I know I seem to keep coming back to this theme but I am still in awe of the power of communication on the Internet. Just a mere 3 months ago, I learned about and began a journey into Twittering and Webcasting.
I listened to my first webcast in July. It was an EdTechTalk webcast and the only reason I knew about it was because a woman I have never met opened herself up to me in Classroom 2.0 and told me to listen. Lisa Durff, I was to find out later, is an incredibly passionate educator, whose goal seems to be to promote webcasts and blogsites. She is the town crier for all things important happening online and I love her for that!
Since then, I became an intern at the Webcast Academy, met some more incredible people, began hanging out at Second Life at the recommendation of some of these people, met some more incredible people, started a Twitter account and met more people, and, here I am, three months later, with a nice list of people I now consider my friends.
I find myself looking forward to reading their blogs, awaiting their messages in Twitter, anticipating their comments on my blogsite, socializing with them in Second Life and enthusiastically chatting with them in webcasts and on Skype calls.
But the real test of these friendships came just today. Last night I sent out a message on Twitter that my students' blogsite was up and rolling. I invited my followers in for a look, not really expecting anything. What I got was comments - really thoughtful and caring comments - from people who don't really know me, except online. People who took time out of their busy schedules to help make blogging worthwhile for my students. People who did what I would hardly expect from colleagues I see every day.
And I should have known this would happen. I should have anticipated it way back in June. It was then that Christine and I got our webcam. Then, that we sent out an invitation to anyone in Classroom 2.0 who wants in to come Skype us so we can try it out. And our call was answered. By Skip Zilla and Kelly Christopherson, by David Jakes and David Warlick. We had a wonderful chat and signed out, surprised and elated that people came to talk.
I should have figured it out then. I should have known that, in the online world, friendships are made quickly and become strong. In the online world, people want to help out. In the online world, when you reach out, there are always people reaching back.
So thank you to my "little circle of friends". Those who helped me make it through the Webcast Academy - Jose, Jeff, Durff, Alice, Maria, Lee, Carla, everyone - those who listen to my twits and act on them - Colleen, Jen, Karen - those who befriended me in Second Life and helped me stop banging into walls - Kevin, Lori, Cheryl, Jen, Colleen - and everyone else who has touched my life by being my online friend. You are the very reason I keep coming back.