Walt Brian and Jason in New Orleans

Some time ago I posted about falling into routines. In that one particular post I talked about how I always seemed to be watching the same re-runs on television before getting dinner started. Similar routines exist elsewhere in my life as well, especially when it comes to the internet.

Each day I get to work early and quickly run down a list of forums and websites that I like to read, then quickly begin reading through posts in my RSS reader. One of the sites that I check every day is ProBlogger.

While I am not a professional blogger, I like reading Darren’s website to get ideas on where Stogie Review and Walt In PA could be tweaked. Sometimes it is a new feature that I’m looking to add and other times I’m looking for topic ideas.

One of the things I like about ProBlogger is that Darren Rowse has a tendency to inject personality into his articles. They make what I’m reading seem a little more real and it allows me to relate to him. I like to do the same thing, not just on my personal blog, but on Stogie Review as well.

There was an article recently on the benefits of being personal on your blog. I started reading it and couldn’t keep a smile from spreading across my face. The introduction to the article was a story about how Darren found himself being hugged by a stranger at the Blog World Expo. While I’ve never had an experience that extreme, I have met a variety of incredibly nice people at cigar conventions and events.

Quoted from ProBlogger, written by Darren Rowse:

For the next 4-5 minutes my hugging assailant (a reader as it turns out) talked, almost without taking a breath. She told me about the first day she read my blog (she remembered the first post), she told me about how it had helped her, she told me about the ups and downs of her blogging, she told me about her family, she told me about my family, she told me that she’d bought my book, joined my community, bought my ebook, she just talked…..

She talked as if we’d known each other for years – I guess in a way we had…..

The reason the smile on my face was so pronounced, was because I can relate. Over the past few years, Stogie Review has become relatively popular among the online cigar community. Because of this popularity, Jerry, Brian, and I tend to get recognized at large events and conventions.

I can remember back to the first time I was recognized at a large event, it was at the 2008 Cigarfest. I was there helping Sam Leccia work the Nub Cigar booth. Several people came up to me and were vigorously shaking my hand telling me all about their experience with Stogie Review. Some would launch into asking how things were going in my life (things that I didn’t even realize I mentioned during video reviews), and others asked me about Brian and Jerry. All of these people talked to me as if we were long time friends.

In the beginning it was a little strange. Actually, it is still a little strange at times. Being a relatively quiet person, its tough to talk to some people as I know absolutely nothing about them and they seem to know me well. Regardless of the awkwardness, I love how friendly and nice every one of these people have been.

One of the people that I talked to during my first big event was Carlos from New Jersey. Not only did I have a great time talking with Carlos, I still talk to him from time to time online. We met up the following year at the 2009 Cigarfest and got a chance to hang out for a little while.

During the recent 2009 IPCPR Convention in New Orleans, Jerry and I were sitting in Don Leoncio Cigars having a cigar and chatting away. During our conversation someone walked past the store, turned around to enter, and approached us with his hand out to greet us.

It was at that time that we met Jason and his wife from PA. Both were very friendly and again we launched into conversation like we had known one another for a time. Just like with Carlos, Jason and I talk a bit online and have a good time.

I guess the whole point of this article is to say just how fond I am of showing personality while blogging. Had we stayed stuffy on Stogie Review and revealed little of our personal lives, we may have never of met some of these fantastic people.

Each time I plan to go to a large event, I look forward to who I might meet next. Jason and Carlos are just two of the people I was thrilled to meet, there are several others that I speak with daily via Twitter and Facebook.