Published in The Gazette Feb. 3, 2007

Blog: YULBlog
URL: yulblog.org
Maintainer: Patrick Tanguay, 36, web developer
First post: March 2000
Updated: About five times per day

YULBlog isn’t really a blog. It’s a metablog, which features posts submitted by Montreal bloggers. Though originally the posts featured there were supposed to be about the city (YUL is the airport code for Trudeau Airport), “now it’s mostly a way for posters to feature a post they are proud of or to show themselves to the community, to get some readers,” Tanguay explains.

It started seven years ago as three Montreal bloggers found each other online in what was then a virtually baron blogging community, and they decided to meet. That informal meeting has since grown into the monthly YULBlog meetup. There, over a dozen bloggers, spouses, friends and occasional crying baby gather for drinks and discuss anything that comes to mind.

The blogroll (its links to member blogs) is impressive in its own right. About 500 member blogs in both French and English, from photo blogs to food blogs and personal blogs. All they have in common is their connection to the city.

YULBlog’s first meetup of the year is Wednesday at 8 p.m. at La Quincaillerie, 980 Rachel St. E. The only rule for the meetup: “there are absolutely positively no rules.” No reservation is required. You don’t even have to talk to anyone when you get there.

Sample post: “Scene: driving into town across the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Her: ‘I want a child, I think.’ Him: ‘Whaaa…?’ Her: ‘I said, I want a chai latte.’ Him: ‘Oh! Chai latte. Yeah, let’s have chai latte.'”

Bonus questions

When did YULblog start? Why did you set it up?

7th anniversary will be in March 2007. I’ve been taking care of it for 3.5 years. The meetings started when there were very few blogs, 3 guys who realized they were all in Montreal decided to go for a beer. The list came after, initially as a sub page on someone’s blog. I added the metablog on my own site a few months before taking over the whole thing. The metablog was created to have a way of finding out what people were talking about in Montreal. When I took the site over I moved it to it’s own domain and merged the list with the metablog.

How does the blog work exactly?

I just show the most recent post at the very top, it’s more of a news thing than a blog proper. There is also an RSS feed for the new blogs being added though.

What kind of posts end up on the meta blog?

Depends. In theory it’s supposed to be posts about Montreal or that bloggers know the other Yulbloggers will like. As the list has gotten bigger though it’s harder to know who likes what so that part isn’t really done anymore, now it’s mostly a way for posters to feature a post they are proud of or to show themselves to the community, to get some readers. People who don’t usually use it will also post about events that are happening in Montreal, not random events but things they are organizing themselves.

What are these monthly meetups all about? What happens there?

See question 2. It’s just an occasion to meet people and grab a beer. There’s talk about pretty much any and all subjects, not that much talk about blogs actually, aside from “what’s your URL and what do you write about”. There is no agenda and no organized setup, we just go there and meet people. Since we moved to La Quincaillerie there’s actually been more bloggers and some have even brought their girlfriend/boyfriend or some buddies along, once they’ve come once they realize it’s just a bunch of people gathering and having fun, not some scary geek thing ;).

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