Saramerc One of the joys of blogging is transcending the online world and meeting other bloggers face-to-face. Here in Sydney, Sara the Bargain Queen and Mr Bargain Queen, the mercurial Mercurius do a fantastic job of regularly bringing local bloggers together and last week we all met up at the Art House Hotel in Sydney for a spot of conversation, a few drinks and the simple chance to escape our computer screens. This week’s soiree was well attended with around 30 or so bloggers and a couple of people who are not bloggers but came along anyway.

I got to have a quick chat with Laurel Papworth who had just come straight from a seminar featuring Jimmy Wales. It sounded like an interesting day focusing on the use of social media in an educational context where the topic was "challenging the way knowledge is created".

Gavindeankaren I also met up with Angus McDonald, Anna and Ian who were engaged in wide ranging discussions about science fiction and the weirdness of blogging. Since the meetup, Matt Moore has been coaxed out of blog retirement and is now waxing lyrical about value networks ("the biggest thing in the next three months") on his newly revived blog. Harriet Fesq, Sara, Petra, Dean and Chrissy brought a fashion focus to the charming Attic Bar of the Art House. I also got chatting to Karyn about how easy it is to start a blog these days (she was one of two non-bloggers who turned up to see what bloggers were like — here I am writing down the URLs of Typepad, Blogger and WordPress).

I chatted with Kathy Phelan about Twitter and its many and varied uses for brands, marketing and politics. I told her about our Twitter Fun — changing icons and pictures to a theme from time to time — and she suggested a great one — baby photos. I just need to digitise some of my own before I bring that one up!

I noticed Lucas, Sara (the +1) and Paull were chatting together over in the corner for ages. As it turns out, Paull is hosting a dinner next Wednesday and then wandering down to meetup with Joseph Jaffe … so if you are in Sydney and interested in social media and marketing, mark Wednesday in your diaries. Just let Paull know so that he can book a space for you at the table!

Of course, this shindig was also attended by my marketing blog buddies Katie and Emily. After a late night chatting with this group of Sydney bloggers, I just could not make it to coffee the next morning … but it looks like it turned out well anyway! (Thanks also to Emily for the great pictures — that camera goes everywhere!)