Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Reality meets Blogging

Blogging and reality have been crossing over recently, and it seems to be no bad thing.

I never knew if anyone would ever use the 'contact me' button, or why I even added it really, but it's been there a while. Sometimes leaving a comment below a post just doesn't fit.

I've had kind words from Stacia by email, IT advice from Vextasy and a few other surprise messages here and there. Each has been personal, supportive and helpful in very different ways.

Over the past couple of days Kim (over at Ramblings of the Bearded One) and I have been in touch about his exhibition. This has meant letting him know my name, and allowing him to see who I am and what I do. It's likely that I will now be bold enough to cross that line, visit the gallery and say hello to the man himself rather than simply leaving random comments on his blog.

The line is a little more blurred than it once was, and it's ok. There are still only three 'real' people who know where my blog is, but others know it exists.

My sister has for many years met new friends around the world courtesy of Lonely Planet's thorn tree forums, residents hosting or welcoming travellers as they pass through. I always thought this was a bit odd. A bit risky too. But, people are generally good rather than bad. She has made lifelong friends with some of these and even been to one wedding. I had one of her internet friends as a lodger for six months. A wonderful late middle aged American radiographer who played blues guitar and told tales of being at Woodstock in his teens. He met his wife because this travelling gathering of like minded souls.

She has become part of community, and so have I. I no longer think it's weird or risky. I posted a while back about feeling like part of an alternative community, and I am pleased that this – despite its virtual nature - seems to be solidifying and real connections being formed.

PS Stacia – when you make it to the UK, I'll walk with you a while.


  1. I'm really pleased you took the risk - your help has been invaluable :)

    Blogging relationships are an odd thing. Over a period of time we can build up quite a strong sense of who someone is and feel we can know them quite well, even though we many never have met them face to face.

    To those outside blogging, it can seem bizarre that we would ever want to meet up with someone who could just be a random computer programme designed to sound like a human...

    But the internet has changed, or added a new way, of meeting and developing relationships with people.

    Mind you, perhaps it's not entirely new - after many different attempts at various analogies, the one that helped my wife finally understand was when I mentioned Pen Pals.

    And the relationship we build is so very much like that of pen pals, only at a much faster rate, as we don't have to wait for the postal service in other countries before we can get a response.

    I've now met a handful of bloggers (who have commented on my blog), in real life. And each time it's been like meeting an old friend.

    I do hope you'll be able to come along to this exhibition you've been helping to promote :)

  2. I will do my best! I like the pen pals analogy - do they even still exist? I had a terrifying Norwegian pen pal in my teens who came to visit on a school exchange. She was a blonde bombshell who was a couple of years older (ancient!)and taught me to smoke, improved my make up and speaking to boys skills, and generally was a delightfully bad influence....

  3. My Love and I were just talking about blogging friends the other night and I too used the pen pal analogy. I LOVED pen pals. I grew up in a rural area with virtually no contact with anyone from a different country - heck, hardly even from a different state - and so getting a letter from a foreign pen was the ultimate thrill. There is still a service that provides Pen Friends and they are strictly paper/snail mail. Though before blogging I found ones for email too.

    Yay a walking partner! I'm planning on the summer I turn 40. That's three years. Mark your calendar, ok? ;-)

  4. I like that pen pal analogy too. I think
    Kim hits the nail on the head when he says
    that "Over a period of time we can build up quite a strong sense of who someone is and feel we can know them quite well, even though we many never have met them face to face"

    I've found that even with twitter you can
    get that sense of knowing (and that's just
    with 140 characters). I've made a couple of
    real friends through twitter - friends that
    I see in real life and I'd say they were just
    as their online persona suggested.

    Stacia, pencil me in too to accompany you on
    that walk. Maybe Kim could be persuaded too.

    Kim, how's your walking? It could add a new
    angle to your blog "Ramblings of the Bearded One" don't you think? ;-)

  5. Unfortunately, with the Chronic Fatigue, I can only walk for about 10 minutes and then it feels like someone's pulled out the plug :(

  6. Our world does indeed grow smaller by the megabyte. I found you through Mr. Bearded One's post and I found him through someone else's blog. We're all neighbors on an increasingly shrinking globe and now and then, it's only natural to run headlong into an internet kinsman. Exciting and scary all at once.

  7. Hey, Zaedah - hello! and thanks for stopping by. Will wander over and see what you're writing about too. Indeed, exciting and scary, V