Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Making Connections

A post earlier this week from Suze prompted such a long comment from me (rare, I know!) that I decided it would make a good blog post discussion.

We’re all here to make connections. We share a little of our world and hope it resonates with others. I think women are better at it than men. As my character Byron would say, we like our privacy.

However, I do try to share what I enjoy. I dig movies, music, tech stuff, and books. I try to say more than simply they rock as well. It’s often difficult to say exactly why I like something. Enough of you leave comments stating you understand or share my views, so hopefully the why comes through now and again.

I claim only a few of Byron’s traits. Yes, I’m a perfectionist and I strive to be the best at what I do. However, when it comes to the privacy thing, I’m probably more like him than I’m willing to admit. He wants connection, but doesn’t know how, and yeah, sometimes that’s me.

In making these connections, I think the best thing we can do is stay true to ourselves. We can’t abandon who we are or our values. What I write about and the way I write is true to me, both here on my blog and in my books. Hopefully it appeals to you as well.

I appreciate every person I’ve connected to online. You continue to visit, encouraging and sometimes humoring me. In real life, my circle of close friends is very small. But here, it feels much larger. You all have something special to offer and I enjoy following your journey through life.

I’d like to know your thoughts. Even Byron finally allowed a meaningful connection in his life. Are there meaningful connections here for you?


  1. I enjoy blogging, but I sometimes feel a bit alone, or at least that there are very few bloggers who connect well with me. Most bloggers are women, and that is fine, but that means I don't get so many followers, and without followers it gets tougher and tougher to want to continue. I don't write posts ONLY for myself!

  2. Definitely. I've met some of the most fantastic people here. (including YOU TED! Sorry I'm a bit of lurker sometimes!) I really don't know what I'd do without you all. Some of the friendships I've made even go beyond the ones I see face to face!

  3. Ted, hopefully you don't quit! I enjoy your posts.

    Jessica, amen!

  4. I have some marvelous friends here on site and I find I can "Open up" to some more so than even my closest friends who live near me.
    I thank each and everyone of you who have shared my good times and not so good.


  5. Well said, Alex. Coming to the blogosphere is an alternate life, that maybe we all put too much into, but at the same time, it's provided what, I feel like, is real friendship, altho merely thru fonts and pictures. Still, it's real. And sharing likes and dislikes of media and art together is a joy and connection in its own. Even if it's to see what you thought of the latest movie, it's fun. Hey, I dig it. :)

  6. I've only been blogging for a short time, but I have 'met' some fantastic people. Anyone you can share something with or learn something from is a friend even if you never see them face to face.

  7. I think that's why we write and read blogs - to connect. I might not always comment on your posts about movies b/c most of them I haven't seen. But when I have something to say I do!

  8. I have met many wonderful people in this online community. Writers tend to be a strange breed and I never felt I 'fit in' anywhere until I met other writers. At home, I'm a loner.
    As to your bonding problem, Alex, have you ever considered Super glue...or handcuffs?

  9. I love the connections I've made throught blogging. It's helps so much to know that others go through the same ups and downs with their writing. I've found great advice and words of encouragement when I've needed them.

    Sometimes it's hard to know how much of myself to put out in the blogosphere - I tend to be a private person. For me, it's all about balance.

    So glad to have met you, Alex, (and you too, Ted!), through blogging.

  10. I'm wary of the internet world, so I seldom reveal anything deeply personal. But over time, I've made a handful of what I would call close friends (at least as close as you can get in the virtual world). It's added another dimension to my life, and so I'm grateful for that.

  11. In the hurry-scurry world I live in, I seldom have time to develop's work and family and then more work. It is a small circle.

    Blogging is making my circle larger, something I can do as family sleeps and work does not call. I love all the different personalities, a variety I could never experience in one place.

    I especially enjoy sparring with you, Alex. We are totally different people from different worlds but our minds are in tune. You challenge me.

    Like every one, from small child up, we long for it with present friends or virtual friends, we still have a need to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

    I think blogging fufills that for many of us. Like Ted, sometimes, I wonder about followers...I must not be as good a read as I thought! If you'll hang in there, Ted, I will.

    Great thought-provoking post.

