Internet communities

MMario's picture

Sometimes I don't understand the whole internet "thing" - which is a little odd as I belong to several very strong "communities" on the web; one, over 12 years old - has a very strong 3-D presence as well; another has morphed several times over the years but is likewise present in both my electronic and "real" life.

I've always maintained that web presence can be compared to the type of life long relationships that sometimes occurred between pen-pals (I had an "aunt" growing up who I never met...but she was as much a part of our life as the aunts-by-blood we saw frequently) - yet sometimes things on the web catch me by surprise. Usually when they pertain to me, personally.

take the MMarioKKnits yahoo group. It floors me that over 725 people in the last 4 months have come, signed up, and STAYED at a group that is primarily devoted to my knitting. What? Why? HUH?


Not that i'm complaining, I just don't understand it. And while I know some of the comments made when putting in the mandatory )say something so we know you're not a spammer-comments on signing up could well be pure flattery - it amazes me how often they run to "so and so told me about you" or "I keep seeing references to . . ."

heck - I'm a good web-searcher and *I* can't find that many.

oh well - lie back and enjoy it, I guess.


garyhrx's picture

When ever I mention knitting

When ever I mention knitting or crochet to my guy friends I just get looks. My gal friends and the knitting circle are great but there are just time that you would like to be with the guys. THose are significant reasons why so many of us are drawn to the blogs, Yahoo groups etc. When ever I feel dis-enfranchised I turn on the computer and read new stuff on MWK "cover to cover" I am sad to have to sign off. Imagine walking into your local "alternative community bar" and whipping out your knitting! What a ruckus that would stir.

Could it simply be, MMario,

Could it simply be, MMario, that people meet you and then actually like you and want to stick around?

MMario's picture

Not according to my family.

Not according to my family. *grin*

*bigger grin* I would be

*bigger grin* I would be happy to adopt you.

scottly's picture

My gosh, what pejorative

My gosh, what pejorative opinions. I really can't speak for others but for me it's the fact that you and your ideas are suddenly available to me where as they weren't before, why wouldn't I take advantage of it. I also like meeting new people and now I can do it in a new place as well as all my old places. So in my opinion it's just a new and additional tool for gathering friends and information not a subsititute for anything.


steve kadel's picture

i think there are a number

i think there are a number of sociological forces at play. we have increasingly become a disconnected culture(s) overstimulated but unsatisfied. this has led to the flood of virtual ways people try to rebuilt some semblance of connectivity. there is a desire to belong, i desire to know others, and the internet provides facsimiles for those desires with a built in regulator to true intimacy because of the level of anonymity and lack of face to face encounters. we blog, read, surf, scan, reply, text, email, voicemail, etc. MMario, i think you have a personal appeal because of your knowledgeable presence your willingness to expose yourself, your work, etc...that, and your photo of jesus :)

MMario's picture

*snicker* I'd get my mind

*snicker* I'd get my mind out of the gutter - but there's always someone blocking me from the ladder.

overstimulated but unsatisfied. - great - yet another facet of my life sufferring from this.

your willingness to expose yourself - okay - who have you been talking to? It wasn't me, I wasn't there, and I didn't know anyone was watching.

did I ever mention my sister has that photo in her classroom and her pupils every year ask her why she has a picture of Jesus?

steve kadel's picture

re exposure...come one now,

re exposure...come one now, it's the YouTube generation. everything we do is either on file at homeland security or posted on the internet. in short, everyone knows what you did lat summer. who knew rennie festivals could get so raunchy :)

is that "sister" as in flying nun kind of sister, "sister" as in girlfriend kind of sister, or the traditional sense?

MMario's picture

blood-Sib number

blood-Sib number three.

*good* ren-fests START that raunchy, and progress from there.

Mario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

steve kadel's picture

i could never get past the

i could never get past the drunk little people dressed as jesters...or maybe i was drunk and the little people dressed me as something. whatever. in any case, i know for sure there was something i couldn't get past

MMario's picture

The jesters don't mess with

The jesters don't mess with you when you are Master of the Logs at the Pyllow Fyght! (Which I was for 8 years - undefeated most of that time) - or when you and your entire crew are armed (last 8 years at archery).

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

steve kadel's picture

are "logs" and "pyllow"

are "logs" and "pyllow" euphemisms? and shouldn't it be pyllough, sire?

MMario's picture

it depended on who I was

it depended on who I was talking to; but no, actual logs, actual pillows - I spent 8 years as a professional pillow fighter.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

steve kadel's picture

as my grandmother said when

as my grandmother said when i told her i got the part as a dancing flamingo in malaysia, "they pay you for that?" :) when i fought with pillows, they kicked me out of the frat house. nevermind, i wasn't a member. it just seemed like the thing you do. tmi?

QueerJoe's picture

I have often been at a loss

I have often been at a loss to explain this as well.

When the KnitList first came about, it was mostly just computer folks that also knit, but it came at a time when regular folk could also learn to access on-line forums, and it often took Luddites like myself, and forced me to learn these new and interesting protocols. I did feel like I had a sense of community I couldn't find elsewhere, and the wealth of knowledge was impressive.

I again underestimated the computer forum when it came to writing my own blog. I thought I would get maybe a couple of dozen hits a day from friends. I had no idea of the wide and regular readership I would get. And my readership is puny compared to blogs like Franklin's.

Finally, I am again amazed at both this space and Ravelry. Hard to imagine that there are almost 1700 (mostly) guys signed up here and over 50,000 knitters on Ravelry.

I can only believe that folks are looking for a sense of belonging and community...even those folks who already have that in other areas of their lives.

Interesting post on this issue...thanks for making me think through my own thoughts on this.