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The entry below is classified as a LEGACY post, meaning that it was written (well) before the current version of Avalonstar was released. Although these posts have survived the numerous moves over years, there is no guarantee that they've survived the trip unscathed (especially the links).
LEGACY

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:

  1. People's memories are always worse than yours.
  2. 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.
  3. The popularity hierarchy of my high school years seems to be replicated with "geek" gatherings.
  4. To follow up the above remark, people are very prone to cliques.
  5. When geeks don't want to talk to you, they don't do it subtly or they do a really bad job of it.
  6. To follow up the above remark, geeks try to have good social skills, but only with other geeks.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Smaller events are better, so are longer events. Smaller events = less cliques. Longer events = more time to mingle.
  11. 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.
  12. Getting added to a "real" blogroll seems to be a big thing, because that dictates who geeks talk to offline.
  13. Geeks like to excessively drink and try to have fun saying "AJAX" or "Getting Railed on Rubies".
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

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