A while ago I mentioned going to the local WP Meetup and how I had nothing in common with the folks there. As much as I am the techie geek among my circle, these folks spoke a completely different language.
Growing up I was always the weird kid. I was the only Jew in my school. I went away every summer to a Jewish summer camp with kids from big cities like Memphis (ha!), New Orleans, and Little Rock. I’d come home listening to new music (Depeche Mode and REM), wearing funny clothes, and doing strange things to my hair (I’m not going there).
When I moved to Oregon, once again, I was the oddball. I wore matching outfits and khaki shorts with loafers. My jeans had a crease in the front. Slowly I assimilated and got my first pair of Birkenstocks and stopped shaving my legs (to my mother’s horror).
Eventually the weirdness of Oregon got old as I did too. Now back in the south, I am an alien once again.
So back to tonight’s gathering of geeks. The organizer of this group, who I’d tried several times to reach out to, and was rebuffed each time, recently stepped down. Somehow she got the idea that something isn’t computing when you have 500+ members, but only 10 who attend regularly. The fella who stepped up to take her spot reached out to the group through a series of emails and I was encouraged enough to check this out again.
Tonight was a brainstorming event where it was discussed what do you want to see from this group and how can we get more people involved. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. Hi I’m a developer. Hi I’m a web designer. Hi I’m a developer and self hosting is the only way to go. Hi I do multisite. On and on and on. Then it’s my turn…
Hi. I’m taking a left turn here. I don’t care about any of that stuff. I’m a blogger and photographer who uses the free wordpress.com site as my medium. I’m looking to meet other creative types who want to talk about blogging. (I know, I’m such an asshole… she giggles)
They thanked me for coming and really want to get more bloggers involved in the group. A few of them asked if I really wasn’t interested in developing and programming. I don’t need to know how to change the oil in my car to be able to drive. I just want to get behind the wheel and hit the open road.
This group really like the format of “fireside chats” where someone makes a presentation and then they discuss it. I told the previous organizer I was certain no one there cared about what I had to say and I told the guy tonight the same thing. I think the proof is in the pudding. I spoke to half of the people there, and they all asked what do you blog about. Cooking, crafting, and cocktails. Oh. I like cooking. Not one of them asked what my site was.
I’m going to go back. Especially now that I think I have an opportunity to draw some other bloggers out of the woodwork without the fear of the geek firing squad. I’m going to come up with something interesting to present, and I’m taking suggestions. I thought about a discussion and demonstration of the difference between a biscuit and a scone. Or why we shake some cocktails and not others. The impact of butter versus margarine in cookies… oh the possibilities..
What do you think I should present to this group of folks? I’m dying to hear your thoughts on this. Such fun!