Toronto bloggers dinner wrapup

I attended the bloggers’ dinner in Toronto on Monday (photographic evidence here), and had the chance to meet Shel Israel, Alec Saunders (who helped to arrange the event and blogged about it here) and his business partner Howard Thaw, and a lot of other bloggers who I have previously met only via RSS. Something that I found interesting: every one of the people with whom I exchanged cards also uses LinkedIn (the professional networking site), although a couple of them have a dismally small number of connections. My usual practice is to check for each new contact on LinkedIn and invite them to connect immediately, before we both forget why our conversation was important.

I had a lengthy chat with Peter Flaschner and Lucia Mancuso from The Blog Studio about how they design and consult on corporate blogging for small businesses, which I found interesting considering all of my friends with small businesses who I’ve been nagging to start blogging. I use my blog as my primary marketing vehicle, and Peter and Lucia are trying to bring that same sensibility to other small businesses.

Also had interesting conversations with Mike Bowler from Gargoyle Software, who helps companies to improve their (web) software development procesess through the introduction of XP/Agile concepts; Shelley McKay and Michael Bodalski from Cricket Marketing and PR, whose home page of their corporate site is actually in blog format (!); and Peter Dawson, with whom I discussed the relative merits of using the term “landscaping” versus “architecture” as applied to business, IT and enterprise architecture.

I also met Timothy Li, an eager young engineering student at University of Waterloo who, when I told him that I graduated Waterloo engineering in 1984, rather untactfully pointed out that that was the year that he was born (he also said that he didn’t realize that the Systems Design Engineering program was “that old”). Tim followed up our exchange by posting a comment to my blog, so I checked out his blog and almost fell off my chair laughing at his retelling of a conversation where I was present. I passed it on to Rick Segal (coincidentally, the only person at the event who I actually knew face-to-face), although I’m not sure he laughed as much of the description of him as “mid aged” and obviously striking terror in the heart of younger men. 🙂

Although dinner never materialized, it was a great get-together for Toronto bloggers. Coming from a closet introvert who cringes at the thought of business networking events, that’s high praise.

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