The Tunisian Blogger Meetups

In the wake of all the negative posts that have been talking about our Tunisian blogger meetups, I’ve decided to write a post about the issue, explaining my point of view, especially that I’m the person who started the whole meetup thing in Tunisia.

The main idea from the meetups was, and still is, to give Tunisian bloggers a chance to get to meet each other, talk, maybe build some new friendships, feel somehow encouraged to go on blogging, maybe create a certain sense of community around blogs.

Of course, some people would rather remain anonymous, and that is totally their choice and right. No one’s pushing anyone to attend a blogger meetup if they don’t want to. Every one of us blogs for a reason and about certain topics, and I totally know that going public with your identity takes away your ability to write about some things you could write about before. And so, that is a very important issue to think about before deciding to come to a meetup or not.

A point that I’ve read many times is the idea that the “old” bloggers have formed groups and that new bloggers feel they’re unwelcome.
Instead of denying or confirming that, all I want to say is that we don’t go to meetups to talk to the old bloggers or the new bloggers, we go to meetups to talk to Tunisian bloggers period, no matter their age in life or in the blogosphere.

Up to now we’ve had 13 blogger meetups, that span over a year, obviously the people who have come to the meetups many times have had the chance to get to talk and know each other very well over this period, and some friendships have formed here and there, just like they do anywhere in life. Very normal.
Yet some “new” bloggers join for a meetup, then another and another and they too get to know other bloggers, they talk, they have fun, they enjoy themselves and build relationships and friendships too. And others either don’t come or come once, and then they just say that Tunisian bloggers are split into groups and they didn’t feel welcome and all. But in reality the door is wide open for everyone to join in, and many already have.

I personally never snobbed anyone or looked down at any other blogger because I’m one of the first Tunisian bloggers around. I’m always happy to see and meet new people at these meetups. And even if I don’t get the chance to talk to them in one meetup, I keep looking forward to the next meetup for a chance to chat with them.

I know that what I’m writing won’t necessarily change the ideas and perceptions that some have in their minds. But this is how I see it all and I thought I’d share it.

Again, going to a meetup or not is a personal choice, liking certain people or not is a personal issue, and it’s totally up to each person to decide for themselves.

All I know is that these meetups will go on as long as there are Tunisian bloggers willing to go out and meet for a little nice chat over a cup of coffee and that everyone will always be welcome.

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