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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Lift06 Blog blather, Geneva

Here's what it's about: "The conference will focus on 5 broad themes: internet, design, humanitarian work, emerging technologies and big ideas."

Lift06 is a bloggers' conference, and it kicks off tomorrow morning in Geneva. It had its real start tonight at Les Enfants Terrible, an appropriately named bar down a narrow street in the old part of the city center. Check out the photos on Flickr.

Bloggers don't do conferences the way other people do, if tonight is anything to judge by. Plenty of wine but the conversation flowed without anyone noticeably overdoing it, which made me reflect that bloggers have a natural bent for chatter. Call it blog blather.

I didn't see any business cards being exchanged and a high proportion of people mentioned, when asked, jobs they used to have before they moved into lifestyles where they do a bit of this or a bit of that.

Of course, some people have real jobs, and blog as well. I turned to one newly arrived American suffering a bad case of jet lag and asked what he did. Works for Microsoft, and doing what? I asked, hoping to keep him awake another minute. Sounded like he said he was Microsoft's most famous blogger, but he said it so quietly I wasn't sure. He is, it turns out.

I then asked a newly arrived Canadian what he does, meaning on his blog since he'd been talking about how short it was. Hard question, he replied - he quit his job yesterday. Just decided to stop being a banker and think for a while.

So if you get rid of the usual where are you froms and what do you do's, what's left? Quite a lot, it seems, with bloggers, and the conversations flowing around me were some of the most interesting I've overheard in quite a while.

Which reminds me, I promised to come home and see if there are chess blogs and if the people really talk, since live chess players are notoriously word-shy. I found Susan Polgar and discovered she has a separate blog just for girls who play chess, but these are mainly public relations blogs. I turned up two "alternative movies", hmm. From Massachusetts we have the Boylton Chess Club whose main news was about dead or dying chess blogs - but they kindly provide links to several others. In total, Google turns up 248,000 or so when you put "chess" into its blog search.

For comparison's sake, I put in "knitting", having heard from Movable Type that knitters make up one of the biggest groups of bloggers. Google offered me nearly 310,000 of them. I gave up knitting at the age of 20 or so when I discovered that no matter how long you knit a sweater, it's never done. But lo! I've just discovered that the thousands of people who are warming up for the knitting Olympics consider it a sport. This is no yarn, dear reader.

I wonder what other conversation starters bloggers will bring to the meetings tomorrow.


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