For so long, it was something to anticipate and look forward to. Then, it became somewhat more tangible with the Countdown to Blogger Social '08 and even a countdown clock. A week or so before, reality set in with directions for arrangements and meetups, amazing documentation in emails from CK.
And, now, it's over. I haven't fully absorbed all of the interactions and conversations - although I have uploaded my Blogger Social 2008 set to Flickr - and marvelous bits come back to me, clicking and connecting with other amazing moments to create more Aha!s.
I'm particularly glad that it took place on the heels of BlogHer Business 2008, giving me added time with Connie Reece, Tara Anderson, Toby Bloomberg, Anna Farmery, Heather Gorringe, Kaitlyn Wilkins, Virginia Miracle, and Lori Magno, as well as Yvonne DiVita and Mary Hunt.
Friday night at the Perfect Pint was unreal. I walked into a big hug from Gavin Heaton, and then onto CK, Valeria Maltoni, Ann Handley, Luc Debaisieux, Drew McLellan, Geoff Livingston, Kris Hoet, Paul Dunay, David Reich, Greg Verdino, Doug Meacham, Todd Andrlik, Matt Dickman, Chris Kieff, Mack Collier and David Armano.
The Circle Line tour around half of Manhattan was a blast with an opportunity to spend time with CeCe Lee, Mark Goren, Jason Falls, Roberta Rosenberg, Thomas Clifford, Marshall Sponder, Cam Beck, Shashi Bellamkonda, and Tim McHale while absorbing the views of my favorite urban island.
I wish I had had more time to speak with Seni Thomas, Mike Arauz, Matthew Bailey, Jennifer Berk, Tim Brunelle, Saul Colt, Amanda Gravel, Kevin Horne, Jennifer Laycock, Matthew McDonald, Rita Perea, Marilyn Pratt, Jane Quigley, Cathleen Rittereiser, John Rosen, Tamar Weinberg, John Wall, Paul Soldera, Nathan Snell and Linda Sherman.
This event makes real the essence of social media. Each individually brought unique knowledge, experience and perspective to this community meetup, creating additional meaning for everyone. Each has so much passion to share, you can't help but learn. As a result, the individual becomes stronger and wiser, making the community that much better off.
Age is irrelevant. Location doesn't matter. What does matter is how authentic and genuine you are, and how much passion you share.
Thank you. Long Live Blogger Social 2008!