Much has been written about the newfangled world of cyberspace* and how it enables new social constructs and connections. Blogs are a great example of the new medium. They can be many things -- a soapbox upon which to rant, a place to keep friends and family up to date, a travel diary, a business networking tool. Who knew there were so many witty and able writers out there? It's an example of the internet fulfilling its highest promise -- empowering individuals to communicate, share and build communities in ways never before possible.
There are many Saigon bloggers. I've gotten to know some of them virtually by virtue of reading their blogs regularly. Their personalities shine through and jump off the screen. After a few months of regular reading it feels like you know the person behind the prose. Well, I got to meet many of these people on Saturday at the Saigon Blog Summit, organized by Kevin, aka SaigonNezumi. It felt a bit strange meeting people I had never met before, but knowing so much about their lives. A bit like meeting a TV personality or something, and a little like a voyeur. AznGamerBoi, aka Pao, looked and spoke every inch the part of young gamer from LA, except that he's from the Philippines. He endured jokes regarding his status as "boi" and not as "man." " 'AznGamerMan' just doesn't sound as cool," was his response. Also in attendance were Cheryl (StreetTalk), Jimmy (ThirstyThong -- don't read if you are offended by salty language or R-rated content), Lisa (Alfaspider), Annie (MeetmeinSaigon) and Jon (Itsthefinalword).
We had the event at the top floor of Diamond Plaza, a big shopping complex in District 1 near Notre Dame. It's a teenager's (and my) idea of Saturday night paradise -- psychadelic black-light bowling with florescent bowling balls, thumping house music, pool tables, ice cream and video games, all topped off by a KFC and Pizza Hut. We ate at Pizza Hut after working up an appetite bowling (after a slow start I got my mojo back, hitting a string of spares to land at 127). It's the nicest and best-staffed Pizza Hut I've ever experienced. The decor is much more upscale, with chrome and fashionable wooden furniture. The service is excellent also. On the way out I counted 22 staff. Incredible.
Pao/AznGamerBoi has a great post about the event with lots of pics. You can read it here.