On Friday, for the second time this year, I'm going to camp. This being Blog Camp, it's all about cakes and SEO rather than pitching a tent and weeing in bushes. Though maybe some weeing on the pier, since Blog Camp is coming to Brighton.
Like a lot of people who are fairly verbal online, I tend to clam up a bit when it comes to crowds of people I don't know. I have one and only technique when networking in a room full of strangers. I go up to the nearest person who's also on their own and looks unlikely to bite me, and say Hello, I don't know anyone here, can I talk to you?
The hard part is when people disappear into their own little worlds, face down in a smartphone for the whole event. Then they go home and write a blog post about how shy they felt, and how they didn't talk to anyone. Sometimes the most gregarious and apparently confident blog persona turns out to be the quietest person in the room. So I guess if part of your reason for going to an event like this is to meet people, it's better not to hide in your iPhone.
If I take my phone out at an event, it generally isn't because I have an urgent need to check my emails or tweets. It's because I don't know anyone, am panicking slightly and need a prop to distract me. So I will attempt not to do that on Friday. If you see me doing that, you'll know that I'm feeling lonely in the crowd, and will be very grateful if you come over and say Hello, I don't know anyone here, can I talk to you?
There is a list of BlogCamp Brighton participants here, but that is absolutely no use in telling me who the trouble makers are. So, if you're going - leave a comment and a link to your blog, and rank yourself for cheekinesss, maximum score five stars. I am a three star - can be fairly cheeky when required, but not always.