The Blogger IS Real…But Even Better IRL

Don’t know what IRL means? Don’t worry. I’ll explain.

There’s been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about Mindcrushes and Blogcrushes and whether what you see is what you get with either one. Is the infatuation with bloggers who speak to our soul just a passing fancy based on projected images of perfection? Are the recipients of our affection real and worthy? Or as many of our less tech-savvy friends and family may wonder, are they just mysterious constructed “others” swirling around a crazy Wild Wild West Internet vortex?

I propose that the Blogger IS real

Just not the way you picture him or her. First, the caveat stated so eloquently by Derek Shanahan in his post, The Blogger is Not Real. Derek describes the fallacy of thinking you know someone from reading their blog. He says, “We, as authors, bloggers…we are not who our blogs say we are. We are not what the reader sees.” I agree wholeheartedly. No matter how much I reveal here, how many pictures and videos I post, how often I tweet – you won’t really know me until you meet me in person.

But here’s what I do want you to know: despite the fact that you can’t truly “know me” without meeting me in person, I am real! I sit here typing and darting my fingers around my keyboard just like all of you. I have feelings, insecurities, and identity crisis’ with the best of ’em. And who is to say that people we interact with everyday truly “know us” anyway? I feel more seen and understood by people – especially other bloggers and tweeters – than I have in my whole life. There are many times I actually feel more ME on the Internet than I do at social events in real life (abbreviated as IRL for those of you still wondering).

Take a Leap! Talk live or meet in person when the opportunity strikes

I feel incredibly blessed when I meet or talk to people I’ve met online in real life – whether in person or on the phone. During my recent trip to New York City, I had the great fortune of meeting up with six (count them, six!) blogging friends. We had cupcakes at Magnolia bakery, breakfast at Google, coffee at Starbucks and danced on a bar in the Meatpacking District (videos are NSFW and thus will not be posted here). My co-workers looked at me a little sideways when I told them I was meeting up with “strangers” after work (their word, not mine). I loved every minute of it.

Is the blogger as you know him or her real?

Not the version you’ve constructed. But are your connections real? Hell yes. And when you get the awesome opportunity to meet one in person, will they be different from how you pictured? Always. But hopefully in that fun, exciting 2D-comes-to-life kind of way. You’re probably sick of me saying this, but meeting in real life (over a red velvet cupcake) is how I met the hilariously fabulous Jamie Varon (look At, I didn’t describe you as lovely!) – who is now one of my closest friends…wait for it…IRL!

The message I tweeted earlier sums up my feelings well: all these amazing connections give me the sudden urge to run around the internet hugging people I’ve never met in real life. So to those of you still reading: come in for the real thing!

{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

Walter November 18, 2009 at 6:48 am

I have heard about this IRL but I’ve got no idea what it is. And for this I thank you a lot.

We are very real and like everyone else, we share the same vulnerabilities. Part of us is expressed in our compositions.

It always feels good to connect with someone. :-)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Walter – thanks for stopping by! It’s definitely great to connect with people – and even though online conversations miss some of the nuance of body language and tone of voice, they are still incredibly fulfilling (or at least I speak for myself).

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Walter November 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I have heard about this IRL but I’ve got no idea what it is. And for this I thank you a lot.

We are very real and like everyone else, we share the same vulnerabilities. Part of us is expressed in our compositions.

It always feels good to connect with someone. :-)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

Walter – thanks for stopping by! It’s definitely great to connect with people – and even though online conversations miss some of the nuance of body language and tone of voice, they are still incredibly fulfilling (or at least I speak for myself).

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TOPolk November 18, 2009 at 7:25 am

I know that I’ve already expressed my approval of this post via Twitter, but I know how much bloggers like comments. :) Dunno if/when I’ll ever make it back to the West Coast, but here’s to our paths crossing IRL one day.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm

TO! Great to see you here – I think an IRL meeting is definitely in order some day…you were one of my first Twitter friends and faithful blog commenters! I hope all is well with you – glad you enjoyed the post ๐Ÿ˜€

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TOPolk November 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I know that I’ve already expressed my approval of this post via Twitter, but I know how much bloggers like comments. :) Dunno if/when I’ll ever make it back to the West Coast, but here’s to our paths crossing IRL one day.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 9:49 am

TO! Great to see you here – I think an IRL meeting is definitely in order some day…you were one of my first Twitter friends and faithful blog commenters! I hope all is well with you – glad you enjoyed the post ๐Ÿ˜€

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Ryan November 18, 2009 at 11:53 am

First off, we fail IRL for not taking a picture.

With that being said I agree 100% with Derek’s post and you assessment. Even if you can’t meet IRL pick up the phone and have a chat and get out from behind the keyboard.

It was luck that I happened to be in NYC when you were there, but so great to meet up at Google. A 30 min conversation about life and what we believe in cannot be matched by an endless amount of blog posts, emails, but now when we met IRL those tools can be used to strengthen the connection since we did make that ‘human’ face to face connection.

