Atlanta Blog Meetup

Farhana and I had a nice lunch at the Emory Doc Chey’s Noodle House in the afternoon, and had a good time. But the highlight of the day was definitely attending the blog meetup in the evening at Dupree’s pub and bar on Monroe. Most of my friends know that I’m not a very outgoing person, so I was a bit apprehensive about my first meetup, especially with a group of effectively random people with nothing more than a common interest in blogging. It turns out that I had nothing to worry about.

The group was very friendly and energetic, and there was never a dull moment in the conversation. Our common love for blogging provided a solid foundation that ultimately led to a variety of fascinating discussions and topics, including spam filtering, industry outsourcing, arcade emulation, the days of the BBS, foreign languages, and of course, news for nerds. The breadth and interests of bloggers present in the Atlanta meeting was simply astounding:

  • Tom Carr was interested in learning about the whole blog phenomena. He’s an active member on the The WELL, a non-anonymous online gathering place. I remember The WELL in its older form as a BBS in my youth, but had no idea that it’s still around. Though The WELL continues to have an active community, I think I’ll stick with USENET.
  • Brad Fallon runs the Search Engine Radio Talk Show and gave useful search engine optimization tips and tricks during the meetup, many of which I plan to implement.
  • Mark Lusher runs MDL Consulting, a small business that specializes in computer and network support. He dabbles with a little bit of everything.
  • Michael Earls and I got along quite well because of our common interests in programming. He’s a big fan of Microsoft .NET and other Microsoft technologies, such as WinFS, metadata, and Microsoft Exchange. Being a Linux guru myself, it’s a great to be able to have an intelligent discussion with those on the other side of the fence. He’s a cool guy and I hope that we keep in touch.
  • Laurie Thompson-Earls is a first grade elementary school teacher. Her blog is particularly interesting because it’s not about technology, politics, or teenage melodrama. A refreshing change for the blog community.
  • Kelly is a retired college professor who maintains a political blog. He’s the kind of guy who is quite intelligent and easy to get along with.

Michael has an excellent summary of the May 2004 Blog Meetup along with his perspective on the cast of characters. Check it out. I’m greatly looking forward to the next meetup.