Last month I joined a small group of passionate bloggers at a local coffee roastery and I really enjoyed the time to get to know them and share with them a few thoughts about my experience blogging.
I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to learn even more about them and why they began such a small grassroots gathering that was very different than most meetups. I was lucky enough to grab a few moments from one of the founders, Jessica Smith, who is a writer, creative, and “lover of stories.”
Here’s a simple interview about how they got started, why they got started, and some of the results of such a neat and different gathering:
1) Tell us your background/history with blogging. Why did you get started?
Shortly after I graduated from college I went on a mission trip called the World Race. We traveled to 11 countries in 11 months and worked with non-profits, churches, and ministries all over the world.
We had to fundraise for the trip, and to keep our supporters informed the organization ‘made us’ keep a blog. It was a bit challenging finding internet in African villages and crammed European internet cafes, but it was worth it to tell the stories of what we were witnessing.
Coming on staff at Wellspring Living over a year ago, I could not be more excited to get their blog off the ground.
2) What was the genesis and story behind the blogger gathering? What were you hoping to accomplish?
The funny thing about the ‘genesis’ behind the blogger gathering is that it actually came out of a question. From time to time Gisele (manager of Plywood’s blog) and I would bounce ideas off each other concerning our organization’s blog.
One morning in particular we were discussing what ‘success’ meant for a blog. I wasn’t satisfied with just a statistical answer of how many daily hits your blog receives, and wondered if other bloggers had the same question. We decided that there were probably other bloggers looking for new ideas, support, and answers to similar questions, so we decided to crowd source it.
We thought the best way to do that would be in an intimate gathering over wine and cheese. Thus the Blogger Gathering was born.
3) What have been some of the more satisfying outcomes of the bloggers gathering?
For me the most satisfying outcome of these events have been the connections made. Not only have I connected with other Atlanta bloggers, I’ve connected with bloggers I look up to and deeply respect.
We’ve created a community of internet writers, and engaged the experts in our discussion. I’ve learned from experienced bloggers, and have been able to connect with people struggling through the same questions about online content.
It’s about the people for me, and being able to network people of all ‘walks of blogging’ has encouraged me greatly.
4) Where do you see the group headed? What’s the long-term vision for the group?
I see this group as a group of bloggers who are always looking to grow and learn. A group of people who see blogging as a journey, but are willing to grow and cultivate their work as and the writing industry changes.
Long term I’d like to see the group grow without changing the integrity of the group — Atlanta bloggers striving to learn and grow. I want to continue to engage the experts with the freshman and provide a place for people to network and ask questions.