Despite the fact that I'm " long in the tooth", I feel very comfortable in the blogosphere. For many years I belonged to a listserv group (can't remember if that's the correct word to use) which discussed the writings of the Scottish historical writer, Lady Dorothy Dunnett.
The group, called dunnetworks, consisted of about 200 plus contributors, from all over the world, with two administrators who moderated the group. There was no anonymity, we all knew each other's names and email addresses and often people formed little local groups, who met regularly and we visited each other in our travels. It was a very eclectic group, with some very intelligent people posting very interesting ideas. Besides university professors and other erudite people, there were even a few authors who were members (I'm going to name drop here, sorry), with Guy Gavriel Kay being the most well-known. Let me tell you, only a few brave souls were willing to debate him!
When we joined, we wrote an initial post introducing ourselves and as time passed, we all felt we knew each other very well from our posts. On the whole it was a very polite group, with everyone respecting each other's ideas, even if not in agreement.
Not too long after Lady Dunnett published the last book in the series of 14, the first six known as the Lymond Saga and the next eight as the House of Niccolo ---the books which made us such passionate aficionados of her writings---she died, in 2001. The group, although it still exists, ran out of steam. For now we all knew how the story ended. dunnetworkers, who used to speculate endlessly about how she would handle this or that or why she did this or that, either ran out of things to say or just got on with their lives.
Yes, an email from dunnetworks appears in my box every so often. Usually it's a local topic, perhaps a member asking did you know there was an exhibition about X on at Y or sometimes a post about an article or book which might interest the group. But basically the group in "on hold".
So, in a way, lurking about in the blogosphere is not unlike being a member of dunnetworks. It seems that I must be missing it, since I've taken so delightedly to reading blogs and poking my head out occasionally to comment on some one's blog.
I'll have to consider posting more about the House of Niccolo, my all time favourite books. I love to make converts to Lady Dunnett's writing, although my successes can be counted on one hand, not even needing the thumb!