CLEVELAND – Courage and passion. These words lingered as I left Touch Supper club last night, the back room still abuzz with laughter and exchanges over topics from Go Daddy, WordPress and self-hosting to diet and training regimens for the Boston marathon.
As my right arm still smarts from a rendezvous with the frying pan/bacon grease this morning (I lost –serves me right for being half-awake, on the phone and trying to make breakfast simultaneously…), here are a few insights I gained during the Ohio Blogging Association meetup last night:
>>It takes courage to tell your story, courage to be accountable for who you are and who you want to be. In the words of George Eliot, It is never too late to be what you might have been.
>>Didn’t mind being the baby of the group. Some bloggers were celebrating one or two-year anniversaries (kudos!), others were seasoned veterans on the Cleveland scene. Whether bloggers of dieting or fitness, yoga, food and wine, running, tech, lifestyle, sustainability or PR and marketing, it was clear we all had one thing in common: a love for this city.
>>The food and hospitality was great (Yelp review here: Touch Supper Club). We were actually in the same back room another group and I had over New Year’s Eve –great for private parties and events.
>>Something Jen, the author of Why Cleveland? shared really hit home for me: We choose to be here. She, too, is not originally from Believeland (having moved back twice throughout education, personal and career travels), and mentioned one of the main reasons for beginning her blog was because she was so tired of hearing the inane “Why are you here” and “Why would you come back?” jabs from people who’ve been born and bred here.
The same ones that complain when Forbes or Newsweek list Cleveland as the most Miserable City in the country…when they were likely the ones said media interviewed! (Touché, Jen!). Dually refreshing and amusing, it also gave me added resolve for creative, snarky responses when people find out I’m from California and New York…
>>WordPress is favored over blogger/blogspot, both from blogger and reader ends (during a conversation with Maria from Germany, I shared how I’m a visual nerd, and liked that WP seems more fluid, customizable in shape and form).
>>We all shared concerns, challenges with making the transition to self-hosted domains. “Monetizing” and other pros/cons of ads, negotiating financial, post schedules, etc. with the creative, artistic freedoms inherent in the process of blogging for fun. As I am only a few months out of the gate, I’m still enjoying the wide-eyed role of learning and absorbing all I can as I connect and meet those in the professional and personal community. As Alicia mentioned, the opportunities for collaboration in our local communities and the blogging ecosystem at large are endless.
Regardless of background or age, everyone present mentioned they just needed an outlet, a way to write and share their story. Pretty neat.
As Thoreau says: How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Thanks again to Alicia Hansen, a fellow alumni of Baldwin-Wallace, for hosting the event!
- Alicia from Poise in Parma
- Amanda from Clue into Cleveland
- Bud from Circular Absurdity
- Byron from byronfernandez
- CLEgal from WhyCLE
- Jeff from My Future Past
- Joe from Healthy Day Fitness
- Kali from Finishing Firsts
- Katie from Healthy Heddleston
- Lyn from Life Lyn Style
- Maria from Delish Adventures
- Maria from The Downward Daily Dog
- Robert from Great Lakes Green Pages
- Stephanie from Hungry in Cleveland
- Stuart from Web SIG Cleveland