Although elderbloggers here at Time Goes By have discussed the power of blog friendships several times, we know one another only through our written words and sometimes photos or the occasional video that we post. It’s amazing how well we come to understand one another in this way or, sometimes, unwittingly give away more about ourselves than we had intended, although that’s another story.
Blogging is a powerful social instigator, but it’s only one kind of communication.
Last week, I took part in the first PhoneCon organized by Jeneane Sessum, a TGB honorary elderblogger who wanted to test a free, web-based telephone conferencing service that claims 96 people can be on the same conference call at once.
Well, maybe that wasn’t the only reason. With tongue firmly in cheek, Jeneane has supplied her own history of PhoneCon and if you don’t go read it, you’ll be missing the intended playfulness and whimsy that is part of it.
We never reached 96 callers at once last week at PhoneCon (undoubtedly just as well), but we had a fine ol’ time over six hours hearing the voices of bloggers we’d met before only through our blogs (and meeting some bloggers we’d never read before, as well) while we told stories, exchanged information, got silly, laughed a lot and generally had a good time.
Frank Paynter of listics, who had been busy elsewhere most of the day, squeaked in just before conference cutoff time to provide the closing keynote by singing The Oscar Meyer Weiner Song. It was one of his finest moments and you can listen to it here.
A good time was had by all - so much so that I got to thinking. And then I got to thinking some more. And some more.
Now, Jeneane has graciously allowed me to co-opt her idea which I have transformed slightly into (drumroll, please)…
…to take place on Tuesday, 24 October. That's four weeks from today.
Now don’t get put off by those six hours I referred to. Only Jeneane, as host and referee of PhoneCom, stayed on the telephone for the duration - although she did get all her laundry folded too. The rest of us called in and dropped off as our schedules permitted throughout the conference. I stopped in for an hour or so twice.
The conference is free. The only cost is a long-distance telephone call, but any of you who are on Skype or VoIP will pay nothing extra, of course. There will be local numbers for ten European countries so non-U.S. elderbloggers can join in too.
So mark your calendars for Tuesday, 24 October, get out your party hats and stay tuned for weekly updates. I’ll be posting telephone numbers, instructions on how to call in and announcements of special features as they occur to me.
Meanwhile, here’s an official Elderblogger-PhoneCon ‘06 conference badge (every conference requires a badge, you know) to add to your blog which you can link to this page where others can learn about Elderblogger PhoneCon.