The third Blogapalooza went as fast as it came. Ever since the November Palooza ended in the Fall, I could not wait for the next one. Not even the $55 parking ticket I got could dampen this day.
This past Saturday well over 100 members of the Boston sports blogging community gathered to meet, great, and drink at West End Johnnie’s on Portland Street in an event sponsored by Comcast Sports Net New England. The power of getting like-minded individuals of such an amazing niche in a room together is just plain fun for everyone involved. Joe Gill, the visionary and founder of such an event, has truly seen the maturation of what truly was his baby that was born just a year ago.
The event itself meant much to me on many different levels. As the “Content Manager” of Boston Sports then and Now, I have had to take a backseat to writing over the past couple of months. Relegating and instructing our team of writers takes time, as we do not want our team to overlap material. Over the past year we have been proud to add two great writers in Will Woodward and Raj Prashad. Each brings a reliable, and professional attitude to the position, while providing gripping material for our growing site. However, I had not had the chance to formally meet either, as we have worked virtually since late last year. The event gave each of us the opportunity to put a face to a name and truly engage one on one and as a team in person.
On another level, I had the opportunity to meet some role models in the industry. Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com has become a great mentor and I have had the opportunity to meet him a few times over recent months. His admirable approach hails from the analytical angles he provides. He has an amazing way of making you think ways one would not typically think when reading his material. Amazingly, Reiss took time out of his day and from his family during his vacation week to come out and do some market research of sorts. Reiss, who had a crowd around him the entire time he was there, talked a lot of Patriots, but when he wasn’t answering questions about the team, he was asking us what, where, why, and who we go to for certain sports material. This was an equally beneficial opportunity for him to reach his potential future peers.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com also took time out his day to come to Palooza. The well respected Celtics and NBA writer was clearly happy to be at the event. When he wasn’t bidding on a piece of Celtics memorabilia at the silent auction, Sherrod gladly spoke to attendees about the future of the Celtics and even his career path to where he is now in Boston. Connections were made, business cards were exchanged, and everyone in attendance was very happy to have the face of the Celtics beat in attendance.
The event had it’s star power in the aforementioned Reiss and Blakely, as well as the smaller scale blogging connections. That’s whats great about what Blogapalooza is becoming though; it’s a way to put the metaphorical carrot in front of rising writers with big time media attendees, while putting people with peers as they work together to reach those new heights.