"Thanks to blogging, I am sitting in your kitchen eating Indian food and talking about your business"
So said a friend of mine to another friend of mine a couple of weekends ago. She wasn't just whistlin' Dixie.
The last two weeks has been a hectic, interesting time around here. Apart from all of the grunt work that goes into running a business, we have had an influx of visitors here in London from the United States: the journalist Nancy Rommelmann and her daughter Tafv were here for several days, and on the day they left, the daughter of Hollywood screenwriter Robert J Avrech and two of her friends arrived. The girls have now taken off for Italy and France, but will be back here again later in the month before returning to the States.
I met both Nancy and Robert through blogging.
Nancy is a friend of my friend, the journalist Cathy Seipp (we met via our blogs, too), who referred Nancy to my food blog several months ago. Nancy has been doing food and drink writing for a long time, as a writer for Bon Appetit and as the author of Everything You Pretend to Know About Food: And Are Afraid Someone Will Ask and Rommelmann's Los Angeles Bar and Nightlife Guide, amongst other publications. After exchanging a few emails, she was on board Gastroblog.com as a contributor. Nancy was at that time writing the excellent, sadly now-defunct blog Leaving Los Angeles. I read her archives voraciously and was blown away. We became close friends, despite never having met in person. When Nancy was in town and I was introducing her to my friends, more than once people were shocked to learn that we had met 'in real life' only a matter of hours earlier. (Aside: At a party we threw for Nancy and her daughter here at tBBC HQ, one of the attendees said to me - after overhearing Nancy and I talking about Gastroblog.com - "Oh, I read Gastroblog...Is that you?" Yes indeed.)
I got to know Robert some months after reading a profile of his late son, Ariel Avrech, on LukeFord.net. Luke posted a link to Robert's blog when it launched. I read it, was incredibly moved, and sent Robert an email. Over the last few months, he has become a very dear friend to me - and I was incredibly flattered that he entrusted me with sheltering and looking after his young daughter and her friends while they were in London. More than that, as the owner of a new publishing company and a novelist himself, Robert has been able to give me a lot of insight into the challenges facing that industry, both for authors and publishers. That, along with more extensive research, was the basis for tBBC's model for publishing applications of blogs.
Through Robert, I also hooked up with author Rochelle Krich for more insight into the publishing industry. And just the other day, he put me in touch with Susan Mernit of 5ive. Susan attended Bard College with Robert years ago, and stumbled upon his blog by chance last week while reading Cathy Seipp's blog. She sent him an email, Robert told me I might find her and 5ive of interest, and Susan and I were exchanging emails the very next day - the same day that I left a comment on JD Lasica's New Media Musings. That comment prompted an email from JD to me which read, in part:
It's funny, Susan Mernit and I were talking 5 minutes ago about bigblogcompany!All this in the space of less than 48 hours. As JD put it in another email to me, with the millions of blogs out there, some days it feels like three degrees of separation. Lately, it feels like that every day. And still people wonder how it is possible to be so passionate about blogging.
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