  12. I wholeheartedly agree.
    IRL I have a small circle of friends but online, I have so much more. Even while sharing personal information we still have that cloak of anonymity. It makes for more open and honest relationships.
    I come back to certain blogs, like yours, because they make me laugh or think or work a few extra hours to buy movie tickets!
    I started to blog to bitch and moan and so that my husband wouldn't have to hear me rant, but it's become such an important part of my life. And how I met all my new friends!

  13. Blogging has introduced me to a handful of folks that I feel honored having known - you are one of them. I struggle in the real world to have meaningful friendships, mostly because I almost never meet folks with similar interests. So, I hope to say, or read, something that resonates, either with me, (or, if I wrote it, with others).

    In the end, I do feel overwhelmed because I don't think I've mastered the concept of blogging, but I try, and hope it means something to someone, and like to think that they are blogging with that same hope in mind.

  14. For me blogging is like the groups of friends that gather at the diner or fast food joint or even a bar. You meet. You learn. You teach and you laugh (or cry as the case may be) and you do it all in the comfort of your home (for the most part) and there's no mess to clean up.

    Alex, you commented with more than one line? I can't believe I missed that!

  15. There are many different levels of connection to be made. I've always considered you a friend, Alex.

  16. Definitely. I've made some friendships through blogging that I now can't imagine my life without. It's so strange to picture myself even in December '09, before blogging was part of my life.

  17. I did click on the link but the font is so tiny and my eyes began to hurt so I didn't read the whole post completely - sorry Suze!!

    Oooh the main reason why I started blogging? I was nursing a very old dying sick kitty and no-one physical truly understood or had the time to understand what I was going through and so I blogged about her and found others over the internet who understood. That is the one reason why I started my blog!

    Now, I love that the connections I made then are growing deeper and more eclectic! I love that blogging makes a global world less so!

    Yay! Take care

  18. Your post deserves a detailed comment, so I took my time here.

    In real life, away from my computer, I have plenty of acquaintances and work friends...but that's all they are. Sure, I'll talk to anybody about anything. It's a learned behavior. I used to be really shy. Still, aside from my husband it's been a long time since I've met anyone I can introduce to my deeper side. Although the fun and games is a great part of me, it's still just surface stuff. I'm scared that when I do make it as a writer, I'll crack, wrap myself back into a cocoon and fade into the background.

    At first, Blogger offered a sort of anonymity and a place where I could be myself. Then it just escalated. I like to get to know my blogger buddies...make them more than just cute little faces that pop up to tell me they're following. I guess that's why I ramble internal desire to meet people and make them feel special...and connect. Sharing moments with like-minded individuals is so special...and rare for me.

    Hmm, this means I'll have to check out your comment on Suze's blog to learn more about you. Seriously, a Sci-Fi writer with a cool name, what's there not to like? I think you do a pretty good job of stepping outside your comfort zone, especially in this post. I also love it that to you find time to visit our blogs. Heck, I appreciate your honesty and any glimpse you can offer into the life of any man. :) Hope that wasn't too mushy for you.

  19. I haven't been blogging much over the summer, but only because of my big move from Azerbaijan to Hungary. I arrived in Budapest this past Saturday, but I only got internet yesterday. Hopefully I can get inspired to start posting soon!

  20. i love truly getting to know people. you arent influenced by appearances, and even tho we are putting our "best words forward" our inner voice shines thru. and we click with knew friends and share mutual respect.

    its a great outlet and with so many millions of us, a way to connect with similar minded folks =)

  21. Alex, I've thought a lot about this and have come to the conclusion that these are real friendships I've formed online, even though we've not met face to face. A friend is someone you talk to, listen to, care about. We all do that for each other here.

  22. I feel much the same way. I love meeting everyone I visit and everyone who visits me. Blogging is a great way to meet new people, build relationships with others, and share our thoughts.

    You do a great job!

  23. I was surprised at how many "real" connections I made after I started blogging. I've met so many great people on-line, some of whom I consider great friends. I still don't share a lot of personal information on my blog, but I think I let my personality come through, and that is the important thing I think.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. I don't know what I would have done or what I would do now without the people I have met through blogging, twitter and Facebook. It's not easy meeting writers locally, especially ones you click with. Even a face-to-face group can lack the connection I've made with people I've never met in person. I'm incredibly thankful for my friends here and grateful I've been able to meet them, if only through text on screen.

  26. Writers are a resilient lot!

    Over the test of time we grow together...

