So, I know this is a it late, but Abby and I went to the International Food Blogger’s Conference a few weeks ago.
I’m not going to lie, I came in with more than a handful of preconceptions. To this point I hadn’t really considered myself a blogger, and I viewed this space as primarily Abby’s. To be fair, it has far and away been her drive and effort that has given it the polish and quality thus far. My main contribution has been to have a beer with dinner, then rant for a few paragraphs. I was an engineer, that happened to contribute occasionally.
However, when we arrived at the Westin, and started to check in, I realized that most of the people there we very much like us. There were a fair share of “Industry folks” that earned their primary income from corporations in the food industry, but the bulk were folks that had “real jobs” and just enjoyed food and writing.
I certainly found a few of the people that lived up to my expectations.
-The guy that twittered, twitted, and #hastagged every. damn. thing. It was actually really distracting to have his keystrokes and nose-huff-snorting as the soundtrack to a presentation on how to self publish.
-The girl with a weird little bowler hat pinned to the side of her head. It looked like a little pink hamburger. I didn’t talk to her, but I don’t think we would have gotten along. I made up a backstory for her that has no relationship with reality. Her name was Chrysanthemum Smith-Aloe. She sells decorative teacups for a living, they’re very pretty, but you can’t actually use them. They’re painted with a toxic chromium paint. Her blog is about eating a high keratin diet, to improve hair strength.
-The Networker: There was a weird cultural exchange of business cards that would preface any conversation. It was a warped version of the high school reunion speech. “I’m Doug.This is Dianne. We write a blog about Gluten Free Eating while foraging in our neighborhood’s dog park. Who are you?” Then, they wouldn’t listen. But you got that card, and like Pokemon, you’ve gotta catch ’em all.
I also met a lot of really interesting people, with interesting things to say. I also learned a lot of things. We saw presentation from Thierry Rautureau, to make an incredibly simple and delightfully fresh tomato soup. he quoted Julia Childs (“If you can’t have dairy, just use butter.”) , made plenty of smoke in a hotel conference room, and has me salivating even now.
The real turning point, when I started to realize that I’m a actually a blogger, was in the middle of a presentation on Amazon’s self-publishing system. I realized that I like writing. I realized that people seem to like what I write, at least occasionally. I want to put my thoughts inside other peoples heads, where they can mature, then burst forth like a big gooey thought butterfly.