Making Friends Online

There’s a lot of value in writing online.   One of the best benefits, though?  Making friends online.  I have friends all over the world.  Amazing, since the only country I’ve ever been to outside the United States is Canada.  (In itself, that’s odd considering I live only a few short hours from Mexico…)

If you’re trying to make your way as an internet marketer, it’s easy to come across people online who are going through the same things you are.  Reading, learning, creating, writing….struggling.  There’s a lot of research that goes into putting quality work online.  Then – you find one with whom you just click.  You think alike, share ideas, coach each other, pull each other, and push at each other to keep moving.

Emails whiz across the ether, over oceans, across deserts from one end of the world to another.   Sometimes the emails are bits of info – a new idea, a new website, a new tool we can use in our work.  Sometimes, they’re just funny because we’re tired, can’t think straight or really need a break.

My online IM partner is a man in Spain I have never met.  I know him only through his words.  I know he is funny, intelligent and creative.  I’ve often thought our emails back and forth would make a great blog all in their own.  There are lots of internet marketing lessons in those emails.  Life lessons, too- valuable, pull-yourself-apart, put-yourself-back-together lessons.

Some are just our way of using humor to prod each other along.  Like the following recent exchange after Andy’s work researching and reviewing a set of Yamaha home theater products:

    My email to Andy:

    NEWS FLASH:
    Associated Press
    October 29, 2009

    Andy Charalambous, a self proclaimed “Brit with warm, Greek blood” has been reported missing by a number of his friends.  He was last seen pedaling away from his flat, hucking a fairly new laptop over his shoulder and into a neighbor’s trash can.  One elderly woman who witnessed the devastating laptop incident said she thought she’d heard the man mutter “bloody ages” under his breath as he raced away.  Upon retrieval, the laptop was found to contain a number of threads into Mr. Charalambous’ secret life.  The laptop contained:

    • 10 articles on speed and agility programs – this raises the question of whether or not Mr. Charalambous has perhaps taken a header on his bike and is lying helpless in a ditch somewhere.  Friends have confirmed that this would not be the first time and that as a result of previous incidents, Mr. Charalambous’ head is harder than a blarney stone.
    • 10 articles on Yamaha home theater systems.  All malls within a 300 kilometer radius are being papered with pictures of the missing man in case he has wandered off on a shopping spree.
    • Videos of a bungee jumping trip that he took with friends.  Mr. Charalambous appears to have a thing for squirting people with water.  All local shops selling squirt bottles have been canvassed.
    • One video of a famous actress scraped from the popular YouTube website.  Video appears to have been played numerous times.  Police have decided this has nothing to do with his disappearance.
    • Bookmarked in his internet favorites list were a number of sites on internet marketing and get rich quick schemes.  According to experts, this was the most telling piece of information on the computer.

    “As soon as I’d heard that Mr. Charalambous had ditched his laptop, I knew right away this was another IM’er gone off the deep end”, said local police chief Jose Cruz Sanchez.  “We’ve actually been able to fund our entire department’s computer budget with the desktops and laptops disposed of by frustrated internet marketers.  This one is going to be assigned to my assistant so she can work on various police department policies from home.  Um..that is…er…of course, if Mr. Charalambous does not return to claim his possession.”

    Ironically, with reports of the missing man spreading across Western Europe, hits to the sites produced by Mr. Charalambous have quadrupled today, spawning rumors that perhaps this was a publicity stunt in order to gain much needed website traffic.

    “It’s what we in the industry call ‘viral marketing'”, said Howie Schwartz, an infamous internet marketer.  “I have to admire this guy’s originality.  His hits must be through the roof!  Wish I’d thought of it…”.

    Friends have been scouring the beaches of this sleepy, tourist town looking for clues.  At one point, searchers swore they heard the soundtrack of the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’ coming from a cave near the ocean.  Upon further investigation, the only thing inside the cave were a few shredded bits of paper containing snippets of HTML code.

    Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact Sheriff Jose Cruz Sanchez at 123-456-7890.

    Andy’s quick-witted response at some ungodly hour in the morning:

    NEWS FLASH
    Associated Press
    October 30 2009

    Just yesterday the newbie internet marketer Andy Charalambous was declared missing in the dead town of Cabo Roig. Witnesses in the area had last seen someone fitting his description riding his bicycle at top speed down an infamous steep hill that the locals call “Culo De Diablo”…..Devil’s Ass. Investigators on the case may have been right in assuming that Mr.Charalambous was, in fact, involved in some kind of speed-drill experiment.

    Our investigative reporter, Ann All, has interviewed a few of the residents in Andy’s neighborhood, one of which witnessed the horrific moment that Andy threw his laptop into a bin.

    Mr.Pepe Martinez recalls, ” Yes, I was just out walking the cat in a quiet part of my neighborhood when suddenly a bike flew past just missing me by inches! I was horrified as I saw the rider chuck a medium sized, silver object over a fence. I didn’t get a good look at the guy but if this person was Andy Charalambous then I would be disgusted with myself!!!! The things he was shouting out as he flew past me should never be heard by another human ear!”

    Neighbors on either side of Andy’s flat refused to comment, although the owner of the flat upstairs – who chooses to remain anonymous – stated that she would sometimes hear Andy shouting. She would sometimes hear two or three different voices intermittently shouting. This worried her because she knew all the comings and goings of her neighbors and that Andy never had guests

    Coincidentally, since Andy’s disappearance,  five local electrical stores had been broken into but nothing had been stolen. There were however broken electrical parts laying in pieces on the floors of all five stores. When investigated further, it was found that all the parts belonged to the Yamaha Home Theater Systems.

    Around the same time, police in the next town to Cabo Roig had their hands full as they investigated the break-ins of 4 toy stores with nothing stolen apart from every model of spray gun available.

    If Andy’s family should trip across this post, he’s fine.  NOT missing.  His computer may have suffered some temporary damage, but he’s back at it.  Determination wins – again.

    2 comments for “Making Friends Online

    1. October 31, 2009 at 12:10 pm

      We certainly know about friendships that turn into a comedy routine, don’t we? 😉

      • October 31, 2009 at 12:44 pm

        I was going to throw in comments about my other online friends (my sis and all!), but thought you might deserve your own blog post. 🙂 What we all do without our sense of humor????

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