Great post IRL friend. =) Here’s to NYC.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 5:51 pm

RYAN! I know – major fail. What on earth were we thinking?? It was so fun to meet you in person – I feel lucky that our paths crossed in NYC; I was so impressed by your energy, drive and positivity.

You’re absolutely right – all those other tools/formats help build the connection in the first place, then strengthen it even more when you throw an IRL meeting into the mix. So when and where are we gonna do our next Tri? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Ryan November 18, 2009 at 3:53 am

First off, we fail IRL for not taking a picture.

With that being said I agree 100% with Derek’s post and you assessment. Even if you can’t meet IRL pick up the phone and have a chat and get out from behind the keyboard.

It was luck that I happened to be in NYC when you were there, but so great to meet up at Google. A 30 min conversation about life and what we believe in cannot be matched by an endless amount of blog posts, emails, but now when we met IRL those tools can be used to strengthen the connection since we did make that ‘human’ face to face connection.

Great post IRL friend. =) Here’s to NYC.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 9:51 am

RYAN! I know – major fail. What on earth were we thinking?? It was so fun to meet you in person – I feel lucky that our paths crossed in NYC; I was so impressed by your energy, drive and positivity.

You’re absolutely right – all those other tools/formats help build the connection in the first place, then strengthen it even more when you throw an IRL meeting into the mix. So when and where are we gonna do our next Tri? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Jamie November 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm

And who is to say that people we interact with everyday truly โ€œknow usโ€ anyway?

I’ve had people IRL be surprised when they found out I blog. Or that I have a company. FRIENDS OF MINE.

If people don’t follow my blog or my tweets or know I have a company, they don’t know me at all. By that definition, there are about 700-1000 (give or take) people that know me a whole hell of a lot better than IRL friends.

But, like you Jenny, I want to bring my online friends into my IRL life. There are plenty of people I talk to online that I would LOVE to meet, but only because it would be so fun (Nicole, Sydney, Lisa, to name a few). The only thing that would change if I met them IRL is that I’d wake up with a terrible hangover.

I think when we are being true to ourselves and can trust that others are doing so as well, then meeting IRL is just the next step. But, not being able to meet IRL doesn’t make the friendship any less real or meaningful. In fact, sometimes it makes it even more so.

I think I’m rambling. I love you to death and I can’t wait to see you!!

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm

GIRRRRRRL! Your post today about Girl Crushes had me grinning from ear to ear. There is so much love in the air – I just can’t FREAKING get enough! Thank you for the amazing things you said.

You make a GREAT point – that not being able to meet IRL doesn’t make the friendship any less real or meaningful. It’s a gift either way.

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Jamie November 18, 2009 at 4:23 am

And who is to say that people we interact with everyday truly โ€œknow usโ€ anyway?

I’ve had people IRL be surprised when they found out I blog. Or that I have a company. FRIENDS OF MINE.

If people don’t follow my blog or my tweets or know I have a company, they don’t know me at all. By that definition, there are about 700-1000 (give or take) people that know me a whole hell of a lot better than IRL friends.

But, like you Jenny, I want to bring my online friends into my IRL life. There are plenty of people I talk to online that I would LOVE to meet, but only because it would be so fun (Nicole, Sydney, Lisa, to name a few). The only thing that would change if I met them IRL is that I’d wake up with a terrible hangover.

I think when we are being true to ourselves and can trust that others are doing so as well, then meeting IRL is just the next step. But, not being able to meet IRL doesn’t make the friendship any less real or meaningful. In fact, sometimes it makes it even more so.

I think I’m rambling. I love you to death and I can’t wait to see you!!

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

GIRRRRRRL! Your post today about Girl Crushes had me grinning from ear to ear. There is so much love in the air – I just can’t FREAKING get enough! Thank you for the amazing things you said.

You make a GREAT point – that not being able to meet IRL doesn’t make the friendship any less real or meaningful. It’s a gift either way.

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Elisa November 18, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I feel like jumping up with my hands in the air and shouting “preach it sister” but I think that might be silly and only something a lame “on-line person” would do. ๐Ÿ˜›

I agree so much with your observations on both sides of the coin. While the most genuine people DO put themselves out there, it is only bits and pieces of them. And there is little conversation. Sure a few comment replies back and forth, but nothing that TRULY means you KNOW someone. It’s like reading a book and assuming you KNOW the author because of it. You’ve seen a bit of them, but you don’t KNOW them.

That is why it is IMPERATIVE that when you meet people in this little online world that you feel a connection with (say, for example, a girl who is so freakishly your twin brained kindred spirit but HAPPENS to live on the most opposite coast in America) you have to make an effort to take your ONLINE friendship into an IRL status. Sure, you may not be able to meetup over cupcakes at first, but even just phone calls or chats or anything to know someone in more than just snippets of email and blogs.

