Last night at The Belfast Bloggers Meetup at Farset Labs I was able to put faces to names and meet folks from all sorts that I probably wouldn’t have met before. Farset Labs is a great space, and rare in the city. It runs on donations and volunteer effort and buckets of good will. It’s hard to find a place like it.
One thing that connects us: blogging! You can check out the tweets and chat on #BelfastBloggersMeetup on Twitter. The speakers included:
- Barry Adams @badams
- Brian O’Neill of Slugger O’Toole @brianoneill
- Brian John Spencer of Slugger O’Toole and Live Drawing @brianjohnspencr
Thanks to Brian O’Neill, I learned about the background of the labour of love that is Slugger O’Toole. Huge amounts of traffic, a key resource for news and political analysis in Ireland/Northern Ireland and it’s all run off the backs of volunteers and a tiny trickle of funding. (Tip: great place to advertise!)
Thanks to Barry Adams, I learned about the mechanics of blog traffic and Domain Authority; Why Long Reads Win, and the current state of SEO. There were lots of questions related to the technical aspects of blogging, hosting, and also monetizing blogs. It was great to have the ear of professionals like Barry Adams who can speculate with an informed opinion on the state of Google’s search work and the consequences for content producers. The big takeaway is: Write quality content!
We were even treated to a little spoken word wandering by Brian John Spencer @brianjohnspencr who connected blogging back to the history of the essay, the invention of the printing, and how bloggers can be inspired by John Hewitt’s call to action to not sit by quietly, but speak out. It was a great brush with a newly forming political identity in Northern Ireland which is no longer tolerating bigotry and hate.
See you at the next event?
Since leaving my job I’ve met more people and had more fun connecting locally to my community. (BTW, Hire me!) I’m delighted I wandered down to Caffé Nero one fine evening and met Sarah of @TheSarahStoryNI, Ben of @LeoDanBen, and Adam of @BelfastBloggers/@nurdyninja.
We devised a plan for alternating larger, speaker-led events with casual getting-to-know you types of events. I have to say, Adam did the lion’s share of work, but he was glad to re-start these blogger meet-ups that he had running in years previous.
Please join us for next two events:
- Blogs and Buns Meet-up at various locations in the city. People can bring their computers, and talk blogging shop. Next: Sept 16 at The Thinking Cup Cafe (no registration required)
- Belfast Bloggers Meet-up at Farset Labs. Speakers and if time permits, small circle discussions. Next: October 14 – Registration to be announced soon!
Will you join us? The Thinking Cup, where the Blogs and Buns event will be held is a social enterprise, and project of The Book Reserve. Pretty cool!
BTW One tweeter commented that there were no women on the list for the first event and I do regret that. We are addressing that in the next event! At the next meet-up at Farset Labs we’ll have Lana Richardson who will talk about writing viral content. And more speakers to be announced!
Heh, I had to add this. I just happen to have lots of pictures of Barry Adams for some reason! Here he’s being interviewed by Northern Visions TV.