3.15.2006

Blogger Happy Hour: A Review

I was lucky enough to catch some bloggers on the television last Wednesday (as in 3/8/06). I was home sick with the whooping cough, so I decided to catch the four o'clock news. Lo and behold, there was a story about blogger happy hours. This piqued my interest.

And then, today, DCist mentioned that there would soon be another blogger happy hour on 18th and M. 18th and M! That's my neck of the woods. I quickly decided to show up at this blogger happy hour incognito. I promised myself that I would not mention this blog or anything else relevant about myself. No marketing, no DC-hating, just people-watching. Here's a review of the night:

OK. Blogger happy hour. Problem #1 was the location. Yuca. It's some Cuban place. And it sucks balls. The two most noticeable aspects of Yuca were the lack of draft beers and their playing early-90s rap. It was one of the worst DC-establishments I have ever entered.

Problem #2 was the time. Yuca, as crappy as it is, advertises itself as having the longest happy hour in DC. It lasts from 4-8pm. So, having a blogger happy hour that starts at 7pm...that's just not cost-efficient.

I made the mistake of showing up to this thing at 6:15pm. And why not? The bar is literally steps from where I work. And why not cram as many cheap drinks in as possible before the bloggers descend upon my beautiful Wednesday evening.

Of course I get there and the place is dead. Despite my efforts to not be a lame blogger, I was actually the first blogger there. Sweet. There were literally 7 people in the bar when I arrived. I was the only one who spoke clear English out of all of 'em. Great.

Some young people, who I will assume were bloggers, started trickling in at 6:45. By 7, the scheduled start of this event, there were a good 20 people in the bar. An improvement from my situation 45 minutes earlier, but still not exactly a fun time.

Someone finally approaches me at 7:15. A blogger. He asks if I am here for the blogger summit, and I admit that I knew about it and was there to people watch. He asks me if I have a blog, and I admit I do. "I don't really like to market it," I reply nonchalantly.

"That's just because you've never had time to make business cards," he replies. And then he hands me a tye-dye business card with his URL on the front.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I'm sorry, but Jesus Christ. Business cards!? I mean, wow. This guy was nice enough, but if you take your blog, which he must have really taken seriously since it had a "dot blogspot" in the URL, and make business cards....I mean, you are beyond repair. No one can help you.

Soon enough I was rescued by a friend and we headed off to the Big Hunt and the Front Page (the latter featuring a singer-guitarist playing Green Day and Oasis covers that sounded worse than "cancer and AIDS combined").

Obviously, Blogger Happy Hour was a disaster. Bad location, bad time, low turnout.

That being said, I really do like the idea of a blogger happy hour. It's a chance for like-minded people to get to know one another. It's also a chance for our readers to get to know us. I hate it when an asshole blogger dismisses their audience by saying "you don't pay any money to read my writing" or "I write for me, not for you." Bullshit. Every hit I get is a miniature ego boost. I'm sure it's the same for the rest of my ilk. I, and I assume we, love, love, LOVE any feedback I/we can get. Even the negative stuff. Blogger happy hours provide an opportunity for me/us, theoretically, to meet my/our audience.

Unfortunately, these happy hours are kind of like universal health care. They sound awesome, and you think it could make everyone a little better off, but, pragmatically, they just don't work. Blogger happy hours attract the douchebags who take their blogs seriously. Their company is intolerable. I'm sorry, but taking your blog all seriously and shit is incredibly stupid. I can't imagine anything more lame. And, business cards. I still can't wrap my skull around that.

The blogger happy hour on NBC4 featured a full bar with all sorts of chit-chat. That looked kind of fun. Maybe tonight was the lame exception. I sure hope so. Hopefully the next one, which I will only be attending if it's really close by, will feature something that's actually newsworthy.

UPDATE: Apparently, "happy hour" is only an expression to these people. Bloggers stayed at Yuca until midnite. Here is the review by the person who threw the thing along with comments: LINK.

