Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Am I a Blog Interloper?

In that quiz question about blog angst, Deb L's answer got me thinking. She wrote-

When you comment on someone's blog and you get the feeling that everyone else there probably knows each other in "real" life and you don't know if you're actually just kind of intruding and they are all thinking, "Who IS this person and why do they think their opinion might matter?"

I hadn't thought that much about this consciously, but I totally get what she means. Sometimes with blog commenting it can feel like you've waltzed into a complete strangers loungeroom, and the family are sitting in front of the tele, and you plonk yourself down saying, "So! what's on?"

Often you don't really know where you stand among fellow commenter's. Do they know the blog author personally? Old friends since primary school? Are you an interloper?Not knowing is kind of disconcerting.

So, just for interests sake, if you can be bothered, could you answer these two questions in the comments section?

1) Have we met in 'real life'?
2) Have you met any of the other regulars here?

I wonder if there will be any surprises..

51 comments:

Ben McLaughlin said...

1) Have we met in 'real life'?
2) Have you met any of the other regulars here?

Wendy said...

1) No
2) One or two only.

Jessica said...

1) No
2) Yes, a few.

Amy said...

I haven't commented before (I don't think) because...
1) We haven't met
2) I haven't met anyone else
I enjoy reading regularly though - I found your link on my friend's brother's wife's blog :)

Gary Ware said...

1) Nope.
2) Al the Hobartian. (Who I first encountered by leaving an outsider comment on his blog)

Ben McLaughlin said...

Cool, this is going well. Thanks for the info, guys.

Keep em' coming.

PS- Welcome, Amy! Thanks for coming out of the woodwork:)

Pedro said...

1. unfortunately...yes
2. nope.

Karen said...

1) No
2) I've met Simone. But I comment on many other blogs of regulars here.

Ben McLaughlin said...

So you other readers know, Pedro is almost as affable in person as he is in his comments. Almost.

Deb L said...

1. Nope we've never met in real life.
2. I've never met Wendy, Simone or Karen but I do read their blogs. I have met Gary once or twice but he wouldn't know who I was I'm sure.

The question you should ask, given you've asked question 1, is how did we end up here if we don't know you? And the answer for me was I ended up reading your blog to work out who you were after reading your comments on other people's blogs (probably Simone's).

Footprints Australia said...

First visit to your blog so no, sent by Wendy :-)

Ben McLaughlin said...

Deb, yes that would be an interesting question. I reckon 3/4 of the people who read this blog came via either Simone's or Nathan's.

Footprints Australia, thanks for stopping by!

Crazyjedidiah said...

1. No
2. A couple, but I regularly read some of the other blogs, which is how I found your blog.

Wendy said...

Ben, I followed your lead and asked people on my blog why people often don't comment on blogs. Got some interesting answers coming.

Kevin Smith said...

This is lovely post.
Keep it up...

Make your own quiz

Deb L said...

And, Ben, you need to invent a word for people who are friends with you in "not-real" life. Blog-quaintence perhaps?

Laetitia :-) said...

1) No.
2) Simone - which is, incidentally, how I ended up here.

3) :-) I now regularly comment on kirribilli kim's blog - discovered her blog through her comments on yours.

onlinesoph said...

1. Yes.
2. No.

Georgina said...

1. Nope
2. Me and Jess are friends. I said hello to simone at a music conference, but I think she thought I was crazy/stalker-like

Deb L said...

Oh! I feel so much better that so few other people know Ben in person. And surprised! But, Ben, you must have already known that. What a strange lot we must be! And some of us don't have our own blogs so you must wonder who we all really are!

Karen said...

I found Ben's blog through Simone too.

@Deb, I feel like I know you...even though we've never met in real life :) It is a bit strange, but nice as well. I'd never have set up a Christian book reading group if it hadn't been for you :)

Ben McLaughlin said...

Wendy, thanks for the link. Some interesting reasons coming out there.

Deb, I like Blogquaintance, however 'aquaintance' always seems a little cold and distant to me. Come now, can we not be friends? Bliends doesn't sound very good though. Other words meaning friends.. hm.. mate, cobber, buddy, pal.. Blate? Blobber? Bluddy? Blal?

Ben McLaughlin said...

Ben, you must have already known that. What a strange lot we must be! And some of us don't have our own blogs so you must wonder who we all really are!

Deb, I did know that I'd hardly met any of you. The excercise was more to reassure anyone who felt that they were interlopers. Fact is, I think we all are!

And as to wondering who you strange people really are, well, that's why I make those quizes. Each week I open a spreadsheet and type in the data for each one of your files, so as to know just what manner of beings I am dealing with. Strengths, weaknesses etc. It's just prudence, really.

Deb L said...

Ben, my 3-year old walked past the computer the other day, saw your profile photo and said, "Oh, it's the man who draws the Bananas!" So you are pretty well known in our house. Your dog is the subject of much envy. I agree, blogquaintence is too mild a term. I have had awkward moments of saying to friends, "My friend Ben, well, actually, I don't really know him, I just read his blog, well Ben....." Then I just sound like a mad stalker.

And, Karen, I feel I know you too! Afterall, we "talk" each week. But then I do feel rather guilty because I don't have a blog so I'm playing the safe game and not giving much about myself away.

Ben McLaughlin said...

That's nice to hear, Deb. I think it's ok to use the word friend. I think bloggers in general are a bit too stand-offish with each other. I like to think of it a bit like pen pals of ye olde times. I'm sure penpals called themselves friends even though they'd never met in person.

