Deborah Ager of 32 Poems asks: “ I “know” poet-bloggers in an odd way. I know a lot about them, yet we’ve not spent time directly communicating in most instances. We have not spent much time together in person.... Do people think they know me because they read my blog? Do they?“
To which I responded:
You ask an interesting question. No, I would not presume to think that I know you or anybody else for that matter that I have met on-line. Whereas meeting someone on-line facilitates discourse of a certain kind. Written symbolic interaction is not a sufficient condition to arrive at the conclusion that we know someone. Instinctively we need to engage in other forms of symbolic interaction to supplement the verbal. IMHO it is somewhat like attempting to watch a movie with only the audio & a blank screen. Perhaps adequate enough to get a gist of what the movie is about but not consummate enough to make any presumptions.
Every day I religiously go through my blog roll and click. I read about someone’s publishing news, personal crisis, and vacation or just about anything else they want - me - the reader to be privy to. How much of this is social exhibitionism? I’m not sure. This is the kind of information that you might share with a friend and/or close confidante. Certainly, these bloggers appear to have busy social lives and do not seem to lack camaraderie. I am perplexed as to why these bloggers of which I am - I suppose - part & parcel of and who are for the most part successful at what they do, feel the need to share (at times), some of their lives’ most intimate details with an audience - that they don’t really know.
They would appear to be seeking affirmation from like-minded individuals and yet many of the bloggers I read are part of a literary milieu. Would it not be more satisfying to receive recognition for their work from a more immediate source?
I, for example, am not part of the literary world per se. None of my (real-time) friends are poets, writers or editors for that matter. My sole window onto the literary vista that is poetry - is via the internet and the books I read of course. Would I like to be more a part of it? Yes, but with certain reservations. I have read from various sources and on various blogs about the numerous venues that serve as platforms for just this purpose. I would very much like to meet and socialize at these functions. It might certainly prove interesting to meet some of the poets that I have become acquainted with on-line. (Would they in “real life” match up to my conceptualizations of them?)
But by the same token I would not like to lose the objectivity (on the part of both parties) that my marginality affords me. If an editor who knows of me from my blog chooses to publish my work it is safe to assume they are doing so strictly on that basis alone. However, I'm not so naïve as to think that networking has not proven beneficial to the career of many an author. And so it goes...
If I may redirect the gist of this post, I’d like to ask the reader which blogger(s) they would like to meet in real-time and why?