A few weeks ago I was forwarded a message by my Canadian blog friend – a short Facebook post that had been shared in a group that I am not a member of, but she is. The post was from a blogger who lived in my local area (although I didn’t know her), putting out a request for a blogging companion to accompany her to an event that she was attending at the end of the month. I contacted her and we messaged back and forth over a few days. We found that have a few people and things in common, including the fact that her husband works at the same place as one of my friends. A few days later, we met up at the event and immediately got on really well – she was warm and friendly, easy to talk to, I instantly liked her and had a really enjoyable evening. So much so, in fact, that I thoroughly intend on meeting up with her again in the future for lunch or coffee.
April will mark my SIX year blog anniversary, and even after all this time I still get a kick out of making new friends that I have found through my little space of the internet. Of course, I’m incredibly careful and always have a plan in place to ensure my personal safety when I am meeting someone, but as these connections have been made and grown over the years they have developed into meaningful friendships. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had very few bad experiences, often finding that the knowledge we already have of each other through our blog posts and conversations means that we can talk and ask questions without having to go through the ‘getting to know you’ process.
We have met in person many times, introduced each other to our families, stayed at each other’s houses. I’ve been on a writers retreat with some of them, I meet up with some of them for lunch during the week, go on day trips to interesting places, support them with their personal projects, we exchange birthday and Christmas cards and gifts, and I see a whole bunch of them every year at the Annual Bloggers Bash. Some have become Social Media Management clients. Some of them even came to my wedding, one of whom was enormously pregnant at the time and travelled half way up the country to be there. It isn’t just bloggers from the UK – I’ve met up with friends from the US and Canada (my Canadian friend has stayed at my home), and have even had offers for The Bloke and I to go and stay with them in their own countries.
While there are countless arguments to be had for the negative impact that the internet and social media has had on is as a society, I have found that it has been instrumental in making the world a much smaller place, and I’m so grateful for the people that it has introduced me to!
What about you guys? Have you met with other bloggers in person?
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I agree Suzie, thanks for pointing out the positives of social media! I’ve met one Canadian couple who were passing through Las Vegas, last year. But have been following some people literally for years!
Ooh that’s good John! Yeah me too – I would really like to be able to meet those that I’ve been following since I started blogging!
I’ve not yet met any bloggers in person but I have met many people over the years that I met on email lists and bulletin boards.
Oh wow that’s interesting – how did you go about meeting them?
One group was from an author’s board so we met up at a signing. With the email list people I went to Pittsburgh and stayed with a group at someone’s house there for a weekend.
Did you have a good time?
I did. Both times
That’s great! Is it something you would do again?
I’ve met a few people I know from my blog and Twitter; they even sat in the lobby with autograph books!
But something seems to get in the way every time a fellow blogger comes to Niagara Falls, Canada.
I have always said that if I ever go to Niagra Falls I will be definitely coming over to your hotel to annoy you for the day haha!
I look forward to it!
🙂 Lucky you.
So far, I haven’t met the bloggers that I interact with in person.
And, making friends online is wonderful indeed.
Do enjoy the rest of your day!
Thanks! It’s brilliant isn’t it – there’s so many people from all over the world to connect with!
Reblogged this on Thoughts by Mello-Elo.
Thanks for the reblog!
Oh well, you know I’ve met a few of you the last few years!!
The intention is to meet more often but life gets in the way. But these meetings have just consolidated a wonderful friendship started via the blog then social media.
Some I’d say, know more about me than friends I’ve Known for years…
Ooh I would agree with that – some of my blog friends I speak to more often than my ‘real life’ friends
Going through customs and telling the agent I had traveled over the ocean to stay with a friend I’d met through blogging, but had never actually met, met, before was definitely an experience I never would have expected I’d ever have, but totally worth it!
Haha! I can imagine! Did you explain that you were visiting a southern weirdo? 😜
Ha! I decided I’d already given him enough reason not to stamp my passport
Haha! I can imagine!
This is so interesting. I have one real life blogging friend that I am aware of. Besides that, I almost met Katie Pitts and that is It! A few of us in Ireland have threatened to meet up and the will is there. I keep entertaining notions I will get to the bash too. It would blow my mind to face to face with so many other blogs that I read so much.
