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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Curious phenomenon of Insane Proportion.

How can it be that among the millions of bloggers we run in the same circle? I responded to a new visitor, and discovered that all her other comments were made by people I know.

Here is what I think:
We stop at our usual ten, fifteen places a day to leave a comment. We are A. Someone else, B, does the same. They both end up at Z, a customary run for A, but a new one for B. B notices that A has appeared in a few places he frequents. So, he visits A and leaves a comment, not once, but twice. B returns the favor and finds that he and A have common friends, and they are all Catholic. How the...?

Now, that's not an explanation at all. There must be a scientific way to determine this. Someone in blogland must know a statistical method to apply here. Why do I want to know? Because I thought this whole thing was random all the time. I thought, as many still do, that we could just jump in and out of this train as though we were at Disneyland. Have you gone to Disneyland and met someone you worked with? It never happened to me.

I lived most of my life in suburbs of Los Angeles. Nobody knew you. Even if you frequented the same establishments week after week. If anybody did, we became friends for life. Now, finding people with similar backgrounds outside of your town, outside of your geographical area, outside of your country, even outside of your continent, or hemisphere is INSANE, but curious.

When did it become this easy to talk about politics, religion, family and sleeping habits with total strangers? We don't even know their real names, or....

I'd love to hear what you think is happening here.

17 comments:

Dave King said...

I have had the same experience of going to a new blog and finding that it was not new to most of my blogland friends. I, too, have thought it odd, but have not given it the same amount of thought that you have. I have, though, never been to Disney - my one claim to fame, that - but in my second year of teaching my wife and I drove to Scotland and there, way out in the wilds of the Highlands, we pulled into a layby for a cuppa - and ther was my headmaster, standing by his car having a cuppa! Don't know what that proves!

Matawheeze said...

It seems obvious to me that a lot of the connection is reciprocal in nature. Scratch my back and I'm more likely to scratch yours and your friends, so to speak.

"When did it become this easy to talk about politics, religion, family and sleeping habits with total strangers?" For many folks it has been for a long time. Strangers may not respect your opinion but unlike family they can't make your day to day life hell because of your ideas.

Renee said...

Rosaria: How did you learn to become so interesting.

I believe I came to your blog first through Lizzy; loved the intelligence and heart I felt coming off the screen.

In the beginning it was if I liked someones, I thought well their friends must be interesting too.

And I was right in this case because here you are.

How are you feeling now. Are you all back to normal.

Love Renee oxoxx

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I've had similar experiences as Dave & you about visiting other bloggers to discover I was a late comer...that many of you have been there before & now I have to catch up with reading yet another fabulous blog.
Once upon a time I lived in Germany & met some fellow Americans who were teachers there. After a year I returned to Texas & a few months later went to Kansas with my friend to visit other friends. We were in a restaurant in Kansas City when in walked the couple I had known in Germany. What are the chances?

Lola said...

Blogland blew the whole "6 degrees of separation" concept out of whack, didn't it?

One summer while visiting my dad in LA, I bumped into a school buddy (he was an Italian attending our International school in Rome) on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica. Big huge intersection. Lots of traffic. Rush hour madness. I was waiting for the light to turn green and his motorbike pulled up next to my car. We sat there looking at each other flabbergasted as the cars behind us tooted a concerto with their horns.

I don't know what's happening here in the blogosphere, but somehow you found me, and everything changed for me since that day. You were my first reader. My first feedback. My first dialogue in a small box. Then came the rest. I am so much happier now than I was January 24th (my 1st blog post), feeling more free, more loved, stimulated to write more and better and do good than I ever was.
The reward, ultimately, is finding that the world is not so big, afterall.
Ciao donna meravigliosa

Siobhán said...

Chance meetings in the real world happen more frequently in Ireland than somewhere like LA I'd guess - but that's mostly due to small population and geogrphical area.

I do think on the web though, with blogging in particular, there is a lot of "backscratching" going on, but also the technology makes it easier to gravitate towards like-minded people with similar interests. We do that in the real world too - it's just quicker and easier in cyberspace.

Amy said...

We seem to gravitate towards those blogs we find most interesting or have something in common with. If everyone is doing that, we're bound to end up sharing blog friends! It's totally cool!

Moannie said...

Just as amazing, to me, is the fact that others are having the same thoughts at about the same time as I am having them. This strange phenomema of circling in ever increasing circles and finding comments form 'my' lot happens all the time and I was wondering why and how we smallish group got together when there are, apparantly over a BILLION of us swimming in this particular ocean.

