Boston Blogtoberfest 2007—Beer, Bloggers, and Community-Building
Boston-area bloggers met up to celebrate their craft and watch Game 2 of the World Series (or rather, the endless pre-game show) last night in The Pour House’s basement “dungeon” on Boylston Street. It was the second annual Boston Blogtoberfest, expertly organized by local Web designer Jenny Frazier. From culture pundits to experts on identify-theft protection, this was the place for bloggers to be.
Judging from the variety of volume of conversations I overheard or engaged in, the Boston area is home to a healthy population of smart, young, funny, enthusiastic bloggers. One is Frazier herself, a multitalented twenty-something entrepreneur who writes a really fun blog and is a super photographer and an expert self-marketer—she was even handing out cool little campaign-like pins with her personal “JF” logo.
Many of the people I met at Blogtoberbest (Xconomy helped to sponsor the event, along with about 12 other local blogs and businesses) have technology-related day jobs and not-so-secret alter egos as compasses to online and offline culture. A case in point is Jonathan Feeley, a marketing associate at Digitas who runs a personal blog about Web 2.0 culture called Digital Interactif. Feeley told me that he blogs because it’s the only way he knows to take charge of the overwhelming flow of important interesting information he finds on the Web. Then there was Nathan Burke, “Web Community Evangelist” for Matchmine (profiled here in September), who publishes Blogstring, a clever, colorful group blog that covers social media, public relations, and startups in the Boston area.
I even met two bloggers intent on drawing the best from the worst. George Jenkins, who runs a blog called I’ve Been Mugged, is a former Lotus Development employee (pre-IBM takeover) who learned in May that IBM had lost data tapes containing personal information on him and thousands of other current and former employees. In his blog Jenkins draws important lessons for readers from his own experiences trying to protect himself from identity theft. Then there was Michael Krigsman, who writes a blog for ZDNet entitled Rearranging the Deck Chairs: IT Project Failures. Krigsman told me that in his experience, most failed software or computing projects fail for one of three reasons (or all three at once): greed, arrogance, and ignorance. I understood the arrogance and ignorance parts—people often launch grand projects that they have no idea how to execute—but the greed part wasn’t so familiar to me. Krigsman explained that the third-party consultants usually brought in on software projects actually benefit financially from failure, as late-running or over-budget projects usually result in extensions of their contracts.
The evening was capped by drawings for a range of fabulous prizes. Xconomy’s crack CTO, Andrew Koyfman, would have won the evening’s grand prize, a $100 gift certificate from Shoebuy. But by the time his name was drawn, he had already left The Pour House to meet some friends from San Francisco, and somebody else got the footwear. Now we’re just calling him Shoeless Joe Koyfman.
Frazier has posted pictures of the event on her Flickr feed.