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A few more post-picnic thoughts…

I have to admit, it was a bit weird going to a picnic and having the Buffalo News show up to cover it. You’re trying to act like they’re not there so they can get “candid” photos, while at the same time trying not to look like a complete idiot trying to set up the Hillbilly Horseshoes that you’ve only put together once and forgot that two pipes are longer than the other four that make up the base. The photo they took of us talking to Red was probably one of the least self-consiously staged moments, though, so I guess they got a good shot. šŸ™‚

Expanding on my quote, “The social-networking aspect of blogging just comes with the territory,” I was explaining to Steve that I didn’t really start blogging to become part of a community. I had my pseudo-blog site for years already when late last year I could see the advantages to using a database-driven blogging software, an area I had no expertise in. In my previous versions of the site, nothing I wrote was archived. I kind of liked the momentary aspect of it. If you didn’t happen to read that day, the thought was gone the next. At least then, the chances of anything incriminating on the site could be made to disappear as quickly as it appeared. šŸ™‚ In the end, the allure of the blogging technology pushed me into the blogosphere.

Not to say that I haven’t been part of electronic communities before. I once was part of the extremely active WNY BBSing scene. You know, those old text-based bulletin boards that someone would have set up in their house with a single modem that fed it? I used to spend hours listening to busy signals while the old 2400 baud modem would keep cycling through the various local WWIV BBSes like Final Fantasy X, Starpoint Technology Station, and dozens of other systems I can’t even remember anymore. I was once known as “MIDIMaster” – a co-sysop on FFX, and host of my own DragonNET forum “MIDIMaster’s Rock vs. Rap” where I’d basically blast any rap song because it wasn’t up to the caliber of anything that Boston had done. I went to my share of BBSing events and was heavily into the community aspect of BBSing, even briefly dating a fellow BBSer for a very short (like 1 day) period of time. I can honestly say that the group of people I met at the blogger picnic yesterday were NOTHING like the BBSing crowd that I met, which were much more the stereotypical nerds that Steve was hinting at in his article (myself included, during that time period). That probably contributed to my hesitance to become part of another online community.

Like I said in the article, though, the social networking aspect just comes with the territory. The first time that you link yourself to someone else’s blog, you’re inserting yourself as a member of the blogging community. I feel that if I’m going to link and be linked to, then I’d like to know the people behind the screen. I’ve always been of the mindset that if I haven’t met you in-person, I can’t call you a friend or really even say that “I know that person.” Blogging, to me, is a way to write and propogate ideas, not to interact. In the online medium, concurring, expanding upon, or contradicting other’s ideas is the norm. Interaction is done in-person.

It was great meeting all of you. I’ll be looking forward to the next get-together where the interaction can continue!

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