PS – When you and I finally do meet I am sure of two things: 1.) God help whomever is around us (James, if we do a Brazen Meetup this will be you!)
2.) I’m pretty sure I’m gonna tear up when I have to say goodbye and go back to my Atlantic Coast existence. :)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Elisa!!! I should have worked our Skype Slumber party into the post – that was seriously one of the highlights of my entire weekend! Two freakishly twin brained kindred spirits in the same place, IRL? TROUBLE for sure. I can’t wait! I know that day will come sooner than later…

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Elisa November 18, 2009 at 7:18 am

I feel like jumping up with my hands in the air and shouting “preach it sister” but I think that might be silly and only something a lame “on-line person” would do. ๐Ÿ˜›

I agree so much with your observations on both sides of the coin. While the most genuine people DO put themselves out there, it is only bits and pieces of them. And there is little conversation. Sure a few comment replies back and forth, but nothing that TRULY means you KNOW someone. It’s like reading a book and assuming you KNOW the author because of it. You’ve seen a bit of them, but you don’t KNOW them.

That is why it is IMPERATIVE that when you meet people in this little online world that you feel a connection with (say, for example, a girl who is so freakishly your twin brained kindred spirit but HAPPENS to live on the most opposite coast in America) you have to make an effort to take your ONLINE friendship into an IRL status. Sure, you may not be able to meetup over cupcakes at first, but even just phone calls or chats or anything to know someone in more than just snippets of email and blogs.

PS – When you and I finally do meet I am sure of two things: 1.) God help whomever is around us (James, if we do a Brazen Meetup this will be you!)
2.) I’m pretty sure I’m gonna tear up when I have to say goodbye and go back to my Atlantic Coast existence. :)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

Elisa!!! I should have worked our Skype Slumber party into the post – that was seriously one of the highlights of my entire weekend! Two freakishly twin brained kindred spirits in the same place, IRL? TROUBLE for sure. I can’t wait! I know that day will come sooner than later…

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Jeremy November 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I consider myself fortunate to have known you IRL before the blog and I would just like to add that through your blog our friendship has become richer. It has allowed us the vehicle to say those things that your average friends (especially a man and a woman) never get to say. The two (blog/tweets and IRL) together, make for a true sense of JB that anyone would be lucky to experience.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Jeremy – your comment is so touching. Thank you. You make a great point – blogging really has strengthened our relationship and given us such a great jumping off point for deep conversations about life and love and everything inbetween. I’m lucky to have you as a reader and a real-life friend. It really is the best of both worlds.

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Jeremy November 18, 2009 at 7:31 am

I consider myself fortunate to have known you IRL before the blog and I would just like to add that through your blog our friendship has become richer. It has allowed us the vehicle to say those things that your average friends (especially a man and a woman) never get to say. The two (blog/tweets and IRL) together, make for a true sense of JB that anyone would be lucky to experience.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 9:58 am

Jeremy – your comment is so touching. Thank you. You make a great point – blogging really has strengthened our relationship and given us such a great jumping off point for deep conversations about life and love and everything inbetween. I’m lucky to have you as a reader and a real-life friend. It really is the best of both worlds.

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Sydney Owen November 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

One – AMEN!!!

Two – AMEN AGAIN!

Three – for real, the way we’re all diving into this mind/blog/IRLcrush stuff is SO FUN! I can’t handle the madness!

Four – Hello, my name is Sydney and I’m like the walking, IRL proof that everything you’re saying up there is totally true. I wrote a big fat post about it today that I won’t flood your comments with but SERIOUSLY OMG Jenny – you’re spot-freakin-on. Not only did I get to learn more about myself last night, but more importantly, I met someone who gets it and will definitely help me grow as a person – no matter what capacity he takes in my little world.

Five – how much are flights to CA these days? One thing I learned last night is that come February – people in Chicago are borderline suicidal – I might need to come visit to escape that mentality – since I’m Miss Merryweather Sunshine over here.

LOVE THIS! LOVE YOU! AMEN!

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:01 pm

SYDNEY!!! Between your posts this week, DShan’s and Jamie’s, I just want to run around pumping my fists in the air with you!!! It is all so fun. Your comment gave me the biggest smile – you MUST get out to CA ASAP!

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Sydney Owen November 18, 2009 at 8:28 am

One – AMEN!!!

Two – AMEN AGAIN!

Three – for real, the way we’re all diving into this mind/blog/IRLcrush stuff is SO FUN! I can’t handle the madness!

Four – Hello, my name is Sydney and I’m like the walking, IRL proof that everything you’re saying up there is totally true. I wrote a big fat post about it today that I won’t flood your comments with but SERIOUSLY OMG Jenny – you’re spot-freakin-on. Not only did I get to learn more about myself last night, but more importantly, I met someone who gets it and will definitely help me grow as a person – no matter what capacity he takes in my little world.

