I did not imagine Blogworld Expo would have this profound effect on me. I was entirely too unprepared for it!
This gathering made this powerful yet virtual community come alive in ways that surpassed the best of my expectations. I am simply dumbfounded from it all! I put faces to names (and Twitter IDs!), voices and gestures to still photos of my friends and peers and fellow bloggers, and in the span of just under 4 days, I watched us form new bonds and reaffirm existing relationships and develop a stronger, tighter and truer sense of belonging to our beautiful community.
It is easy to root for your community of choice, I know – I have watched people do it all my life, yet I have never understood it. I have never been a part of a community which knows no bounds in helping others succeed and no shame in admitting that it does not know all the answers and no limit in its desire to learn, to grow, and to indefinitely pursue the best version of itself yet.
Bloggers understand that success is not a zero-sum game and there is more than enough to go around for all of us. Bloggers know that even if they could do it all alone, it is much more fun to engage and partake in the journey with others. Bloggers do what they do not from obligation but from a real desire; they share their stories and knowledge and they each offer something of their own which they believe will change the world for the better.
That, my friends, is why the blogging community rocks, a community so close-knit that while it spans the globe, it is as small and intimate as a living room gathering. When we collaborate, communicate, or engage with one another, distances dissolve across the inter webs and timezones merge into one. The essence of camaraderie, the beauty of fellowship, the compassion and yet the candor, it is unmistakable and it makes for a lasting foundation.
You are reading Part 2: The Community of a 3-Part Blogworld 2010 series.
Fortune and luck were smiling down on me when I crossed paths with so many special individuals. I returned home with a fuller heart, a deeper longing to learn and to grow and I feel incredibly privileged to have met……
A Few Incredible Blogging Souls
Darren Rowse, Problogger, The Most Beloved Blogger:
My very first impression of Darren from his blog was his genuine desire to help others, his extreme sincerity, his leadership in the blogging sphere, and his prolific ideas to keep pushing the ante on what Problogger can deliver – check out the Problogger Academy! Those qualities are indeed the foundation of his personality and he is indispensable to the blogging community. How can he be so massively successful and yet remain so humble, so sincere, so willing to help and inspire others, so interested in contributing to the community? I can find no words to thank him.
Aileen, Kaizen Vision, The Most Optimistic Blogger
I am convinced Aileen (in photo above with Darren & me) and I have spent a year – or a decade – of friendship somewhere in another life because very rarely do I find anyone who matches my energy, laughs as heartily with me at the absurdities of life, and truly understands me. So rarely do we find that deep connection of friendship so quickly with someone. There is however Aileen’s amazingly optimistic outlook which far more than outshines mine. I really must look at situations in a more positive light (instead of always asking “What is the worst possible scenario…?”). Read Kaizen Vision for more of her brightness.
Katie Tallo, Momentum Gathering, The Most Dedicated Blogger
More than anything, I could see dedication in Katie. She just celebrated 6 months of blogging and already, she has attracted 1000 subscribers and is about to publish an ebook aligned to the momentum gathering vision. I am impressed by her discipline which is only matched with dedication to her readers. Katie is a gifted writer, is embracing this thing called “technology” like nobody’s business, and makes for wonderful fun company. (But for the life of me, I couldn’t snap a photo of us which had her full approval so I do hope this one below passes the test, Katie!)
Leo Babauta, Zen Habits, The Most Inspirational Blogger
If only I could bottle up the true zen which Leo embodies, I shall be on that inner peace quest in no time. It was delightful to meet the creator of Zen Habits and to listen to his story of building Zen Habits from nothing. Enough inspiration to push anyone to the next level of blogging, thank you Leo!
Annabel Candy, Get in the Hot Spot, The Most Strategic Blogger
It was most delightful that Annabel made Blogworld – in fact, it was most fortunate for me since I had vowed I wouldn’t go if she didn’t, paid registration and all! But she did and she was the most strategic blogger while fighting serious jet lag coming from down under! She had already interviewed Leo Babauta before we wrapped the first day of the conference. In person, Annabel is delightful, funny, very real and compassionate. I stalked her as much as I could and you should too!
Karol Gajda, Ridiculously Extraordinary, The Most Devoted Vegan Blogger
Karol is tall, very tall; that should explain his crafty pose in all the photos to make us little people feel closer to him. It was almost a celebrity moment when I met him and Benny (below)! Karol is a road warrior; he travels the world and shares his message, at the core of which you find: freedom, health, travel and life – a person after my own heart. More than anything, I was beyond impressed by his devotion to his vegan diet. He even stuck to it during his long stay in Poland! Bravo, Karol. You show me it can be done!
