Friday, December 18, 2009

SOB's Theatrical Firsts Of The Noughties: My First Blog And Bloggers Meet-Up

SOB's Theatrical Firsts Of The Noughties: My First Blog And Bloggers Meet-Up

Over the course of the last decade, I’ve been truly fortunate to enjoy a number of enlightening firsts in my personal theatergoing that have only served to increase my deep and abiding love for the art form known as live theatre. What follows is one of my ten favorite experiences of the last ten years.

In April 2006, I began Steve On Broadway (SOB), not because I work in the theatre, but because I am deeply passionate about it.

While the silence at first was deafening as I wondered who on earth could ever possibly find little old me, let alone want to, I was surprised as the hits started coming and a dialogue was formed with you, my dear readers, along with a growing contingent of other bloggers who are fellow theatre enthusiasts.

Initially, I had no idea how many of us there were. And to be perfectly honest, I’m still not exactly certain as so many come and go, while others are clearly here for the long haul.

It wasn’t until March 2008 that my dialogue with my fellow bloggers leapt to the next level. Thanks to the coordination of my dear "sister" Esther at Gratuitous Violins, a blog she created only after I urged her to turn her comments she left on my site into postings she could claim as her own, I finally came face to face with a wide swath of these men and women by virtue of our first-ever bloggers brunch.

There, I had the opportunity to meet Aaron at ‘kül That Sounds Cool, Alicia at Things You'll Learn To Love About Me, Chris at Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals, Jan at Broadway & Me, Jimmy at Third Row, Mezzanine, Kari at lit-wit, Mike at The Lunar Gemini, Patrick at Just Shows To Go You and last, but most certainly not least, Sarah at Adventures in the Endless Pursuit of Entertainment, and it was the beginning of many fine friendships that only continue to grow and flourish.

Ever since that time, I’ve been proud to meet an ever-growing online community of true theatre aficionados. Early this year, one of them, my friend dear Jan of Broadway & Me broached the subject of organizing this coterie of theatre bloggers into something more. She suggested organizing a theatre bloggers association. While it would take producer Ken Davenport to make Jan’s inspired dream a reality, the fact is there are now 40 theatre bloggers who comprise the Independent Theatre Bloggers Association (ITBA), and I am very pleased to be a member of this fledgling organization.

Bloggers I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting personally since beginning Steve On Broadway include:
Adventures In The Endless Pursuit Of Entertainment
Broadway Abridged
Broadway & Me
Confessions Of A Chicago Theatre Addict
Daddycatcher's Realm
Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals
From The Ledge
Gratuitous Violins
Just Shows To Go You
‘kül That Sounds Cool
Modern Fabulousity
One Producer In The City
Pataphysical Science
Stage Buzz
Stage Left, House Right
Theatre Aficionado At Large
The Broadway Musical Blog
The Clyde Fitch Report
The Stephen Mosher Blog
The Theatergoer
Things You'll Learn To Love About Me
Third Row, Mezzanine
West End Whingers

It's been such an honor meeting these individuals who reside in such far-flung places as London, Chicago, Providence, Boston, Minneapolis and of course New York City. To have forged some strong friendships with many of them has been icing on the cake.

As the world of social networking continues to evolve, I realized earlier this year that it was time to adapt Steve On Broadway for Twitter and Facebook. As someone who had previously scoffed at the notion of using Twitter, I’ve come to depend on it for learning so much of my news. In a very short period of time, I’ve become quite proficient at micro-blogging, and both it and Facebook have enabled me to reach an even greater audience.

If anyone had told me that I would have over 1000 followers or be ranked among the top 20 "most influential" Broadway tweeters by the end of 2009 or that I would have the number one Broadway-tagged blog on Facebook or that Steve On Broadway would be independently ranked as one of the top 15 theatre blogs, I would have wondered what you were smoking. But here we are at the conclusion of 2009, and that’s exactly what has happened, much to my amazement.

If you’ve read this far, I want you to know how much I appreciate your having taken the time to read SOB. I thank you for being part of my online audience, which now includes members of the broad theatre communities throughout the United States as well as in such far-flung places ranging from Australia to the United Kingdom.

Just as I am deeply humbled by the friendship so many of you have given to me, just an average theatre fan, I am also grateful for your support. What ostensibly started out as something I did just for my own personal enjoyment has transformed itself into a part of a larger dialogue among like minds.

Thank you for joining me on my theatrical journeys. Here's to many, many more over the next decade.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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At 18 December, 2009, Blogger Linda said...

Thanks for the shoutout and thank you for writing this blog. Yours is one of my favorite theater blogs. You have such a passion for theater, you're knowledgeable, and you're a nice person.

At 18 December, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Aw shucks! It was a pleasure meeting you this year and I hope to have a chance to see a show with you in the New Year!

At 18 December, 2009, Blogger Esther said...

I'm so glad I helped bring everyone together! We have made some wonderful friends.

Thank-you for not letting up, for continually encouraging me to start my own blog, even when I didn't think I had anything to say! You helped me find a new passion and find a voice again as a writer, and I'm so grateful for that.

And most of all, thank-you for letting me become your adopted Jewish sister. Who knew that in the first decade of the 21st century I'd find a brother?! And a very caring and generous one at that. I'm so proud of you, bro! xoxo

At 18 December, 2009, Blogger Joseph Gomez said...

big thumbs up here from me!

At 19 December, 2009, Anonymous Leonard Jacobs said...

I thought you had met me, but perhaps you hadn't. Thought you had liked me, too. Oh, well.

At 19 December, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Leonard, Leonard, Leonard, YOU ARE ON THE LIST under The Clyde Fitch Report. The operative word is "The" and my list is alphabetized! I'm thrilled to count you among my friends!

At 19 December, 2009, Blogger Bob said...

A pleasure meeting you, SOB, and I hope we meet again, soon!

At 21 December, 2009, Blogger jan@broadwayandme said...

Steve, it is so typically generous of you to write this post. One of the unanticipated delights of writing my own blog has been the chance to meet and build both an online and in-person friendship with you. Have a great holiday in Africa and I look forward to seeing you--and, of course, lots of theater--in the new year. Cheers, jan


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