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They Don’t Even Know

February 14, 2010

I started to write a post about how my relationships online had molded me and changed me and made me a better person. I was doing it to try and earn a trip to SOBCon 2010. I wanted the getaway, more importantly I want to meet with people who know how the virtual meets concrete and learn from them. I want to grow. I want to learn from the best. I want to be ready to move to the next step.

As I got ready to write this post the tears flowed as I looked back at all the people who have had an impact on me. When I look back at the last 15 years and the people I have met online and how they have molded me and made me who I am today tears had to flow  in absolute gratitude and amazement. I have truely been blessed. So many have come into my life for a while and then left leaving a huge impression.

My journey online began some 15 years ago when began dating online (Yes, I was one of the first people I knew who married someone she met online). My local paper the Halifax Herald even wrote a story about how the Canadian girl was marrying her American sweetheart. Back 15 years ago my online friendships began on websites and joining email groups.

Then just some few years later my marriage failed and I was back here in Canada. I joined a number of MSN Groups and formed friendships with people all over the world. Some of these friends I still keep in touch with via Facebook. They became real friends. They helped me become the woman I am.

I started blogging in 2002. I started off in Xanga and MSN. Mostly I used my blog to record what was going on with me. I never knew I would form friendships that would last to this very day. My best friend I first meet online some 8 years ago in an online community site.When a fire, and my daughter being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome happened all within 6 weeks some 7 years ago I leaned heavily on online friends to get me through. Friends like Anne Marie challenge me encourage me and make me simply a better person. I was lucky when that online friendship became a concrete one.

Then I realized I needed to stay home and be home for my daughter for a time. But how was I going to do that? I had to learn how to be frugal. Kim Clancy (@FrugalShopperCA) and the women of the Frugal Shopper  community taught me how to coupon, how to save, how to budget all while managing to raise my daughter. I learned how to organize an email campaign and how it lead to $5,000 for a school library. I will forever be thankful for the women who helped me truly become a common cents mom.

As a Toronto blogging mom I came across an another group of wonderful women. They were bloggers doing it well. For the last 3 years I have watched these women soar. Mostly I have been a fan, an admirer of these moms such as @herbadmother(Catherine Connors) and the creator of another great Canadian Mom community @YummyMummyClub(Erica Ehm). Can I admit I have loved these women from a distance.

Then last year I ventured into the world that is Twitter and well life changed again.

I met many more great bloggers like the sisters of 5 Minutes for Mom who let use their site to talk about something I felt was very important. I met Carissa Rogers (@CarissaRogers) who became a true friend and even did the header for my blog.

I met @unmarketing (Scott Stratten) one night when I came across one of his UTube videos and it had a profound impact on how I view each day. I met @chrisbrogan (Chris Brogan) who talked about trust and community. I met the girls of the #halifaxchicks and watched as a small community of women could raise thousands. They inspired me to Bust a Move.

I met a long list of names who in ways they dont even know have shaped me and molded me and made me a better mother, a better friend, a better advocate and they have listened to my voice. For that reason the tears came. I am thankful and full of love for the online community who have in essence made me who I am today-

As I go forward I want to give more and take things where I have never gone before. I want to give more, create more, inspire more. I want to go to SBCON so I can meet some of my favorite people and learn, and grow and be prepared for the next chapter in a more effective way.

If you want the chance to go to SOBCon 2010 write before noon tomorrow(Feb14th est) a post about who online has impacted you and you could end up going for free. Don’t forget to tag it with the#SOBCon2010 hashtag and then tweet it with #blogitearnit

Now each of these people, I don’t even think knows how much they have made a difference. They have helped me to grow. I am thankful for them just as I am thankful for each person who stops by and journeys with me. Thank You and know you matter to me.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2010 4:46 am

    I just wrote a long comment but don’t know if the system caught it? LOL! It was almost as long as your entry. Ok, I’m exaggerating but I was so moved by your story that I shared a bit of mine. Thanks for sharing Hollie!

  2. February 14, 2010 4:59 am

    Oh looks like I pressed the wrong button and my long comment didn’t get posted. So here it is part of it again (as much as I can remember writing)….

    I was tearing up when I read this post because it’s exactly how I feel about the online community. Now I’ve only been writing my personal blog for a few weeks and I’m so grateful the comments and emails I’ve received. I wish I had done this sooner (I had a Xanga account long time ago too!). The support I’ve received is overwhelming and I am touched that people read what I write (as I am a left brained gal who is more comfortable talking in 1s and 0s than I am in words)

    When I became a mother in 2008 and decided to quit my job my life changed. I didn’t have coworkers to talk to anymore and many of my friends were (and still are) working out of the home. Our hours didn’t match up and I didn’t have many opportunities to talk with adults. I didn’t get out that much in the early months (simply too exhausted) and spend some of my waking hours on twitter.

    Last year in February, I applied for a position at Yummy Mummy Club and got it. I can tell you Hollie, Erica is as nice in person as she seems online. Truly an inspiring woman and the 9 months I spent working for her was one of the most special moments of my life. I am so grateful she took a chance on me.

    Unfortunately my online businesses that I started around the same time as I worked at YMC took on a life of their own and I couldn’t keep up so I had to quit YMC. It was heart wrenching as it was a team that I was so happy to be part of — something I would have never have thought would happen to a gal next door like me.

    At any rate, I will write about my adventures with YMC and the like one day on my personal blog (MommyQuitHerJob.ca) and share my story with everyone.

    Keep up the great work with this blog Hollie. I love it and hope that maybe one day we will meet in person 🙂 I’ll be cheering you on and hope that you get to go to SOBCon 2010.

  3. February 14, 2010 2:21 pm

    Hi Hollie – Wow. This post is powerful, because I too am one of those people who can relate to what you wrote. We can learn so well from those we meet on this “thing” we now call Social Media. Thanks so much for sharing your story, and for participating in our contest. I hope I get to meet you in Chicago!

    PS: can you send me your e-mail address so we can get you the discount code and contest notification? Thanks.

    All my best,
    Terry

  4. Hollie permalink*
    February 14, 2010 10:26 pm

    Cheryl and Terry thanks for stopping bye I really am thankful for my online community.

    I am sure there are many like me who feel molded and sometimes even mended by those they have met online.

  5. February 15, 2010 2:42 pm

    Aw, thanks so much, Hollie! It’s so remarkable how the Internet – and especially things like Twitter – have opened up our social spheres so dramatically and allowed us to connect with such awesome people. Thanks for counting me among yours 😉

Trackbacks

  1. Only Hours Left!! Look Who’s Entered to Win a FREE SOBCon Trip — OR Get a $250 Discount | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog
  2. The SOBCon2010

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