Support and encouragement !=backslapping. But it's a fine line. This morning I have been reading @simonjgrays excellent post on such matters over here and much thought has been provoked.
I am not the most confident of people. Way back at the beginning when I was very unsure of myself, the support of others was absolutely crucial in my ability to keep coming back and dipping more toes.
As I became more confident and started to write and blog and talk about things that support disappeared from a few key areas and I was very confused because I was trying to carry on sharing learning and thinking and suddenly it was if no one cared. I hadn't changed, my thought processes hadn't changed, my writing style hadn't changed - it was just simply a case of no one being here.
I now understand why - 'hatstands'.
I sorely wish people would have come and challenged (and not anonymously). Because my confidence as a result ended being back in tatters again. And I don't want to be a part of a community which builds people up massively, then walks away and leaves them on their own when they're struggling a bit. That's not right nice, that's not.
The above may be why you are not seeing an outpouring of enthusiasm for the weekends events. I don't trust anyone or anything easily and in this case, being proved right means retaining safe distance. I did learn a lot. But it was not the hug fest Jan was. And that's why.