Today, we had a wonderful Wangjianshuo’s Blog Meetup. Thanks everyone for coming!
The meetup was held in the Starbucks Jinyan Store. It is a Saturday afternoon. The helpful and kind staff told me that after Olympics, many people appeared out of their home, and came to the Starbucks. 100 table in the outside area was occupied. We were lucky to have a corner on the second floor, so about 20 of us can gather and had wonderful conversation here.
As expected, Christina Hou, Christina’s friends (sorry, what is your name in written, I just cannot remember it clearly after I am back. :-(), Michelle, and Auastasia (from Moscow Russia) showed up. Then we had Jeremy. This morning, I received a comment from Jeremy Friedlein after I posted the entry stating I am expecting 3-5 people:
3-5? I will bring 14.
He really meant it. He is a director of an oversea training program, and he really brought about 14 of his students from the CET program. His team was a wonderful addition to the meetup since they came from both China and US, and from different states from the United States. Many of them just arrived in Shanghai 2 days ago, which makes it possible to share their really fresh impression of the city.
What We Talked
The talk started with the question, “what is a meetup”. Let me explain it again here. It is a very, very, very (please pay attention to how many “very” I used) causal gathering of my blog reader’s community. I intentionally didn’t do any promotion – just an entry about WHEN and WHERE I will be in from time to time on my blog. The notice is often posted within 10 days before the meetup (not too long lead time), and I didn’t send any emails out about it. The goal is very simple – to have really causal readers of my blog to gather together and to share the excitement of being in this city and being connected through a little blog.
Because of the casual nature of the meetup, I never really know how many people will come for each meetup. Sometimes just myself (as once in San Francisco), and sometimes there are many people coming. I don’t want to control the event by myself (Well. I admit the only way I control it is to decide how long in advance I post the notice, or the expectation I set for the meetup before hand). I am happy that every time, there are some surprise for me, and for my readers who came.
When we talked many topics from self introduction, to live in this city, from the feeling of first few years/few days after coming to this city, to the culture shock, or T.I.C moment, from why I started my blog (The top question in my FAQ list), to what is my plan for this blog in the future (my answer was, no plan except keeping blogging), from places to visit in Shanghai, to the recent Olympic Games.
Here is a photo we took at last with almost everyone in it.
Photography by Tang Jinyao
In the photo, I am in the middle – yes, I just had my hair cut and get fatter a little bit. On the right hand is Russian girl Anastasia. Jeremy is at the back and Christina is on the far left end. There are certainly many other people in the photo who I remembered their name or not yet. Looking forward to know each of you more in the future – we have a blog (and comment section) to talk online, don’t we?
Mr. Tang, Mr. Lee, and others from ICS
I left Tang and his team from ICS to the end, but not the least. This meetup is specially, since the program of A Tale of 3 Cities came to the meetup to document what is happening there, and interviewed some of my readers, and me. We shoot some outside city scene from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM before the meetup, and wrapped up everything a little bit after 6:00 PM, longer than expected. If you want to know what is going on during the meetup, tune to ICS (International Channel Shanghai) channel at 9:30 PM on Saturday, Sept 6, 2008, which is exactly 7 days from today. Everyone who came should be able to see yourself on TV then.
Tang is a wonderful person. He is reporter and editor of the program A Tale of 3 Cities. He is very passionate about his program that he spent a lot of time talking with me and took the time to walk along with me in the Wujiang Road. He helped to facilitate the meetup and arranged the TV shooting with the Starbucks (interestingly enough, not as most brand, Starbucks PR does not like their logo to show up in TV program, which they asked as a criteria to let us in. Strange). The whole afternoon was a wonderful experience for me – amazing afternoon. Thanks Xiao Tang.
Mr. Tang Jinyao from ICS. Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang
If you missed this meetup, don’t worry. I will arrange such meetup in the future. I will post notice in advance, so if you want to be part of it, just pay attention to my blog, or subscribe my RSS to stay up to date. However, don’t ask me to notify you via email or other ways. I’d like to, but I just feel it is not easy to keep track of such commitment and it is very easy for me to fail to notify you. So come back often and check this blog. As my typical style shows, the I often post meetup in last minute (several days before it, instead of planning it way in advance).
I am traveling to the America from Sept 13 to Sept 22, and I will be in San Francisco (including San Jose, Palo Alto, SFO), and Seattle (and nearby places). I will definitely be at Microsoft campus in Redmond in the afternoon and dinner of Sept 17. Maybe I will find some way to notify my readers when I am there. As always, to meet with my readers in person is always my favorite experience.
Thanks everyone for coming! You made my day!