Friday, July 11, 2008

Skipping the chit chat

I have a much different attitude about BlogHer this year. Last year, I considered myself a mere peon in the blogosphere. While I am still a mere peon, there are things I've realized over the past year that change my attitude about that peon status and how I will interact with people.

The fact is, most of us consider ourselves peons, and in numbers terminology, we are. I think that it's safe to say that most of the blogs I read get less than 500 hits a day. I know mine does. It gets around 100 per day. Of all the people reading blogs, that is a tiny tiny number. Of course, they are the 100 most intelligent, good looking people out there, but that's beside the point.

The next thing I've learned is that even bloggers who have hundreds or thousands of readers aren't any more confident in a real life situation than I am. Bloggers who I considered celebrities of sorts would have much preferred to be talked to like a friend last year.

The thing that has drawn me in about blogging is that you get to know people in depth. I've never been good at small talk. I would much prefer to sit down and have a real conversation with some one than to have to make chit chat. It doesn't matter if I've just met you, I want to talk with you. I want to feel like I know more about you at the end of a conversation. And that's what happens with blogging.

That very thing that I love about blogging makes meeting bloggers in real life a little daunting. Because chit chat is appropriate for a certain amount of time in real life. However, when you are meeting someone in person who's blog you've read, you know things about them that go far beyond chit chat. And if they haven't read your blog, then there's a disparity there.

I think though, that skipping a large part of the chit chat is just what I'll do this year. Last year, at one of the cocktail parties, I had a great conversation with Tanis. It was a situation where I read her blog and had laughed with her and cried with her - sobbed over my computer actually - reading about the death of her youngest son. When you have shared that with someone, it's hard to just stand there and talk about the weather. So we didn't. And it was comfortable.

It didn't happen that I made lots of new best friends that I talk to everyday and email all of the time. I still mainly keep up with people on their blogs and just see them in real life when I get the chance.

I think that is the part that I didn't quite understand before - real life is different than everyday life. Long distance relationships are hard to maintain. Blogging makes that easier though.

I'm excited about BlogHer. Both in SF and in Greensboro. Maybe even in DC. Because I know now that it's about meeting people, sharing ideas, and getting to share some of your own. And if you meet me there and want to skip the small talk and get to the skeletons, scars, and scrapes in my life?

Feel free. I'm looking forward to getting to know you.