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.