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November 08, 2005

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wn

Hi MetroDad!

Found your blog through PetCobra am relatively new reader, have also been following DadCentric.

My husband and I have a similar thing going on. I read many blogs (does that say anything about my level of job satisfaction lately?) and my husband pretty much only reads mine. He has a hard time understanding why I feel really connected with some of these people. But I really do.

I actually get a fair amount 'out of' the blogs I follow. I have learnt more about politics, photography, recipes, parenthood myths and tricks, and sometimes it's something simple like a great site that makes me laugh my ass off. Anyway, Blogs are a part of my day that I really like.

I keep telling MD (the husband) that he's gonna one day regret not having found or met a niche of his own.

HollyRhea

The guy who gave me my blog for my 21st birthday present was met via internet.

I'm here: http://www.hollyrhea.com

he's here: http://weblog.hellosputnik.com

We're still really good friends, though we've only hung out like five times.

Brent

I don't have a blog but I have become friends with people that I've met through various forums, bulletin boards or listserves. I've found it to be a totally cool way to meet people who share your same interests. On the other hand, my wife thinks it's weird and a little freaky. `

BossLady

To back MetroDad up, he and I really do have these conversations. I've learned all about you guys this past year and it's amazing to me the connections that have been made in this blogosphere. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a speed reader like MD and if I get caught surfing the net during work (unlike MD who is his own boss with with a nice privage office), I will get canned. The blogs I do follow, other than this one, are related to gadgets/gear (DaddyTypes, Gizmodo, Engadget), home design (Apartment Therapy), and real estate/NYC (Curbed, Gawker, Real Deal). I really envy MD's ability to get in a full days' work, write a post, and keep up with hundreds of blogs....If only I had more time! With that said, I'm really looking forward to meeting Jay and Kim and can't wait to congratulate them on their next bundle of joy. Mazel tov!

margalit

Before I blogged, I posted a lot on a couple of Usenet newsgroups and I've made some of my best IRL friends through that experience. I think that because we know so much more about the people we read daily, when we meet them IRL we already have some common ground. We like a lot of the same stuff, we share cultural values, political values, and maybe even religious values. I don't read the blogs of people that disgust me, so I'm pretty much guaranteed to like and find interesting the bloggers I do read.

One of the interesting things about net.friends is that they often send gifts unsolicited through snail mail. My children just recently got T'shirts from a net.friend in Texas, someone I've never met IRL.

Because I've been online longer than most of your readers have been alive (since 1982), I've had a chance to meet people from all over the world. I've visited with net.friends in Canada, England, Israel, and all over the USA. I've hosted visitors from all over as well. I've gone on vacation for a full week with net.friends I'd never met IRL before! I think having some knowledge beforehand of your blogging friends allows you the freedom to ask harder questions and speeds up the whole process of making new friends.

Marty

I never expected to find myself with emotional attachments to people I've never met. That's what has happened to me since I started blogging. I've had conversations with interesting people I would've never met and at the same time I've seen their children grow up.

Currently I'm on my own island with the kid. None of our friends locally have small children, so blogging is sort of my support group. I can vent, ask parenting questions, share stories and experiences. Some people have "been there" before and some people are going through the same things I am. It never hurts to find out others deal with their day to day issues.

enygma

I have no problem forming relationships with people online. However, I'm always a bit wary because I know that the person online is not necessarily the same person offline. Even I portray myself a bit differently, though I try to be as honest as I can. However, it's cool to think that you can become friends with somebody who lives on the other side of the world through conversations via blogs.

MIM

Dude. I woke up feeling a bit down today, but your post just made me feel a hell of a lot better.

When I started blogging, I also didn't expect to "meet" people. I thought I'd just be writing for myself. Instead, I found a community of people -- people I read daily. And when I comment on their blogs, I feel the warmth and goodness of friendship. It's so . . . wonderfully weird.

Plus, I've had the added bonus of meeting a couple of my blogging buds in person. It's cool to talk to someone in person you've been "talking" to on the net. You already know so much about them.

I'm excited for you to meet Jay and Kim! You couldn't ask for two better bloggers to break your cherry (except for maybe Dutch and Wood).

CroutonBoy

MD,

I'm with you. I've met some great people through blogging these last few months, and although our interactions are usually brief they are often more enjoyable and insightful than 99% of my interactions with the rest of humanity. Any time you can connect with someone who shares your sensibilities, dreams, and sympathies there's bound to be a personal connection, and I'm glad to see it happening...and to be a part of it.