It all depends on where we start. Either we are introduced, as I was by my daughter...I went to her blog, read comments, clicked on one or two, commented on them...wrote my first post...one or two comments...found David's blog...commented on various POTD and gradually built up a circle. It widens each time I respond to one of his finds.
Or we browse for a while and take the plunge and end up in a completely different circle.
There is a limit to how many posts one can follow. I spend on average two hours on my blog each day and there are times when I don't get to write my own posts. And still feel bad that I haven't read all the POTD, or responded to all the posts I've read.

So many of us have tried to analyse what it is that makes blogging so necessary to us and for me it is the ability to communicate, to touch and to be touched.
You were new to me when you first visited my blog...then I went to yours and found most of 'my' guys had already found you. Beautiful.

Lori ann said...

It's all a mystery to me! I have some ideas,sometimes friends will recommend another blog, and sometimes I think people meet in the comments. Typepad has made it possible for everyone to "talk" in the comment area! but mostly I just drop in and out when I can, and have alot of fun!
♥ Lori

janis said...

My whole life is like this. Always has been.
I'm Barb & Tom's daughter, Julie's sister, Sergio's wife, Emily & Annie's Mom, Sheri's friend...
I am comfortable in my circle and like to wade out a little at a time. I find a connection & I feel safe.
I am not real adventurous. I take my sweet time.
I like the same bloggers that have a common interest. we don't have to be alike, just a thread of common ground, it's like... I get you!
Love to you Ms Rosaria

Paul Costopoulos said...

Winter 2008, at the MCGill Institute for Learning in Retirement, in Montreal, an Irish guy talks about his blog and gives us is URL. I never went on blogs. I check and start exchanging with him and others. Then I spot The Commentator though Neil's blog and start chatting with him. He introduces me to Man of Roma and I start chatting with people in India, China, the USA and of course Italy. Then you pop up on Man of Roma. Out of curiosity I checked...and I'm hooked.
I do not yet have a blog...but it may come. After all, at 78, i'm still young.

Natalie said...

It is simply the law of attraction, manifested in the physical realm, via computer technology.

Like attracts like.
The people that find a common denominator, will ultimately find each other.

I have also noticed that some people can't stand to be left out of a group, so will worm in , only to leave eventually, through lack of true commonality.

Just for the record, I was originally attracted to your blog because of your intelligence and humour.From there, grew the caring and the friendship.

NOICE.xx♥

C. Michael Cox said...

I blame David at authorblog.com :)

Actually I was just thinking the same thing because every blog I visit seems to have a friendly face.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Rosaria, this is very interesting - I must say that first of all I was reading blogs and liking some so much, that I joined blogger to comment on them, before I started mine own in January this year.

I think through commenting that people found mine, and then as my circle of acquaintances grew, I started to click on some of my friends' followers' lists in order to find others' blogs to read.

I had a lot of time on my hands over those few months, and I try to comment on most of my followers' blogs now at least once a week, often more... I also used the Black Box widget to find others to read.

I don't subscribe to the back scratching, and I'm not sure how that works, but I enjoy finding 'like' in what I read, and in turn they are often the folk, who 'talk' to me and have become good friends...

That counts for a lot... I only comment on around a handful of blogs who never 'come back to mine', and I attribute that to them being focussed solely on their blogspace, and others who are huge in terms of their followers' numbers...

I think our 'shout outs' and awards give-aways, work to lead some of our followers to others' blogs, that they then enjoy...

I find a number of our American friends also offer prizes, competitions and things like that to encourage repeat visits, and also perhaps to incentivize their readership...

I really don't know how it all works - Sometimes life is just like that - But I really enjoy talking to people who write well, and whose blogs always provoke interest, whom I admire, and some who have become fast friends...

I am glad I met you, and don't care how it happened, but it would never have happened without this knitting circle, or circle-dance, however we see it! Ciao bella Rosaria x

Sydney said...

I totally agree with your ABZ theory, but also competely agree on making better, more lyoal and supportive friends here than anywhere out there.. since my college days.

I stopped by yours after seeing a comment you wrote on Circling my Head, who I checked out when I saw her comment at Nolly Posh's. On Circlings comments, along with yours, I saw Nolly's And two other people in my circle of 15 or so.

Great post!

Rob-bear said...

I haven't quite figured out the theory yet, but I know what I do. I read other people's blogs. If they are caring, decent, thoughtful people, I'll return. If they're not, I won't. If I find I'm returning to their sites regularly, I'll leave my "calling card" in the "Followers" box.

I've discovered we have a huge wealth of experience and collective wisdom; that we can support, encourage, inspire and thought-provoke one another (as well as tease each other). That's basic community -- people simply being in touch with each other. It is also our newest communication form -- something about which I've written, and, come to think of it, that piece is being published today.

The blogsphere works because we want it to work, and we make it work, and (generally) we're better for the experience. Which is to say I guess I agree basically with much of what has already been said here.

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