The story of how I got involved with Dot Com Pho is a little convoluted. Basically, I’ve been involved with a local car enthusiast forum for a number of years and that’s how I got to know Ed Lau. We both started our personal blogs at around the same time and we happened to post about our blogs on the REVscene forums. As Ed got to know about my freelance writing business, he mentioned my name to John Chow and then Chow got interested in hiring me to write for his tech website.
John Chow invited me to join him for lunch one Saturday at Pho Lan in Richmond, but I didn’t know that lunch was going to involve so many people! I learned that this lunch gathering was a weekly thing and I was invited to attend on a regular basis. While my Dot Com Pho experience started with John Chow, it quickly expanded to discussions with the rest of the attendees. Initial conversations may lean toward the world of blog monetization, Internet marketing, and happenings in the world of technology, but we’d also talk about other current events, the Vancouver real estate situation, and whatever else came to mind.
As time went on, I learned a little more history about Dot Com Pho and how John Chow, Stephen Fung, Ed Lau, and others have been getting together for years. Along the way, more people joined the “regulars” group like Greg Morgan, Gary Ng, and so on. Of course, newcomers are always welcome.
The initial reason why I chose to go to my first Dot Com Pho was because it was an opportunity to meet John Chow and to discuss how I could work with him on a number of projects. The relationship expanded beyond product reviews for The TechZone, as I started to write blog posts on John Chow dot Com as well. He has also become a good friend.
The primary reason why I continue to go to Dot Com Pho is because I work from home as a freelance writer, so I don’t get the same kind of office co-worker camaraderie that you would experience at a conventional job. There’s no communal water cooler (unless you count Twitter). Just because I run my own business from home does not mean that I want to work in isolation. It’s still about networking, making new friends, and good conversation. Dot Com Pho presents an opportunity for like-minded individuals to get together, share a pleasant meal, and discuss whatever comes to mind. We may not all belong to the same corporation, per se, but it’s almost like we are co-workers striving toward the same common goals. That, and everyone is just good company.
In a nutshell, Dot Com Pho is an opportunity for me to see my “online friends” in person on a regular basis. It’s also a good opportunity to talk about how to make money online, because these people actually understand what I do. The rest of the world doesn’t seem to really understand the online entrepreneur phenomenon. Who needs a day job, anyhow?