Sunday, July 23, 2017

My First Blogger Meet-up in the CLE!


When I first started this blog in 2007, the D.C. blogging scene was a beauty to behold. It was large, active, welcoming, & full of really cool people doing really cool things, writing about all of it as they did. I never became super closer with any of the other bloggers, but I think fondly on my time participating in their many meet-ups (like the time we ended up at - & got kicked out of - a Dupont Circle strip club - ohhh, to be 23).

Now, though, people say the heyday of personal blogging has passed. They say blogging is dead. They say social media is the new blogging, that no one wants to read blog posts when they could just scroll through the captions in their Instagram or Twitter feeds.

I disagree, of course - & after all, you guys keep proving that conventional wisdom wrong by continuing to read & comment here (THANK YOU!). But the heyday of meet-ups, at least, does seem to have passed. Forums like 20SB & roundups like DC Blogs went dark. When I moved to Cleveland, I was eager to check out the Ohio Blogging Association, but I was dismayed to find that it was nearly defunct.

I've always known there must be other bloggers in Cleveland, bloggers I didn't yet know about, but how to find them? I wondered if the days of blogging as a local community activity were, in fact, dead.

A local blogging friend who I'd yet to meet in person, Crystal of Eat*Drink*Cleveland, recently added me to an Instagram pod for Cleveland bloggers, a group designed to help us engage with one another's content & help lift each other up. Through that, I found a bunch of blogs I hadn't yet known about - & then, last week, I saw that one of the bloggers, Leah of By Travel and Error, was hosting a local meet-up.

What?! Meet-ups were back?! I knew I had to go, anxious though I was sure to be.

Yesterday was the day. I headed over to Hi & Dry, a new bar-slash-bowling-alley just a few blocks away from my apartment, for Leah's Cleveland blogger meetup. It was attended by about a dozen other women, only one of whom I'd ever met in person (I had dinner with Kala of Cook Drink Decorate last month). In short, I was nervous as hell, but I just had a feeling it was going to be worth it. You know that feeling?

Of the group, I've been blogging the longest (10 years next month, daaaamn!), but these ladies, many of whom have only had blogs for a year or two, or even just a few months, blew me away with their savvy, their creativity, & their enthusiasm. If the heyday of personal blogging is dead, you'd certainly never know it based on the conversations I had & the content I heard about.

Truly, it was such a rejuvenating moment for me as a blogger, a Clevelander, & an aspiring creative type. I look forward to many more events like this in the future!

PS: Want to read these ladies' blogs? Check out Leah of By Travel & Error, Stacy of Styled By Stacy,  Crystal of Eat*Drink*Cleveland, Stella of The Heart's Delight, Alie of Alison's Five Things, Alyssa of The Mexitalian, Kala of Cook Drink Decorate, Brittney of According To Brittney, Amanda of Closeted Fashion, & Debi of DebiDarnell.com. Three of the ladies in attendance have yet-to-be-launched blogs coming soon!
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