And we are definitely having that scotch, my friend. Puck Fair? D.B.A.? Blind Tiger? Let me know!

Matthew

Before this blogging thing, I had a small, private website up that I thought no one would ever read. Then one day I got an email from a woman named Andrea. We had a lot in common. We started emailing back and forth and soon enough she had a trip planned to the area I was living. Eight years later we're married and have beautiful twins.

My point is that the relationships you do make through the internet are real. Indeed, I think I know more about some of you out there than my "brick and mortar" friends.

Dictionary.com tells us a friends is...

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.
5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.


So maybe we're not Quakers but we're certainly comrades!

Thanks for sharing MD. You're awesome.

Jason

It's interesting that I usually know more about what's going on in the lives of my blogger friends than I do my Meatworld friends. In that sense I feel closer to my blog peeps. I've yet to meet any of you in person, but that's changing this week - hooking up with fellow surfer/daddyblogger Whiffleboy this weekend.

And when the hell are we doing BlogHim?

Carrie

A woman whose blog I read actually left California and moved to my town because of how I talked about it, and now is one of my best friends. Our kids play together. I have met a few other women in person that I originally met online. I have regular email conversations with some other moms that found my blog online, and I couldn't imagine not knowing them now. I think we are both of an age to remember when only "geeks" had relationships online, so it still feels weird to admit that we have online friends.

The one part that is still really strange to me is that you can be very invested in the person behind the blog, but they may have no idea that you exist. But then again, people do it with celebrities all the time, so I guess it isn't that different.

I could not have gotten through my difficult pregnancy and more difficult birth of my daughter without the support of the women I met online. None of my friends "in real life" had the experience to relate, so while they were invaluable, the only people who could tell me what I was feeling was normal and okay were my online friends. I can't imagine my life without these people now.

Rbrown

Good God, MD, you're a fricking mind reader. I've been thinking about this for a few weeks, trying to figure it out myself. I'm strangely interested in parents' blogs and I think it's because every single one that I read is funny and actually admits that they weren't sure what kind of parent they'd be, weren't sure how they'd react to their kids, that they miss their old lives of pre-parenting free-for-all debauchery. Which is exactly how I think I'd feel (even though I'm miles away from motherhood, it's still interesting)

I grew up in the south, so for a lot of my friends it's kind of unheard of to admit that you aren't automatically in love with the idea of being married, being a parent, buying a house, going to Home Depot every weekend and settling back for the next 60 years in the same place. Not that I don't want that...just maybe a different version. I guess all my fabulous blogging buddies are living all these interesting different versions of married, single, parenting, traveling, entrepeneurial, job hunting lives. Not to mention, the ones I choose to read are FRICKING HILARIOUS. My real world friends are sick of hearing about my blog friends but I can't help it. You people are too damned interesting.

Now, PLEASE do not tell me that you've been harboring a single, straight 35ish 6'0"+ straight man in SF. Do you know of such a creature?? I thought that was urban legend!! Hook a sister up!

LOD

I was in a band called the Voyeuristic Turds in high school. And we rocked.

Whenever you want to throw back some JD at the Rodeo Bar, let me know.

tpon

These are great comments that somewhat inspired me to change what my original comment was to be, but I am sticking with it.

I love my blogging buddies and I do feel very invested in what goes on in their lives, but I often wonder if we would really appreciate each other, or even be compatible, outside of the blogosphere...

Would these people like me in my everyday life?

I hope so...

Leora

I don't have my own blog either but I find it fascinating to meet people online. It exposes you to so many people that you might not otherwise meet but who also share your interests.

Heidi

I too have been thinking a lot about this, discussing my blogfriends with people in my life and just feeling all warm and loved inside from the connections I've made. It's like the summer of love without the body odor.

Richard

Hey MD,

Here's an interesting article in Business Week about the social dynamics of blogging.

Wood

I feel so filled with warm, fuzzy, bloggity love. We love you too, MD, we do.

Meg

I belong to the Salon Blogging community and we're a fiesty, tight-knit little group. We traipse all over one anothers' blogs and comment and commiserate and argue and show more concern than most people would believe possible for a bunch of "strangers".

But we're not nearly strangers. We open up to one another in ways we might never have before blogging and it's marvelous.

I get a good 30 or so emails a day from my blog and I tell you -- I care about these people. How could I not?