    And some even learn to fly!

  27. Its fun and convenient to connect vis blogging for writers. I can take a quick break and hit five blogs or so then resume writing. Then I can repeat the process through the day.

    My social networking are my best friends. Aside from the life sized cardboard cutouts of famous celebrities and Star Wars characters that are all over my house.

  28. I'm such a guy. LOL. That's what my husband told me once when he met me. I loved mountain biking, back packing, and never liked to discuss feelings. I don't even like talking on the phone. Yep, that's why I could relate to Byron so well. :)

  29. You bet!

    I have met AMAZING people through blogging. I am even striving to meet them in person. You can't imagine how cool it is to meet a blogger pal.

    You feel exhilarated. You feel like you've know them for years, and there's no awkward moment.

    Like you Alex, I don't have tons of friends in Chicago. BUT I have the greatest group of friends on line. I've shared more of myself with this community than I have since I moved here. This is a cold city in more ways than just weather.

    Thanks for sharing a part of you today.

  30. Of course there are! :) Ever since I became a part of blogger community I met so many amazing people that I feel very close with - you, Melissa Bradley, Matty Vanacore, Maynard... etc. I love and respect these people so much, it's like we're friends in real life. I'd love to meet you all in person one day. That would be a dream-come-true. Keep up the great work, Alex. You're simply incredible at what you do. I mean it! :)

  31. thanks, we appreciate you too.

  32. Definitely. The blog community has done so much for me and is at least as meaningful to me as my true to life one. Amazing how deeply we can connect to each other through the written word only.
    Great post, Alex.

  33. I totally dig the connections I've made on my blog and twitter. Always makes me grin when I get a mention. My biggest challenge is returning the favor and sharing the love. Sometimes I just forget to check out the list of blogs I follow and see what others are saying.

  34. I am ready to move in with many of the people I've met through blogging. Funny, whenever they try to send me their addresses, Blogger doesn't deliver the message.


    I write whatever is in my heart and on my mind. I am a sap that way, but it's all honest stuff. For me, that's the way it's got to be.

  35. I've made a lot of what I would call blogging friends. There's certainly a connection that develops just with commenting on each other's blogs. I've also been fortunate to make some pretty good friends through the experience. I do try and include some more personal posts here and there, but for me it's generally if I think it's funny.

  36. This is all really deep. I just come here for the chicks.

  37. Part of the reason I blog is to get to discuss movies and books with people who share the interests. In "real life" I'm so busy with work and family I don't get much of a chance to talk about these things and blogging provides me with a chance to share my views.

  38. This is why I prefer blogging to Twitter. On Twitter I often feel like I'm outside looking in, watching the cool people play :)

    Through blogs I've gotten to know so many wonderful people and I do feel as if I know them. I've become very close to a select few, but I would categorize many more as friends, not just acquaintances any more. :)

  39. The chance to find like minded people is exactly why I blog, or a major reason at least. I hardly know anyone around me in the physical world who likes the same kinds of things I do.

  40. In a general sense, I think the connections made doing this are real. To be specific, I think the connection you have with folks is real and worth having. You've been a great supporter of my blog and many others. I really appreciate that and I'm sure most of the others do as well. I also appreciate and admire the work you put into your blog. Of course, I only know you through blogging, but I think you are a good guy Alex. I know you didn't post this to receive kudos, but I think you deserve some...

  41. Dude, I totally know what you mean. Ladies seem a little better at the blogging network, and maybe it's just because they're smarter:) Nonetheless, I love the variety of people, both men and women, that I've gotten to get to know in the blogging community!

  42. I'm glad to have made enough connections to hopefully last me the rest of my life in the writing world/ blogosphere.

  43. Yvonne, you know we'll continue!

    Wow, stuck in meetings all morning and I return to this! Thanks, everyone. I really worried about posting this.

    Pk, glad you dig it!

    Laura, I appreciate it when you just read them.

    Laura, handcuffs, yes... well, I won't go into it!

    Suzie, glad I met you.

    Li, I don't reveal a lot either. And it is another dimension to our lives.

    Gail don't change a thing! I like the photos you post, and I really enjoy our verbal sparring.

    Heather, glad I can entice you to the movies now and then.

    Rusty, I think you've got it. And I think you're cool, even if your teenaged son thinks otherwise.

