yesterday, i met a blogger (all about my changing blogosphere)

yesterday, i met a blogger.

i mean, i ran into them, and they were a stranger, but i recognized them, because i’d just added their blog to the queer canada blogs blogroll project.

let me tell you how oddly thrilling this was.

here’s what happened:  i’d run out of small canning jars – my obsession with canning is in hardcore competition with my bloglove these days.  oats and i were downtown getting stuff for our upcoming bike trip, and so i made a quick dash into v@lue vill@ge for jars.  after doing a price check on the ones i wanted, i was heading back for more of them when a very familiar person walked through the door.

without thinking, i practically grabbed them and yelped “HI!!!”.  in retrospect, this could have been rather alarming:  i think i look friendly enough, but generally tend towards over-enthusiasm when excited.  luckily, the blogger took it very well, and was perfectly gracious, especially after i explained who i am.  we even chatted a little about canning, which was lovely.  it was a struggle, but i managed to restrain my desire to scream out “OMIGOD YOU REALLY EXIST!!!”

dear fellow bloggers, please rest assured:  it’s not that i truly doubt your existence.

however, most of the time i spend reading blogs is a one-sided, solo venture that is mediated by a computer screen.  yeah, some of you are my real-life friends, but most of you are strangers for whom i’ve created personas based upon your words and images.  to see you in the flesh, to share smiles with you, to shake your hand… is absolutely exhilarating.

now i’m reflecting on some thoughts that should probably be filed under “what blogging means to me”.

i used to blog as part of an online community that was mostly based around a system of message boards:  my main interactions were in the discussions i’d have in these forums, and i tended only to blog while away from my home city.  then i started blogging on a different blog-focused platform, because a few of my friends used it and i liked being linked to them.  after a while though, i became more interested in simply writing, and fed up with the commercialization of my blog space.  so, i moved to this URL almost a year ago, and took part in my first NaBloPoMo (national blog posting month) in november.  the rest, as they say, is history:  blogging every day led me to searching out blogs that interested me, which led me to commenting on these blogs, and eventually i was knitting socks for mae callen and then administrating queer canada blogs.

it’s been a funny jump.  in discussing the first blogging platform i used, a friend once referred to it as “the kitchen table”, because it was a rather small online community where most of my readers also knew me in other contexts.  by contrast, now i’m writing in what feels like a very public space: like i’ve picked up that kitchen table and carried it downtown to the square outside city hall.  i’m much more exposed.  to compensate, i’ve tried to anonymitized my blog as much as possible.  at the same time, i think that there’s a inverse relationship between exposure and interest, because the more i reveal, the more i feel rewarded.  telling my stories connects me with other people, even when they don’t know my real name.  my real name doesn’t matter.  this is the semi-shadowed link that i crave.

i used to think it was crazy when i’d read of bloggers going on long road trips to meet one another, because i’d think to myself ZOMG THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER.  now, i get it.  while i still believe that a regular reader of my blog wouldn’t really know *me* entirely, they’d certainly be familiar with many aspects of who i am.

in a couple weeks, i’ll be confirming my october trip to ontario, and i’m already wondering who i’ll finally get to meet.  maybe it’s time for an unofficial local queer blogger rendezvous,  or at least to begin planning one for winter?  hopefully i’ll start sooner than that, by having coffee with the blogger that i met yesterday.

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8 responses to “yesterday, i met a blogger (all about my changing blogosphere)

  1. Haha, I was SO surprised! I don’t think I have ever had someone recognize me before [that came up to me at least] which is kind of interesting actually because I have been blogging for… 8 years now? But anyway I’m glad you did say hi! Yay!

    I’ve seriously met up with TONS of bloggers over the years, and have had relationships with two bloggers that I was “blog buddies” with for at least a year first before meeting up. Ah internet, it’s a funny thing.

    BTW: I am impressed you’ve kept your name away from the public. I am an open book on the internet and really it has potential of going horribly wrong, but so far… it has been okay *knock on wood*.

    • feralgeographer

      yay!

      re: open book-ness… my years of involvement with the anarchisty-activist community have given me an over-developed sense of security culture when it comes to most internet stuff. that’s why i’m not on f@cebook! of course, if someone really wanted to, it wouldn’t be that hard to figure out my identity… but still, i like to pretend.

  2. Yipeee! The Feral Geographer in ON! I know somebody whom she’ll be meeting FOR SURE! Speaking of which, Mae Callen mentioned something about workshop-ing over the country and things like that. May be we should put that as one of the things on our agenda to discuss. Other than that, it’ll be Queer Canada Blog Pride, as you put it!

    • feralgeographer

      hurrah! now my true toronto roots will be revealed, as i make it clear to all that i’ll not have time to visit your assorted other cities and therefore must demand that any rendezvous takes place in the big smoke! heh heh. srsly, though… we should work this out.

  3. well helloooo there feral geographer,

    i finally replied to your comment of welcome on my blog, then realised you may have abandoned looking back for a response – it’s been that long.

    I’m not usually sullent and silent for so long, but hey, isn’t a recession a great time to get moody and withdrawn?

    Thanks for looking me up and adding me…I’ll get that there goose up on mine asap, and will have a think about more canuck queer blogs for you too.

    xx tomato

    • feralgeographer

      hi tomato! thanks for commenting, and for adding the QCB blogbadge to your sidebar. am looking forward to reading your upcoming posts…

  4. Well, if you were planning on organizing a Queer Canada Blogs meet-and-greet-and-maybe-even-blog get together, you can bet your buttons I will be there! :D I’ve had such a great time scrolling through the blog roll and discovering all the diverse stories there are across the country. It’s such a funny thing — I started my own blog because I had such trouble finding other queer Canadians with a penchant for writing, and you folks were out there all along! :D

  5. I’ll be in Van at the end of Sept/beginning of October, but I’m guessing you’ll be on the island?

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