Melissa

How funny - my husband was just telling me I can't talk about what I read on people's bolgs like I know them. He says it is too strange. However, I have been friends with the same people since High School and am with my High School Sweethart. I love reading blogs, it is like making new friends, except that in my real life, I don't have time to make new friends. Oh, well...I will probably go home and tell him about what you wrote. Or maybe I will start my own blog.

L.

It`s been less than a year since I lost my blogging virginity, and I only recently started one of my own. My friends inside the computer did not replace real people in my life -- they just added another layer of insight, and another way of connecting with people. If this is the brave new world, I am happy to be part of it!

Kris

Blogging is strange, I have a hard time explaining it to my husband and "real life" friends. I started my blog because I read Dooce and someone told me about Blogger, and voila! More than a year and 100+ posts later, I can't believe I'm still doing it. Although, unlike you, I really AM talking to myself most of the time :)

Anyway, I second what Wood said, we love you MetroDad!

Anne Glamore

You're exactly right, MD. In fact, as I've scrolled thru your comments, I've seen notes from quite a few friends-- friends I have never met in person but who I feel I know better than people I "see" every day. My husband thinks it's odd when I say "I have this friend in Nashville" because I would never recognize her in person, (BusyMom) but she's checked on me 3 times since my mom's unexpected death, just being a good friend.

I really started my blog to tell funny stories (like the one that's NOT EXACTLY about my sex life that's getting posted next) but making new acquaintances has been a definite benefit I never anticipated.

Anne

girls gone child

Blog friends = eh, whatever. just kidding. i love my internet peeps. its like telling secrets to the stinky guy on the airplane that you will never see again. not that you are stinky or anything but in truth, if you were, i would never know and THAT is what its all about, my friend. to stink or not to stink.

crazyvirgo

most of the time i feel like blogging is the perfect therapy. i get everything out, you MUST listen, or actually you don't have to, but what do i care, i've gotten it out of my crazy head, and didn't really have to pay for it. perfect! the icing on top of the icing is that people actually want to have a dialogue about the most mundane and/or crazy shit. i mean, how else would i have ever found out that another person on this earth names their zits (MIM) and loves jeremy piven (heidi).

yes, i'm sure all our significant others think it's wierd and a nodd to the chat room of yore that we talk about each other like we're old friends, but it's weird and comforting how this blogging friendship happens.

why i remember just the other day as RBrown and I were starting blogs we freaked out at the likes of celebrity bloggers like MD, Dutch and CityMama reading our blogs. And to meet all of you....well...i would probably try to be the funniest person ever, end up embarrassing myself, resort to self-depricating humor, then just give up, thus being myself. then i guess you would understand me being crazy virgo.
all in all, if i lived in nyc, or even visited, i would hunt you, peanut and boddlady down to meet you, stopping at no less than a PI to find you. and i would expect the same stalking if you were in seattle.

Sassy

I'm always talking to Matt about my blog friends. It creeps me out sometimes, but I do count them as real friends.

Especially with the infertility blogs I read it's hard to not become involved in their struggle. It's so personal that you can't not worry about them. I'm greatful for that. My readers are the only ones who know the real story.

lesbonstemps

I've never met another blogger in person, although I have met someone who came across my blog when she was doing a search. It was a little strange because I kept wondering if I was telling her stuff that she already knew about me through the blog.

My husband is a lot more private than me, so he's not really comfortable with the idea of blogging, although he's sort of warmed up to it. Like you, I'm constantly talking about my bloggy "friends", and he tunes me out.

And thanks for the kind thought.

Peter

Damn Pacific Ocean.

If I could swim better I would buy you a drink MD.

The Zero Boss

"I couldn't picture two people I'd rather lose my virginity with more."

Don't worry, dude. We'll be gentle.

Kim

MD,

I agree with you, the internet and blogs are changing the world. Jay and I met through the internet 11 years ago. He was in NYC, I was in OK, and without the internet we would never have known each other. Now here we are all these years and four kids later, a grandchild on the way, and meeting Metrodad and the world famous Bosslady (who I will NEVER be able to think of by her real name, because she is so engrained in my head as Bosslady now!). It's a good time to be alive. We're reinventing what "community" means, and making the world a smaller place.

Mr. Big Dubya

Mrs. Big Dubya blogged about this very same thing the other day - I mentioned something about blogging buddies and off she went.

I find I know more about most of you than I do about friends I've had for twenty+ years. There's something cathartic about about all this.

