Okie Blogger Round-Up round-up

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The 2006 Okie Blogger Round-up was a fun event and a good start to what everyone hopes will be an annual tradition. Much credit belongs to Mike Hermes of Okiedoke, who started the planning on this over a year ago. It was well organized, and there was never a dull moment. Thanks, too, to Kevin Latham of BlogOklahoma.us and ITLnet, particularly for providing a WiFi router for all us bloggers to use during the event and for allowing someone (me, in fact) to take it home as a door prize.

Sean Gleeson led the opening Blogging 101 session, and Dan Lovejoy led the advanced blogging panel discussion, joined by Sean, Kevin, and Kurt Hochenauer of Okie Funk. The sessions were well-done, and I learned plenty of new blog tricks.

I came in late -- I had been helping my 10-year-old son get his Lego entry for the Tulsa State Fair ready to take over to the fairgrounds -- but registration was handled very smoothly by Redneck Diva,, her sister Taterbug, and Babs of Conversation Station.

Through Okiedoke's weekly Okie round-up feature, the Okie blog awards, and the Blog Oklahoma webring, which now includes 343 blogs, Mike and Kevin have done more than anyone else to introduce Oklahoma's bloggers to each other and create a sense of community.

It was great once again to see most of the folks who joined us for the much smaller Okie blogger bash a year and a half earlier. While I didn't expect anyone to come all the way from New York this time, I missed seeing John Owen Butler and Dwayne the Canoe Guy, aka Mike Horshead.

(Dwayne has a fairly new blog called Matching Dragoons, devoted to 1970s DC comics bounty hunter Jonah Hex. What I love about this blog are his regular features of comic book mail order ads from the '70s -- e.g., combat games with exploding pieces -- and the Weekly Wonderous Moment in Comics -- often featuring gorillas. Look for "Pitchman-a-go-go" and "Weekly Moment" in the sidebar at Matching Dragoons.)

Mike was wise to give us a three-hour break between the afternoon roundtables and the evening activities. There was plenty of time to grab a leisurely dinner and do a little sightseeing or shopping before the awards ceremony commenced.

I had dinner at Bricktown Brewery with three other veterans of the earlier blogger bash -- Charles G. Hill, Don Danz, and Dan Lovejoy -- and for the first time got to meet Dan's lovely wife and co-blogger Angi and their adorable and well-behaved three-year-old son Elijah. Charles kindly picked up the tab for me and Don, in consideration for traveling a relatively long distance to be there.

Before heading back, I took a brisk stroll around Bricktown, enjoying the perfect temperature and the cloudless skies. Don headed off to the Apple Store. (Tulsa doesn't have one yet.)

At the awards ceremony, I sat with Brian of Audience of One and his beloved Terri, Steph Waller, Lynette Erwin, and AKA Monty. I wasn't familiar with Steph or Lynette, but I had read read AKA Monty's blog on occasion and Brian's blog fairly regularly.

The highlight of the awards ceremony was seeing Charles win for Best Overall Blog and giving him a standing ovation. Given his decade of excellence in Internet publishing, the Okie Blog Awards trophy ought to be named in his honor. (Mark your calendars for next year's Chazzies.)

After that, some danced, some blogged, many drank, some did all three. (I blogged.)

I had been suffering from a strange shyness most of the day. I felt comfortable around the folks I knew, but awkward making small talk with people I was meeting for the first time. That's normally not a problem for me, and I meet new people all the time with the civic and political stuff I do. But Saturday, when I met someone new, I wanted to say, "Ah, would you excuse me for a moment while I read a few pages of your blog so I can hold an intelligent conversation with you?" I was embarrassed at the thought of asking a blogger a question to which, were I a faithful reader, I would know the answer. Eventually I got past that and had some good conversations.

The evening closed with a screening of the documentary Mozartballs, which featured Steph and Lynette, along with three other people who feel a special connection to Mozart. The Mozartballs of the title are the Echte Salzburg Mozartkugeln -- chocolate, marzipan, and praline candies which come individually wrapped in gold foil with a picture of Wolfie himself. The film has been shown on TV in Europe and at Cannes, and an expanded version will be released in the US this fall on DVD. I wouldn't be surprised if it pops up on the Bravo channel.

I stayed around to see the film mainly because, as the two big kids are both very interested in classical music and have studied Mozart's life and music in school, I wondered if it might be appropriate for my children to see. (It's not.)

I made it home about 1 a.m., tired, but glad to have made the trip and looking forward to the next one, hopefully with a bigger Tulsa presence.

Other bloggers review the round-up:

And here again are links to the official list of 2006 Okie Blog Award winners, the Flickr photo pool for the event, and videos of the event on YouTube. And Bill Bauer has photos and audio, too.


Brian said:

Michael, it was a pleasure to meet you in person and Terri was thrilled. We'd both love to spend more time talking with you at a future event.

I was really sorry to miss the first event (about as much as I was to miss out on an award) but I really appreciate the hat-tip for Matching Dragoons. That is turning into a labor of love....and obsession.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 25, 2006 10:43 PM.

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