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Friday, March 18, 2005

Weblogger Meetup

As always for such first-time occasions, I arrived early and anonymous and sat quietly seeing if I could spot my fellow blogsters. This being my first Seattle Weblogger Meetup, I was nervous as hell, and eyeing the door in case a sudden wave of decisiveness would enable me to walk out and catch the 7:30 ferry home with no damage done.

  • Because of my left-ear deafness and efforts to save people repeating themselves, I'd come with a list of the 17 or so members attending. (In fact, our tireless organiser Anita was a step ahead of me turned out to have brought labels on which we scrawled IDs of varying legibility and coherence).

    In compiling my list of those attending, I'd vaguely registered that someone might be bringing along his "e-book" - or, as I was later corrected, his iBook. That someone was Jake, one of the early arrivers and indeed wielding his gleaming new toy.

    This gave me enough of an ice-breaker intro line and an excuse to join them at the main table.

  • Jake was *exactly* the sort of person I needed to start the evening with and camouflage my awkwardness: booting up his iBook, fingers rippling across the keys, rapid-fire commentary as the desktop flowered with all sorts of exotic icons and other laptop pyrotechnics - not to mention photos of distinguished pols and 2nd-hand smoking cats.

    Jake even had a count-down calendar for the opening of Hitchhiker's Guide. Mega-points for that alone. Indeed, so impressed was I by his general wizardry that, when I'd got home and was going thru the latest in LinkFilter, J was the first person I thought of as likely to actually set up this Firefox click-thru gizmo

  • Bainbridge blogista Julie Leung had emailed Anita a heads-up I'd be there so I didn't feel too lost and, anyway, everyone was approachable and easy to talk to.
  • The one annoying goof that I still smart over came when I tried to help Heather find the coding on her blog template for adding side-bar links. I completely forgot that some blogspot templates don't include those links, or we'd have straightway spotted it:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Add things to your sidebar here.
    Use the format:

    <li> <a href="URL"> Link Text </a> </li >

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    < h6 > Links </h6>
    <ul>

    And so forth.

    What I did when I got home was copy out my own code (as above) and then, not seeing an email address on her blog, post it as a comment on her last posting. Messy but one can delete comments, no?

    That was a message about the coding. Next morning was when the brainwave struck that Heather might not actually be running a template that catered for sidebar links. So ... wanting to save her trawling thru code on a wild goose chase, I sent *another* comment/message.

    A case of trading wild goose for a cooked one. Can't win.

  • In fact, so annoyed was I at this fumbling, I dawdled over breakfast and thus caught a radio piece about Mike Kinsley and Sue Estrich going at it hammer n tongs over the dearth of women op-ed writers. Nice balancing act by an articulate lady they asked for comment - a successful op-ed writer with her own widely-read bye line - who managed to sympathize with her scribbling sisters while expressing muted approval of a meritocracy that kept *her* in work and lesser mortals - male and female - down with grunts where they belonged.
  • I'll certainly go again. It's exactly such ventures out of my comfort zone that are good for the soul and set me thinking or blushing or just plain raising the standards of my own game. Hell, if the multi-tech'd Jake can make it over from the wilds of Bremerton, I can surely trek in from genteel Bainbridge (altho, I do see that the Julie has sort of offered to do her multi-tasking WonderWoman thing and organize a BI chapter, in which case I can see me reverting to default Island-bound sloth.)
  • Speaking of raised games, I'm already humbled and impressed by the skill and quality of the blogs I've looked at belonging to some of those present.
  • In no particular order, in addition to those linked to above:
    • Karen (with whom I chatted the longest on my table, as the editing Clark jabbed and grunted away in the background. Hey, K - hugely enjoyed our rambling discussion. I look forward to our next meet)
    • Bustling organizer Anita (also trekking in from distant parts)
    • Clark - also with MISC mag's editorial string to his bow
    • Mike Pope, also posting shrewd feedback on the evening.

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