This is a follow up to my BlogOrlando recap and is more about what BlogOrlando meant to me and where we go from here.
It’s the Community, Stupid
The bulk of BlogOrlando attendees were from Orlando and the metro area. Depending on where you looked, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a Florida Creatives happy hour since that group was representin’.
While many of the talks were about building and maintaining online communities, we had an entire track this year for Life/Local and a session dedicated to The Orlando Scene. I was handling the Tech track so I didn’t get a chance to sit in any of the Life/Local sessions, but from what I’ve read and heard for feedback it completely rocked. Not only that, but it served to get even more people involved in our local creative, tech, and blogging community.
Everyone’s a Geek
When you have a woman who does Avon sales wanting to know how she can quickly and easily get a video of her products onto people’s iPods when they attend one of her meetings, you begin to realize that what even a year ago was totally geeky territory has become almost commonplace. People–not just geeks–are thinking of how they can leverage existing and emerging technologies to help them have fun, learn something new, share something learned, or expand their businesses.
In John‘s Videoblogging session and Ryan‘s podcasting session, they both made it clear that this technology is now and is for you. You don’t have to know what you’re doing or even what you’re doing it for; you just need to jump in and become part of the community.
Join a Community – Start a Community
We seem to be hitting a critical mass where people are wanting to be part of something bigger. In Orlando, we have Florida Creatives. This hasn’t been around forever. It wasn’t around until someone decided it needed to be around. And for that, we all thank Ryan for kicking it off and keeping it humming along. Similar story for Tommy and Sticks of Fire in Tampa. Don’t see what you like out there or don’t see anything at all? Get something started and leverage all the community tools that are out there. Want to start a Florida Creatives group on your town? Get in touch with Ryan or post it on the wiki.
Don’t think you need to be just like everyone else to be part of something. I looked around the rooms at BlogOrlando and saw a fairly diverse group. Not just demographically, but also people with differing viewpoints, skills, and jobs. But they all share a common passion.
I’ll leave you with a (partial) quote: “good luck. We’re all counting on you” — Dr. Rumack in Airplane!