I know you’re probably fed up of hearing about it, and I promise this will be the last you see of it on this blog… until next year, that is!
The #BloggersBash 2015 is over. We had a great time. We honoured our favourite bloggers with awards. We ate, drank, and chatted. And it was quite an amazing experience.
On Friday, as I drove to Dublin airport, I began to wonder what I had let myself in for. There was no turning back now. I was boarding a plane for the UK capital, being picked up by Sacha Black, who I had never met before, who was kindly taking me into her home and making me dinner, before going on to my hotel in a town I’d never visited before.
The next morning, I was meeting twenty or so other bloggers, none of whom I had met beyond communicating via our blogs, and with Geoffle, Hugh and Sacha, we were going to stage the first ever Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. To say I was nervous is an understatement.
I’ve never been good in a crowd, one to one is more my thing. To draw attention to myself by presenting an award, well, the thought of it turned my knees to jelly. So it was with some degree of trepidation that I took my selfie in the airport and dutifully posted it on Twitter. Can you see the terror in my eyes?
Of course, I needn’t have worried. Sacha put me at my ease immediately. By the way we gabbed non stop all the way home, you would think we had known each other all our lives!
The next morning, we met Geoffle and Hugh slightly ahead of everyone else so we could get everything straight. Again, it was like meeting old friends. And then, onto the statue of Newton outside the British Library, where a circle of Bloggers had already assembled… this was it!
We stood nervously around for about two minutes, but by the time we had introduced ourselves, posed for pictures, and horror of horrors! said our piece on video at Hugh’s request, we had already begun to relax and form little knots of like-minded bloggers.
As the day passed (way too quickly!), I realised a few things;
Bloggers are shy. There’s no getting away from it. That’s why we blog, rather than star on the stage, radio, or in movies. We don’t like being the centre of attention. This was nowhere more apparent than when winning bloggers stood to accept their award.
What you see is what you get. Every blogger I met was exactly as they portrayed themselves to be on their blog. No airs and graces, no hard frontage, no act. Just genuine.
Bloggers have something to say. They may not choose to get on a soapbox to say it, or wish to debate and argue, but you would do well to listen, because it took a lot of thought before it went up on their blog. It’s why they started a blog in the first place. And it comes from personal experience.
Blogs are addictive. Bloggers love blogging. Once they start, they just can’t stop. Why? Because they get instant feedback on whatever they post; because by blogging they have entered into a unique community of like-minded people; because it is such freedom to be able to say exactly what you want, without interruptions, to other people who ‘get’ you.
Blogs are not a selling tool. Which is contrary to everything we have ever been told. Experience shows us this. Other bloggers confirm it. Who cares? That’s not what it’s about any more, anyway. Besides, it’s such FUN!
Bloggers are not anti-social. This is what non-bloggers think, because we are often up blogging in the middle of the night, spending our time with ‘virtual’ friends from all around the world, rather than with our local flesh and blood friends. It’s not true. Bloggers like eating, drinking, going to pubs and parties, etc, and chatting just as much as anyone, and Saturday was proof of this.
Bloggers are easy to talk to. Yes, we are. Bloggers are not aloof, hiding behind the specialised knowledge on their blogs. They are open, honest, and welcoming. They share information, experiences and expertise. And feedback will generally be constructive at the very least.
Bloggers look like their bio pics! They really do… except for Sue, who has ditched the beautiful red locks to return to her softer, natural colour, and very lovely she looked too! Personally, I have acquired a few more lines since my bio pic was taken, but generally, it was easy to identify each other.
Blogging takes up too much time. Blog posts take research, and header images, before you even start writing. It all takes time. Time you should be spending on finishing that novel, editing, cooking dinner, playing with the kids, going on dates with your partner, walking the dog, doing your day job. It has to be managed and scheduled, but that’s easier said than done. Whatever you do, you feel guilty about what you’re not doing.
Blogging unites people around the world. It makes the world a smaller place, a global community. Bringing people together like this can have quite a positive impact. Think of 1000 voices speak for compassion, or helping a fellow blogger going through difficult times, or aiding a courageous individual in his support of a worthy cause.
I could go on, but luckily for you, I won’t, as midnight has already been and gone. As Sacha says, bloggers ‘burn the candle at both ends, and in the middle’. Suffice it to say that it is looking very likely that there will be another #BloggersBash with associated ABBA’s next year, and that it is going to be bigger and better than ever! Hope to see you there.