You totally should organise something in Ireland – there’s so many of you! I would love it if you came to the Bash – there’s already a whole bunch of people going this year which is great!
Lovely. We definitely will I think here too. It would be Amazing!
I would totally come over and gatecrash haha!
You would star guest!!
It’s true that the blogging community has been a terrific way to make virtual friends from a round the world…I am planning to attend the Bloggers Bash this June and hope to meet some in person!
I saw – that’s amazing! I will see you there!
Before I enjoyed reading your post, I read another enjoyable piece this morning: “I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell” by Kashmir Hill
Be warned, it is a long post. Maybe a half hour read. Wow, imagine that — I’ve come to the point where a half hour of reading one item feels too long and I start to squirm and worry I won’t get to all the other stuff recommended this morning that looks interesting to read or watch. Do you think that is evidence of daily information overload?
The reason I mention Hill’s post is that for the first time ever I heard about Dunbar’s number. “Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships. Dunbar explained it informally as “the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar”.
Have you reached Dunbar’s number yet? I know I haven’t. In fact, I’m so far away from that comfortable limit of stable relationships I’m probably almost a hermit. At least, I think I am. :o)
150? I’m well below that – I think I have about 4 that I can genuinely call my close friends and 20 or so friends and acquaintances
Blogging community is far more cultured and warm! I am just so glad that I started blogging 4 years back😀
It’s changed a lot over the last few years but it’s still a positive vibe most of the time…
I have never actually met another blogger, but some feel like such close friends that I find myself thinking of them often, such as you and the Bloke each time I see a squirrel climb into our bird feeder… Great post!
Hahaha! You wouldn’t believe how many people send me squirrel pics! I know what you mean – you feel like you know someone after talking to them via the internet for such a long time.
I never see a squirrel that I don’t think of you and seriously we have tons of squirrels in our yards daily… so, yes, you are in my thoughts daily!
Haha! That’s lovely!
It’s definitely a special bond we all share and meeting each other adds a whole new depth to our online relationships. 🙂
Absolutely! And we all have blogging in common so there is immediately something to talk about!
I loved reading this. I’ve met up with people from twitter and ended up being really good friends with a couple of people.
That’s great! How did you go about meeting up with them?
I met one person who introduced me to another and then another. Then we exchanged numbers and it just went on from there.
I read your post and I came to realise that there are much more kind and good people on the internet that I first through. I did not had the chance to meet anyone in person yet but hopefully in the future I will. I am glad that you had good experience and made new friends and that you shared those experiences with us! I hope one day I will have the opportunity to meet new and great people.
I think there’s so much negative press about the internet etc, but there are lots of good people out there who are great to connect with…
I think I know that Canadian blogging friend….my husband and I let her stay in our vacation condo while she and I both attended a blogging conference. It was in Orlando where we then both met up with another blogging friend. In Connecticut, I lived in the same town as another blogger and we’d meet up at a local coffee shop to talk blog. And now that I live in Orlando, I already know one blogger down here, but I’m sure the town of millions is filled with a few others!
Yeah she might possibly be the same person 😜… I think living in Orlando will mean that you’re completely surrounded by bloggers now!
Not yet, but the invitation to meet up in Toronto for a drink is always on the table for any of my blogger pals!
Haha! Ill let you know if I ever get there!
I’m sorry? Who are you again…?
Blogging is awesome, especially for meeting people. So far I have met three Americans, and met my wife through another blogger who I haven’t met, despite the fact we reside about 25km away from each other in the Philippines.
What starts off as a blog and having regular readers soon becomes a community of friends with meetings, emails and the like. It’s made my life so much more rewarding than it probably would have been. Congrats on the upcoming six year anniversary too.
That’s such an amazing story! Totally agree – a little space if the internet grows a whole community of people
I’ve only met other bloggers at the bash a few years back. I hoping to go this year, but I agree despite the negatives we have to try and make the social web work positively.
Totally! Glad you’re going this year – there’s already a whole bunch of people who have bought tickets!
I thought you might. I’m looking forward to meeting you and the rest of them 😀