Five – how much are flights to CA these days? One thing I learned last night is that come February – people in Chicago are borderline suicidal – I might need to come visit to escape that mentality – since I’m Miss Merryweather Sunshine over here.

LOVE THIS! LOVE YOU! AMEN!

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:01 am

SYDNEY!!! Between your posts this week, DShan’s and Jamie’s, I just want to run around pumping my fists in the air with you!!! It is all so fun. Your comment gave me the biggest smile – you MUST get out to CA ASAP!

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DShan November 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Well shit, Jenny, now we have to be friends.

This is spot on. The reactions to my original post were pretty incredible, and the fact that people are still thinking about it makes me want to yell at everyone in this coffee shop that they should start blogging and maybe start juggling scones. I feel like the internet is juggling scones right now. I love scones.

There is absolutely no question that the integrity of the connections you can make on these platforms is genuine and defensible. I love Jeremy’s comment; a person who’s known you stating that this expression actually enriches an offline relationship. My point was never that what we’re doing here lacks authenticity or involves any real smokescreens…what I left out of my musing was what you so eloquently proposed; taking our connections into the real world FILLS IN THE GAPS. It dresses this whole endeavor (namely, being human, happy, engaged, and surrounded by super cool people) in a dose of complete-ness.

Killer, killer post. Really.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

DShan! Great to have you here. I know that we can only say so much in one post – and I thought yours was a BRILLIANT start to the conversation. The part of your comment about juggling scones had me rolling on the floor! You are hilarious!

Love what you said about how taking relationships into the real world just helps fill in the gaps – thanks so much for inspiring this post and for adding your thoughts!

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DShan November 18, 2009 at 9:00 am

Well shit, Jenny, now we have to be friends.

This is spot on. The reactions to my original post were pretty incredible, and the fact that people are still thinking about it makes me want to yell at everyone in this coffee shop that they should start blogging and maybe start juggling scones. I feel like the internet is juggling scones right now. I love scones.

There is absolutely no question that the integrity of the connections you can make on these platforms is genuine and defensible. I love Jeremy’s comment; a person who’s known you stating that this expression actually enriches an offline relationship. My point was never that what we’re doing here lacks authenticity or involves any real smokescreens…what I left out of my musing was what you so eloquently proposed; taking our connections into the real world FILLS IN THE GAPS. It dresses this whole endeavor (namely, being human, happy, engaged, and surrounded by super cool people) in a dose of complete-ness.

Killer, killer post. Really.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:06 am

DShan! Great to have you here. I know that we can only say so much in one post – and I thought yours was a BRILLIANT start to the conversation. The part of your comment about juggling scones had me rolling on the floor! You are hilarious!

Love what you said about how taking relationships into the real world just helps fill in the gaps – thanks so much for inspiring this post and for adding your thoughts!

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David November 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm

You want to run around the Internet hugging people? You mean like a hugwhore? The good news is you can’t catch an STD from doing that, but you CAN catch H1N1! So be careful, my little hugwhore. Only give out hugs to those that deserve the warmth of your cupcake embrace.

Now on a more serious note, I love this post! I want to hug this post. You stole the words out of my head and put them here. Damn you for that…and thank you for that.

This post ReTweet worthy! (throws sprinkles in the air in lieu of confetti to celebrate the awesomeness that is you)

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David November 18, 2009 at 9:04 am

You want to run around the Internet hugging people? You mean like a hugwhore? The good news is you can’t catch an STD from doing that, but you CAN catch H1N1! So be careful, my little hugwhore. Only give out hugs to those that deserve the warmth of your cupcake embrace.

Now on a more serious note, I love this post! I want to hug this post. You stole the words out of my head and put them here. Damn you for that…and thank you for that.

This post ReTweet worthy! (throws sprinkles in the air in lieu of confetti to celebrate the awesomeness that is you)

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David November 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Almost forgot to ask…do you mind if I link to your blog from mine? It seems like a “Noteworthy Blog” that should be noted for my readers to check out.

Although if that’s the blog equivalent of 2nd base and I’m moving too fast for you, just let me know and I’ll slow my roll. Cool? Ok. Knucklebump.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

David Stehle – what am I going to do with you?? Wait – don’t answer that. I know how your mind works.

Hopefully I won’t catch any H1N1 from hug-whoring on the Internet. Plus, I love germs! (see: list of 100)

I about died when you talked about throwing sprinkles in the air in lieu of confetti – it made me want to go to blog second base with you.

PS – One more knucklebump comment and I’ll have to smack you with these precious little knuckles of mine!

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David November 18, 2009 at 7:26 pm

One word – knucklebump.

(Wait, I lied. Two words today. The second is cupcake.)

