Last night I went to meet someone I’ve been communicating with over the Internet. I went to meet them in a small pub down a narrow back alleyway. No-one knew where I was, or when I was due home. I could well have disappeared, leaving only a blurry unflattering picture of me at a party, doing that weird ‘leaning in and back to get everyone in the picture’ thing that people do, in a sidebar in Metro.
But I think I was safe. I went to meet a motley selection of “luminaries” and “celebrities” from the website Monkeyfilter to which I post links and comments from time to time. Because of the international nature of the site and its users, meetups are a common occurence, and a good way to bring the faceless net citizens together.
After managing to track down the miscreants in the tiny warren-like Old Mitre Tavern, we got down to the matter at hand. A lot of the monkeys (as we are called – yep), already knew each other from previous meetups, and from school in some cases. But they were very welcoming, and it was great to put faces to the nicknames and personalities.
Amongst the deep discussions about, well, everything really, I was introduced to the tradition of ‘shoutouts’. This consists of the drawing of amusing and appropriate picture messages to users who couldn’t make the meetup due to time or location constraints. The messages are then photographed, and the photos posted to Flickr or similar. I’ll post a link up when they appear.
It was good to meet some of the famous names from the site, and be impressed by the variety of intellects, interests and the varying senses of humour. I’ll be going to the next one, deffo.
One final note. I did travel home on the Tube with a Freudian picture of a banana being shot pinned to my jacket. No-one batted an eyelid. And the dog was fine.