I Met Internet People
I have to say that some of the best times I've had have been with people I have met online. So many people are very "stand-offish" about the whole idea, but I have always welcomed the opportunity to meet online friends. Sure it's a risk, but it's a chance to finally put a face, voice and personality to an instant message window. What's interesting about this area is that it happens so much, that people start believing that "yeah, we met online - but we hang out like every friday." And there is literally some geek function every week to keep these guys going. But no, I'm not a geek. As I say that I hear, "remember, the first step is denial." in my head.
Well I threw myself into this whole fiasco, starting with the Blog Business Summit last month. Not only did I meet some crazy people, I got my first fill of a "celebration of geekery." It was like a "Hollywood" party for bloggers, but I had no idea who anybody was, which makes it vastly different than Hollywood. Names of people whose sites I passed along, whose pictures I laughed at and whose content I balked at were all there. Yet, I didn't feel compelled to meet any of them (except Mike Davidson). I guess you're more inclined to meet somebody that's on your blogroll. cough cough The fun didn't stop there either. In the past few days I went to the SuperHappyDevHouse, Flock's "World Headquarters" and the Flickr Fiesta. Seeing people that went to both events made me think, and here's what I came up with (note that I use the word geek in a very relaxed way:
- People's memories are always worse than yours.
- One conversation does not a memory make. Many a time I'd tap a person I talked to previously to say hello, only to get the "you're fucked up" face followed by the "i don't think we've met" polite remark.
- The popularity hierarchy of my high school years seems to be replicated with "geek" gatherings.
- To follow up the above remark, people are very prone to cliques.
- When geeks don't want to talk to you, they don't do it subtly or they do a really bad job of it.
- To follow up the above remark, geeks try to have good social skills, but only with other geeks.
- In addition to religion and politics, you can add "personal life" or "life outside the net" to the list of "things never to talk to a geek about" because they don't have one. If they do, they're special and you should quickly add them to your buddy list.
- In addition to the above, if you can start to talk about things that are "non-geeky" then you more than likely have a friendship with that person.
- There are people who I have met online, then met offline, than refrained from ever wanting to meet them offline again. AIM in those cases is a cherished posession.
- Smaller events are better, so are longer events. Smaller events = less cliques. Longer events = more time to mingle.
- Whenever I type, ":D" or "o_O;" online, I'm more than likely look like that offline. (Either I'm smiling or dumbfounded, pick one.) After meeting certain people, it's hard to envision them typing";)", since now you know what they look like and would never want them winking at you like that.
- Getting added to a "real" blogroll seems to be a big thing, because that dictates who geeks talk to offline.
- Geeks like to excessively drink and try to have fun saying "AJAX" or "Getting Railed on Rubies".
- Geeks who act like this make you wonder if they have a sex life. Then you quickly forget about it since it's such a icky thought.
- As a final thought, geeks love goatse. (Don't worry, it's work safe.) So although I probably am a geek, I'm sure if you ask the people that have met me, I fit into very few of the negative stigmas listed above. On the contrary, it's usually me that gets shunned by fellow geeks, which feels very much like how I was treated in elementary school. Well, besides
the Flock crew and the squad that greeted me on my entrance into San Jose, i haven't met most of my best online buddies. That's going to change when Jen and I make our way to SXSW early next year. I'll be taking my observations and applying them on a larger scale, so if you see a Filipino and his Mexican fiance stranded on a corner somewhere in Austin, you'll know what happened.