I must admit to feeling rather envious of those who live close enough to be able to make it to Russell's regular coffee mornings. So I was very pleased to be able to join up with a couple of other locals last Friday.
Blogging can be a very solitary activity ... especially in the early days when it is unclear whether anyone is reading your writing (and even then, when you think they are ... why are there no comments?). Also, in reading blogs, you begin to build up a sense of the writer without the blindness of meeting -- if you are careful, you can read between the lines, get a sense of their history and process of thinking and also see who they respect, admire or (even) dislike. In this way you are able to get a sense of who your blog buddies are before you meet them in person (and hey, sometimes we never get to meet).
It is interesting, that much of what passes for "authenticity" online, is directly based on never having met. I think it is something to do with the way that we listen/read blogs. It is also linked very closely with action -- we are judged not ONLY by what we say/write, but by the promises we make and whether we follow through on them. And on the web ... it is relatively easy to find out whether you DO as you SAY.
So actually turning up to a coffee morning can be more nerve wracking than making your first comment on Russell's blog. Well perhaps NOT nerve wracking ... but strange. To start with ... what do bloggers look like? Then ... what will we talk about? Will we all get along? What happens next? Will more people come next time?
As I said here, we did have a pretty good time ... some great conversation, some ideas ... a little of basic getting to know you. But there were a few suggestions that sounded really good -- like performance blogging (thanks to Sebastian) and the challenges of creative teamwork in Sydney (again thanks Sebastian).
NEXT WEEK (3 November) will be the next coffee morning in Sydney -- and all are invited to come along. This time I promise to take my own photos (and business cards). I think Vando nominated The Lounge in Milsons Point -- I will need to track it down and confirm.