Friends

Ten amazing people I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for having a blog

Part of my tenth blogiversary series.

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, and only really includes people who I’ve met or connected with through blogging rather than work or webbiness in general, though of course there are plenty of the latter who also blog. If you’re not on this particular list, please don’t be sad. It’s not that you’re not important too! And please note that everyone linked to here is still blogging…in some fashion.

  1. Paul is (now) my wonderful, talented, funny, endlessly patient husband. But before he was my husband or even my boyfriend, he was blogging at digitaltrickery and made me laugh and intrigued in his blog, over IM and at early blogmeets. He thinks a lot of blogging is nonsense. He’s not wrong. But I can’t dismiss the entire medium which introduced me to him, can I?
  2. Dan was present at the very first UK Blogmeet in June 2000 in Kings Cross (we must have a reunion later this summer, especially since I now work down the road from the place where it was held) and at the time, a student blogging under the name Daily Doozer. But Dan has gone on to amaze and impress me along with the rest of the world with his creative passion and insight about games and alternative ways of exploring worlds with the company he founded sixtostart.
  3. Katy was also at the first Blogmeet (back then, Kitschbitch) and in the last decade has gone from schoolgirl to student to insightful and accomplished ad agency doyenne, without breaking a sweat. How does she do it? Energizer batteries?
  4. Tom, another first Blogmeet attendee, but back then blogging at Barbelith. He probably needs no introduction to the majority of web-aware people. But in the decade I’ve known him, I’m glad to know there’s more to him than the web wunderkind legend many see. He’s playful, kind, creative and clever. Unfortunately, he lives thousands of bloody miles away now, the rotter.
  5. Giles is a dark horse. He came to the first blogmeet too, then (as now) blogging under his own name, and as a long-time freelance writer creator he’s spent the last ten years being quietly, consistently brilliant both on his own site and hundreds of others, plus print and beyond. He’s funny and succinct and hugely astute. Giles is now, as much as then, an inspiration.
  6. Pete is a polymath. I came across him blogging at first at Bugpowder, then mainly about zines, but his unfolding adventures through his mental state, unemployment, a fascinating glimpse into a stint as a contract worker brought him to Birmingham and his current life which includes living (not just talking about) social media, co-working, creative experiments with the city and amazing photography using the most convoluted contraption you’re likely to see. Pete seems to have a knack for anything he turns his hand to. He’s a creative whirlwind.
  7. Darren‘s been doing this since before you were even online, probably. If there’s a good/interesting/funny/geeky site on the internet, he’s linked to it. Hugely (and rightfully) respected by old school bloggers, Darren’s been plodding away steadily at his site for about the same amount of time I have. His quiet dedication is obvious. Less obvious to the casual blog browser (but I’m glad to know it now as a friend) is his gentle good humour and kindness.
  8. Bobbie is one of the most talented writers I know. He’s bloody funny, brilliantly talented and vastly knowledgable in all sorts of expected (robots, technology) and unexpected (ukelele renditions of Radiohead) areas. Although he (until next month) works at The Guardian, I don’t know him through that context, though of course was aware of his name. No, our blog connection is a bit of a cheat, really. Not long after I started blogging, I helped my lovely sister hop on the bandwagon, and she became brilliant at it and through her general fabulousness eventually met BoJo, and now he’s my brother-out-law. So I like to think if I hadn’t had a blog in the first place, I might not have been lucky enough to know him as a friend and near-relation, not just a colleague.
  9. Mike is probably the most prolific blogger I know, with an almost neverending capacity for themeblogging, fresh thinking, collaborative projects, and funny, poignant, well-written think pieces. I’d long been impressed and tickled by Mike’s online persona, and was chuffed to discover years ago that it’s no facade. That’s who he is. Erudite, witty, charming, well-turned out both verbally and sartorially. It’s been amazing to see Mike’s hobby (going to gigs and knowing loads about music) turn into a burgeoning side-career, as well as watching him grow in curiosity and confidence about hyperlocal blogging for the village he (sometimes) lives in.
  10. Caroline is a true inspiration. She was, in fact, the reason that the first uk blogs mailing list formed in order to start discussing how to meet up when Prol came over in summer 2000. She didn’t make it that time, but we met up anyway (see above) and toasted her in absence. Caroline (who I’m afraid I still think of as Prol) is an inveterate, thoughtful, gifted web creator. Her personal blog is just the tip of a vast web iceberg which includes immensely successful community-driven fansites (though the word doesn’t do them justice) for U2 and Joss Whedon and accomplished artist site for her friend Gavin Friday. But she’s also managed to create incredible concert photography and thoughtful collaborative projects like the one which first introduced me to her – croon.org (now sadly gone, but not forgotten).

I’m lucky to have these people in my life, even if we’re not in each others’ everyday lives. And I’ve got blogging to thank for it.

Who have you met through blogging?