This coming weekend is General Conference. You probably already know about that. But did you also know that there is also a bloggernacle-oriented get together, put together by long-time BCC BFF, J. Max Wilson? That’s right–it’s the first ever “LDS Friends & Foes Rendezvous,” which is intended to be a “recurring event hosted semiannually around LDS General Conference weekend in April and October.”
As posted in the announcement on Facebook, (as well as over at M*), J.Max’s purpose here is “to get as many LDS blog participants who are widely considered ‘conservative’ …in the same location with as many LDS blog participants who are considered ‘liberal,’” ostensibly in order to place bets on how many donuts Brad Kramer can eat or just stare awkwardly at people they’ve insulted and terrorized online for years.
Now, I know what you’re thinking–”That’s just like Sunstone!”–but J. Max dispels any rumor that this is Sunstone Lite–it is not a conference or symposium; there aren’t going to be presentations or papers or posters or sales booths, and you don’t have to pay to get in. Rather, he says, it is “a private social intended as an opportunity to lay down your proverbial weapons and meet your Internet opponents face-to-face, shake hands and chat over chips and salsa, perhaps hold an old-fashioned orthodox vs unorthodox stick-pull, maybe play a card or word game with people who have insulted you online, and then leave, hopefully, with a new appreciation of the real-life individuals with whom you are dealing.”
I am a big fan of this sort of thing. Meeting people from the bloggernacle is fun. I’ve done it many times, and always enjoyed it tremendously. Also, meeting people you have disagreed with or fought with online is a wonderful thing, and can help heal, reconcile, and bring about previously-unexpected (and undesired!) friendships and respect. I recommend reading about Brad’s experience, if you’re considering attending and wondering whether it may be worth it.
Additional details are below.
When: Friday April 4th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Eborn Books in Salt Lake City. The address is 254 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.
Who: All are welcome, but the emphasis is on long-term bloggernacle participants who are familiar with the community, it’s history, norms, and personalities.
Additional Details: According to J.Max, “There is a cafe at the front of the bookstore, but it will likely be closed by 6:00 pm. Depending on the number of people who show up, we may also move up to another room. If the Cafe is still open, they may not be happy with us bringing our own food, but it is likely that they will be closed, so if you want to bring a snack to share or something to drink, feel free.”