogfest Doesn't Erupt in Violence

Glenn and I attended a blogfest of Tennessee bloggers at Calhoun's in Knoxville last night and had quite a nice time. The consensus from other bloggers who attended seems to be that it was quite an achievement that about 25 or so bloggers and their family members got along and/or did not start a bar brawl for almost three whole hours while conversing over ribs (or in my case, salad). I sat next to a blogger, Perry Nelson, who posts the following about the event:

It was a very civil gathering, I thought, despite the fact that a group of that size represented almost every variation of political, social and cultural perspective imaginable.....I had the pleasure of dining between Dr. Helen Smith, a.k.a. Mrs. Glenn Reynolds, on the one side and Ms. Lissa Kay, with whom I worked at ClientLogic a while back, on the other. In the two hours and forty-five minutes the group spent together we made cultured conversation and behaved quite respectably. Quite an achievement, if you ask me, for a group of such potentially disruptive forces in the community.

SayUncle makes a few observations about the cast of characters:

A few things on meeting other bloggers:

There were no laptops (that shocked me).

There was very little discussion of politics.

Every few seconds, someone’s camera flashed.

Dr. Helen doesn’t like to be called Dr. Helen.

I was only called crazy once.

So here are a few tips I garnered from this shindig, for the benefit of other bloggers who attend blogfests and who want a good time:

1) Keep the party short--no more than three hours, bloggers have short attention spans but can generally behave in public for about that length of time. If the party goes longer, who knows where the alcohol and conversation will lead. Nowhere good, that's for sure.

2) Do not discuss individual views of politics lest the person sitting next to you would not vote for a "Rethuglican" or "Leftard" if their life depended on it. Just a thought, why is it that grown people in their 30's, 40's or even 50's who pride themselves on being progressive or civil always refer to others who do not think like themselves with such names?

3) Do not call anyone crazy more than once: it is bad manners (but then, you would know that if you spent more time away from the computer screen and around real live people!) and most importantly:

4) Keep the alcohol flowing freely; an open bar puts everyone in a good mood. For some people, alcohol seems to bring out their violent side, but for bloggers, it seems to put them into a friendly stupor where they open up and share their darkest secrets. As long as the secrets are not political, all seems to go well. And finally:

5) Have fun -- how often do you get to meet your fellow bloggers in the flesh? Kind of like meeting Mick Jagger or something.



Blogger LissaKay said...

It was awesome meeting you, Helen. I hope you and Glenn can come to more in the future!

12:57 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Likewise, I look forward to the next gathering, hopefully not too far in the distant future! I think the Tennessee bloggers are a terrific group of people.

3:39 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


It is too formal to use in a group setting talking with peers and it makes me feel like I'm at work.

3:56 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Eric said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:08 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Perry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:53 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Perry said...

Helen, I particularly appreciated the fact that you chose to sit across from your husband because it gave us a chance to talk and me the opportunity to get to know you during the evening. I hope that sometime in the future we have a chance to interact again when the occasion arises.

5:56 PM, February 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:32 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Doug McCaughan said...

Helen, It was great talking with you. I'm glad you guys came! The group seemed to meld really well. Of course, in a way, many people at the table already knew each other through our writings even though they may have been meeting face to face for the first time.

ronin1516, Cathy has some pictures posted at Flickr. I wanted to take more but backed off after Cathy and Tommy complained that I was blinding everyone :)

Hope to see all at the next one!

9:39 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I hosted a local blogger coffee hour this morning, because I hate bars and smoke. It turned out pretty well, lots of good people and good conversation. I used a complimentary cup of gourmet coffee for all bloggers as bait and it worked swimmingly. For once, everyone stayed sober and didn't try to get into each other's pants.

10:07 PM, February 11, 2007  
Blogger TMink said...

Another tip for a blogger get together: Hold it in person. Many of us are far nicer in person than we are in print.


2:55 PM, February 12, 2007  
Blogger Omnibabe said...

How many times a year? For me, at least twice, and more if I can get there. I've flown to Helen, GA twice for the "Jawja Blodgemeet" and once to Austin, TX for the "Blown-Eyed Blodgemeet," and plan to attend again this spring.

In addition, I went to a blogmeet in Rockford, IL last winter, and helped host one in Chicago last summer.

3:30 PM, February 15, 2007  
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