This morning’s bloggers’ meet-up at Top Donut in Centralville exceeded my expectations. People arrived before 9 a.m., and the crowd grew to about 50, according to Dick’s count. It was a high spirited bunch of writers, readers, photographers, designers, and comment-makers. People stayed until almost 11.30 a.m., well past the posted wrap-up time. I was also glad to see how busy the donut shop was without our group. The walk-in and drive-up business was steady all morning. All Lowell businesses would be doing well at that pace.
I think the most active blogs were all represented, including the City Life LTC video bloggers, with John M on hand. Dick used his phone to make a video record of the event, so I’ll let him show who was on hand. I met a man from Tyngsboro who wanted to tell me how much he appreciated my post in favor of preserving the Pawtucket Falls Dam. I learned from Alex and Anne R that UMass Lowell students “blog” via Facebook and are less interested in the now-traditional type blogging that I’m doing now. I talked to Corey S about the car-wreck-appeal of the anonymous blogging/mugging via Topix on the Sun site. There was a sidebar conversation with Phil L and Allegra W about organizing a short-form video contest for Lowell videos as part of the “Lowell 175” celebration planned for 2011-12 in honor of the city’s 175th anniversary. I met Sopheak S, one of the activists from www.fobclothing.com at Western Ave Studios, who told me about the group’s “premier urban t-shirt line.” I learned that Lynne L is teaching in the Business of Music program at UMass Lowell, which I should have known, being in the same building.
Mark L told me he’s careful about what he eats, but that once in a while he gets the marshmallow donut at Top Donut, which he says is the best flavor and may be the closest thing to the legendary marshmallow donuts at the old, original Eat-a-Donut on School Street. When I was a kid, my father would drive our family from Dracut to the donut shop on a Sunday afternoon to get a fresh dozen (12 always meant 13 there), which we would of course begin to eat in the car. I always chose marshmallow.
People had a lot to say, and they enjoyed seeing one another after so much interaction online. The virtual community became an actual community for a few hours. There was a camaraderie among people involved in a joint enterprise in its pioneering phase in Lowell. This is all relatively new and evolving. We’ll see what’s next.