When the idea for Elderblogger PhoneCon came to me during Jeneane Sessum’s first PhoneCon several weeks ago, I didn’t have a well-identified goal in mind for it. I just thought elderbloggers and their readers would enjoy connecting through another medium – voice – in addition to the written word.
It succeeded even without a defined goal and the general consensus after six hours was that future Elderblogger PhoneCons will be a welcome diversion. But that’s getting ahead of the story.
According to the report emailed to me when PhoneCon ended, there were, over the six hours, 25 individual participants. Virginia DeBolt from Albuquerque who blogs at First Fifty Words was (appropriately perhaps, given the name of her blog) the first to arrive. The United States was well represented with people from many different states and Claude of Blogging in Paris took the entire European continent upon her shoulders for the day. Her report of PhoneCon of course includes a couple of lovely representative photographs.
Here is the list more or less in order of appearance though some called in several times as their schedules permitted. If I've missed anyone, please let me know:
- Ruth of Fat Old Artist in Pittsburgh
- David St. Lawrence of Ripples in Floyd County, Virginia
- Susan Harris of Takoma Gardener in Maryland (and movie reviewer par excellance)
- Marti who reads but does not herself blog, from Round Rock, Texas
- Mary Louise another non-blogging reader in Omaha Always Question who called in from his car on the way to work in Roland Heights, California
- The inimitable Cowtown Pattie of Texas Trifles who called in from the ladies room
The next person to call in had a surprise and welcome announcement. The prolific commenter we all know as joared finally started her own blog on the very day of PhoneCon - Along the Way. It would be nice for everyone to stop by and welcome her to the elderblogging clan.
- Naomi Dagen Bloom of A Little Red Hen stopped by from New York City. Like Claude, she has written her take on PhoneCon
- Elaine of Kalilily Time, a long-time blogger, from upstate New York
- Pete Lustig from Late Life Crisis. I forgot to ask his geographic location
- Tamarika of Mining Nuggets was on the road and couldn't stay long, but she made the effort to phone in from an airport
- Ken Camp from Digital Common Sense in Olympia, Washington
- Buffy from Arrrgh!!! in - Buffy help me out, Illinois? Kansas?
- Elizabeth, another reader but not blogger, from Westchester County, New York
- Stella, yet another reader, from Detroit
- Joy from Joy of Six came by from Illinois
- and Melinda, a blog reader from California
Lucy of Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal blew in from Colorado and had us ROFL. She's 84 and I think if she's looking for a new late-life career, she could be a big success as a standup comic.
And then Colleen of Santiago Dreaming stopped in from Kansas, the final visitor of the day.
We talked of blogging and technology and blog friends and touched on politics of the upcoming U.S. and French elections. We laughed about aging and aches and pains, and told stories and oh, my - how we laughed. The conferencing service has what appears to be an easy way to record conferences for individual playback, but your host, moi, forgot to turn it on. How dumb of me. It was a terrific experience to put voices with names and words.
There were a few minor technical difficulties. Mostly it went so smoothly and we had such a good time that we will make PhoneCon a regular event. Marti made the excellent suggestion that we do it quarterly, so look for Elderblogger PhoneCon2.0 in January 2007.
It was an excellent experiment and thank you all for coming to the party.