Wednesday, 24 August 2011

London Bloggers Meetup: Summer Spectacular

It was that time of the month again when I rouse myself to go to the London Bloggers Meetup, it gets me out of the house and meet new people.

This month's theme was travel, the event was sponsored by Europcar and BMIBaby and featured a talk by a travel blogger called Heather. It was a very informative talk for travel bloggers and people interested in starting a travel blog, also there were a few important points that apply to bloggers with broader subject matter, like how is you want your friends and family to read the blog you write about yourself, what you did on holiday, that sort of thing, but if you want to appeal to a larger audience you have to write about things that anyone can do.

It was interesting stuff, I saw lots of people taking notes.

BMIBaby and Europcar had provide prizes for a competition, once again I didn't win, but this time it was cos I didn't enter. Instead it was won by a fellow called Bernie.

Gor, its been years and years I've been going to these meetups, and I think in that time I've run about ten different blogs. Most of them I've given up on, and right now, its kind of awkward when people ask me about my blog, cos I have three that are currently updated:-

  • This one which is quite safe for work and has the most un-snappy url ever xrisglmv14.blogspot.com - Mostly I blog about plants in my back garden and BT phoneboxes that have been converted into libraries
  • My secret blog full of posts that people can argue with over on posterous illandancient.posterous.com - like rioters in London and leftwing and rightwing newspapers
  • And my anti-PR company blog PishPoorPR.tumblr.com - where I mostly complain about things, like people pooping in the doorways of Sainsburys
Anyhoo, I think I racked a good spread of bloggers and meetup attendees I chatted to this month:-

  • Murphy - has a website thats something to do with publishing books on Kindle, sounds kind of neat, straightforward and easy, although I admit I'm struggling to locate it online
  • Kate(?) Swedish travel Blogger - she quickly retreated to find a place at the bar where service was a bit quicker
  • Anthony Fresh Plastic - Blogs about gadgets, twitter and internet stuff, not industrial plastic extruders which I feel is a subject lacking in the London blogging scene
  • Joseph Real Monstrosities - I love the expression on people's faces when he tells them he has an animal blog. I like the idea of animal blogs, that its a perfectly valid niche blog, as valid as travel-blogging, and whilst this evening's talk is about travel blogging, it could just as likely be about animal blogging. How to make money from your animal blog, what works and what doesn't. The meetup could be sponsored by London Zoo and the National Geographic
  • Mehrdad - Blogs about art and interesting photographs
  • Heather - was rather concerned about the Virginia earthquake
  • Selena - Well, I was briefly introduced but we didn't chat or anything like.
  • Steve social media for Europcar or something - Pointed out that a lady stood nearby was the boss of Europcar
  • Tamara from Europcar - My car hire anecdote, the other week I was on holiday in the highlands of Scotland, Scotland is great for driving in compared to London, no traffic, no motorways, just long easy drives, me and my ladyfriend had hired a car, not sure who it was from, and we had a great time. We'd picked the car up from a representative at Inverness train station and were to drop it off at Inverness airport. I've never been to Inverness Airport before, and although we'd arrived a bit early to catch our flight, there was a bit of anxiety, we wanted to be at the departure gate on time, not faffing about in the carpark, and it wasn't clear where to leave the car. There's about three car parks, one of them had clearly marked bays for Hertz and Avis rental cars, but nothing clear for the car we'd hired. So, after frantically driving round the car parks a few times we phoned up the customer careline, who answered very quickly, and was a little bit helpful, explaining where to drop off the car, where to put the keys and where to put the car park ticket. But that bit of anxiety could have neatly been avoided if in the car hire document pack there was just a little business card sized set of instructions, maybe with a little map, just something with a bit of certainty. Even now I fear that some unpaid parking ticket from Inverness airport will arrive in the post.
  • Shash the entrepreneurial consultant - We had an in-depth discussion about how high-end audio equipment can improve sound quality, by not degrading the recorded audio information as much as low-end audio equipment
  • Tom Flashboy - Media type person/journalist/timelord, occasional hat-wearer
  • Radiokate - Knows about space shuttles and Walthamstow respite centre
  • Inspector Winter - Police chap who tweets during the riots and got a lot of newspaper coverage, seemed like an okay chap
Also, people who I saw who I've like chatted to before, or vaguely recognise off of the internet, nodded at but didn't necessarily make eye-contact with

Me, I love graphs and stuff, so here's a little chart of how many people I speak to and see at all the London Bloggers Meetups I've been to over the past couple of years and the total number of people at each one.

So this one was one of the larger meetups, with about 85 people there. I did okay talking to 13 people, not quite the heady heights of the seventeen folk I met in November 2009, but not too shabby, still percentage-wise it was a bit poor, this one time I knew almost 30% of the folk in the room, but now barely 20%, must try harder. Who are the people on the other side of the room?

Is it some kind of observer's bias that when I look on Tweeter at the #LBM hashtag I barely recognise anyone, or am I just downplaying the folk I do recognise?

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