I get to write, which is probably my favourite thing. And I have found some astoundingly good blogs, funny, touching, warm and clever. The people of this blog world are friendly and helpful. And lately it has led to work, on my most recent tax return, more than three quarters of what I earned came from blogging or other online work.
Sometimes it’s how I imagine Second Life to be. Second Life is a virtual world where you can re-invent yourself as Samantha the Sorceress who wears thigh-length boots and has implausible bosoms. You can make Samantha have wild adventures where she meets Dynamo Dave the surfer dude with super powers and they take on the imaginary world. Or something.
Online you can be whoever you like. You can, generally, make sure you’ve sorted out your virtual hair and presented your best e-side before you press the send/tweet/publish button. You don’t even have to hold your stomach in. When I type the words sort themselves out more-or-less as I want. When my mouth gets involved in the communication any sort of stammery, stumbly nonsense is possible, usually accompanied by blushing and awkward body language. Distracting gesture anyone?
And on the web, you’ve usually got a few minutes to read a blog, a biog or even google to remind yourself who you’re talking too and what they’re about. That means you never, ever have to do that thing where you know you know the person, but you haven’t a scoobie where from. Worse still, two and two come together to make a wonky chair and you decide to sit in it and assume the person you’ve met is someone entirely else. That’s nasty and something I still cringe at the times I’ve done it.
Now though, the bloggers have become flesh. They are strapping on their thigh-length boots and coming, blinking, out in public.
I met some the other day. Susan K Mann, Transatlantic Blonde, YMFT, Me, Him and Them and All About Mummy were there. They’re lovely, really lovely. We had a fantastic time thanks to Parental Circle and the chaps who run it told us all about their plans for their Blogger Fest next month.
While we scoffed sushi, two of the bloggers told me how they had bumped into each other in their local high street. They had never met in real life only on the pages of their blogs. They recognised each other from the photos. I was very impressed.
You see, I have such a problem remembering names and faces and matching them up correctly. And in blogland, there are also blog names, code names and other family members to remember. Oh Lord, it scares me quite a lot.
First there’s the Parental Circle Blog Fest to get through without getting confused, mixing people up and upsetting them. Then, a few weeks later there’s Cybermummy, even bigger and more bewildering.
I’m also talking (mostly by written means so far, but probably with our mouths soon) to lots of bloggers as I look for stories and info for Blogging for Happiness. So far, I’ve found some fabulous new blogs to follow and “met” some lovely people.
So, it would be really handy if everyone looked as much like their avatars as possible, or, failing that, have their names about their person in big letters.
And if that doesn’t work, please forgive me. Because I confuse you with someone else or forget where you blog doesn’t mean I don’t care. I care very much, I’m just rubbish at the real world.
Picture: Are you a woodpecker, or am I making a tit of myself?