And, the next time I'm in NYC (which should be soon, I reckon), the first drink is on me.

bill

I think I talk more about Blog buddies lives than I do about the real world friends I have. I think about them more and I look forward to reading their "progress". Voyeuristic? Sure. But great reading.

Marnie

MD...I think you have the smartest & coolest readers in the entire fucking blogosphere. Seriously, I just spent the past few hours reading all the blogs of the people who have commented here and I'm very much impressed. Quite an entertaining crowd you've assembled here. It's inspired me to start my own blog and join in all the fun.

sara

I read quite a few blogs, myself. I do it more than I probably should. And I really do get involved. I blogged along a similar vein not too long ago, and though it has a lot to do with the real-life group of friends I've grown out of, I feel like it could apply to many of us bloggers: http://saranicole.blogspot.com/2005/10/blogs-and-big-books-tm.html

Nothing But Bonfires

I always wonder about that when I'm looking through other people's photos on Flickr. I feel sort of weird about being interested in what someone else's husband or wife or best friend looks like, or how they spent their New Year's Eve. I mean, is it the equivalent of peeking into someone's kitchen window? Or is it just like looking through a photo album someone has put out on their coffee table? I'd like to think it's the latter....

Pattie

I find myself telling my husband and friends about the blog "friends" I have, as well--MD included. Sometimes my husband just gives me this look, and I realize I have to clarify that I'm talking about someone I haven't actually met but whose life I read about on a daily basis. It'd be great to meet some of my fellow bloggers in person someday. I say we organize a convention where all of us can convene and mingle. I don't find it at all surprising that more people are connecting through blogs. I've noticed that the more I let my guard down on my own blog, the more people stop by to read it. So maybe we all do enjoy different degrees of voyeurism. I know blogging has made my post lay-off life more entertaining, if nothing else.

My husband and I are planning on being in NYC for a few days before and after New Year's Eve. If you and BossLady are free, we can throw a couple back in a hip bar somewhere. :) Your recommendations would be appreciated, of course.

Krissy

MD, can we sing Kum Ba Ya? Please tell me a chorus of Kum Ba Ya is coming up!

Seriously, I've met probably 50 people in meatspace that I originally met online. I've had beers in London with a crowd of folks, gone out for pizza in Chicago, and someone I never met in person took care of my cat in Luxembourg for me for an entire year. THAT is a long story.

I have only had one experience where the person in real life was very different than the online persona. And if you met 50 people at a bar and only one of them wasn't what he said he was, that's a pretty good percentage.

I love online people. I like knowing about lives of people all over the world.

I love online communities and people. It's like penpalls taken to the next level.

~Kummm baaa yaaaa, my lord, kummm baaaa yaaaa~

xo

Krissy

Krissy

Oh, and my husband used to be wierd about meeting online people in real life, but then he met some and had to admit that the people we were meeting rocked. So now he just goes with the flow. I'm giving it a year before he's got a blog of his own.

landismom

In an interesting twist of fate, I'm having my first blog-related playdate this weekend. I definitely feel like my blogfriends are real friends, and I talk about you too my dh too. He's doesn't have a blog, but he does read a lot of community blogs (dKos and the like), so I think he sort of gets it, but not really.

Back in 1999, when I was pregnant with the Bee, I joined an email listserv for other people who were having babies in September of '99, and there was at one point a meeting of some of those women (with babies) that I went to, but it wasn't the same. For the most part, what I had in common with those women was that we all got pregnant in December of 1998--anything else was just gravy. It was interesting to see what the babies looked like (mine, of course, was the most attractive), but I didn't really feel compelled to hook up with any of them again. I suspect that that would be different with my blogfriends, because the reason that we're friends isn't just an accident of conception.

Queen of Ass

I asked a psychologist friend of mine about this once. She said that often times, people who meet this way are more inclined to forget the social surface crap that people face to face get caught up in - the way someone laughs, or that piece of lettuce between their teeth - and they are able to get down to what really matters. To REALLY getting to know each other. And as a result, they are often closer than they would be otherwise.

I think friendships ARE real, whether they are on-line or not. We have a unique opportunity here to be completely ourselves without fear. What could be more revealing than that?

misfithausfrau

While I love blogging and having great conversations with my blogging buddies, I am not so sure I am ready to meet anyone just yet. I tend to express myself much better through writing. I am sure it would be torturous for the person who met me because I wouldn't be nearly as funny or interesting. So, I think I will just keep recruiting my friends to start blogs.

