One of the most frequent questions I get when people talk to me about my blog is whether I actually know all the people who leave comments here. I usually respond that I’ve met most of the regular commenters, although not all of them.
That wasn’t the case a few years ago. Back then, I had hardly met any of my readers, nor was I able to put a face to the voices on all the other great Oakland blogs I read regularly. Becks and dto510 and I used to sit around talking about how much we’d love to meet this blogger or that blogger, and then one day, Becks was all “Okay, enough of talking about this. We are going to have a party and invite all the other bloggers so we can meet them.”
We did a hastily planned, short-notice holiday party at the Washington Inn, where I got to meet all manner of cool people, including Artemis from City Homestead, Crimson, from the now-defunct (and missed) Oakland Streets, Farrah from the awesome local real estate blog A Piece of the Pie, and Coolhand Luke from the stellar culture blog 38th Notes. Plus a reader who very sweetly went on and on about how I should be on the Planning Commission, which amused the hell out of me.
The evening was so much fun that we decided to organize another one a few months later, this time at 2022 on Telegraph. We decided to expand the invite list beyond just blog writers, and sent notices to our frequent commenters as well. That party was even bigger and more fun, and so a few months later, we held another one at The Layover, which was even more awesome than the previous two events.
And of course, every time we do one of these, everyone is all “Oh, we should have parties like this more often. Why wait six months in between?” To which Becks and I are always like “Great idea! How about you organize one?” And somehow, I guess because we were all so busy with the elections, we managed to let 2010 pass by without any blogger parties at all.
Which is sad, because I love getting the chance to meet in person all the people I read all the time, whether I’m reading on their own blog or their comments as they pop up in my inbox. I think online discussions tend to be more civil when you’re talking to people you’ve met face to face and have had a non-heated, non-political conversation with.
And so, to that end, we’ve finally gotten it together to do another one. We used to always do the invitations by evite, but frankly, that was kind of a pain. A lot of bloggers don’t put their e-mail addresses anywhere on the blog, so it takes forever to track those down and even then, you miss some people. And a lot of people either use multiple e-mail addresses or fake ones when they comment, so you run the risk of either sending them the same invitation like four times or missing them entirely. Plus, evite’s interface is kind of awkward when you’re sending out lots of invitations. It is for me, anyway — it’s hard to figure out if you’ve already invited someone, and once I sent out like 50 invites to a party that had happened like six months ago.
Which is why we’ve decided to forgo the evite this time and just invite everyone via blog post and make a Facebook event for the party. I’m hoping to see lots of familiar faces there, and I hope to meet lots of new people as well. We’ll be trying to spread word of the event to other bloggers as well over the next week, who I realize — gasp! — may not all read me and Becks religiously (tragic, I know). But anyone who writes an Oakland blog or reads them is welcome — we would love to meet you. And I know you will love meeting other members of this wonderful little online community we’ve built up over the past few years.
So mark your calendars for January 6th, and if you’re on Facebook, please RSVP to our Facebook event, and invite others you think would be interested.
Once again, the party is going to be on Thursday, January 6th at downtown’s newest restaurant Disco Volante, located at 347 14th Street (at Webster) in downtown Oakland from 6 to 9 PM.
We look forward to seeing you there!