But why call it a happy hour if you are going to miss out on the happy hour specials and stay until midnight? Shouldn't it be a "DC Blogger Night on the Town" or something like that?

33 comments:

  1. This makes me want to print up business cards for you. And pay you to hand them out. To strangers. At the Friendship Heights metro stop. Next to the crazy woman.

    *cackling madly*

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  2. Oh, Jeff. One of the Latina ladies there was hitting on me (no, really). She said she was from Peru. So I casually mentioned you and implied (lied) that I took your Latin American Film Studies class.

    Girl: "Can you name one Peruvian movie?"
    Me: "Um, no."

    HE SHOOTS AND SCORES.

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  3. rusty, rusty, rusty. i don't know your background, but lemme just give a big WHADDUP to yuca. the BEST thing about that establishment is the early 90s hip-hop. and they play mostly westcoast hip hop (whenever i have gone).

    do you not like hip-hop or just early 90s hip-hop? either way, that is the attraction people from cali and other western hip hop states love (fine, like) this establishment. plus the food is supposed to be good but don't quote me on that.

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  4. I walked in and they were playing "Baby Got Back." That's a 2am song, not a 6pm song. Then they switched to disco. So, thumbs down for the music.

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  5. Wow. You really missed the point. Check out the full recap if you are so inclined.

    I agree "happy hour" is a bit of a misnomer, but they did start out that way. Everyone just...stays happy.

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  6. you shoulda been at the OTHER blogger meetup/happy hour (http://blog.meetup.com/99/). stupid how they were both on the same night. ours was fun... and sans business cards.

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  7. Yeah, they're not really happy hours. I showed up at 8:30 and it was just getting started. Sorry to have missed you...hating is kinda fun.

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  8. How can you make such a judgement when you were effectively lurking off to the side? Poor form.

    The participants seem to have nothing but good things to say.

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  9. Anon - have you ever attended the "social" happy hour? And why post anonymously? Clearly you have a blog, if you attended. Weak.

    Maybe see what people who attended both think.

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  10. You know, I think a card would help you, actually. It could just say "I'm a miserable hopeless cunt" on it, and spare people the experience of having a pleasant conversation with you and then finding themselves preemptively judged on your blog.

    I'd be happy to make them up for you, just like I made mine.

    Your misery is self-engineered, "friend."

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  11. Mr. Simmermon,

    With all due respect, and before we drop any more C-bombs, you made a business card for your blog!!!

    You were incredibly polite, cordial, an all around nice guy. But, come on! A blog card!? That's so over-the-top.

    I didn't identify you or your blog. I poked a little fun at your expense, fine. I'm sorry you took it personally.

    Please lighten up,
    Rusty

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  12. Mr. Your Name Here
    Miserable, Hopeless Cunt.

    Weddings, Bar-Mitzvahs, Funerals.


    Awesome.

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  13. Delurking to say...

    if you are handing out business cards with your blog URL, it had BETTER be ironic. Otherwise... hoo boy.

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  14. Vinny the ChinMarch 16, 2006

    Early 90s hip hop rulz.

    No shut it.

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  15. I don't blog, but I read blogs and Rusty's experience is exactly why I have zero desire to go meet bloggers. The venue is lame, the weird hours are lame, and the evening was marketed like one of those department store soap-star appearances "They'll be signing autographs before the back-to-school fashion show!"). No thanks.

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  16. christah don't worry you won't be missed

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  17. EARLY 90'S HIP HOP IS A HELL OF A LOT BETTER THAN THE TRASH THEY CALL HIP HOP TODAY

    WHAT DO YOU EVEN KNOW ABOUT EARLY 90'S RAP ANYWAY? YOU WERE JUST A LITTLE KID BACK THEN.