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David November 18, 2009 at 9:06 am

Almost forgot to ask…do you mind if I link to your blog from mine? It seems like a “Noteworthy Blog” that should be noted for my readers to check out.

Although if that’s the blog equivalent of 2nd base and I’m moving too fast for you, just let me know and I’ll slow my roll. Cool? Ok. Knucklebump.

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

David Stehle – what am I going to do with you?? Wait – don’t answer that. I know how your mind works.

Hopefully I won’t catch any H1N1 from hug-whoring on the Internet. Plus, I love germs! (see: list of 100)

I about died when you talked about throwing sprinkles in the air in lieu of confetti – it made me want to go to blog second base with you.

PS – One more knucklebump comment and I’ll have to smack you with these precious little knuckles of mine!

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David November 18, 2009 at 11:26 am

One word – knucklebump.

(Wait, I lied. Two words today. The second is cupcake.)

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JR Moreau November 18, 2009 at 5:09 pm

My thoughts on people who say I’m not REALLY real:

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”~Lil’ John

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm

YES. This blog post is a success now that you’ve brought Lil’ John into the mix.

It’s been great catching up on the phone – can’t wait until you make it out to Cali for some sailing with @JeremyOrr!

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JR Moreau November 18, 2009 at 9:09 am

My thoughts on people who say I’m not REALLY real:

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”~Lil’ John

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:14 am

YES. This blog post is a success now that you’ve brought Lil’ John into the mix.

It’s been great catching up on the phone – can’t wait until you make it out to Cali for some sailing with @JeremyOrr!

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Doniree November 18, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I LOVE this. You and Jamie bonded over cupcakes… Nicole(Antoinette) and I bonded over cheese plates, wine in mason jars, tattoos, dreams of travel, and being able to keep up with each other when we get excited. I’ve met so many wonderful friends via this crazy medium, and ADORE that I’ve met you as well and that we’ve had a chance to actually chat on the phone before. We should do that again. :)
xoxo

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I love it! I am so UNBELIEVABLY excited to meet Nicole when she’s gets out to SF – fun that you guys had such a blast together. I’m so glad we got a chance to connect too – congrats again on finishing yoga teacher training!

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Doniree November 18, 2009 at 9:18 am

I LOVE this. You and Jamie bonded over cupcakes… Nicole(Antoinette) and I bonded over cheese plates, wine in mason jars, tattoos, dreams of travel, and being able to keep up with each other when we get excited. I’ve met so many wonderful friends via this crazy medium, and ADORE that I’ve met you as well and that we’ve had a chance to actually chat on the phone before. We should do that again. :)
xoxo

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

I love it! I am so UNBELIEVABLY excited to meet Nicole when she’s gets out to SF – fun that you guys had such a blast together. I’m so glad we got a chance to connect too – congrats again on finishing yoga teacher training!

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Grace November 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm

YAY! It is really real. It’s still hard for me to explain, but it has been so fulfilling to meet blogging and twitter friends IRL. It opens up this avenue to meet people world wide and I absolutely love it.

This is a great post, it made me smile. Someday we will be meeting soon :)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Hey Grace! Thanks for your comment – you seem to be in the really lucky/awesome position of talking with bloggers as part of your job. I’m sure you’ve met so many people through your blog and Lijit and conferences – how amazing. You were one of my first live convos too – can’t wait until we can actually meet in person! Someday soon for sure ๐Ÿ˜€

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Doniree November 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Yay! And I get to meet you on Sunday! :)

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Sydney Owen November 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm

nobody likes a showoff, D. :)

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Cheila Esquilin November 18, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Yeah, showoff! :( She knows we all want to meet her. :)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 11:32 pm

You guys crack me up! And look at all these smileys…I’m so proud – in that wow-i-really-overuse-emoticons-but-its-okay-cause-you-guys-use-them-too kind of way. ๐Ÿ˜€

Grace November 18, 2009 at 9:35 am

YAY! It is really real. It’s still hard for me to explain, but it has been so fulfilling to meet blogging and twitter friends IRL. It opens up this avenue to meet people world wide and I absolutely love it.

This is a great post, it made me smile. Someday we will be meeting soon :)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:20 am

Hey Grace! Thanks for your comment – you seem to be in the really lucky/awesome position of talking with bloggers as part of your job. I’m sure you’ve met so many people through your blog and Lijit and conferences – how amazing. You were one of my first live convos too – can’t wait until we can actually meet in person! Someday soon for sure ๐Ÿ˜€

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Doniree November 18, 2009 at 11:19 am

Yay! And I get to meet you on Sunday! :)

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Sydney Owen November 18, 2009 at 1:14 pm

nobody likes a showoff, D. :)

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Cheila Esquilin November 18, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Yeah, showoff! :( She knows we all want to meet her. :)

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Jenny November 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm

You guys crack me up! And look at all these smileys…I’m so proud – in that wow-i-really-overuse-emoticons-but-its-okay-cause-you-guys-use-them-too kind of way. ๐Ÿ˜€

Susan Pogorzelski November 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Jenny: This is a GREAT post, and so timely. I think Jamie’s comment really nails it, so I don’t have much more to add except my own experiences. Like you say, I’ve always pretty much maintained that who I am on my blog, twitter, facebook, comments — the social media me — is the real me, but only a small part of that real me. I like to think of it as the deeper part of me — the thinker, the dreamer, the feeler — because the blog is where I get out those deep emotions. Writing, I think has that level to it, allowing you to delve further and really bare your soul. Ok. Corny, I know. But still pretty true.

