Melissa aka GeekGrrl posed some interesting questions about blogs and relationships the other day. I'm working on catching up on my blog-reading, and this caught my interest so I'm answering!
How important to you is it to have a friendship outside of just comments with your online friends? Depends on the person I guess. For the most part I'm happy with the blog/comments set up. I like the way it works. I can go reading as much as I want and I don't "have" to comment if I don't want to. I can lurk (very comforting for a shy person!) or I can be all hyper and bubbly. Whatever I feel like, it's ok. I like the comfort of that.
Do you try to start friendships outside of comments? E-mail? IM? Telephone? I have my AIM & YIM handles posted on my blog. But that's about it! I don't really seek out people to IM with. And only two people have ever IMed me from my site. The only person I IM with a lot is my best friend in real life. (She's also the only person I really talk to on the phone too) I will send e-mail's back from comments. I really like that feature of MT, it makes it really easy to send a simple thanks or answer questions or whatever.
Do you feel slighted if someone won't have more than a solely comment-based friendship? Nope! I've never really actively sought that out from anyone either though.
Do you move on and look for other people that will? See above!
This whole subject really interests me. What are these people that I read every day? Are they friends? acquaintances? Something else entirely? It's not the same as a very close friend I talk to every day, but it's so much more than people that I just work with. But it also is a friend I talk to every day. (or almost every day)
I've noticed that I always feel like I have to read someone's blog for a period of time before I feel comfortable commenting. Like I have to get to know them on some level before I'll join the conversation. I guess I do that in my everyday life too. I had my job for months before I felt that I could be myself there. Now I'm myself all the time, with new people too. I guess I'm secure in my position there, my status, that I feel safe being me.
I want everyone to have comments. There are a few sites I read that don't have them and it bothers me! I feel like I can know them, but they can't know me, can't know how much I enjoy reading them. I'm comfortable commenting, but horribly insecure about e-mailing someone out of the blue. I know that a comment and an e-mail can have the exact same words, that I can still tell the blogger whatever I want to about whichever post, but it's somehow different for me. There's this feeling that somehow an e-mail would be an intrusion, where a comment wouldn't be.
The idea of calling someone on the phone quite honestly scares the bejezus out of me. I've never been horribly comfortable on the phone, so add that to a healthy amount of insecurity and that thing is frightening!
On the other hand, a blogger meeting I'd be interested in! I'd be excited about something like that. I think I might be more comfortable with people in person than on the phone so that would be an extension of that feeling. I think that's a big part of the reason I want to go to Gnomedex so badly. I do want that tangible connection to people that I've been reading for so long. I know their feelings, their thoughts, their writing style. I want to add their body language to it. The way they smile. Their voice, the way they string their words together.
And would you look at that? I managed to write a big deep post, without even trying. Huh.