A big thank you to all of the speakers at last night’s Blogging Demystified event at the Apple Store, hosted by Londonist. Equally, a deserved sláinte to the hundred or so people who attended and persevered over the considerable background noise. And a melodramatic Shakespearian bow to those of you who came along to the pub afterwards for some beery postscripts.
As hastily organised first-time efforts go, the evening seemed to be a success, with a line-up of accomplished London bloggers delivering a trio of insightful talks. The audience was two-thirds male, mostly 20-30-somethings, and seemingly 100% mute, based on the number of questions. But then the acoustics weren’t really up to an interactive discussion.
The first speaker was award-winning Annie Mole from Going Underground, a long-term favourite bookmark of just about every member on the Londonist team. Annie gave a neat introduction to the world of blogging, touching on as many different points as a communal Oyster card. Can blogs make money? Why start a blog? Why read a blog? And how can you build relationships with your readers? Annie should know. Her typical posts attract 20-30 comments.
Next up, Tom Reynolds of Random Acts of Reality, an enormously popular blog, based on Tom’s day (or night?) job as an ambulance medical technician. But instead of focusing on his specific blog, Tom took an unusual angle by commenting on the question of identity. Drawing on the example of Belle De Jour, he questioned the nature of identity on the internet. Are bloggers who they say they are? How can you prove your credentials? Is Belle De Jour in fact a strapping truck driver from Penge called Keith? Pertinent questions given that all of tonight’s speakers blog under pseudonyms (and nearly one of them is from Penge).
The event was rounded off superbly by the bubbly, giggly and, in their own words, nerdy girls from Inkycircus. Their blog started off as a chronicle of efforts to set up their own magazine (like, as in those old fashioned, non-digital paper thingies), but has since evolved into the witty and wise science digest we know and love today. They now have their own stalker and have received several marriage proposals, as well as a couple of ‘buy out’ offers (not accepted) from unspecified groups.
Get well soon to Tom Coates of Plasticbag. Our fourth planned speaker was too ill to attend, in his own words suffering from a 'succession of clenchings, squirtings, belchings and throwings that have made me extremely unpleasant company most of the morning'.
We’re already putting ideas together for a second event in the near future (and, Mr Coates, you're first on the list), so if you have any suggestions for speakers or themes, or would like to volunteer yourself, please email us. Perhaps we’ll even come out of our comfortable Londonist shells and give a little talk on group blogging next time.