    Mary, I really did!

    Thanks, Matthew.

    Summer, I can hardly remember either.

    Kitty, you are one of the pure joys online!

    Laila, that was not too mushy. Thanks so much!!

    Karen, you said it.

    Thanks, Carol - I try.

    LG, it does.

    Jacqueline, I hope to learn to teleport!

    Stephen, I can just picture that!

    Ciara, my wife's a tomboy and I think it's sexy.

    Michael, I hope to meet some of my online friends one day.

    George, I really appreciate that!

    Thanks, Budd.

    Patricia, that's why I work hard to visit all of my blogger buddies.

    Betty, that's funny!

    TS, and that's cool.

    Chris, at least you're honest!

    Ricky, that's oh so true for many of us.

    Pat, thanks - I appreciate that!

    Mark, just don't tell them they are smarter...

  44. Hmmm. I think for the most part, the anonymity of blogging helps me be open and honest in what I write. Once I put my last name on my blog, I'm not so sure if I will be so open about my personal stuff.

    I worked at the same company for 16 years. I thought the friends I made there were permanent, but they were not. So I think here in the blogosphere the connections are as permanent as we let them be. It's up to us to stay connected, to continue blogging and commenting. I dunno. I feel cautious. (There I go being honest again.)

  45. Awwww *huggles Alex* I think you do good. I absolutely LOVE the blogosphere and feel like there are very true and meaningful relationships being built. I definitely, though, can feel a difference between blogs where people keep on the professional veneer versus blogs where people let themselves be themselves--I think the bonding goes fast on the latter because you actually get to know people... I think you are pretty darned genuine--definitely wouldn't worry.

  46. I have felt like I'm getting to know some fellow bloggers like friends I see nearly every day at work. I also find I visit those blogs most often whose owners seem to share my views.

  47. I've made some great and long-lasting friends online. I enjoy reading your blog and you do inspire people. Plus, you have good taste in movies!

  48. Tonja, relationships take effort, here or otherwise.

    Thanks, Hart! What you see is what you get with me.

    Thank you Christine - I hope that trend continues.

  49. Blogging is the best place to find a modern day pen pal. I have met many wonderful people through blogging, and made long-lasting friendships. My fellow bloggers hold meaning to me, and I hope I do to them.

  50. Great post, Alex!

    I have my circle of friends IRL, but not a one is a writer. Sure, I belong to one small writer's group, but just joined it a couple of months ago, and now I am moving out-of-state.
    For me, the blogosphere is a way to connect with like-minded individuals, those who share the same dreams and frustrations that I have.

    And here, I can cheer on those who succeed, like yourself, in their ambitions!

  51. Come on, Alex, just admit it: You're just plain weird. And that's why I keep coming. I like weird.

    I'm kidding, of course - about you being weird. I was telling the truth when I said I like weird.

  52. Definitely. I think maybe most writers are very much like Byron - find it difficult to make connections. Being genuine is important, and you so very much are, and generous. Glad I bumped into you.

  53. I never thought I would make as many online buddies, in such a short time, as I have from the creation of my blog and reading other people's blogs. I can be myself on my blog, talking all giddy about the things in movies that get me excited or things that affect me emotionally in movies. I try to talk to my real friends about stuff like that and they're just like, "yeah.. okay.." It's so disappointing!

    And it's not just the passion for movies that keeps me coming back, it's the writing. I love to write and keep my skills sharp, so it helps to read and learn other people's styles and what readers are attracted to.

  54. I have made meaningful connects on the web...I think. Well, I feel I know a lot of bloggers. I mean, I share a part of everyday with them, it's hard not to think about them when we're offline.

    Although I'm a private person I think a great deal of me has come through here and there.

  55. I have made meaningful connects on the web...I think. Well, I feel I know a lot of bloggers. I mean, I share a part of everyday with them, it's hard not to think about them when we're offline.

    Although I'm a private person I think a great deal of me has come through here and there.

  56. I am the sort of person who often has a hard time forming connections with people. I'm not sure why, because it's not for lack of desire. But I've always had a hard time finding close friends.

    I would love to connect with people through my blog. I would love to form real friendships. I'm just not really sure how to move past the "I comment on your blog, you comment on mine" phase. I've never been good at this.

