I talked to a lot of bloggers (as much as I could, as my voice was giving out all day) that I have been reading for quite some time, including Brendan Hodgson, Bob LeDrew (who is apparently good friends with a good friend of mine), Colin McKay, and Aimee, Brett and Steve from Shift-Ctrl, the 76Design blog.
I go to a lot of events where I don’t know anyone, but I’ve always found that events with bloggers who I’ve “met” through comments or just reading are always much easier. As Aimee notes on her blog, in situations like these, the ice is already broken, and the conversation flows much more easily than it would if we had met at a networking event.
It’s not a relationship that bloggers have with one another, per se. In fact, I equate it more with a religious connection than a social one. We are a group of like-minded individuals, who are accepting of each other by virtue of a membership to a group, which we earned through a ritual of writing and reflecting and of sharing our insights with other bloggers. Our beliefs, independent as they may be, are largely influenced by a book that is at the core of the culture. When we come together as a group, there is an automatic acceptance, because we know that bloggers are there not to self-promote, but to share. Those that were there to promote, were kept outside the group because they were there for themselves, not for the greater good.
Okay… maybe I’m stretching a bit, but I think that thinking of bloggers as members of a religion is a good analogy when you’re first starting out. When you decide you want to pitch bloggers by mass emails, first imagine yourself walking into a church during a sermon and giving them the same pitch. Chances are, you’ll get about the same reception if you’re not a part of the community, or at least, the conversation.