I hate that I am jealous of the tech bloggers…

It probably not why you think it is, actually. All of us bloggers are spending time building community outside Microsoft and they, the tech bloggers, already have a community inside Microsoft. Couple examples:

-Our internal blog discussion alias is full of technical jargon. Every once in a while I see someone trying to make technical humor, I think (because it involves little smiley faces in the text) and I just don't get it. But I suspect that the other tech bloggers on the alias do (or at least the 10 or so people that seem to respond to every post). I end up deleting 95% of the posts because I don't know what they are talking about. And I end up wishing there was a separate alias for non-tech discussions about blogs.

-They have “Geek dinners” and other social gatherings that they have devised names for. Now don't get me wrong...I don't want to actually go to these. If you are going to talk technical in front of me, the thoughtful look on my face is about how I can get out of this conversation, what I am going to have for dinner or what the heck you are wearing (sorry...often true). And I realize that asking technical folks to get together in a room and resist speaking about technology is like asking them to hold their collective breath (don't try it tech bloggers, we need you). Gretchen and Zoe married into it so I think they can deal with it better. I'm easily bored when I can't be involved in the conversation.

I don't begrudge the technical bloggers here their community. I actually think it is really cool. I stopped by one of the parties at the MVP summit and it was really amazing to see how excited people were about getting together. It's just that I never felt like these were “my people”.

I realize that blogging took off in the tech space quickly. I just feel a little bit like the bumble-bee girl in the video trying to find my bumble-bee peeps. I'm very happy with the people I get to communicate with outside of Microsoft. Just wish there were some more of us on the business side in the company that could get together and share. The first round of drinks would be on me!

PS (first of all, I just love saying “PS”): I'm really thinking about how to identify and create a real community in the external business space. Expect to see me linking to more people outside MS soon.

Comments (14)

  1. That (group of external business folk) would be awesome Heather. I know I’ll join both groups when I get to Microsoft. Something incredibly exciting about hanging out with like-minded people.

    I think it’s one of the things I love about blogging. Just that the ‘hanging’ is on each other’s blogs instead of real life. I’d much prefer real life 🙂

  2. "I don’t begrudge the technical bloggers here their community. I actually think it is really cool. I stopped by one of the parties at the MVP summit and it was really amazing to see how excited people were about getting together. It’s just that I never felt like these were “my people”. "

    Now you know how we felt all those years trying to hold conversations with non-techies, we never felt like we were talking to "our people".

  3. Heather, you’re everyone’s people! Seriously though, I know a lot of tech people read your blog (and other not-strictly-tech blogs) and enjoy it, like myself. So it’s all good. Tech bloggers are just a block or two in the larger community of the blogosphere, and you’re across the street. Not like you can’t still come hang out for a barbecue 🙂

  4. Heather says:

    Scott-OK, but no tech talk! ; ) Seriously, I’m sure I’ll make it to one of the blogger events eventually…some day…when I am feeling brave!

  5. zoe says:

    I think I have learned a fair bit about technology and how to cope with not understanding everything through my job and being married. At the same time I share your thoughts and opinions about feeling on the outside. Most of Evan’s friends are techies working at Microsoft and no matter where we are or what we are doing they are always talking about computers, software and programming. I think I have learned to tune it out because I’ll never be able to join in 🙂 Still at times, I pull out a zinger that I have learned and they all seem impressed – unfortunately I can never get further down the conversation because I don’t know all the in depth details. It would be great if more people blogging outside the tech world could talk and help each other figure things out – great idea. I’ll buy the second round!

  6. There was plenty of non-tech talk at the "Geek" dinner. To me, it’s just another variety of weblog gathering. Do come to the next one if you can! (And there’s a monthly weblog meetup, always the third wednesday, in Seattle)

  7. Heather says:

    OK, Anita, you are starting to convince me. I think I was thrown off when someone mentioned that people would be bringing their computers. Social event + computers kind of worried me. I’ll keep an open mind ; )

  8. The fun of laptops at a weblog gathering is showing off blogs or pages relating to the topic of conversation. Plus, posting to your weblog while the meetup is actually going on is cool.

  9. Robert Olson says:

    Hey don’t worry about it Heather, your blog entries are WAY more enteresting then a technical blog entry with 150 lines of code in it. Keep it up.

  10. KC Lemson says:

    Heather – I have only been to one geek dinner, and I can’t remember if we talked tech or not, but I do remember that at least one of the bloggers there (maybe Al Billings? I can’t remember now, I had an 8 month old on my lap the whole time so I was a wee bit distracted) was not a tech blogger but more of a personal one.

    Personally, I like getting together with geeky type people and talking about non-geeky things. I just tend to get along with those type of people on many fronts – politically, socially, etc. I think it’s also a (stereotypical, but probably true) chick thing, that I don’t feel a need to talk tech 100% of the time, in fact it drives me nutso when it happens, I want to be a more well rounded person.

    I am definitely going to the next geek dinner, I’d love to meet you there!

  11. Heather says:

    OK, KC, I’m there if you are there!

  12. The more bloggers I meet in-person, the more I realize we are a special breed. Heather wrote a post yesterday about how she wishes there were more non-technical bloggers and that it’s sometimes hard for her to connect with the larger blogging community

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