January 29, 2009

When Bloggers Meet

I have often mentioned that I didn't spend any time considering whether I was interested in blogging. It was nothing more than an impulse. One day I thought that it might be interesting to try it out and so I did.

Had I really spent any time considering it I would have done things differently. I certainly would have come up with a better moniker than Random Thoughts-Do They Have Meaning? Who would have known that so many other people would use such a non-descript title. I really don't like it, but after all this time it is developed a bit of brand equity so I don't know that changing it makes sense.

Having jumped into the water without any regard for temperature or depth I didn't have any idea that I would enjoy it as much as I have. I really was surprised by how much I got out of it. I never kept a journal or any sort of diary. This was a new sort of experience for me.

As I treaded water and learned how to swim in the blogosphere I experimented with topics to write about and discovered that I enjoyed being able to recount some very personal moments. I didn't have that many readers and the few that I did were complete strangers. That made it easy to discuss things that I probably would never have volunteered.

In the early days a number of bloggers approached me with invitations to meet for lunch or a drink. I routinely turned those down as I was very guarded about peeling back the curtain. It was more comfortable to be the all powerful Oz and not just a man whose balloon had crashed near the Emerald city.

Over time I found that I developed relationships with some people and when the occasion presented itself I found myself agreeing to meet them in person. I recently added a new person to the few bloggers that I have met in the real world.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting The Misanthrope from Toner Mishap. After four years it was nice to put a face to the words and ideas. If you ask me if he matched the image I had of him I can't really say. I really didn't have a sense of what I expected his voice to sound like so the real thing wasn't shocking at all.

But he did look a bit like some of the old pictures he had posted on the blog so I suppose that you could say that he looked as I expected him too.

The conversation was quite comfortable, not that I find that to be surprising. After four years of reading each other's blogs we actually knew quite a bit about the other.

It does make me wonder. I had a nice time with a misanthrope. Whatever does that say about me. Maybe it is just proof that I am a curmudgeon. ;) Anyway I am glad to have had the opportunity. We'll have to do it again sometime.

8 comments:

rutimizrachi said...

I know what you mean. I read people for years; and finally meeting them for a meal or a cup of coffee ended up feeling like old friends, catching up after a long separation. My "favorite" comment from non-bloggers is: "I don't understand how you can spend so much time communicating with bloggers. I mean, they're not even REAL!" Most of us feel pretty real. And there's nothing like sharing thoughts and ideas for years to build a real friendship. Just ask George Sand and Gustave Flaubert, or Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, pre-internet blogging buddies.

The Misanthrope said...

It was a delight to meet you and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.

I would like to blog as often as you. The difference is that you blogged about it already, it will take me until the weekend to get around to writing. I remain in awe of your ability to write everyday. I now have several topics to blog: our meeting, more Updike, 50 year anniversary of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue," and to write a post on Happiness inspired by your post, it's 50/50 if I get to any of those posts.

rutimizrachi said...

The Misanthrope: Ooh! Ooh! Do Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue"! (If you can't do them all, this one has my vote.)

muse said...

I've f2f'ed with a number of bloggers, and enjoyed the experiences. That's besides the Jblogger conference last summer.

Some jbloggers have come to Shiloh and even let me know in advance, so we could meet.

It's easier for those of us who blog with our real name and even pictures.

Oh, and yes, I'm married to a jblogger.

Jack said...

Ruti.

Non bloggers don't realize how much bloggers already know about each other.

Misanthrope,

I look forward to reading any or all of those posts.

Muse,

Yes, the lack of a pseudonym probably does help.

Miriam L said...

Next time I'm in LA for work, we could have lunch. But you'll have to come meet me, because I get lost easily and the only place I really know how to find in LA is LAX. I'll recognize you by your frog suit and the TMZ crew following you.

Jay said...

Just to note that the title "Random Thoughts-Do They Have Meaning" speaks for all the insights it covers.
I can't think of anything better.

Jack said...

Miriam,

I am the Famous Frogman. ;)

Jay,

It does cover things, but it is kind of vague. Had I really thought about it I would have done it differently.