I think Scoble invented what has become the blogger dinners. He, of course, called them "Geek dinners." I'm not a geek, so when I came along, I refused to attend unless the name got changed. But the idea is very similar to tactics used by evangelists of other categories such as religion or politics.
The idea is to get a group of people with shared interest together. A visitor from out of town is a great excuse, but the event is really for the benefit of the local community. Blogging is great, but there is still nothing quite like a face-to-face meeting to strengthen bonds.
I had an absolute ball at the Montreal bloggers dinner, set up by Marc Snyder, attended by about 30 bloggers, many of whom already knew each other through YUL a local networking system. I didn't get to talk with everybody, but I just met and enjoyed so many people, enjoyed great wine, food but mostly conversation. did not speak to anyone who did not give me something useful or interesting that I had not yet heard.
I enjoy the friendly bicultural aspect of Montreal bloggers. Half of them may have posted terrible things about me, but I would not know because my French is so poor and the quality of computer translatirs is even worse.
I hesitate to name anyone by name or link, because I will unavoidably omit some people I should include, so I will just say thanks to all for the fun, the passionate and well-informed conversation, the humor and good times.
I was just supposed to be an excuse for getting bloggers to have a dinner together but I had a ball. I also understand there were some very promising first meetings for people who may do business together. That is always a good thing and I hope I get the chance to be an excuse to get together in Montreal again. It's a wonderful city, even if it was colder than a witches left nostril. The people were warm and that is what rally mattered.
Thank you, Montreal.