I wasn't there. I was in grad school in Chapel Hill, studying the epidemiology of infectious diseases and struggling through Media Law, expecting our second child, enjoying a coffee discussion with Francis Collins.
But I was a blogger, and I was already gathering other bloggers for meetups. We called ourselves the Tar Heel Bloggers.
I'm sure I heard about BloggerCon at the time and followed the posts coming out of that gathering. As an early blogger, I searched for anything I could learn about how people were using the web to write and reflect their lives. And since I was just recently finished with my Peace Corps service in the Republic of Vanuatu, where the village chief would bang a tamtam to gather the community under the nakamal for village discussions, I loved the idea of a gathering of bloggers. So, the more I read from Dave and others about the bloggercon, the more I wanted to partner with my friends in the Tar Heel Bloggers to organize one of our own.
About a year later, in February 2005, we convened the Triangle Bloggers Conference. Dave drove down to join us, and others came from Vermont and Atlanta and California.
Dave blogged the day, said it was lovely but that we broke the rules, but he also organized a brunch the next day. I went to learn about outliners, although it took me until the World Outliner (seven years later) and Fargo to truly get it. I'm writing this post in an outliner! At the brunch, Dave urged me to bootstrap our community, and during the conference others encouraged us to keep up the conversation (which we would do in monthly meetups in Chapel Hill and Raleigh). I met Bora Zivkovic that day, and we were soon collaborating on a bloggercon dedicated to science. That annual event grew into a global community and a nonprofit organization called ScienceOnline.
My post A decade of blogging tells more about how we came together, who my partners were, and why we named the effort BlogTogether.
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I have loved being a blogger, and I have so many friends because of blogging. Like Dave through his Scripting News blog, they have enlightened me and inspired me and entertained me and challenged me. I've read Kottke for more than a decade, too. His post this week about Stephen Hawking's party for time travellers made me chuckle. Honestly, if I could travel in time, I'd first visit Cambridge, Mass. for BloggerCon, then Cambridge, UK to say hello to Professor Hawking.
Cheers to Dave and everyone else who made BloggerCon possible.