  57. With so many people in the blogging world, I think it can be very difficult to find great connections. They happen, but then you find yourself swirling around in someone else's world for too long and you realize you've neglected all your other connections. I guess we all have to strike a balance and find what works for each of us.

  58. Thanks, Bryce. Yeah, I don't know too many writers in the real world either.

    Helen, I don't mind weird!

    Mary, I'm glad I found you as well!

    Girl, most of my friends aren't movie-obsessed either.

    Clarissa, it has!

    Sarah, I don't think I'm good at it either. I think it just takes time, like building a real friendship.

    Mary, it can be a juggling act sometimes.

  59. Yes definitely! When I first started I hadn't expected all the wonderful connections I made. I'm not a "socialite" and even you once described me as a quiet blogger, but the connections I've made are real and special and I wouldn't change it for all the world.

  60. The connections I've made has been one of the highlights of my writing journey thus far. I love interacting with the people I've met, sharing thoughts, and supporting each other. Every occupation contains colleagues and co-workers in some capacity; for me, this is how we communicate and I'm enjoying the experience.

  61. Online connections are *very* meaningful, I think. They're *different* from in-person connections, but sometimes online friends become in-person connections, too! (I've met quite a few at conferences...and looking forward to meeting you!)

  62. I know a lot of people from various settings (work, school, sports, kids), but I don't have many close friends either. And I don't want to have a lot of close friends, because I need to have time to read, write, think, do math and ski. Online connections are both interesting and meaningful, and I have a couple of very good online friends who I've never met IRL >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  63. Alex, you are the great connector. I really appreciate all your comments and visits to my blog, and when I see your name on other blogs that I follow. Blogging is the great connector in the sky!

  64. Well my actual friends have blended together with my blogging friends on facebook and I tend to like my blogger friends much more. What does that say about ME?

  65. This is one of your deeper posts, Alex. Very thought-provoking. I think that sometimes bloggers open up too much with details about their personal lives that all of us don't need to know. It's okay when they open up and then connect to a larger issue to discuss with us and bring us into the conversation, but we don't need the dear diary approach of everything I did or my family did and open ourselves to put all of our pain on display. Some bloggers can do this well and present something creative to open themselves up. Others can produce cringe worthy "I didn't exactly need to know all of that" type posts.

    Your blog tells something about you without taking us behind the closed doors. I always feel comfortable coming here. It's like meeting with you at a party or talking to you in a restaurant and hearing about things that interest you. That gives me a comfortable connection with you and not a squirm inducing revealing of your secrets. I have found it easy to connect with you here in a way that in a more private setting I would feel more comfortable if you opened up to get something off your chest.

    Hope that ramble made some sense.

    Tossing It Out

  66. Lynda, did I say that out loud?

    Paul, it's really cool.

    You as well, Elizabeth!

    Thanks, Mary!

    Cheeseboy, it's says you are a cooler blogger geek than Facebook geek!

  67. Alex, you know you were one of my early on followers. I reciprocated and have enjoyed your blog ever since.

    Unlike most other bloggers I follow, I actually have something physical that you created...CassaStar. A book I enjoyed from cover to cover.

    The connection there is different now. It's not just two guys who have similar tastes in music, movies, literary genre, and humor...but that book is like crossing a barrier into each others world.

    I have only received one other physical item from a fellow blogger. His blog (Us and Them) is one I follow. He had the idea to decorate his work cubicle with postcards from around the country. Any reader of his who sent him a postcard from their state would receive one in return from him. I have his Vancouver, BC postcard hanging above my computer.

    You already know I can get longwinded at times so I'll finish with this. After our trek together through the A-Z Challenge (and your generous featuring of my site the first day) I feel a bond akin to living down the street from each other. And I think you for your continued patronage of my sometimes rudderless blog. I for one enjoy the writing, commenting, and responding to comments.

    Great post BTW.

  68. Having a community around me is half the reason I blog...writers are lonely creatures, and my friends on blogs, twitter, facebook, goodreads are all folks who are readers and writers; i.e, people who understand me and my struggles in a unique way.

    Comments are what keep me going, because my writing sucks on some days. LIfe sucks on those days, but talking to friends on the internet keeps my hope for better times alive.

    I met you through A to Z, and I'm happy we stayed connected...I enjoy reading your posts which are so different from mine, and I adore your pithy, humorous comments!

