A few months back, I popped along to the Homebrew Website Club to work on my website. While there, we got talking about the old Brighton Bloggers meet-ups.
Blogging is very different to social media silos like Facebook and Twitter. Everyone owns their own place on the web and chooses how it appears. It is less straightforward than just chucking things onto Facebook, but it is a more open space. Before Facebook, there were lots of people in Brighton writing webblogs, connected by comments and occasional meet-ups in the real world.
I googled Brighton Bloggers and discovered that Jane Dallaway has maintained the Brighton Bloggers directory up to the present day. In a flood of enthusiasm, I arranged a 2019 Brighton Bloggers meet-up as part of the digital festival.
We met on Monday, hosted by Hays Digital. It was a small group (but included three nominees from the 2003 Virtual Festival Personal Site award). The conversation was fascinating, and it was particularly useful to find out what tools other people were using. I am going to check out both the Yost SEO plugin and grammarly.
Blogging might be a fringe interest now, but there are still people out there doing it. Since the meetup, a few different groups are now connected (next month there is a meetup from the brightonbloggers.co.uk facebook group). Jane has also updated the directory. A lot of sites has disappeared, some through the hosts being shuttered, but others have remained up. There is a wealth of social history here, which could easily be lost – the Virtual Festival events are barely mentioned on the Internet, with most of those mentions coming from old blog posts.
Jane has also written a fantastic history of Brighton Blogging, It takes in things like the Brighton New Media list, still running, but no longer the tech community’s backbone; and the first Brighton Bloggers meeting on August 28, 2003.
The Brighton Bloggers directory will continue to be maintained. As Jane ends her piece: “If you know of a blog that is missing from the list, then follow the link at the bottom of the main Brighton Bloggers page and let me know. I’ll get it added.“If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list