Alison and Kate had a great idea to put blog category signs on the high top tables – Food, Fashion, Little Bit of Everything (that’s me), etc. – to make it easier to find your tribe but I accidentally stood at the Food table and slowly but surely we’d grown to a small group of non-foodies when newcomer Erin, of Hungry in the Hub, swung by. I’d like to think we made up for our lack of food blogging with our interest in eating.
I also had a chance to meet Sara of Eventbrite Boston who has some pretty great ideas about mutually beneficial events with #bostonbloggers, local small businesses and area events looking to get the word out. One of the few males in attendance was Khris Lalemand who has an interesting startup out of Maine called MiFilter – the Pandora for blog content. The idea is that while your blog may not garner a widespread reach but some of your individual posts do. It’s in beta mode now but I’m interested to see how this works out.
Can I let you in on a secret? I feel much more confident than last year and have gained a nice core group of #bostonbloggers friends that I look forward to seeing each time but the beauty of these events is that they’re not super exclusive or clique-y – it’s all in how you approach them. I ditched my fear of I NEED TO MEET ALL THE PEOPLE and accidentally created a system to get more out of these events and it’s served me well.
After meeting Kelly McAuley (Gets Me Everytime) at my first event last June I had one familiar face to find in the crowd (It helped that we have a mutual friend – Beckie of Cubicle57). The next event was in August and I met two of Kelly’s friends and tweeted afterwards with a couple bloggers that I didn’t get to meet in person. My tribe / comfort zone started to grow.
In November I created my own ‘event’ and invited my new connections to meet at the MFA for the Mario Testino exhibit. Kate Zeigler (Union Jack Creative) and Smita Jacobs (Hogger & Co) joined me and we hit it off. Kate, Smita and I have since concocted a few other fun things which has been one of the best bi-products of joining #bostonbloggers.
At the holiday meet + greet in December I realized that by sticking near my friendly faces, they would introduce me to their friendly faces. Does that make sense? Standing with Kate, I met Alex of The Saga of a Twenty-Something, Janee of Yellow Bird Yellow Beard (who has a fabulous shop of the same name) and Anna of Dear Friend (who just opened her really cute etsy shop – Dear Friend Shop). I left that event with a bigger tribe and better sense of belonging.
Last night I stayed true to my informal blogger event system and by virtue of taking one step back, our circle widened and I was able to connect with a few more friendly faces. I met Emily of The Great Wide Open – who actually spent a day working with Kenneth Jay Lane! – Ginny of Ginny in Boston, Erin (the only foodie in our midst), Molly of Wicked Cheap, Lindsay of Lindsay’s Look and Clair of Finding Clarity. I love that each of us has such different perspectives and interests yet still have so much in common.
I know there were a few people I didn’t get a chance to meet (truth: sometimes it’s hard to identify people based on their miniature Twitter avatars) but I know I’ll be looking to create or attend more events until the next meet + greet in June.