You know him. You have seen him across the crowded conference room floor. He looks just like he does online, except perhaps, more "real". Slightly older. Shorter. Younger than you expected. Taller. His voice is familiar, comfortable. After all, you have heard it a thousand times. And his smile, well, it’s just like the photo. But his laugh surprises.
As you walk across the room, you wonder how his family are settling back into city life after the recent holiday away … whether the goldfish survived … if the pitch for new work succeeded … together with a thousand other thoughts. After all, there is much that you have shared.
You move closer, smiling, nodding, "nice to see you". And then it hits. A blank. "Your name?". You fumble around and manage to jam the two words of your name together in an intelligible jumble.
If this sounds familiar, then you have been hit with the curse of the weblebrity. This happens when you read someone’s blog and their Twitter stream — and perhaps a whole series of other "lifestreams" that are available via Flickr, FriendFeed, Plaxo, Plurk or Pownce — and become invested in their life, feeling like there is some connection between you.
But sometimes this connection is not reciprocated. The reader, or follower, does not necessarily comment, or comment regularly. They do not converse via Twitter or other conversational platform. This makes it difficult to connect reader with author, person with person. How can this be changed?
For readers — take some time to comment on your favourite blogs. Even a line or two can get you started. Connect professionally through LinkedIn. Check out Twitter and join the conversation.
But maybe you, yourself are a weblebrity. David Armano has a tongue-in-cheek checklist that helps you determine your weblebrity status. Point 1 is the wearing of a signature piece of clothing. In this photo above, with Drew McLellan, I am wearing David’s famous hat. I think that is about as close as I am going to get 😉