Nathan said...

1. No.
2. A few. Simone, one of the Amys, a Steve.

simone r said...

1. No
2. Yes - Nathan, Wendy, Jessica, Karen, Laetitia, Steve, Amy, Al, ....

... But I feel like I know you and many others of your readers. Thanks!

Meredith said...

1) No. I drop in via Simone or Wendy (Wendy this time) and I may have even left a comment once.
2) And sadly, no, I haven't met any of the regulars here...and hardly any of the regulars on my own blog! Because I live on the other side of the country! Lone ranger from the west.

But I count as friends the those whose blogs I visit and who visit me, pray for many of them and am always glad when they come to visit.

@DebL - so glad you have been dropping by lately too. Hope you are encouraged by the great conversation that has taken place here. Thanks Ben for getting it going.

Aimee said...

1. Yes
2. Define 'regular'. I know online Soph and perhaps a few others who haven't yet commented.

Findo said...

Note sure I'm regular.. but..

1. No
2. Nathan

Belle said...

1) Nope! My husband showed me one of your posts when it was linked to from Nathan's, and I've read ever since (so has my husband, but he won't comment. I can't even get him to comment on mine.)

2) I met one of your readers (Stuart Heath) recently, which was exciting but strange (YOU PEOPLE REALLY EXIST?!). And I *think* I know Georgina...

And Pedro's comments are often just as entertaining as your posts; you make a good team. :)

Georgina said...

Oooh the intrigue! Who are you Belle?

dvm said...

1. No (but I have a strange feeling we work near each other)
2. I know Georgina. I think I met Aimee once or twice.

(great post and great way to get people commenting - is this a record?)

Ruth said...

1. Yes

2. A few people - Aimee, soph, simone....

I can't remember how I first wandered over here.... Through a link from Craig's blog??? I think maybe Drew sent me a link after he and ell came to visit us and was raving about your blog.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Thanks everyone for doing this, it's been great to hear from you all!

And thanks to the visitors or peeps who haven't commented here before. The cockles have been warmed.

Ben McLaughlin said...

dvm do you work in north sydderz?

Ben McLaughlin said...

So, for the record, out of the 20 people who answered this, I've met 4 of you.

I think this also illustrates what was one of the big surprises with blogging. I'd expected that if anyone was going to read the junk I wrote it would either be close friends or family. Turns out they aren't the ones who read it at all. They probably get enough junk from me in real life.

It's other bloggers or peeps I've not met that seem to mostly read. Who knew!

Erin said...

Fairly new to your blog.

1) No
2) Andrew from DVM and Ruth are both friends. I think I may have met Georgina - through Andrew's wife.

Helen said...

1. No
2. Yes - Wendy, Simone and Karen. I went to church with Wendy and Simone (at different points) and my husband went to church with Karen.

Laetitia :-) said...

Deb L - I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a mad way of trying to explain my relationship with Ben!

maso said...

1. no
2. yep - Simone, Nathan, Laetitia ... and Wendy, I think, but I'm pretty sure there's no way she'll remember me!

Belle said...

Georgina, if you're who I think you are, our time at Summer Hill church overlapped briefly last year. We have a mutual friend (Karen) - her daughter and my son (Moses) are the same age...

Dawn Merz said...

Ummmm.... obviously I am not a daily follower of your blog (or anyone's!!), but I really enjoy popping in quite often and even occasionally comment.

1) Yes... we've met in real life, though I would enjoy more "real life" encounters!

2) I have met a few people who comment occasionally (Ruth, Aimee, Online Soph) and have dipped into a few people's blogs cause of comments that they have made on yours.

RodeoClown said...

1 - Yes (and we should do it again at some point)

2 - Yes, a few (Ruth's family has been to our place a couple of times, and vice versa, I met Soph for about 10 seconds at Ruth's place, and I met DVM for lunch with a few other bloggers a few years back). Although I've met all of them via blogs (theirs and others).

RodeoClown said...

I'd like to call people I've met online only 'friends' too. But only sometimes.

My wife laughs at me when I say "my friend said [blah]", and says "Have you even met them? If you haven't they aren't real friends."

I disagree, you can have real life friends who you've never met in person, and when you do finally meet, there's no difference to someone you've only spoken to offline (well, not necessarily).

I think online can be classed as 'real life', just as much as people you've only met in meatspace. Not for every acquaintance, but that's how it goes with people you see down the street too.

Ben McLaughlin said...

I remember our first meeting, Rodeo, at first I felt a little awkward, but after two minutes I felt totally comfortable, and having sort of known eachother online for a while meant we could kind of chapter skip a bit. We should definitely do it again sometime soon. Maybe a 3 family get together with Ruth's fam..

Ben McLaughlin said...

And as for the whether or not you can call online peeps 'friends', I'd say I feel more at ease with a lot of online people than with people I know in 'real life'. I think it's about whether you make some kind of connection with people, rather than whether you are face to face.

RodeoClown said...

I'm guessing the eye-patch probably put you off a little :)

Kinda unrelated - is there a way to subscribe to comments any more?
The email subscription button seems to have vanished :(

KIM said...

1. nope
2. nope

KIM said...

oh, how i got here ... through nathan's blog, which i'd gone to from steve's (communicate jesus) blog -- steve i do know in real life :)

and yes, i too had thought my blog would be more read by close friends and family ... most of whom care nothing about it! :)

Unknown said...

Another informative blog… Thank you for sharing it… Best of luck for further endeavor too.

Real Estate for Sale in PA