So that’s one side — probably the more serious side. But who you are on chats, calls, and in-person kind of rounds that out. I love it when bloggers meet — it’s like you get to see the whole person for who they really are. Like you and Jamie both say — there are friends who can really know you IRL, but they might not know the full depth of you. And then there are people online who get that deeper part of you, but might not know the other side. That’s what I love so much about social media — it gives you a better understanding of people and yourself as you add to those layers.

Ok, so maybe I really did have a lot more to say. What I *really* mean to say is this:

Great post, Jenny, and wishing you well!

Reply

Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Hey Susan! Thanks so much for stopping by. I think you’re really onto something in that blogging is where many of us share the deeper aspects of ourselves that we have a harder time vocalizing in person. Not true for everyone of course – but it makes sense that each medium gets a slightly different twist on our personality.

It’s nice to have a balance for how to share/express ourselves – may we all be so lucky as to have people in our lives who really SEE and get all of those layers.

Reply

Susan Pogorzelski November 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

Jenny: This is a GREAT post, and so timely. I think Jamie’s comment really nails it, so I don’t have much more to add except my own experiences. Like you say, I’ve always pretty much maintained that who I am on my blog, twitter, facebook, comments — the social media me — is the real me, but only a small part of that real me. I like to think of it as the deeper part of me — the thinker, the dreamer, the feeler — because the blog is where I get out those deep emotions. Writing, I think has that level to it, allowing you to delve further and really bare your soul. Ok. Corny, I know. But still pretty true.

So that’s one side — probably the more serious side. But who you are on chats, calls, and in-person kind of rounds that out. I love it when bloggers meet — it’s like you get to see the whole person for who they really are. Like you and Jamie both say — there are friends who can really know you IRL, but they might not know the full depth of you. And then there are people online who get that deeper part of you, but might not know the other side. That’s what I love so much about social media — it gives you a better understanding of people and yourself as you add to those layers.

Ok, so maybe I really did have a lot more to say. What I *really* mean to say is this:

Great post, Jenny, and wishing you well!

Reply

Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:27 am

Hey Susan! Thanks so much for stopping by. I think you’re really onto something in that blogging is where many of us share the deeper aspects of ourselves that we have a harder time vocalizing in person. Not true for everyone of course – but it makes sense that each medium gets a slightly different twist on our personality.

It’s nice to have a balance for how to share/express ourselves – may we all be so lucky as to have people in our lives who really SEE and get all of those layers.

Reply

nicole antoinette November 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I’m so excited that we’re going to get to meet up when I’m in SF! Dragging online friends into my offline world is basically my favorite hobby. In fact, I think it’s pretty shockingly safe to say that all of my current best friends are people I originally met through my blog. Madness, right?

Reply

Jenny November 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm

WORD!!! Can’t wait. Seriously – so fun that you make a hobby out of dragging online friends into your offline world, and awesome that you met so many of your friends through your blog! I’ve been following for a while – can’t wait to meet up in SF. ๐Ÿ˜€

Reply

nicole antoinette November 18, 2009 at 9:55 am

I’m so excited that we’re going to get to meet up when I’m in SF! Dragging online friends into my offline world is basically my favorite hobby. In fact, I think it’s pretty shockingly safe to say that all of my current best friends are people I originally met through my blog. Madness, right?

Reply

Jenny November 18, 2009 at 10:24 am

WORD!!! Can’t wait. Seriously – so fun that you make a hobby out of dragging online friends into your offline world, and awesome that you met so many of your friends through your blog! I’ve been following for a while – can’t wait to meet up in SF. ๐Ÿ˜€

Reply

tankboy November 18, 2009 at 6:03 pm

The weird thing is that this fascination with fellow bloggers seems to go in cycles. The last two explosions were right around 2004 or so, when all the NYC kids came on the scene and we all started connecting across the country. And then another wave hit around 2006 when a wave of women suddenly discovered blogging (I still theorize that was could partially be accredited to the chick lit explosion and women’s understanding that even their normal inner lives could have a compelling narrative.)

And the first real explosion in my memory would’ve been right around 2001, but that was more due to blogging starting to catch on outside of tech circles, so I don’t really count that in the whole Mind- / Blogcrush thing.

