well damn. this is all spiffy now!
by rabi on 2/20/2001 10:50:17 PM | bang on

I agree that it's a desire for shared experience that keeps me reading personal writing on the web. And I think that the desire for shared experience fuels most of my friendships with people I know who aren't on the web. I only have a couple of friends who live near me in this podunk town, and I can only get up to Boston to see my extended crew every couple of weeks. Sometimes I feel closer to the people I read than I do to people that I've known for years. Perhaps that's part of the process of meditaded self-voyeurism: I can read the words on a site and fill in the spaces between posts with my onw thoughts and my own problems until I seem to have more in common with someone casually writing faraway than I do with an old friend.

Nothing replaces a good real-world friend, of course. But it's comforting to feel connected both to specific writers and to the large, vague, semi-cohesive community of weblogging commonalities that we've all become a part of. Full of fresh ideas, humorous anecdotes, subtle observations and sincere insights. My daily trials, phone calls and dinner conversations aren't always full of those things. But when they are, I have a narrative instinct and a desire to share that pushes me to write it all down. And sure, I'm usually two weeks behind in writing it all down, but that's better than when I wrote nothing at all.

I'm connected to the web, to friends strewn about the country, to family, to constructive projects and constructive people at work. But lately I've been feeling the urge to get involved with some kind of a local community, something tangible. I've helped out with Habitat for Humanity a few times, which was very satisfying: when it's all over you've built a HOUSE. And I've thought of returning to Boy Scouts as a Scout leader. Something more educational-oriented, perhaps. I'm experiencing a post-college desire to Give Back, and I think it may require more than reading and writing. It may require Responsibility and Actual Work, and I think I'm ready for that. I'm just not sure where or when to start. Is anyone else feelin' me on this?
by Ryan Gantz on 2/19/2001 03:40:43 PM | bang on