  69. Yeah blog buddies rule. It helped me through some tough times last year. I had a nice support group always ready to give me a smile.

  70. I've loved connecting with people and being so supported. I had no idea it would be like this. It's wonderful, even if it sucks away writing time!

  71. Lee, it did! And you'll never get that stuff from me. Just fun party chatter, but as good friends. After all, it was you who launched the A-Z and started all of this!

    Chuck, I'm speechless. Well, not completely.
    That's a really cool thing your friend did with the postcards. I never thought about the physical objects as connection.
    Your blog was one of the first ones I found (guided by your awesome blog title) and I have enjoyed it ever since.
    Thanks, buddy!

    DAmy, I'm glad we met! Now I cant add pithy to my list...

    Copyboy, I am here for your amusement!

  72. I think of my connections here as essential parts of my life. When I started on this journey a year ago, I never imagined the wonderful people I have since encountered and how much richer my life has become because of them. You all are the greatest and I can say Alex, that you have inspired me in many ways and I am so very glad I found your blog.

  73. I have a good friend that I've never met--we started as crit partners and just meshed really well. I know her via email/blogs/etc. That just amazes me, and makes me so excited to think of all the other fascinating people that are in the world that I have yet to know. So I try to be myself on line and hopefully people "get me"--worked for me in kindergarten so hopefully will still work now. And I try to avoid the internet after red wine.

  74. For me, making connections is especially important. I moved 1000 miles away from family & friends to a place whose residents I haven't been able to connect with. I dove into writing to ease the loneliness then blogging because that's what writers are supposed to do. But I've been touched by so many in this community and they have come to mean so much to me because I finally feel like I'm a part of something.

    And there are a few, like you Alex, who ALWAYS drop in to say hi, even though I know you have like 800 followers. You take the time and that means so much. I love hearing about those things you most enjoy, especially movies, which I, too, love. Keep on sharing & know that I love when your name pops up on my blog.

  75. Hey, Alex. Just got back from the trip and came to visit your blog. I'm too tired to look at the rest, tonight, but wanted to read what you had written.

    I think this is a super post. You managed to open up a bit more but not overly so. I'd say you have a better grip on how to make those connections than you give yourself credit for.

    Tipping my hat, friend.

    All best, always,

  76. This is the convo you and I had recently, so you KNOW I think you are sincere and kind and ever so thoughtful. You are REAL, it resonates here and in all the comments you leave around the blogosphere. That's why we keep coming back!

    And YES, I have made some of the truest, most influential connections HERE in the blogosphere. It's a wonderful thing!

  77. The blogosphere is so supportive. I don't know anyone personally, but some of the folks are so great that I would probably hang out w/ them in person if given the chance.

    I'm somewhat of a privacy nut myself, however, I've had to place that aside in order to connect w/ my fellow bloggers and write for online mags. It was hard at first, but it got easier.

  78. I'm fairly new at blogging and have made some amazing connections and am invested in so many bloggers' lives, and I love getting to know each one more and more.

    And that includes you, the Amazing Alex as I now refer to you (and left a reply to you on my latest post but most of us never go back to read the replies. Who has time?) Yes, I think you're amazing for reading 100 blogs a day, writing, getting published, and promoting. You are doing an amazing job and every time I see a comment on someone's blog that was left by you, I think, wow, Alex is in a million places all at once! You're like Where's Waldo in reverse! LOL!

  79. I've made a lot of meaningful connections! But the more people I meet, the harder it is to strive towards that. Mostly, it's just a time issue. But I'm a private person, too, so there's that. How much of yourself do you share with a large number of people...

    That said, it's really rewarding to interact.

  80. Thanks, Melissa! I've no idea what I did, but glad I was able to do it.

    Julie, that's probably good advice. Don't blog drunk.

    Thank you Nancy! I always enjoy visiting your blog, and will no matter how many follwers I get.

    Thanks, Suze - I'm trying! And thanks for inspiring this post.

    Thanks, Ali.

    MsMariah, I'm still working on that.

    Lyn, that's funny! As in, where isn't Alex, huh? Thanks.

    Carolina, it does take time, but most things worth having in life do take time.

  81. I like how you compare yourself to some of Byron's traits. :)

    Like you, I have a close set of friends in real life. The bloggy community has opened up a world of friendships that I treasure. I enjoy visiting blogs and getting a glimpse into an online friend's thoughts or on-goings.