Benny Lewis, Fluent in 3 Months, The Most Multi-Lingual Blogger
I believe that I was unconsciously acting as the Marketing Director for Benny. “Have you heard of Benny the Irish Polyglot?” – I would ask everyone, who would then promptly ask me to explain a polyglot! My own love of languages has never been satiated so I share the depth of Benny’s passion except he is living it out. He is currently in Colombia (where they normally speak Spanish as you know!) to practice his Hungarian! Benny, you are one in ten million and we all loved you!
Sid Savara, sidsavara.com, The Most Well-Connected Blogger
I have been reading Sid’s blog for months now and have finally put a face to the writer behind it all. He organized lunches and gatherings, brought people together and made introductions. From his list of contacts from Blogworld alone you can see how well-connected he is and how willing to connect others. Malcolm Gladwell was talking about Sid – not me! – when he described “connectors“ in the Tipping Point. On top of his blog, Sid is co-founder of BlogcastFM along with Srini (below). You rock, Sid!
Srinivas Rao, Skool of Life, The Best Skilled Interviewer Blogger
Srinivas (Srini) has a special energy, I so enjoyed his company. His sincerity comes through instantly. He has done a brilliant job along with Sid (above) on BlogcastFM. He is hands down the best interviewer and their generosity on giving away so many amazing detailed and resourceful interviews from the masters in the blogosphere is stunning. On the side, he runs his great blog at Skool of Life. You simply must check him out!
Jen Gresham, Everyday Bright, The Most Genuine Blogger
Jen is sweet, comfortable, and hard to resist. She is incidentally a scientist and has a great story to tell about her career transition. I loved her company; her genuine spirit comes through in a first meeting. But beyond that, Jen is brave, seriously devoted to her blog and extremely resourceful. Most of all, though, she is genuine, a gem of a quality.
Jeanie Witcraft, Imperfect Hearing, The Most Enthusiastic New Blogger
I met Jeanie, thanks to Mr. Connector up there – and was shocked to hear that she had set up her blog the day before and was here in Blogworld already making a name for herself. I had told myself I would help inspire at least one new blogger and Jeanie was a delight to mentor – although I don’t think it will be long before she is teaching me a thing or two. Jeanie, I am proud of you and welcome to the world of blogging!
Nathalie Lussier, The Raw Foods Witch, The Most Nutrition Aware Blogger
I admit I really like witches, not the evil ones, but the cute cartoon-like ones so Nathalie’s clever approach to teaching us about raw foods decked out as a (very pretty) witch is all but too irresistible. She put together a stunning session not on raw foods but on how to create mouth-watering content. There was not a seat left in the room. She imparted excellent wisdom on approaching blogging like a menu! I am getting hungry writing this….Thanks Nathalie!
Kristi Hines, Kikolani, The Most Savvy Social Media Blogger
If you don’t get Kristi’s brilliant Fetching Friday posts, sign up now! On the way to Vegas, I read her last several posts in one sitting and not once did the information confuse me even on subjects beyond my general knowledge. That is called great content every single time! Kristi is smart – very smart – and generous and lovely in person. I tracked her down hard and met her just before she jumped on her plane home. Next year, I am planning a lunch with you, Kristi!
A few others who made an impression on me but escaped my lens:
- Barrie Davenport (Live Bold & Bloom) amazed me with her kindness and along with dedicated Geri Langlois, they make up the primary working heart and hand behind The Daily Brainstorm.
- Lori Moreno is the ultimate Twitter Mama (sitting pretty on 118,000+ Tweets at the time of this writing – and most are inspiring!) and very funny!
- Nomadic Matt who is a digital nomad, a simple funny and kind world traveler with a brave heart to set out and see the world!
- Daniel Scocco (Daily Blog Tips) who gives top-notch daily blog tips also makes for fantastic company. He is down-to-earth and a real listener. Daniel, you need a profile photo that does you justice and you ran off before I took it for you!
Share your Thoughts
Good heavens, what a long post! An exercise in brevity for the next post, I do give you my word. If you got this far, thank you for reading! I’d love to know your thoughts on community and forming bonds with those who share your passions. Do you belong to a great community like the Blogging sphere? If so, consider yourself lucky and your community a jewel of rare blessing! And please tell us about it and start a conversation below because I want to believe even more resolutely in the goodness of the world and the human heart!