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Open Thread: Meeting Blog Readers

All this conference chatter got me thinking about meeting blog readers and fellow blog readers in the flesh. Sure, you don't always know who you're dealing with and there are there a few horror stories out there about internet meetups gone awry. But when I visit a new city, I generally look up fellow bloggers or readers and suggest a meeting over coffee. And when readers or bloggers ask to meet up, I'm usually happy to oblige. Since I haven't driven in eons, I've even car-pooled to Starbucks or Borders with people I just met.

A few people are shocked by this admission, but I think it's a big reason why I was able to go to my first ASJA conference last week and already know several people in the room. I'm not one of those bloggers or writers who wants to live and die at the computer. Meeting in person helps foster community and sometimes the conversation can take a different direction than it would online.

I think it's a good idea to exercise a few precautions, though. I feel more comfortable meeting someone who also has a blog, so the relationship feels more balanced. They know a bit about my life, I know a few things about theirs. To avoid the whole "is this business or pleasure?" conundrum that sometimes pops up over ambiguous coffee meetings, I tend to meet female bloggers (not saying male bloggers or readers are all bad - I've heard of cases where a blogger met a reader over coffee and ended up marrying them!). And I always tell someone where I'm going and when to expect me back. So far, I haven't had any problems. In fact, it's been great meeting some of the bloggers I admire!

What about you? Have you met a blog reader or fellow blogger in the flesh? Or does the idea completely sketch you out?

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Open Thread: Meeting Blog Readers + open thread