Sunday, August 01, 2004

Brighton Blogging

On Thursday night I went to meet a selection of Brighton (and Hove's) finest bloggers. The notion of a blogging community is a slightly odd one, not least when you have not yet established yourself within the community. I have been, then, a member of the Brighton Bloggers web ring for several months, but in that time my interaction with them has been slim; I've linked to a few, and had the odd link back, and read a few, and - perhaps - been read by a few in return. But a community obviously works along some sense of 'togetherness', the suggestion of some sympathy, some mutual purpose or - more simply - friendship. Not knowing anyone, my being part of a 'community' is little more than a nice idea.

But the people I met were really nice, and talented too. I know that it's perfectly possible to create a community online (indeed Live Journal does all that stuff perfectly well) and thus make the meeting up side of things redundant, but I think there's a definite correlation between meeting people and reading about them; unless you are willing to dredge the recesses of every part of your personal life, one's blog will always be the equivalent of somebody's holiday snaps; momentarily revealing yet in need of some kind of narrative to make it mean something. Oh, I don't know, why, why should it have to mean something, I guess. But still...

Reading people's blogs, though, makes more sense after you have shared a beer - for me, if no-one else. I find that I stop scanning for information, for a start, and begin to just enjoy the prose for a while. Perhaps I am far too curious to be a good blog-reader, forever looking for proof, for identity, an inveterate google-searcher, utterly frustrated when no clues can be found. Maybe all it is is that meeting someone and saying hallo means I can skip the 'archive' buttons when I arrive at the site; feel more qualified just to sit and read, which is the fun of blogs.

Whatever, it's always slightly intimidating, slightly exciting and slightly peculiar introducing yourself to a new set of people (although it was nice that Andrew was there, who of course I know), but reassuring to find it pleasant, although I suppose I'm pretty good at getting on with new people. Sharing geographical location as a reference point rather than, say, an interest in american indie rock from 1989 to 94 or the novels of Martin Amis, the blogs of Brighton are a mixed bag, but meeting is testament to the fact that you can write about XML, XTC or ecstacy and it doesn't mean you won't get along.

Instead I find myself looking forward to the next opportunity to meet.

A short introduction to the Brighton bloggers; (and pictures here)

Yummy Wakame
Andy Budd
Jane and Richard's Yak and Natter
Bedsit Bomber Blog
Pete Barr-Watson

and here's a photo of me, too, with a pint. And Andrew.


1 comment:

olivia said...

It was great meeting you guys! Told you it was a nice photo :)