Dutch

I am hoping this gets through the typepad comment goalie (pushing control-A, control-C just in case). . .

this is interesting, because I would be totally freaked out to meet anybody I've met through blogging. not because I haven't been honest about my thoughts, feelings, and past (I have been more honest on the blog than I generally am in real life); I just feel that the personality I am able to portray through writing is much more accurate about who I am inside than the way I am able to portray myself in real-life interactions. when I'm out at the bar in a big group of people I tend to grow more introspective and more interested in observing than participating. Even when the bon mots are flying and everyone is sufficiently drunk, unless I know the people I'm with really well I tend to bottle up.

I guess I'm easily intimidated in real life, and to continue my efforts at honesty I think I would be intimidated to meet you in particular, metrodad, not just because you have done so much in your life with your years but because you seem to be a genuinely amiable, decent, outgoing guy, and I am afraid I would be quite a disappointment.

What does that say about my blogging, that I feel this artificial representation of who I am is more real than the person I am capable of being when I am physically present? fucked up, that's what I say. . .although I have to admit most of the people I've met circumstantially in San Francisco are completely uninterested in the "real" me and that contributes to my failure to be honest with them. I feel that most people who have come to enjoy our blog "get" me or at least find the "real me" interesting and worth reading about, and that means I would already be much closer with my readers than my "real life" friends. And that works both ways. I read blogs of people I find interesting and wise and fun. Maybe I shouldn't let the kind of fear I was talking about earlier get to me.

Okay, you've managed to get me to change my own mind. Damn you're good, dude.

CityMama

This has also been on my mind recently. You can't help but feel you "know" your blog friends since you know so much about their lives. I try really hard to blog the real me (I think most of us do) but I am probably not as mouthy in person. And I tend to swear mostly under my breath. In groups I tend to hang back taking it all in and I don't often initiate conversation...I have made some good friends through my blog (I will meet anyone for coffee), and I often wonder if people are thinking that I am different from my "blog persona." Really, I try not to be. Loving you right back, MD.

panthergirl

Awwww.... I wanted you to pop your cherry with ME!!! Anyway, I have been making friends online since 1994, and it's been a long, strange trip.

Sometimes people turn out to be exactly as you imagine them (like, for me, Deni Bonet... The Last Girl on Earth. As cool in RL as she is in print). In years past, though, I've met people in RL who were nothing like their online personae...and I couldn't get away from them fast enough.

So... are you nervous yet?? Hehehe. I hope it's great. I love my blog friends too, and with life being as crazy as it is, without blogging I'd have almost no social life. Sad, but true!

bitemycookie

jay drinks cosmos, so just know that now. i'm a little late to the party on this one, but i love to see the same names in comments over and over. that's how i found dutch, and that's how i found you, i think.

i had never even read a blog until this past spring. sadly for those who know me in the 3-dimensional world, i blog exactly as i am in person. so if you see an erratic redhead, tossing out the f-bomb and cramming rubber boots into her mouth while tryng to wrangle a 1-yr-old, that'd most likely be me.

i have citymama to thank for my blogging ways, and for all of the peeps, friends, and penpals i have subsequently made since i started in the microblogsm. through all the comments i can kinda imagine how a party with you freaks would unfold. that'd be a fun party.

Autumn

Ahh, the topic of much thought.

Becareful, the blogy-sphere is incestuous. I've heard to much to hear otherwise.

However, I've met, in the last year and a half, more bloggers then I can count on my fingers and toes, and I have to say they've all rocked. (a luck I didn't have with people I've met online through other sources)

Jay and Kim were awesome. I'm sure you enjoyed thier company. :)

Next time I'm in NYC, if I am anytime soon, I'll let you know.

Tanja

good luck Roisin good luck Roisin with the new baby..named my daughter after ya..missed you last year cause i was prgenant but can't wait to see you when you recover from the sleepless nites..best of luck from wet Ireland xxxx

Mai

Thanks so much for posting, and for lenttig me know about your new book. I'll be reading that excerpt tonight.The New Rabbi was particularly interesting to me because I've had a copy of In Speech and In Silence for years. That might be considered a strange book for an atheist-leaning leftist agnostic to own, but I liked the way David Wolpe wrote about language and communication in that book.

Olivier

> 47,078 gallons of rdvcoaitiae liquid waste> was discharged into the icecapCome to think of it, that would be an excellent tracer to look for, downhill and downstream of the site noting that much of Greenland is below sea level inside a ring of mountains, so it wouldn't necessarily reach the ocean, but might turn up in other drill cores if there's liquid moving under the ice cap.

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