Friday, November 18, 2011

So about the Bleet-Up ...

Cory Ryan photos of Bleet-Up #4, Whole Foods Downtown, December 2010

Last night, I was perusing old, delightful photos of 2010's Winter Bleet-Up.  (These five in particular are making my life.)  And, I thought it might be time to talk about why there haven't been any Bleet-Ups this year.

"Hey, Tolly!  When's the next Bleet-Up?" my friend Benn asked me yesterday.  To which I responded by looking down at my feet, and shuffling awkwardly.

He isn't the first to ask.  This past July, which would normally be the time when we held the "Summer Bleet-Up," our smaller, happy hour version, a couple of folks emailed and asked the same thing.  More came as we approached winter.  And to everybody, I've just been annoyingly vague and evasive.  

(PS, if you have zero idea what I'm talking about right now and don't know what a "bleet-up" is, it's an annual blogger party.  A meet-up ... for bloggers.  Looking back, we could have picked a sexier name.  Anyway, here are pictures of me wearing huge sleeves in a variety of 80s and 90s Olan Mills portraits if you are bored.) 

So here's the deal with all that.

After the last one in December, I started feeling like the Bleet-Ups had served their purpose.  Everybody does blogger meet-ups now, and while we (Richard and I) were hardly the first, I do feel like we played a role -- however small -- in solidifying the social media community here in Austin.  We threw our first one in summer 2009, and in just over two years, restaurants, boutiques, bars, local businesses, etc. have figured out the whole blogger get-together thing and do it so well now that I thought, you know what?  Bloggers get bombarded with enough stuff.  The Bleet-Up would just be superfluous at this point.  

(Lately, I've come to the realization that bloggers may have attended and loved the Bleet-Up for a different reason ... but, more on that in a second.)

Also, this may come as a surprise, but I'm a terrible event planner.  

It's true.  Everything always works out, but I get super-neurotic leading up to events, and went through this whole "no one cares!  No one'll come!" thing leading up to the last one.  That is why I always have to join forces with Richard, who is like a calm, steady rock.  He built a freaking stage for the last one, got lights and lasers for the bands, and all this other crazy stuff.  With a smile on his face.  Meanwhile, I finished all my little duties, but required a slight wine buzz at all times, and behaved like this nervous chicken in the days leading up to it, clucking around the house saying weird things to Ross, like, "goody bags.  We're supposed to have 20.  I count 19.  THE BLEET-UP IS RUINED."  I laid in bed the night before, and vibrated with anxiety.  

So when the last one was done, I just ... sort of ... stopped.

Coupled with my first reason, that Bleet-up-esque things happen all the time in Austin now, I realized that I made myself too anxious planning them.  The big ones, at least, the ones with bands / food / drinks / pop-up shops / etc.  And I honestly thought that people would just forget about it.  

Which is why I was so surprised, and touched, when all these people started asking about the Bleet-Up this year.

"You miss it??" I wanted to ask.  "Because I kinda miss it, too!"

(It's so funny to write about this, because in reality the Bleet-Up is only a big deal to a very specific group of people.  We're not talking Fun Fun Fun Fest here.  But to those people, it offered something kind of special.)

I think that people enjoy the Bleet-Up because:

A) It's an interesting group of people (bloggers are fascinating),

B) It's half-networking, half hanging out and drinking,

C) We did a book exchange once and that is just pure, clean, nerdy fun, and maybe most importantly: 

D) It's other bloggers that are throwing it (rather than a restaurant or boutique.  Which, PS, I love those type of get-togethers too and attend frequently.  But it's different and nice when your peers host it.)

I'm so in awe of the #bashh folks, who have their shit capital-T together.  They throw one practically every month!  It's amazing.  Being at the November #bashh last night, it got me all excited to revive ye olde Bleet-Up now that we've basically taken a year off.  So, I've been toying with the idea of having one again, a SUPER casual one, in January.  

My question to you is: Would you be into it?

Seriously.  

The Austin blogging community is always a changing cast, so a part of me suspects that I may have been right about people forgetting it.  But even if that were the case, I'd be excited to meet a brand new crop of bloggers.  Also, there are Bleet-Up alums that are now kind of a big deal.  Take Diya in Her Stilettos, for example, who just hosted this huge, Marie Claire-sponsored fashion show last night!  Damn!

So it'd be neat to catch up with everyone again, hear about their new blogging ventures, and meet new folks.  

Well, I think I've basically cheer-leaded myself back into the Bleet-Up now.  But I would really love to know/hear what you think.  Yes it'd be great or no, not necessary?

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