As I found my voice and my niche, I also found that these blogs were run by a close-knit fraternity of ad nerds who were completely modest and approachable. Tim Nudd of AdFreak is an Anglo-American family man who balances being edgy and fun with the demands of representing a corporate brand. Steve Hall of Adrants is an apparent ad convention junkie who also writes for Playboy's "I just visit it for the articles" blog. Åsk Wäppling of Adland is a Swedish design nerd and single mom who is the veteran of the group (having blogged since 1996). Marc van Gurp of Osocio is a Dutch family man and digital designer who has a passion for great work that inspires social change. Ivan Raszl of Ads of The World is a Hungarian family man, designer, and now New Canadian. Even the anonymous Copyranter, the cynical Rorschach of the group, is surprisingly humble and accessible and on his comments thread.
It has been a pleasure to find myself accepted into this group, even though I'm a noob and don't have a massive following. All of the above have shared content from this blog, from time to time, and have respectfully linked back. Tim and I chat frequently on Google. Steve runs a Facebook club, of sorts, for fellow enthusiasts. I flirt shamelessly with Åsk on Facebook. Marc and I are now good friends (although we've never met in person) and collaborators on Osocio. Ivan and I just recently had a meet-up at a pub when I was doing focus groups in his new home base. And Copyranter, he occasionally gives me a nice shout-out.
But the real sense of community occurred to me just today, when Åsk found herself at the business end of an unpayable server bill. She put out an appeal, and... well... I'll let her tell it:
"We've raised $1,287.15 for the $2,658.50 so far, but that's not even the best news here. The best news is that so many of you care enough to retweet and donate and post blog posts and tell your friends. I honestly wasn't expecting this much love, and I am humbled by it.
@Adfreak asked everyone to please help save us, @agencyspy put a link in their tuesday morning stir to longtime adgrunt Purplesimon's appeal post. I didn't ask @purplesime to do that, and I didn't ask @imperica to post this appeal post either. I'm grateful they both did.
Turns out that Imperica have a good grasp of how much I do here (read: everything), and some readers revealed they had no idea. Thus came the tweets showing me building hardware (acme, apex and acme again) which was quite fun for a bit. At least for me. :)
Even the End days of advertising joined in making a special sarcastic toon just for adland. Sweet.
And to top it all off, my ex-ex hosting place Memset contacted me over twitter to see if they can help. They must have forgiven me for almost taking down their network a few superbowls ago.
And today, Amazon in Ireland phoned us up, they've not just extended the deadline, they're going to help figure out how to make a better setup that won't cost a fortune each month."It's a Festivus miracle!
So I'd like to do my part to give back some blog love as I entreat those of you who also love reading or writing adblogs to donate now to keep the lights on at Adland. (I hear those Swedish winters are really damn dark, too!)
And thanks to all my adblogging friends for teaching me the ropes.