My hangover has worn off and I can talk about the Meetup. First, all my thanks to Dom and Naz for letting us meet at Barefoot. I didn’t actually understand what the community ‘looked’ like until now and it’s nice to know. It’s overwhelmingly young and male, but (or perhaps and) women get a lot of attention. Not that many girls there, but at least one make-out. As Mahangu mentioned, there are actually fairly distinct groups – ranging from the hardcore geeks to the ‘Sociarati’. There were also a lot of photographers and artists for whom, I think, blogging is just a means to an end, and it’s interesting to see such a diverse group connected by a communications medium. More than anything so profound I feel relief that people turned out, so I’d like to thank everybody, especially all those who made it possible.
Mahangu’s got a pretty good roundup of the bloggers already, including an interesting categorizations of them. I’d just like to thank some of the meatspace people who leant some shoulders to stand on. A website is something you can sit up all night and code, but events require a lot of human support, and it’s all appreciated.
Barefoot Gallery and Cafe
First, all my thanks to Dom and Naz for letting us meet at Barefoot. They’re tireless supporters of Sri Lankan Arts and Artists, and I think they’ve made a difference to a lot of people who’d otherwise be wandering in the wilderness. The fact that they recognize blogging as something worthwhile means a lot to me personally and, I hope, to everyone online. Sri Lanka has a lot of talented people, but relatively few venues for them. I know I’m getting my history muddled, but Colombo for me is a set of spaces that great people have built for us – everything by Bawa, the Lionel Wendt, and Barefoot. And Pilawoos, natch. I need to learn how it happened, but there was a great genesis that we still benefit from. I take for granted that there are great people, food, art, and books at Barefoot, but it took Barbara, Dominic and Nazreen years of work to make that possible. So, um, thank you.
I think we kept chasing them away, but thanks to Deshan, Tracy, Sebastian, Wendy, Isabella, Neha, and Mohan for being there. It’s also interesting that so many of them have links to their names. Mohan hasn’t started blogging, but he got a CD Burner now. These are people I spend a lot of my week with and the fact that they take an interest in the online world is a big part of why I try to post regularly. Sebastian also gives me Jack Daniels, which is bad bad bad.
I guess the boy deserves special mention. Since his inadvertent appearance in that angry and true tsunami email, I think he’s really come up online, and off. He’s still moral and idealistic to the point that it drives me crazy, but he’s slowly becoming more capitalist. His coverage of the Meetup is much more sober and reasoned, and has some interesting ideas.
Special thanks for Naveen and Mendis for coming out. The Walalasekera is a hilarious mailing list, and Mendis and Naveen are its first couple, in addition to being Quizmasters. They’re part of the ‘normal’ world I hang out in, and I was really glad to have them there.
Props to Ru and Prasad for coming out. They’re truly an important part of the ‘scene’ and the party was much more interesting for having them there.
and of course, Electra, who despite her apologies was the life of the party. I had a really great time and woke up feeling like it was Saturday. Unfortunately it was Wednesday, and I now have to dash out of the house to get the annoying parts of my life together. It was a good thing I think, and I think that the community blogging can and will make a positive difference here and everywhere. For one thing, we represent Sri Lanka as something more than War and Tsunami, and for another, it’s a great way to meet girls.
Note: for something more substantive, please check out Mahangu’s posts. I was honestly on the wrong end of the enjoying/covering event spectrum.