A Visit to the Journalers

First off, I need to apologize in advance for not acknowledging names. I'm terrible with names. Moreover, I don't function well in large groups of strangers. Mix the two together, stir in three tall glasses of Bass Ale, and it all ends up in a hopeless--but fun!--mishmash.

I'm inclined to compare this gathering with that of the Austin Bloggers just two days earlier. I'm also troubled by that inclination, because I feel that drawing lines often is unhelpful. Nonetheless, there are some remarkable differences between these two groups of on-line writers.

The most striking difference is the diversity of the journal writers' group. As Kathryn has noted, the blogger get-togethers tend to be a bit top-heavy on geeky guys (please take note, single people of appropriate gender and orientation), and poorly representative of the sorts of people who blog.

Another difference is how much of the bloggers' discussion has to do with blogging, and how little the journalers' discussion has to do with journaling. I think one reason is that the Austin Bloggers have been a group for only a short while, while the Journal Writers have been doing this for some time and clearly personal bonds have developed. The journalers just have more stuff to talk about.

Other possible causes: meeting in a bar versus a coffee house, differences between creative people and socially retarded geeks, thermal currents and cosmic radiation levels--hell, I don't know.

In the end, I think I've decided it's alright--even desirable--that the two groups are so different. People can join with either one, depending on what they want, and hopefully those inclined can comfortably slip between the two. I know the Austin Journal Writers seems like a very welcoming group of people. I hope that as the Austin Bloggers becomes established and grows, it can do the same.

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re: A Visit to the Journalers

Whew, I'm glad we didn't scare you away. Hopefully I can go to the Austin Bloggers thingy next month and then I can compare both groups too.

re: A Visit to the Journalers

Oh good, you went! I wanted to go but could barely remain conscious after the hell at work. I'm not keen on happy hour bar scenes, but perhaps I'll screw up the gumption to deal with it next month. I found your observations very interesting and wry. I certainly enjoyed the blogger gathering and hope to keep attending.

I'm going to make tea and dip into Rebecca Blood's book. I'll let you know what I think.

re: A Visit to the Journalers

Chip, did you spill the beans that the AustinBloggers figured out that Jette is really Kay Bailey Hutchison? Blame Tim, it was his clues that tipped us off...

re: A Visit to the Journalers

Prentiss - we may have gotten a bum steer. Her hair isn't nearly pouffy enough to be the senior senator.

re: A Visit to the Journalers

Come to think of it -- the early days of the online journal meetings dealt a lot with online journals -- dealing with readers, dealing with search engines, dealing with search engines which attract readers who have fetishes for crushing snails with high heels ... that sort of thing.

Quite frankly, I didn't even notice the meetings had gotten more personal. The change was so gradual.

re: A Visit to the Journalers

Chip, it takes a lot of time for me to arrange the wig and put on all the makeup for my Kay Bailey Hutchison persona, and I was just too tired Friday night for that. Plus, I couldn't find my pearls.

Kathryn, the Austin Journallers do a Sunday afternoon coffeehouse thingy that you might enjoy better than the happy hour.

I think the journallers do talk about journal-related stuff at times; it depends on who's around for a particular get-together. Also, we're more likely to talk shop on Sundays when it's a little quieter and we're all drinking coffee instead of pints. After all, we have to discuss something in those mandatory 20 minutes before the sex talk begins.