    Friendships don't have to exist only within the physical proximity... it's the connection and what's shared that counts.

  82. Online connections are very real and I'm thankful I've met some of those people in real life.

  83. Great post Alex! Connections are great to have, and as I shy person like me; having a blog community of friends is a breath of fresh air. :)

  84. As a writer who works at home, my online connections are my sanity. In fact, sometimes they feel like an addiction. If I go a few hours without someone emailing me or posting on one of my pages, I start to feel abandoned. More important, many of the people I've met online, I've ended up meeting in person and have become very close to.

  85. Thought provoking stuff, Alex. First of all, I think online friendships can be every bit as "real" as IRL friends, but they do take a bit more trust, I think. After all, you can pretend to be anything you want, and if you are "only" online friends, you may never know if Joe Smith, writer, age 46 is really Jane Doe, teenage girl messing around on the internet.

    I am not shy by any means, and I know I straddle that TMI line a bit from time to time, but my blog does come with a warning that personal stuff will be shared. It's not like I'm airing any dirty laundry or anything, but I think letting people into your world can be very therapeutic if you let it. I've made some amazing blog friends who I have then let all the way in and have actually met them.

    it's all about balance, I think. If all you have is online friendships, then you should probably take a look at why that is...and if you remain completely aloof out here, that's something worth thought as well.

    In the end, I've found that blogging has exposed me to so many unique points of view, to places and cultures I knew nothing about, and has enriched my life immensely. And I've met other writers who have taught me so much. And have taken me down a peg when that's what I needed...

    Getting long-winded here (big surprise) so maybe I need to post about this too...
    Thanks for all your support and encouragement, Alex. It means a lot to me.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  86. Writers are reclusive by nature. =)

  87. Aleta, as I said, I've got more in common with him that I want to admit. And you're right - it's the glimpses into other lives that's so cool.

    LJ, I look for people like that as well, waiting to hear from them.

    Tina, you never go too far. And it is all of the different views and experiences - things we'd never see otherwise. And I appreciate your support as well.

  88. I love me and my time alone. The good thing about the internet friendships is that at anytime I can walk away--and come back. It's a wonder I have any friends but I do have many real life friends. They respect how I am.

    I also don't like being told what to do which really has nothing to do with anything.

  89. I enjoy finding my tribe online. I post comments and links on things that are important to me, and voila, I attract others who share my feelings. Although Facebook allows more creative expression, I sometimes feel more freedom on Twitter. On FB, friends seem more willing to call me out when they disagree with me- maybe because they have more characters with which to vent? I don't care to argue, so I can get nervous about posting opinions. Yet, if something is meaningful to me, I like to share it, and I don't want people to get a skewed or vanilla perception of me. So I risk putting myself out there. Like anything, connecting has its joys and its pains.

  90. I love all of my online connections. I've met some really fantastic people. I even start to feel guilty when life takes me away from the computer for a while. It's like I'm letting my new friends down.

  91. Yes, I would definitely say there are. When I first started blogging, I knew a very small group of bloggers and commented anonymously--it was almost an experiment to start my own. But after a year of blogging I've come across some amazing people (you included!) and it's a lot more than just a blog now.

  92. I saw that post by Suze (isn't she great?) and I agree it was thought provoking. I initially felt dragged and pulled to blogging against my will and am surprised to find that a year later I truly enjoy it, and yes, I honestly feel like I've made connections here. Different kinds of connections than in my "real" life, but real nonetheless.

  93. Definitely I've meet some amazing people on here including you! I do think it's a lot easier for women to make connections than it is men. Blogging is a great way to meet people and network. :)

  94. Teresa, maybe that's what makes online friends so cool?

    Cara, it does. I'm not on Facebook, so can't compare.

    Golden, thanks! And your blog really blossomed this past year, and deservedly so.

    Nicki, I was dragged, but now I enjoy it!

  95. I enjoy the experience, introducing people to new music and in turn being introduced to new things by my fellow bloggers.

  96. Blogging: the final frontier. These are the treks of spacerguy. His ongoing quest: to explore strange, new blogs, to seek out new bloggers and reach uber enlightenment, to boldly go where no blogger has gone before.

  97. Oh yes, I've found such great connections in the blogging community - present company included! I appreciate your support and insight.