Reply

DShan November 18, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Tankboy,

That’s a great point. I’d almost suggest this one is fueled by Twitter.

I remember the ‘beginning’ of blogging. That makes me feel old now.

Reply

tankboy November 18, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Twitter has certainly facilitated the current burst of community, but I’d say folks that organize communities around niche groups — cough, cough, ahem! — share a good portion of the credit as well.

And ah, the early days of blogging, when every news story had to trace the semantic path of “weblog” into “blog” and tripped all over itself trying to explain just how they worked since it was such a novel idea!

Reply

Sydney Owen November 18, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I had a Xanga in 03 – where does that put me on the map?

Reply

tankboy November 18, 2009 at 9:03 pm

No.

Of course I’m kidding. It doesn’t matter when you came to embrace the platform, or which location you started out or ended up in, as long as you blog, it puts you on the map, in my book.

Jenny November 18, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Tankboy – sorry I missed your comment earlier! Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by – so true that these types of communities have been evolving for a while now. I remember when I just could NOT wrap my head around the idea of a “weblog” – it seemed so foreign to me, even as a tech-geek/writer person. Love what you said about “as long as you blog it puts you on the map.”

Reply

tankboy November 18, 2009 at 10:03 am

The weird thing is that this fascination with fellow bloggers seems to go in cycles. The last two explosions were right around 2004 or so, when all the NYC kids came on the scene and we all started connecting across the country. And then another wave hit around 2006 when a wave of women suddenly discovered blogging (I still theorize that was could partially be accredited to the chick lit explosion and women’s understanding that even their normal inner lives could have a compelling narrative.)

And the first real explosion in my memory would’ve been right around 2001, but that was more due to blogging starting to catch on outside of tech circles, so I don’t really count that in the whole Mind- / Blogcrush thing.

Reply

DShan November 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Tankboy,

That’s a great point. I’d almost suggest this one is fueled by Twitter.

I remember the ‘beginning’ of blogging. That makes me feel old now.

Reply

tankboy November 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Twitter has certainly facilitated the current burst of community, but I’d say folks that organize communities around niche groups — cough, cough, ahem! — share a good portion of the credit as well.

And ah, the early days of blogging, when every news story had to trace the semantic path of “weblog” into “blog” and tripped all over itself trying to explain just how they worked since it was such a novel idea!

Reply

Sydney Owen November 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I had a Xanga in 03 – where does that put me on the map?

Reply

tankboy November 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm

No.

Of course I’m kidding. It doesn’t matter when you came to embrace the platform, or which location you started out or ended up in, as long as you blog, it puts you on the map, in my book.

Jenny November 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Tankboy – sorry I missed your comment earlier! Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by – so true that these types of communities have been evolving for a while now. I remember when I just could NOT wrap my head around the idea of a “weblog” – it seemed so foreign to me, even as a tech-geek/writer person. Love what you said about “as long as you blog it puts you on the map.”

Reply

Jennie November 19, 2009 at 3:30 am

Jenny-

First off do you people ever call you Jennaayy (Forest Gump circa early 90’s)? They do it to me all.the.time. More importantly, great post.

“I feel more seen and understood by people โ€“ especially other bloggers and tweeters โ€“ than I have in my whole life.”

These are words taken from my own thoughts. I don’t know if it’s because we can connect with way more people on our online network then we can in real life, thus finding people who have similar values or what? But, since entering this whole social media sphere, I’ve never felt so much support, never felt so understood, and never had truly questioned things before. My blogging/tweeting friends have helped me find a passion and I’d love to give them all a *huge* hug for that. I depend on these people and you know what? They’ve come through 100%.

You’re doing great things Jenny, keep it up!

Reply

Jennie November 18, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Jenny-

First off do you people ever call you Jennaayy (Forest Gump circa early 90’s)? They do it to me all.the.time. More importantly, great post.

“I feel more seen and understood by people โ€“ especially other bloggers and tweeters โ€“ than I have in my whole life.”

These are words taken from my own thoughts. I don’t know if it’s because we can connect with way more people on our online network then we can in real life, thus finding people who have similar values or what? But, since entering this whole social media sphere, I’ve never felt so much support, never felt so understood, and never had truly questioned things before. My blogging/tweeting friends have helped me find a passion and I’d love to give them all a *huge* hug for that. I depend on these people and you know what? They’ve come through 100%.

You’re doing great things Jenny, keep it up!

Reply

Andrea November 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Love this post Jenny! I have the privilege of knowing you as a blogger and IRL. Even shared a fun night of your first time eating KFC and cheap wine. And getting lost in south central L.A. and almost got hit and killed by a bus going 100 mph. Good times! For those of you who don’t know Jenny, her blog is awesome, but she is awesome-er in person. Many layers, all fabulous! Miss you! And how do you know Sydney Owen? She stole my daughters name!

