It was with great jealousy/curiosity/trepidation/glee that I sat down in front of the Sabres’ Blogger Summit live video feed yesterday afternoon. I am, of course, still terrorizing the woods of New Hampshire with music, so, I was pretty far away from the proceedings, distance-wise. But here’s the cool thing about the blogosphere: even in New Hampshire, surrounded by teenaged string players and unkempt-nature, as soon as that video feed clicked on, I was riveted. I’m pretty sure I could move to the moon and still be fascinated by the Sabres and the Sabres blogosphere.
Here are some relatively unorganized thoughts on the event from my perspective. I’d write something less bullet-point-y, but music camp does not allow much time for blogging, and also, I’m lazy.
- I want to start these bullet-points by congratulating the Sabres and the participating bloggers for a great event. This was an awesome event for the blogosphere, and I hope it was a success by everyone’s standards. What I’ve heard about the event via twitter, personal texts, and emails has been overwhelmingly positive. (Except for Heather B, who very charmingly emailed me last night to say that the event was terrible without me, no one had ANY fun, and that Ted Black is super mean. Nice try, Heather. I’m not buying it AT ALL, but I do appreciate the effort to make me feel better about missing the summit.) On a personal note, I want to thank the Sabres for reaching out to bloggers. THANK YOU, SABRES!
- I thought the bloggers were awesome! Everyone looked so scrubbed-up and adorable on camera. I’ve met a lot of the bloggers in town, but it was fun to put a faces to a few names. And seriously, not a SINGLE person there looked even remotely socially disturbed, or excessively pasty due to lack of sun. Good work, guys! (Now back to mom’s basement with you. Scram!)
- Ted Black is a freaking star. I certainly can’t speak for any other bloggers, but for me, the primary reason I was mega-interested in attending this event was that fact that it was an opportunity to rub elbows with Ted Black. Last week, when I was thinking about the event and what I would’ve asked had I been able to attend, I actually had a difficult time thinking of good questions, but man, I REALLY wanted to hang out drinking beer and eating pizza with Ted Black. I feel like maybe a more serious-minded blogger wouldn’t admit to such a frivolous appreciation for Ted Black, but whatevs. If there is one thing I’m not, it’s “serious about the Buffalo Sabres”. Which brings me to my next bullet point…
- I think the event (at least the online streaming portion) suffered a little bit because of the “Press Conference Lite” format. I want to be clear, this isn’t a really criticism. It’s mostly just an observation. I suspect that if you asked a hundred bloggers how they’d want a Q&A with Ted Black to be formatted, about 80 of them would describe exactly what the Sabres did, and the other 20 would all have wildly different ideas. (My ideal Q&A with Ted Black would be on my porch, drinking beer. Also, Goose would come along. And we would mostly talk about how much we hate the Flyers and the Bruins. And then, maybe we’d play Rock Band. But that’s just me.) There is certainly no “right” way to do something like this. My problem with the format is that it assumed that bloggers want to behave like journalists. There are LOTS of bloggers who do want to behave like journalists, but there are also lots of bloggers, like me, who are more causal in their approach. As the Sabres continue to reach out to bloggers (please continue to reach out to bloggers, Sabres!), I hope that there is some effort to experiment with the format and tone of the events. But again, I’m NOT COMPLAINING. I’m just sayin’.
- Just as a counterpoint to my last point- from what I’ve gathered about the non-streaming portion of the evening, that’s when most of the fun stuff occurred. So, had I been able to attend, I probably could’ve asked Ted to wear half of my BFF locket after the cameras were turned off. And then, after he gracefully and politely declined, I could’ve asked Kevin Sylvester if HE wanted to wear it instead. (Kylvester would’ve said “yes”. Of course.) So, while the streaming portion was a little stuffy for my personal tastes, it sounds like the Sabres actually did set aside a chunk of time for less-formal questions.
- My close friends at Apple Hill know how disappointed I was about not being able to attend the summit. As such, my friend Elise suggested that the Sabres were probably just gathering the bloggers in order to either brainwash them or trap them in a dank dungeon, and that I should be GLAD I couldn’t go. I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed that Ted didn’t start the Blog Summit by pressing a button which opened a trap door in the floor which sent all the bloggers down a Goonies-style water slide and into a pit of rattlesnakes (or lions, I suppose).
- All in all, I give the Summit an A+ for “being overall awesome and generous towards their most loyal fans”, and a A- for “execution”. (Sadly, I have to give the event a F- for “Calling me and asking me when would be a convenient time to hold the event.”) But if there is one thing I want to make CRYSTAL CLEAR it’s that I am THRILLED that the Sabres held this event and that I think they did a great job.
- What a wonderful time to be a Sabres fan!
And, here’s a SUPER FUN Willful Caboose programming alert: My disappoint at not being able to attend the Blog Summit was SO acute, and my whining was SO pronounced, that the-powers-that-be at the Sabres took pity on me. I was able to send some questions to Ted Black via email, and he VERY graciously answered them all.
SO, look for Ted Black Interview in the next few days! Hooray!