    Have a great weekend!

  98. What a sweet post! I love the writing community. I've heard other online communities are often overwhelmed with negativity and rude people. But I've never experienced that among writers. I love developing blog friendships, and having people that you can count on to stop by regularly to chat.

  99. Ting, there's a lot of give and take.

    Spacerguy, you are a dedicated Trek geek!

    Thanks, Karen.

    Alexia, I've only had one negative incident - otherwise, it's been perfect.

  100. lol, yes. I wasn't offended coz it's true. I am somewhat quiet. I'm even quieter in real life :P

  101. With the modern day technology, in some levels it's easier to make connections with people. Sometimes when you meet someone online, you judge them by appearances, which is always going to affect how deep a connection you can make with that person.

  102. This blog is certainly one of the hubs of my sector of the blogiverse. I've "met" a lot of friends here. I don't always comment, but when I see interesting comments here and then see the same name on another blog or two, then I go visit.

    But I've been wondering about this myself. Apparently corporate marketing people are advising some authors that when they get a book deal, they should leave the cheap freebie blog world and get themselves a formal website and embed a blog in there--leaving behind the riff-raff they've been consorting with out here for the gated community of the expensive blog.

    That seems to me profoundly stupid, but I'm told "blogging isn't that important any more". Really? I've emailed Nathan B. and asked him to blog about it sometime. I don't know if he will, but he certainly did not abandon his blog when he became a corporate author, which I admire. (I admire him for a lot--he's another major "hub".)

    Sorry to be late to this party.

  103. I've definitely made some wonderful connections since I've begun blogging, even though I can be a bit private and have a hard time making said connections in real life (yes, even as a woman!). But I've learned the last few years, not just from blogging, that good friendships can be forged online. You do more talking about real things than when you're in person filling space. Or so it seems to me.

  104. Like you, I enjoy blogging and the connections it brings. I try to avoid putting personal stuff that doesn't relate to writing in my posts, although sometimes I have. It is a difficult balance to get right!

  105. Thanks, Anne! Didn't realize my blog was a hub. I think a website would be boring. No one to talk to!
    And you're not late.

    Shannon, that's a smart observation.

    Ellie, I know I blog about stuff that isn't writing related, but it's not private either.

  106. Great thought-provoking blog, Alex! In my previous "life" I ran two computer companies but my world consisted mainly of the inner circle and select clients. It wasn't until my first suspense was published that I began meeting fabulous people I otherwise would never have met otherwise - owners and managers of book stores, fans, and other authors and folks in the publishing field. Every now and then I run across an author who thinks his or her book is a direct competitor of mine, a sentiment I don't share at all. But for each of those type, I find hundreds of others who understand that we ARE all in this together, and by being supportive and cooperative, we all help each other navigate through what otherwise could be a lonely and painfully complicated career.

  107. Patricia, I had no idea what would happen when I began this journey, but it's been awesome so far.

  108. My family really doesn't understand my attraction to blogging or why I have so many "friends" on=line. Especially my children who have to follow "do as I say, not as I do" as they are not allowed to communicate with on-line strangers. Great post.

  109. I think a lot of creative types are loners; I fit this slot. I try to be social, then crawl back in my shell.
    I love my online friends, they get me more than my real life friends, which is sad. I don't have a lot of creative friends. My husband's nickname for me is "Alien". I have so many nicknames now, Ella, Lucy, Ellie and Alien. I love your honesty and staying true to who you are! There is power in being authentic; You are proof of just that ;D You can only be the best YOU~

    I love the cover of your up n' coming rocks!

  110. I've been thinking a lot about the friends I've made through blogging. In fact, I was just working on a similar post that will be published soon.

    I agree with you, too, that it's important to stay true to ourselves.

  111. Rhonda, that must be tough!

    Ella, I don't think you're an alien. And thank you!

    Karen, I look forward to your post then!

  112. With the size of your army, Alex, I don't think you have ant problems connecting :P

  113. I love the connections I've made through blogging, Twitter and Facebook. This world is full of interesting and fun people I would never have met without the Internet and social media.

  114. That's what makes you cool Alex. You connect with others and share your life. That's what real blogging is all about.

  115. Maurice, thanks so much - I really appreciate that.


Ninja Captain Alex's Army Rocks!