That was my primary goal when I started this blog, to meet people on line and develop some kind of friendship with people. Specifically, knitters. I'd joined the local Stitch and Bitch (Summerville chapter) when we moved here, and had an extremely bad experience with them (they meet at private homes and un-invited me after I skipped a couple meets due to being eight months pregnant - among other things they kicked me off their PUBLIC Yahoo e-mail loop). My experiences with Knitty had been almost entirely positive, and so I figured the on-line knitting community HAD to be friendlier. I was right. (I got one or two snarly e-mails after the history of knitting article, that was about it. And even then, they stuck to the subject and didn't make it a personal attack.)
I kept telling myself that I needed to get out and meet people here in Charleston, but that voice in the back of my head (you know the one) kept saying, we're only going to live here four years, so what's the damn point? (Yes, I'm aware that's a really unhealthy attitude. Like you've never had one?) So, I started up the blog, and between occasional Knitty articles and blog searches and the like, I now know more knitters in Australia than I do in my home town. I am goofy enough to think this is cool. Regardless of where I move to, if I've got an internet connection, I'm in touch with my community. No more losing my entire life when I move, like happened when we left Hawaii.
Now, the idea of moving still pisses me off, but it doesn't fill me with dread like it did. What's particularly nice is, the people I've met IN Charleston, I've met through the internet, so I know that even if I move, odds are good we'll stay in touch. There is a point.
So, anyway. Blogging and community. The way knit-bloggers interact seems to be completely different than any other blog type; I do read a few other blogs (mostly cooking blogs) and generally, the dynamic isn't the same. No swapping, no hooking up in real life, no meeting at festivals or whatever, no private e-mail conversations, just a blog and some friendly (usually) comments. Which is FINE, but in comparison knit-blogging is amazing.
I've always thought that when you expect good of people, they usually rise to the occasion. The on-line knitting community is a shining example of that. I do not envy the Yarn Harlot her blog (300+ comments per day? Does she have time to DO anything else?? She can't possibly keep all her regular commenters straight in her head), but I am impressed by how she manages it and what she uses it for - mostly networking, education, and of course charity fund-raising. A quarter of a million dollars for Doctors Without Borders. That is unreal. Particularly when you consider that the majority of that was probably raised in donations of $100 or less at a time.
I've seen a little of that here, too, the determination to be positive and kind. While I refuse to discuss religion and politics as a nod to community spirit (I'm a moderate in both areas, and somehow manage to offend BOTH sides of every issue), I've still produced some major rants and of course the language is not what you'd call polite. And yet everybody is cool. I've never had a negative comment. Disagreeing opinions are expressed politely and reasonably, and can be discussed. When you consider I've posted about once a day for an entire year, blasting it out to anyone with an internet connection, that's quite a record.
I think I've rambled on long enough. At any rate, I'm going to start adding links to blogs I read regularly over in the side bar. (If you've ever left a comment here that I could track back to your blog, I put you in my regular read folder. Community, dudes.) Give me about a week to get the whole thing together. If, after that, you're a regular reader with a blog and I don't have you linked, drop me a line and I'll put you up.
Hats off to all of us, and yay for community.