Eat.Drink.Blog – the washup

You know, I’ve never been to a conference where everyone stayed for all the sessions, all the presenters were uniformly interesting and no-one was bored for a minute. People I thought I would like I REALLY liked; and the people I wasn’t sure about I REALLY liked too. And I met some completely new people and – yes – REALLY liked them.

Part of the brief talk I gave was about blogging as a way of exploring and enjoying a community of interest, and it certainly seemed there was a real joy for all of us in being in a room full of people who “get” our passion because they share it.

I’m planning to write up my talk and post it soon, (you will be glad to hear that despite the fears of another attendee before the conference, it wasn’t too wanky ;) Gill of confessions of a food nazi has a post on some of her excellent talk here, and a plan to blog the rest. She’s encouraged the rest of us who participated in panels to do the same, and I think it would be great to link them all from the Eat.Drink.Blog site.

There were three (I think) attendees who weren’t on twitter, and less by the end of the day. The stream of the #eatdrinkblog hashtag appeared on the super-cool projected TweetWall – Lisa of unwakeable, Nola and Suzanne of essjayeff being the funny-girl stars of the day. Although I wish they had been less funny in the panel segment, sitting facing the audience cracking up at a tweet I couldn’t read!

I really appreciated that there wasn’t a push towards homogeneity amongst the group, in fact quite the reverse. I think the best session to demonstrate the point was the photography one, where Ellie from Kitchen Wench, Nola from Once a Waitress and Matt from Abstract Gourmet talked about their individual ways of going about making photos that worked the way they wanted them to, with a few tips and tricks thrown in. (Ellie’s tip – read the manual; Nola’s – think about using photographs as a means of communication; Matt’s – find a way to do it that works for you).

Claire from Melbourne Gastronome pulled off a real feat with her talk, managing to be legally precise and not dull. I really wasn’t expecting the sessions on SEO (by Michael of My Aching Head), “How to be social” (by Pennie of Jeroxie:addictive and consuming), geotagging (Brian of fitzroyalty) and the monetising sessions (by Jules of Stonesoup and Phil of The Last Appetite) to be interesting, but I found them fascinating because the presenters really knew their stuff – as @tummyrumbles (mellie) put it on the Tweetwall, they showed a “good balance of nerdy theory and feel good philosophy”.

I found some things quite surprising throughout the day – that so many of us who’d been blogging for a few years had blogged on other subjects (like me, mostly politics) before coming to focus on food; the immediacy of our ease in each other’s company; how generous everyone was with their expertise and how true-to-life some people’s blogging identities are. For instance The Healthy Party Girl left in the afternoon to go to cheerleader practice and came back to bum a fag and piss on in the laneway!

Once the strictly social part of the day kicked in, we started to talk about the next Eat.Drink.Blog. What made it possible this year was the organisation work (by Ed of Tomatom, Reem of I am obsessed with food… (who have a beautiful talk on why she blogs, including starting because she needed somewhere to talk about her love life!) Mellie of Tummyrumbles, , April of My Food Trail, Jess of That Jess Ho, who hung the photo exhibit, and Tammi of Tammi Tasting Terroir who moderated – thank you all).

There was also significant sponsorship from the organisations listed at the end of this post. Certainly for interstate visitors it made it much more affordable to not have to pay to register and to be treated to lovely drinks and food, and not having to handle monetary exchanges meant we don’t need to formalise an organisational structure and the further administrative load that entails. I think it’s really important that more people have the opportunity to go, but I’m eager to find a way for that to happen without losing the lovely sense of intimacy that permeated the day. On the third hand, having organising multiple streams during the day means we can really go into detail and cover a lot more ground.

There is a full list of bloggers who attended (thanks to Mellie), and I’ve set up a twitter list here. I’m conscious that I haven’t mentioned everyone; I encourage you to check out the full list.

The conference was sponsored by Daylesford and Hepburn Water, Der Raum, Prentice Wine, Red Hill Brewery, SBS Food, StreetSmart – Helping the Homeless, St Ali and The Essential Ingredient.

NB – this post is brought to you by an absence of blurry iphone photos. Not that there aren’t any, but they’re not mine – my phone’s from Aldi.

21 comments ↓

#1 Essjayeats on 23.03.10 at 10:40 pm

I didn’t realize I was being *that* funny! What a marvellous couple of days we had. I wanna do it again, real soon. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you.