    I CAN TELL YOUR DISLIKE FOR IT IS DUE TO THE SAME OLD TIRED PLAYED TO DEATH TOP 40 POP TRASH

    DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON DISCO BECAUSE I AM 100% POSITIVE YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT DISCO OTHER THAN THE SAME OLD TIRED PLAYED TO DEATH TOP 40 TRASH

    WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT GOOD MUSIC ANYWAY? YOU LISTEN TO DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE AND THE YEAH YEAH YEAH'S YOU DOUCHEBAG

    GO CAPS!!!!!!

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  18. Hey, it's not fair to compare a lame blogger happy hour with universal health care. Let's compare for a moment.

    universal vs. bloggers
    free drugs vs. no draft beer
    snazzy universal health cards vs. blog cards
    canada vs. yuca

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  19. Fuck disco for fuck sake. Speaking about that in the same breath as early 90s rap is blasphemy.

    Fuck the Caps.

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  20. Business cards. Not the first time I've read about this and the 'blogger summit'. Musta been a helleva time and would like to know about the up-and-coming shiot to go on.
    Prolly to accomplish the same thing...people watch and gain material.

    While business cards are completely ridiculous, if you're looking to create traffic or make yourself out to be the infamous duffus, it's a solid way to go.

    Shalom everybody

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  21. I know, AUA. I totally want that business card.

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  22. I gotta say, I think blogger happy hours are a stupid idea. Isn't the whole point of blogging to either a. post ideas with anonymity or b. post things for "real" friends to read (ahem people you've met in "real life"?) Why take the lovely mystery out of blogging and spend a drunk evening dry humping other bloggers in a masturbatory circle-jerk? Are 20-somethings that in need of friends?

    p.s. this west side- east side story blog feud is ridiculous.

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  23. "Wow. You really missed the point. Check out the full recap if you are so inclined.

    I agree "happy hour" is a bit of a misnomer, but they did start out that way. Everyone just...stays happy."

    Kathryn is trying to be the Kelly Ann Collins of the blogger world. The only thing is that she isn't nearly as pretty (or skinny) and she's a dork. And, Kelly didn't care if you railed on her. She liked it. Kathryn, well, her skin is a little thin--partly because she is fat.

    All in all, your assessment was dead on.

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  24. Anonymous,

    No ad hominem attacks. Sorry, calling someone fat is just ridiculous. It proves nothing. other than that the writer has the unique ability to write mean things without revealing his/her identity.

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  25. Oh, Rusty, don't mind Anonymous. He has a giant puss-filled sore where his dick and nuts used be, so it's understandable that he would be so nasty.

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  26. Since when is a woman at size 8, 5'10" fat? Some people have a very skewed sense of what is truly beautiful, and 99% of men would disagree with the not-so-anonymous-commenter's opinion.

    This coming from someone who used to show up at these happy hours himself. Weak.

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  27. Ms. Cookie,

    You seem to know who this guy/girl is. How? Am I missing something here?

    Where am I? What's going on!?

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  28. Just an assumption based on one person I know who has been leaving comments like that about Kathryn all over her site and others since last summer. It's old and tiresome.

    I could be wrong, but the words just ooze...him.

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  29. Happy hour is happy hour. Post-happy hour is not happy hour. Happy hour has nothing to do with being happy and everything to do with cheap drinks. People will be happy independently of whether or not they are at a happy hour unless their happiness is contingent on cheap drinks, in which case obviously they will want to attend during the actual happy hour. "Latin" in "D.C". is like dropping sea birds in oil slicks, and "90's Hip-Hop" does not bear critical debate. And all of this is self-evident to most dedicated urbanites.
    Thus more evidence of why d.c. gets a blog called "why I hate dc", a concept which also should be entirely self-evident to readers, yet, since this is d.c., is not.

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  30. The word "assume" makes an ass out of u and me. Shut your face, DC Cookie, or you will get hit by the Troll Army.

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  31. you are funny. so glad i found your blog. I live down the street from you and I hate DC.
    welcome to the neighborhood.

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