As we turned the corner and entered the cavernous Walrus Theater my brain was stuck between the gears of "are we in the right room?" to "holy f*cking shit -- this is happening". My expectations were 20-50 tops -- I literally thought that we showed up too early and hadn't given the previous panelists enough time to clear out. Then I saw the familiar faces. The first three rows were lined with the people I love most: my surrogate Dtoid family, Also Cocks shirts ablazing. Had it not been for your smiles getting up there would have been three times as nerve wrecking.
We arrived ten minutes early, so for a bit I just kind of sat there trying to process the ocean of new faces. I can't even tell you all the stuff flying through my brain at the moment. Would they accept our ideas or walk away? I mean, shit. Starcraft II was a few feet away!
I braced yourself for the possibility that half the audience can lose interest and walk away, and what kind of face I could make for posterity. It never happened. More came. Not one chair available. When it was all over everyone was absolutely wonderful and the feedback was much appreciated, but the thing that really stuck with me was unspoken.
People fucking stood.
We didn't have enough chairs and they stood there for the entire hour. They stood there for what we had to say! I can't even put the words together to express my gratitude for those guys especially.
I can gush on for how pleased I was at the turnout all night, but let's get to the meat of it. Our panel concept was ambitious: We attempted to tackle the entire breadth of challenges that face start-up bloggers and present it in a common-sense format that gave specific instructions on what to do, not just fill people with inspiration and generalizations. I think we've all been to panels that made us feel good but didn't offer any substance, so we aimed not to be anything like that. You can definitely use this stuff, whatever subject matter you're interested in pursuing.
Everything from content to running a business was touched on in 50 minutes -- and whatever we missed we'll hope to answer and dig deeper as we upload all of our materials. This post contains my segment on the importance of creating original content and a video game club twenty years in the making. Some stubborn little kids don't change.
I touched on specific articles that were valuable to other blogs during my first year of running Destructoid, how enthusiasm plays a part, and how ultimately you simply have to get up off your ass and make it happen. You'll also get a glimpse of something new we made: A "Mega Man Maker" illustrated by our own Jonathan Holmes with music by Dale North and my buggy programming.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy our presentation from home if you couldn't join us in person. The other parts will be online at a later post. Until then, I do believe there is a White Wolf party going on tonight...