#2 claire on 23.03.10 at 11:52 pm

“Legally precise and not dull” is going to be my new motto! :-)

#3 We came. We saw. We listened. We ate. We Blogged. « Eat. Drink. Blog. ( The Australian food and drink bloggers' conference) on 24.03.10 at 6:09 am

[...] event. If I have missed your post, please tweet me @tummyrumbles. Progressive Dinner Party (before)(after) Jeroxie (addictive and consuming) confessions of a food nazi ravenous Travelling in Mary Janes [...]

#4 another outspoken female on 24.03.10 at 7:00 am

And I learnt a new word “nerdgasm” (thanks Tammi).

The whole day was the embodiment of the cornerstone of your talk on “how and why we blog” – community. It was a huge, enjoyable coming together of community from so many different angles.

#5 Zoe on 24.03.10 at 7:01 am

Precisely how funny did you think you were being essjayeff?

And Claire, I think that should be EVERY lawyer’s motto!

#6 Zoe on 24.03.10 at 7:03 am

Crossover comment from Gill while I was writing that last one – totally agree on nerdgasm, although I haven’t been able to use it in a sentence at home yet.

#7 Ed on 24.03.10 at 7:23 am

Great to meet and very glad you enjoyed it. I feel the same – the first conference where I didn’t get bored and people didn’t leave. We may not be abe to keep it free but hopefully we have some ideas to make it bigger and more inclusive and cheap. Looking forward to ideas and volunteers for next year. Thanks for coming and presenting.

#8 Zoe on 24.03.10 at 7:29 am

I really enjoyed meeting you too, Ed – been a long time coming.

I don’t think it needs to be necessarily free, but cheap-ish with simple organisation will increase the likelihood of a third one.

#9 Food blogger photo exhibition on 24.03.10 at 8:08 am

[...] off the day, Jeroxie’s and Reem’s video’s of the day, the view from a late night Canberra party blogger, from Maddy who won a prize, a two part account of the day and find out who spewed (the next [...]

#10 Reemski on 24.03.10 at 8:44 am

What a day!!! I can’t believe it all happened and I’m so glad we got to meet. Will definitely be fronting up for dinner when I next come home for a visit.

#11 April @ My Food Trail on 24.03.10 at 8:45 am

Great wrap up of the day! Thanks for making the effort to come from Canberra & your presentation. It was lovely to meet you! :)

#12 lisa on 24.03.10 at 8:54 am

It was rather good, wasn’t it!

#13 Eat.Drink.Blog - The Australian food and drink bloggers' conference | Addictive and consuming on 24.03.10 at 8:55 am

[...] Progressive Dinner Party [...]

#14 faith on 24.03.10 at 9:16 am

I’m so sad I missed this. It sounded like it would be wonderful and you have just confirmed it, would have loved to have met some of my favourite bloggers too. Thanks for providing the wrap up!

#15 Michael on 24.03.10 at 9:22 am

I’m glad that I and my other technoweebles didn’t bore everyone and in fact added to the body of knowledge.

I think the way that the talks fell together and kind of led into each other worked brilliantly.

I think you and I should start a new movement, “The Slow Phone Movement”

#16 Tammi on 24.03.10 at 9:40 am

Nice wrap up and #linklove, Miz Zoe. As usual, I agree with everything you’ve written about why it was a great conference! Thanks everyone for being orsm! Look forward to the next one, and more nerdgasms to go with our mouthgasms! ;-)

#17 Anh on 24.03.10 at 9:42 am

Can’t agree more wuth you! The conference was fun and informative.

#18 Dame Mint Pattie on 24.03.10 at 1:00 pm

On behalf of those of us who didn’t attend, thanks for the report and all the lovely links.

#19 Eat. Drink. Blog – Australian food bloggers conference « "…it pleases us" on 24.03.10 at 7:40 pm

[...] loads of bloggers have written about it (including the SBS Food Blog, Confessions of a food nazi, Progressive dinner party, Ravenous Melbourne, Berry travels, At my table and My aching [...]

#20 neil on 24.03.10 at 8:10 pm

Never been in a roomful of soulmates before, what a wonderful thing it was to be there. A real pleasure to meet you, sorry I couldn’t stick around for a real chin wag. Next time for sure!

#21 The Healthy Party Girl on 17.05.10 at 7:57 pm

I love this post. Such a good wash up of the day/night. All the observations are so spot on.

I especially love that if I Google my blog, it comes up in the top 10. You’re great :)

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