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OFF TO VLOGGERCON!
10 June 2006
I am spending the weekend in San Francisco, attending Vloggercon, a meeting of some 500 people who are into video blogging at all sorts of levels. I'll be spending Friday and Saturday nights at my mother's, rather than stay for the socializing (I hear karaoke is going to be involved) and paying for a hotel.
I've volunteered to work the sign-in table, because if I don't force myself to do something like that, I'll be sitting in a corner observing and speaking to nobody. This way I'll get to see most people.
I have to admit that I did my wavering back and forth, especially after my videocamera bit the dust. Would I really fit in there? Not only are most people the age of my children, everybody seems to be doing more and more sophisticated stuff. I'm still in videoblogging "kindergarten." Would I really get anything out of it? But it's right in my back yard! When will I have this opportunity again?
There was some unpleasantness that came up on the discussion board in the past month or so that made me rethink my decision to go. I really felt like I was ready to quit the group.
Then I found out that Missbehavens, one of my favorite vloggers, who was also not happy about the unpleasantness, was also still planning to attend. In truth, she was one of the reasons I decided to go in the first place. Neat lady who works in a neonatal unit in a hospital in New York, owns a home which was flooded in New Orleans, and seems to be one of the most "open" people, with a wonderful sardonic sense of humor which I have enjoyed over the past several months.
I also knew that Susan, of kitykity.com would be there. She was one of the first vloggers that I made any connection with, but as she started becoming one of the "in crowd," I kind of fell off her radar screen (she's also younger than David would have been and we don't have much in common). I haven't heard from her in a very long time, but I would still like to meet her.
There are a number of other vloggers whose work I have watched and admired over the past several months, though I haven't been following vlogs much lately--it was taking entirely too much time and there was, alas, less and less which appealed to me.
Then I learned that DesertNut was going to come. We watch each others' videos each day and usually we each leave the only comment made on each video. We had never discussed the Vloggercon, or videoblogging group, and I wasn't even sure she was a member, but I learned she is--and I'm very much looking forward to meeting her in person as well.
There are others in the group I'd like to meet. Carl Weaver, who has this dry outlook on life which is much fun. Josh Leo, a young man from San Francisco who just makes darn good videos. Randy Wicker, from New York, with whom I've had several e-mail exchanges. Chuck Olson from the beautifully photographed Minnesota Stories. Richard Hall of the usually very funny The Richard Show.
Paul Knight is coming from England. He originally said he couldn't afford to be here, but a group of people made donations to a "bring Paul to Vloggercon" fund and he collected enough for the flight and his expenses here.
It's a weird thing about computer people. Paul is not the only person whose attendance at Vloggercon has come through the kindness of strangers. When geeks want to meet other geeks, they can be very generous.
I've had dealing with Paul, whose wife lives with multiple sclerosis, and who has a good heart. He was hoping to raise a lot of money for MS research through videoblogging. He has an oddball British wit, which perhaps is not always shared (or understood) by a mostly American audience, but I suspect that when he and all of us Americans here get a chance to spend time together, it will make all the difference in the world.
Then last night I received an e-mail that really surprised me. "I was perusing the list of attendees at the upcoming Vloggercon, organized by my friend Jay Dedman [one of the Vloggercon organizers], and saw your name," it said, continuing, "I thought to myself, "OUR Bev Sykes??" And, yes it is.. just explored your website a little... you're quite the geek. I mean that in a good way. <g> I'm becoming more of one with each passing day."
This is a woman who lives in Davis and with whom I had some dealings years ago, when she headed up the local Davis TV station and I was in a position to need to make local TV arrangements. What a surprise. We'll both be at Vloggercon and it will be interesting to renew acquaintances.
I thought this thing would be attended by some 100 people or so, but just heard that the enrollment is now up to five hundred attendees. It's going to be huge. Good thing I'm at the sign-in table, where I'll meet most of those folks. I won't worry about what I'll miss at the various sessions because people with real video camera will be there to record it and I'm sure I'll see more eventually than I would ordinarily, which is good since I just got permission from the newspaper editor to cover the weekend for The Davis Enterprise.
In any event, it's going to be an interesting experience and I hope to come home having made a few more face-to-face friends. But I'll only have the laptop with me, which is slow as molasses, and so I won't even try to make videos to post while I'm away. I'll save that for when I get home next week.
PHOTO OF THE DAY