My life, for the most part, is compartmentalized. I have three distinct areas--work, friends and online. My friends are not a part of my working life and my online life is completely segregated from my real life. There are a handful of people in my life who know that I write as Daddy Geek Boy. On line, I write a few blogs and am a regular member in a parenting community called Offsprung. But very few of my readers and acquaintances know me by anything more than my internet handle. However on occasion, there are times when the streams get crossed and one of my worlds bleeds into another.
Blogging is a strange thing. There are thousands of blogs on the interwebs and one of the things I find most fascinating is how small communities of bloggers tend to develop. The same people start to read and comment on each other's blogs. Sometimes these relationships migrate from these postings to places like Facebook and Twitter. And sometimes, you learn that these "virtual" people you have been connecting with live nearby. Before you know it, you've made plans to meet in person and the line between the internet and reality blurs.
There is an established familiarity when you meet a blogger who's work you've read. You know their voice and you know their stories and you know about the people who populate their lives. It's a nice shorthand that cuts through the awkwardness of the beginning stages of a new friendship.
There were a few other people around the fire that night and as we were telling them how we all knew each other, somebody asked Tent Camper how did he know that I wasn't a lunatic and could be trusted in his home. Tent Camper's response was that he didn't. But he had a feeling I was okay. The same could be said about them. You never truly know who somebody is until you meet them in real life. But even though one's online persona isn't always exactly who they are in reality, if a person writes honestly you have a pretty good barometer.
It didn't surprise me to learn that Tent Camper and Mariah were just as warm, affable and cool as they are on line. We had a fantastic evening and each left wanting to do it again. They are good bloggers but more importantly, good people.
Sometimes it pays off to cross the streams.
So what about you? Have you met anyone from the blogging world in real life? If so, did they meet your expectations?