Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To Judge a Reader by their Book(s)

I used to make fun of people who met on the internet.  If you were to tell me five years ago, that you met your sweet spouse or best friend via one of the internet's social spots, I would have stared at you blankly.  Then I'd have a good pee shiver and say to myself, "that's creepy." 

Turns out I have a handful of great friends who -- brace yourself -- have all been met through this here social spot called the blogger.  I've gone from eye-ball-rolling and "that's creepy," to gaze-up-at-the heavens and "that's wonderful!"  (Grammatically, that sentence blew giant chunks, but oh well.  It's stayin.)

The first time I met one of my internet blogger buddies in person, the Spouse cocked one of his eyebrows and looked at me sideways.  He was sure I had lost it (more.)  Now I can say something like "next week I'm flying to New Zealand to meet Charlotte," and Spouse will say "Oh, okay," then go back to inhaling whatever grub I've thrown before him.  He might even add something like, "The hunting is great there.  You should see about getting a permit before you go."

Internet friends are business-as-usual now.

(By the way, I've learned that there are many who take me too literally, like my Mom.  Therefore it is necessary to clarify that, no, I'm not psychotic enough to drop everything for a stranger in New Zealand.  I might, however, be brave and meet someone in Payson.)

A couple of weeks ago, I had complained in this post that I was tired of skiing alone.   And wouldn't you know, a comment was left by Makell.  She mentioned that she felt the same and wanted to get a group of girls together for skiing throughout the year.  I thought that was a great idea.  However, I'm not so keen on strangers, really.  Even though I have great friends with whom I've met in the intersphere, we usually e-mail for about, oh, say, a whole year before meeting in person.

And so it was, that I spent some time performing "research" on this Makell person.  I read her blog for a while one night.  I thought, "She's smart, that's for sure.  She's very pretty, that's for sure.  She seems fun, that's for sure.  But can I spend a whole day with her?"

This is when I discovered her Shelfari  Do you know Shelfari?  This Shelfari stuff is new to me.  Basically it's like facebook for readers.  Kind of.  But not really.  You create an account on this Shelfari thing and report what books you've read, the book(s) you are currently reading as well as the books you intend to read.

After rummaging through Makell's book selections on Shelfari, it was clear that I could, without a doubt, spend a whole day with her.

Which brings up an interesting point, can you judge a person by their blog?  The verdict is still out on that one for you never know if the blogger is being honest or if they are just plain full of crap (like me.)  What I have learned, however, is that you can judge a reader by their books. 

Makell and I skied on Tuesday.  She's a keeper.



Rachel said...

I'll admit I will pass judgement based on the books someone has read. If someone declares that Twilight is the best book they've ever read (and I have read it, so I am not passing judgement on something I know nothing about), our chances for a strong friendship are a little shaky :)

rabidrunner said...

Twilight is my favorite! (kidding)

Makell said...

Well I'm all teary eyed now! I didn't have Shelfari to convince me that I thought we could be friends. No, I only had your wickedly funny but equally clever and articulate blog that I kept finding myself reading! You are even better in person. And a dang good skier. And beautiful. And very interesting. And a ton of fun. And smart. And, And, And.. Just really cool.
(And I'm glad you didn't think I was a psycho! :)
Thanks for the shout out!

Winder said...

Ok, Delmar needs to move me back to the other county. I am going to loose my BFF to all these fantastic internet folk. :)

Winder said...

Seriously, I love her Shelfari it looks a lot like my shelf at home. Maybe I can just ride on your friend making coattails. Not skiing though.

Ski Bike Junkie said...

(this may get long, but it's my internet friends story, and there's something hopefully worthwhile at the end)

Five years ago, I didn't read blogs, much less write them. Then one day I was checking my hotmail, and there was a link to this fat cyclist blog as the MSN featured blog of the day. I clicked on it and was hooked.

Fast forward a bit, and I found myself in Moab the same time Fatty and Kenny were doing the Kokopelli trail race. So we met at the finish. The next week Elden and I met up again to go mtn biking.

A year later, I started a blog, and because I commented on Fatty's, a few of his readers started reading mine. Also about this same time, Kenny (whom I'd met once) agreed to let me come on his white rim ride. I met dug and rick and brad and a bunch of the other core team, too.

Fast forward another year, and i'm looking for a job in Utah. The guy I carpooled to white rim with had started reading my blog and pointed one of his friends to it. This friend told me to forward him a resume.

Long story short, I got hired by this company, I bought a house in dug's and rick's neighborhood, I started skiing and riding with those guys, and well, here I am. The guys I ski and ride with that aren't from the neighborhood are mostly people I've met through my blog or theirs.

So yeah, I have no qualms about internet friends. And if you and your spouse want to come to our place for dinner sometime (you can even bring yahoos), we'd be happy to host you. Because internet/blog friends have turned out to be a way, way good thing in our lives.

Also, I was thrilled to know that women DO get pee shivers. My wife claims she never gets them, so I wondered if it was a guy thing (I have sisters, but I'm not asking them about that).

rabidrunner said...

Holy smokes SBJ we'd be honored (unless your comment arriving on April 1 is for a reason), then perhaps we could treat you and yours to a day of skiing. (We happen to be somewhat connected.)