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Flocks of Bloggers

If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think I was a professional blogger.

And I’m not, but it’s amazing how much of my life — directly or indirectly — revolves around this site these days.

There are obvious examples, like the fact that I move to a new country every four months and own 50 things and spend a lot of time at my computer, tip-typing away.

But then there are the subtler things. That most of my really strong friendships are with people that I’ve never met in real life. And that I seldom get more stressed out than when something is wonky with my server. And that a good deal of the ‘shop talk’ I take part in these days relates to the blogosphere and other bloggers and blog blog blog blog blog.

When you decide to become a serious blogger, it really is a lifestyle choice. You begin to surround yourself with birds of a feather, and when you talk about common acquaintances, you speak of them in terms of their work and ideas, rather than their physical appearance or even name (“Did you see what the guy from Random Example Blog posted today?” “Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what the gal from Another Random Example Blog thinks about it…they’ve been fighting a bit recently, and she’s always takes him to term over posts like that”).

It’s a bit like high school in a way, though instead of making out with each other, we Skype.

It’s a bit like a complicated polyamorous relationship, though instead of being involved in long-term tangible relationships with many people, we instead of have long-term digital relationships with many people.

It’s a bit like a family reunion at times, though rather than meeting up with unchosen relatives that you may or may not have anything in common with, you’re meeting up with your chosen e-family in real life for the first time, which leads to a great deal of hugging and drinking and discussing the same stuff you would online, but with another set of eyeballs to look into, rather than just another pop-up window.

Bloggers flock.

And though we aren’t able to feel the breeze from each others flapping due to the great physical distance between us, we most certainly see the beautiful cloud formations shaped by the ideas of our distant e-relatives.

And sometimes that’s enough.

Update: January 6, 2017

Interesting how this is still true in some ways, for some elements of my life, but completely nonsensical to how I live today, in others.

It’s true in the sense that the majority of my most important relationships are with people around the world, and as a result I’ll be unlikely to ever have all my favorite people in one place at one time. Geolocation matters less when you do a great deal of your communication online, and travel a whole lot.

On the other hand, the ‘blogosphere’ is less a thing today, because of the advent and popularity of social networks, and because it’s become such a fractured, splintered ecosystem. There are still pro-bloggers out there, but far fewer, and it’s become a more hierarchal space. You’re also more likely to find marketing people hanging out with each other, regardless of their preferred medium (blog, podcast, books, speaking, etc), rather than folks flocking because of the communication channels they have in common.