I’m a fairly new blogger. I didn’t start GingerSass until this past March at the Sex, Love, and Dating Conference, and I was surprised by the sudden fanbase it had. (This was probably because some of my earliest posts had the tags “lesbian,” “sex,” “gingers,” and “AfterEllen.”) I’ve been continuously surprised that strangers– not just my friends– are fans of GingerSass on Facebook, and that I have more than 5 followers on Twitter.
Twitter is a funny thing. It allows you to interact with everyone from your best friend to your favorite soap star. Sometimes big names respond, and others don’t. I’ve been lucky enough to have had people like Amy Brenneman, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Cady McClain, and StaceyAnn Chin retweet and respond to some of my rambling responses to their tweets. These moments have made me feel incredibly special.
I’m still special enough to take MySpace photos of myself in the mirror.
You know what else had made me feel incredibly special? BlogHer12.
I had the opportunity to attend a lot of panels with some incredibly talented (and famed) bloggers. After each panel, people tended to line up to meet their blogger crushes.
I observed many post-panel meetings that went like this:
Session-Attendee: “OH-MI-GAWD!!! I’m so-and-so, I blog for so-and-so! I read your blog, like, every day! I especially loved your post about (enter post description here). I left you a comment, did you see it?! (Or ‘I tweeted you about ___________’.) Do you remember me??! I blog about _______________. ”
Big Name Blogger: (polite smile, handshake) “Oh, wow, that’s so kind of you. Thank you for following me. I’m glad you enjoyed this session, it’s so great to have met you.” (slyly moves on to next fangirl)
Now, nothing against fangirls. I’ve been one. We all have. But really? You expect Big Name Bloggers to know who the hell you are? Big Name Bloggers get TONS of comments and tweets every day. They won’t remember you, and you shouldn’t expect them to… nor should you throw a hissy fit when they don’t remember you. Grow up!
I had a different fan girl attitude at the various blogging sessions and moments of meeting Big Name Bloggers. I didn’t expect any of them to know who I was… but I was raised in a household filled with manners. If you see someone you know someplace, even if you barely know them, it’s polite to acknowledge someone and say hi. People from the Twitterverse are kind of like friends of friends you run into at a party– you’re not sure if they know who you are or not, but you feel like a jerk if you don’t say hi.
For my first fangirl moment, I ran into a Big Name Blogger whose site I discovered a few months ago, and I’ve been addicted to since. We’ve had a few Twitter discussions, but I’d never met a Twitter friend in real life. I introduced myself, saying, “Hi, I’m Kailynn, or GingerSass–” before she cut me off, interrupted me, and said, “GingerSass?! You get a hug!!!” We drank, made dirty jokes, and hung out together at various points throughout the rest of the weekend.
It was exciting.
I also attended a panel where another Big Name Blogger was moderating. After the panel, I waited for some other fangirls to finish drooling and I quickly introduced myself, saying, “Hi, I’m Kailynn, or GingerSass. I didn’t get a chance to say hi to you last night, but I just wanted to say hi and how fabulous everything is!” I was told I was funny, that said Big Name Blogger had been following my tweets throughout the entire day, and that I had been making her laugh. I also got a hug.
Other exciting moments included going to a luncheon where, once I introduced myself, everyone said “Ohhhhhhh!”, continuously tellng people my real name, my blog name, and my Facebook name and having them say “Oh my God! That’s you?!”, running up to ‘strangers’ and hugging them because we recognized one another from the Twitterverse and Blogosphere, and telling people, “I’m GingerSass, but if you can’t remember that, remember my ass.”
I had a name badge.
People knew who I was, and it was CRAZY. It was also a really surreal form of validation that I’m doing something successful with my writing. I’m making a reputation for myself in the writing world in a way I never dreamt possible, and it feels incredibly surreal–and fantabulous– to be making my dreams come true.
(By the way, I’m sorry if this post seems any bit cocky. I just can’t believe people know who I am. It’s weird.)