Well, I was wrong.

The turnout was great!  About 9 or 10 people total.   Only Jon was there from last time, but others had been to the very first meetup (there have been 3 meetups altogether).

My signs were unnecessary.  People actually recognized each other and we hit a critical mass where it was completely obvious to a person that was late that we were the group.

Too many topics to list, but I have to give credit to Kathryn for bringing up the “honesty in weblogs” conversation and to johnathan who scored the takeaway quote from the evening:

“There is a big difference between telling the truth and honesty.”

Meaning: simply listing facts accurately is “telling the truth”.   Presenting an accurate representation of yourself – even if it’s through fabrication of untrue facts and imaginative fiction – is honesty.

If it takes tweaking reality to better show what I am feeling, then that’s ok… honest even.

I made a comment about off-the-cuff postings as being somehow more honest than the longer, crafted stories and reflections because they are unguarded and not as pandering.

Most everyone disagreed with that viewpoint and thought that those entries which took more care were more honest… maybe not as truthful, but definitely honest.

I think they’re probably right…

And these folks should know.  Just about everyone there has been doing this for much longer than I.

Kathryn also brought up the privacy issue (she has friends which disapprove of something she wrote her personal life) which led Prentiss to fantasize out loud about creating an alter-ego that existed only online which would allow him to speak his mind without affecting his family, job, etc.

Josh and johnathan shared their strategies of closed group blogs and tiers of readership.

Multiple people brought up the fact that once something is online, it’s as good as permanent- everything I write could come back to haunt me.

Ok, let’s ruin my political career then:  I dislike green cars.  There.  Now I’ve lost green car owner’s future votes when the future reporters dig up this entry and decide to run an expose on how I’m a hatemonger bigot.

You get the picture.

oh, gotta mention the bumper sticker idea: I’m not convinced, honestly.  I think if expectations are set appropriately (i.e. the goal shouldn’t be, “let’s become millionaires off of this website!”) and he maintains the activism aspect of the idea at the forefront, then I think it could make for a solid effort.  The first sentence out of his mouth should never be, “Our website let’s you design bumper stickers.”  A lot of people will roll their eyes and say, “okay, Mr. Cafepress wannabe.”  I would probably stick with the “We provide a community resource that allows individuals and groups to efficiently and effectively broadcast their message in both the physical and virtual community” mission.

I’ll post links to everyone that was there (esp. if they right something or post pictures from tonight)

now i’m fried, though- this day started at 5:00AM and I’ve had non-stop meeting after meeting since 7:00AM.

No more today.