From Blends to Friends

Twitter chatting and blog commenting builds friendships with like-minded bloggers, readers and tweeters. There are many ways to take online blends and become real life friends.

Blogger First “Date”

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You have a blog so you know the basic first date conversation which may lead to awkward silences at dinner or coffee.  Instead try an activity, especially one you might not try on your own.  Yoga, manicures, chocolate tasting, local tourist fun, or game night.  Doing something creates new topics to talk about.  You can always continue at dinner or drinks.

At a larger meet-up don’t feel pressured to talk and have in-depth conversations with everyone.  It’s quality over quantity.

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After introducing yourself to the group find a few people to talk with.  Arrange for smaller meet-ups later.

Keep the “Relationship” Hot

Before you leave…MAKE A SECOND DATE!  We’re all busy.  Leaving without a plan usually pushes meet-ups under the rug.  Suggesting another get together continues the conversation and relationship building.  Try something simple like coffee, ice cream or a walk/run.

Don’t be afraid to plan large events like cookies swaps, apple picking, special dinner.

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Smaller events are good for groups of 5 or less.  Movies, blogger help sessions, coffee, lunch, fitness classes.

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For groups with split interest plan combined events: Races followed by a picnic or brunchApple picking followed by canning.  Combined events allow members to join in what interests them without feeling left out.

Note: Plan ahead well in advance for seasonal events; calendars fill fast.

Long Distance “Relationships”

Don’t be afraid to make friends outside your city.  Long-distance friends are fun for many things.  When traveling for work or pleasure they offer great suggestions for places to eat, visit, stay.

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When traveling tweet using local #hashtags for meet-ups or asking for suggestions.  If strong friendships develop, blogger friends are great places to crash for vacations and long distance races.

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Of course don’t forget blog conferences.  Traveling across the country may be difficult but building strong online friendships makes conferences that much more fun.  Ask locals for suggestions or wander the city with blends looking for fun.

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Now that you’ve made real life friends, don’t forget to follow basic rules of blogger friend etiquette.

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Keeping in contact is important.  A shared Google Doc allows everyone to keep track of all bloggers and readers who attend events.  One person can manage the document to prevent accidental deletions or allow everyone editing privileges to add their own information and adjust as needed.  Some things seem obvious but are so easy to forget.

  • Real Names – When you see twitter handles all the time, it’s hard to remember real names.
  • Twitter handles – Having twitter handles helps compare real names and faces with twitter photos.
  • Email Address – Convenient ways to talk in more than 140 characters and plan more meet-ups.
  • Blog addresses and URL’s – You may not read every blog represented at the meet-up.  Having a list, and correct spellings [in case of hyphens or abbreviations], helps keep it all straight.
  • Location – Knowing where everyone is located is valuable knowledge when planning smaller local meet-ups or selecting a convenient location for larger meet-ups.

Extra spreadsheet pages are easily added for potluck parties, cookies for swapping or future suggested events.

A local #hashtag, like #CDNY or #CDNYEatDrinkBlog, makes conversations easy to follow.

Keep in contact to keep friendships building.

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Like It All Changes on Facebook to see the basic template for blogger contact sheet.

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