The annual conference of Google/Blogspot bloggers was held last weekend in Sheffield. Google flew in representative bloggers from around the world and they were all accommodated at the exclusive Marriott Hotel in the leafy Nether Edge suburb of the city. Various UK bloggers travelled to the conference in stretch limousines.
Like most business conferences, this one was largely an excuse for a good party. Okay there was an official conference agenda to get through in the conference hall but most attendees saw last weekend as an opportunity for over-consumption of alcohol, enjoyment of good food and hanky panky with bloggers of the opposite sex.
Typically the "Welcome" meeting on Friday evening was rather tense and awkward as bloggers began to recognise their cyberfriends in the flesh. Seeing a name like "Mutterings and Meanderings" on screen is very different from seeing an attractive thirty-something lady in riding jodphurs and hard hat supping champagne while leaning against a column, chatting to none other than former skinhead, Arctic Fox from Huddersfield. "I hunt foxes down, " she said, drawing the tall Yorkshireman towards her by pulling firmly on his tie, "and then I whip them with my riding crop!" Arctic Fox's face turned beetroot red.
The American contingent were at first huddling together in the lounge making remarks about their first impressions of England. "When they said the conference was in England I thought they meant Maine or New Hampshire," drawled Alkelda The Gleeful. "Nobody told me these guys drove on the wrong side of the road," said By George from Texas. " I can't understand a word these UK people say y'all!" declared Brad the Gorilla vigorously scratching his hairy privates as gorillas are wont to do.
In the conference hall, the chairperson - Jennyta from North Wales - talked to the assembled bloggers as if they were all primary school children - "Now settle down all of you! I want everyone quiet when I have counted to three. One!...."
"I left primary school a long time ago!" muttered Steve from Manchester ("Occupied Country"). Ever the rebel, he was not in the mood for condescension of any kind.
"Shut the f.... up!" yelled Jennyta from the platform. "Now the first motion comes from JJ of "All Cobblers". It's up here on the screen children! Let me read it to you!"
"All right we can read!" protested Rilly Super. " I went to an exclusive girls school don't you know!"
"No! Go on miss! I can't read too well," said Arthur Clewley - he of Diary fame.
"Thank you Arthur! Here we go - This house believes that all anonymous comments should be barred from Blogworld. Now could JJ come to the stage to propose the motion? JJ? Where is she?"
"Miss, I think she stayed in her suite with that rough Scotsman who arrived in the limo with her, " said Eurodog from Belgium. "My room's next to hers. I think he was teaching her some trampoline techniques!"
Just then JJ and Reidski appeared in the back of the hall looking somewhat dishevelled. The Fatalist, who can be rather crude, made some lewd remark about why they were late and this caused Mr Shooting Parrots to just about wet his pants with laughter.
On Saturday evening, the annual Blogger awards were made and for the third year running the coveted "Blogger of The Year" Shield went to none other than Mr Yorkshire Pudding for services to blogging beyond the call of duty.Typically generous with his praise and humble in accepting the award, Mr Pudding was applauded so loudly and continuously that non-conference guests in the hotel imagined that huge hailstones were thundering upon the hotel roof!
Mr Pudding said, "I have a dream that one day in the cybercafes of Europe and America, from India to China and beyond - yay even in Australia - that world bloggers will reclaim this planet. I have a dream that clever bloggers and stupid bloggers, old bloggers and young will stand side by side and cry out Lord God Almighty we're free, free at last!" It was at that point that Chairperson Jennyta phoned for two men with a white van to take Mr Pudding away for some much needed mental rehabilitation...