Monday, October 08, 2007

From Cyberspace to reality

Another guest post by (shades of) Grey

Welshcakes has met up with two other bloggers in Wales this afternoon, an event so significant that it even has its own blog here!.

Meeting up is a strange experience and I have three cyberspace scenarios to share.

The first one was actually a Ham Radio meet up when I lived in Maidenhead in the mid 80s. Out of the blue, someone who I knew slightly on the air asked to meet up in a Pub with his Fiance'. I was rather suspicious of this but it actually turned out to be perfectly benign. His motive was to convince his future Wife that Amateur Radio people weren't all sad anoraks and he thought that I sounded the most normal one of the bunch. It was a calculated risk on his part as I might have turned up wearing a Parka and carrying a Thermos. All I can recall of the evening now was that his future Wife was very nice and that he worked for British Rail in catering management. (He assured me that BR sandwiches were fresher than M&S ones).

The second meet-up was ten years ago, a Coronation Street trip to Granada TV Studios, organised by the online USENET fan club, R.A.T.U.C.S. (which stood for This was an entertaining afternoon and an opportunity to put lots of names to faces, particularly Mike Plowman who used to post a screen-grab review of each show that had a cult following, particularly by some of the Granada TV writers. (Background here, photo below, I'm in the back row to the right in front of Graham, the Guy with the glasses who is a Corrie Guru. Karen is to my left, she is the Fan, not me).

The third meet-up was with a number of Disney obsessives at Disneyland, triggered by rec.arts.disney.parks, another USENET meet of RADPers. This was a more diverse bunch but we still had an interesting time and we met a couple of legendary Disney onliners, particularly Al Lutz.

So what are these events like? Never entirely as expected. People are generally shorter or older in real life than the photo personas suggest. A common interest helps but I've met a couple of people this way that I'd hate to work with or wouldn't dream of socialising with.

I'd like to meet up with lots of Bloggers that I read regularly, both in and out of Blogpower. Sadly, for many of them, it is unlikely, even in second life.


jmb said...

Interesting post Ian which ties in perfectly with today for Welshcakes.

I belonged for years to a listserv group (200 strong)which discussed Dorothy Dunnett's work. There was a conference every few years in Edinburgh (which sadly I never got to) but we often met each other in little local groups and when we visited each other's cities. It was great fun and we hardly discussed DD at all but seemed to enjoy each other's company.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks for this interesting post, Shades. You're right in that people are never quite as you would expect them to be - in my case in Bristol last week they were even better! There are so may bloggers I'd like to meet!


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