Reply

Andrea November 19, 2009 at 9:16 am

Love this post Jenny! I have the privilege of knowing you as a blogger and IRL. Even shared a fun night of your first time eating KFC and cheap wine. And getting lost in south central L.A. and almost got hit and killed by a bus going 100 mph. Good times! For those of you who don’t know Jenny, her blog is awesome, but she is awesome-er in person. Many layers, all fabulous! Miss you! And how do you know Sydney Owen? She stole my daughters name!

Reply

Royce November 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

This is well said, you’re definitely right. Since I agree with most of what you say, let me move on to a slightly bigger question.

What happens when the blogger reaches a really big audience, and taps into an enormous popularity? How do you scale that personal connection with the readership and fan base you develop? At some level you see the problem in a guy like Gary Vaynerhuk, who is at once great with his community while harnessing that larger scale to make money – he wrote a book for his audience to buy, he plans cruises for his audience to attend, he speaks at conference for his fans to see him, he sells wine to people who watch his blogs. And while he interacts with a lot of fans and even quotes them on his blogs frequently, there’s no way he can have the connection with all of them. At what point does the blogger need to become more of a brand than a person, just for the sake of scale?

Reply

Royce November 19, 2009 at 1:48 pm

This is well said, you’re definitely right. Since I agree with most of what you say, let me move on to a slightly bigger question.

What happens when the blogger reaches a really big audience, and taps into an enormous popularity? How do you scale that personal connection with the readership and fan base you develop? At some level you see the problem in a guy like Gary Vaynerhuk, who is at once great with his community while harnessing that larger scale to make money – he wrote a book for his audience to buy, he plans cruises for his audience to attend, he speaks at conference for his fans to see him, he sells wine to people who watch his blogs. And while he interacts with a lot of fans and even quotes them on his blogs frequently, there’s no way he can have the connection with all of them. At what point does the blogger need to become more of a brand than a person, just for the sake of scale?

Reply

Samuel Kim November 20, 2009 at 9:44 pm

wow. this was a really good article. great writing, very thought provoking. I think I tend agree–I’ve been trying to make it in the “blogging” world myself, and have been thinking about that whole dichotomy between “blogging world” and “real world”. It gets especially awkward when my friends read my blogs, because I feel in some weird way I’m exposing myself to my friends in a way that doesn’t feel natural. That’s so strange that that happens.

Reply

Samuel Kim November 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

wow. this was a really good article. great writing, very thought provoking. I think I tend agree–I’ve been trying to make it in the “blogging” world myself, and have been thinking about that whole dichotomy between “blogging world” and “real world”. It gets especially awkward when my friends read my blogs, because I feel in some weird way I’m exposing myself to my friends in a way that doesn’t feel natural. That’s so strange that that happens.

Reply

jennyblake November 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Hey Jennie! I know I'm late to reply to your comment – but just wanted to say two things:

YES! People used to call me Jennnnay all the time :) And every guy I dated was nicknamed Forrest after the movie came out.

I am with you 100% – finding other like-minded bloggers through social media has been such a gift. Meeting someone randomly in a bar takes so much more exploration to find common ground. Online it's like we're already starting from such a great base – and yes – people have come through for me many times, even the ones I've never met in person.

Thanks again for stopping by – have a great weekend!

Reply

jennyblake November 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Aw, thank you so much Andrea! I will never forget our awesome night of KFC and cheap wine. And getting almost killed by a bus in South Central! I miss you tons – and I hope all is well with little Sydney ๐Ÿ˜€

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jennyblake November 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Thanks so much Samuel! I totally agree with you – things can get a little awkward with our “real life” friends (and co-workers) suddenly knowing so much about us. I've found that the information balance is off – all of a sudden they know way more about me than I know about them. It's something I've gotten more comfortable with, but still a very real part of exposing our lives on line.

Thanks again for stopping by – have a great weekend!

Reply

jennyblake November 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Royce – I think you bring up a GREAT point – at some point making those 1:1 connections is not scalable, particularly for guys like Gary V. and Seth Godin. However, I'm sure they would agree that the people they *do* meet end up inspiring and teaching them many things.

I think each individual blogger has to make tough choices around how much to connect/engage and how much to scale. All I know is that the times I have made time for meeting people in person, it's been SO worth it.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Reply

Eve December 4, 2009 at 11:47 pm

hey hey. just read this and loved it, of course. as one of the NYC meat-up (yes, meat, as in meat-packing district) attendees, i can say that you're even cooler in person than you are on your already cool blog. congrats on being voted #1…you deserve it!

Reply

jennyblake December 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Aw, thanks Eve! It was such a blast meeting you “IRL” – the tweet-up would
not have been the same without you! Love the “meat-up” comment, btw :)

Reply

jennyblake December 6, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Aw, thanks Eve! It was such a blast meeting you “IRL” – the tweet-up would
not have been the same without you! Love the “meat-up” comment, btw :)

Reply

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