Summary: a real ramble (sorry) on how online social media makes me feel like there’s less than six-degrees of separation…
I blog. I use WordPress . I use a theme called K2 . I went to a site today to download the latest version of a blog plug-in called flickrRSS that I use on several of my blogs. While I’m there I notice a modifed K2 theme called Fork that looks cool. I click on the image of the theme and I notice a comment on the theme from a flickr member who calls himself SoFlaChris
“I use it on my site… it’s killer. See blog.maltese.net“.
Given the name of his flickr screen name I know he’s in my neck of the woods in South Florida so I click on his link so I can see the Fork theme in action. By the way, here’s another modified K2 theme I really like that I am now using on a blog I just started yesterday (it’s about my four kids and raising them as a part-time stay-at-home dad / part-time entrepreneur).
So SoFlaChris is also Chris::Wired . He blogs, he uses WordPress, and the modified K2 theme called Fork, and he has some of the same interests that Shannon and I have like Motorcycles (we used to have a 2002 HD Fatboy and lust after all sorts of other alternatives). He has a pic of his new VW golf on his site and I think about the VW GTi that I just sold a couple of months ago and how I really like the latest version . I notice he has a lot of stuff about weather on his blog. I have a blog called abigwind about hurricane protection. I notice Chris has recently been interviewed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about his home weather station. The article is no longer live in the Sun-Sentinel’s archives (they drop off after two weeks) but I find a cached version via Google – fun article. I need to link to his site from our hurricane blog.
Anyway, the guy who interviewed the blog author (Chris Maltese) for the Sun-Sentinel is the guy who I’ve corresponded with a number of times about hurricane related stories — Josh Frank , who writes their hurricane blog. Speaking of which, I STILL have to follow up on a prior story of mine that I had suggested Josh write as I now have a lot more information from an expert interview that I conducted with Dr. Tim Reinhold (the article I have to still write is about the efficacy of various plywood materials and the best methods of their installation). And though I haven’t had much of a chance to investigate it, Chris had a bunch of headlines on his blog that referred to Australia and New Zealand which made me think he may be from there. But, from reading his bio he sounds like a New Yorker so perhaps we don’t have Australia in common after all.
Weirdness…the virtual world of the blogosphere connects to real life in all sorts of interesting ways. A couple of months ago we discovered we were right down the road from a delightful fellow blogger who is in the recruitment space (jobs/employers/job seekers/stuff that supports same) that Shannon and I write about on via EXCELER8ion. I’m out of breath. That was a link-full now wasn’t it?
What’s the point?
Even though it’s my business to use blogs and other online tools to connect people I’m still amazed when it happens to me. I find it to be a very rewarding and compelling experience. Online tools like blogs, search engines and myriad other social networking sites can connect seemingly random (and not) people, interests, and data with each other and they can intersect in equally pleasing and random (and not) ways. Without my interest in blogs I would have not found Ami or Chris. I may never meet Chris but he knows about me now because I linked to him, and we are connected now. That may be the extent of it. With Ami, we eventually arranged dinner and had a great time (after all, there were pre-existing similar interests). Soon, Shannon and I will be out for our second dinner with Ami and we can’t wait. Perhaps he’ll even talk his wife into coming along on this round.
Shannon sent me an article today about how some highly popular bloggers are starting to see the limitations with the medium. I could identify with some of what the popular bloggers were saying. It’s easy to get carried away with ourselves when our ego runs roughshod over our original purposes for blogging. At least it is for me. But, most of the time (when I’m not being a wanker) I use my blogs to connect with people, to think more clearly, for therapy, for entertainment, to make money, to make connections in my head about indisciminate thoughts and ideas, to connect in a richer way with the life that I am participating in, to the community out there in the world that I want to be part of, to gain more expertise, to make new friends and professional associates, and more. And it’s not about dry humping your computer – the big wins come when we make connections in the real world.Â When I think about how blogs have enriched my life, both personally, financially and professionally, both online and offline I just can’t see much down side. I know these thoughts of mine (ramblings obviously) don’t seem particularly well articulated. And since this is my personal blog, and I allow myself the freedom to publish un-edited brain***** in this forum, I’ll let this go into the ether in the hope that it will inspire greater thinking on my part, and interaction with people like you, who surely have an opinion or some useful thoughts to add. Do let me know.