Friday, August 28, 2009 at 1:33 p.m.
Rarely has true local geeky chumminess been on such unique display as it was Friday morning at the State Fair, where about 200 happy people gathered under a tent in the pouring rain, iPhones and Blackberrys unholstered and ready, clapping and cheering for chocolate covered bacon, "twivia," and each other in a big group hug of networking love called SMBMSP.
That's Social Media Breakfast-Minneapolis, St. Paul
, in case you were wondering. The Strib's Gail Rosenblum
dedicated a whole column to the bacon haiku on Thursday.
So there they are, across Dan Patch Avenue from a sopping wet and silent Midway, slurping free coffee, and there's enough buzz about the gathering that Fox 9's M.A. Rosko
shows up with a live truck and crew and persuades everyone to stand and wave their cell phones around for viewers at home. PiPress tech writer Julio Ojeda-Zapata
was there snapping images. And dozens of participants seated at long rows of folding banquet tables merrily tweeted away, answering trivia questions.
But exactly what was everyone doing there? What was being accomplished? Was there a point? Evidently, yes. Bacon haiku, and yes, you read that right.
The competition was announced a while back on the SMBMSP Web site
and on Friday morning, organization co-founder Mykl Roventine was greeted like a rock star as he stepped to the microphone to read the 10 best of "a ton" of entries. In 17 syllables, in three metrical phrases of 5, 7, and 5, SMBMSP members created porcine odes that likened their favorite food to candy, love and life itself. The prizes? T-shirts and, you guessed it, chocolate-covered bacon.
OK. The draw was more than bacon. These monthly affairs don't usually feature a live band, musical chairs and a speed-texting competition streamed live over the Web, e-marketing guy Dave Erickson
told me as the clouds slowly parted. At heart, the breakfasts are a networking opportunity for folks who use social media in business and their careers, featuring speakers and educational opportunities.
Friday's event was the 18th in the series, and between the fun and games there were some serious moments, including a Q&A with, Brienna Schuette, who handles public relations for the great Minnesota get together
. Her office is updating the fair's brand new Twitter page
all day, each day, of the fair's 12-day run. And she confessed that she was a bit of a newbie to the whole twitterverse thing. But never mind. She was greeted with open arms -- and then groans when she wondered out loud whether there ought to be a new food this year: hash tags on a stick.