Online Friendships: Meeting A Triiibes Friend Offline...

"And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship. And he answered saying: Your friend is your needs answered..." Kahlil Gibran
Friendships come in different packages;online, offline, all lines

We meet our friends in all sorts of ways and I love to read or hear about how others met their cherished friends or spouses. Why? Because each story is unique; in a quirky sorta special way. There usually is humor somewhere or an exchange that precipitates more exchanges and then a friendship builds...  With the explosion of the internet, social media and online dating sites, we have all become exposed to other ways to connect with people and make friends and so an online connection can create an opportunity for a lifelong friendship.

When I read MamaKat's assignment for this week's Writers Workshop, I was nicely surprised to see the question about meeting online friends offline. It made me smile and I knew I would write about it on both of my blogs. Sure, we all read terrible tales of people meeting online strangers offline to disastrous outcomes and I am not advocating this as a trend or even a habit.  We must still be attentive to our instincts and our gut feelings about the people we connect with online.

Mama's Losin' It

This week's Prompt: That one time you met your online friend in real life (was it everything you thought it would be?)

So far, the few friends I've made online have been through membership in a community; Triiibes, Problogger 31DBBB group and such. Personally, I would not meet strangers without careful review and, in any case, my advice is to keep it social in a public space.

I met Bronwyn on Seth Godin's Triiibes (a private Ning group with 10,000 members, password-protected, non-anonymous where folk gather to discuss/encourage/connect with likeminded souls) and we connected immediately; we shared something in common - we were transplanted from our place of birth to live/work in entirely new countries... Read the rest below.

On yet another note, before you dive into my online/offline friendship story below,  I was the featured blogger via my Wordpress blog - Mirth and Motivation - on SITSGirls on Tuesday; I wrote a piece on 10 Things we can do before sitting down for Thanksgiving Dinner and had a blast responding to all the SITStahs who stopped by to say hello. Thank you all for your comment love and support.  If you missed it, do stop by my other blog and check out the tips; very handy as we approach the holiday season... Read on & Thank you! 

Bronwyn, Seth & moi - Photo©
Last year, I finally had the opportunity to join Seth Godin's community of creative, entrepreneurial, think-out-of-the-box folk on Triiibes. Once I signed up, I was welcomed by several people and quickly made some new friends. One of the people who welcomed me was Bronwyn; a smart, energetic, driven creative from Australia who has lived and worked in the UK for several years.

Bronwyn is projects driven and a terrific administrator who gets things done. She quickly recruited me on a few projects and we became friends. I enjoyed chatting with her and working on writing projects for a couple of e-books we published and her sense of humor kept us all laughing.

In the fall of 2009, Seth announced that he would give a one day conference for the Triiibes and we could come from wherever we lived around the world and attend the conference.There was a lot of excitement and a flurry of activity as groups formed to ensure that Triiibes attendees got to connect and have a wonderful time together.

Some of the events organized were a special dinner with Seth Godin and Jonathan Fields; a fab presentation by Seth at FIT; a luncheon/presentation and dinner at a private club, and a meet and greet luncheon with any members who wanted to connect. I signed up for several as I was excited about meeting everyone I had emailed, chatted with or left comments for on the Triiibes community site. Bronwyn and I agreed that we would meet at the conference and then get together and visit a few Manhattan spots she missed on her last visit here some years back.

The conference date arrived faster than I knew it and soon I was at the FIT conference center looking for Bronwyn. I don't remember who saw whom first but we had a good laugh once we connected and we agreed that we looked exactly as we did online... as you know, that seems to be the problem with people meeting offline from certain sites. :-)

She was exactly the way I imagined her to look, sound and act. Her wit was still sharp and her laughter strong. We joined a group of other friends for lunch and everyone had a great time. On Sunday, I picked her up from her friends home in New Jersey and we visited the New York Public Library (they have an amazing tour of their holdings and rooms --- worth a visit) and The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

We had lunch in the newly refurbished restaurant/cafeteria at The Met and saw a few exhibitions before heading out and back to New Jersey where I dropped her off. She had a flight back to London the next day and her friends wanted to make sure she was back to have dinner and rest before flying back.

Bronwyn was fun in person and a great sport; we drove around quite a bit looking for a place to park so we could hop on the subway and do our city tour... it took a while and she suggested a few spots that made us both chuckle. We even got lost on the return to Jersey and had to ask for directions; each in her own unique way which gave us another reason to laugh.  All in all, it was a delight to connect offline and I would do it again. I now have a standing invite to hangout when I visit London again.

Meeting online friends offline can be fun if you connect in a safe environment and have gotten to know each other from projects or events you've both completed online. I would recommend meeting in public and maintaining a clear, respectful exchange... Have you ever met an online friend offline? What was your experience like? Do share.

Friendly Penguins via Picasaweb Photos

Photo of Bronwyn, Seth & me from my collection

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank



  1. We haven't met any of our blogger friends in real life but would like to some day. Thus, we chose the prompt, "10 Reasons I Don't Drink Coffee": http://zemeks.blogspot.com/2010/11/10-reasons-why-i-dont-drink-coffee.html

  2. This is a cool story!! I don't think I have yet met an online friend offline in exactly the way you did (how I would have loved a triiibes get together like that)! I did meet a new friend during a Triibes worldwide tweetup a few months ago. Probably, for me, it's my online running friends who I would especially like to meet - and running events are ready made opportunities to do this. I agree, though, safety is key.

  3. I chose the same prompt! Isn't it great meeting friends you already feel you know? Stopping by from Mama kat's.

  4. I chose the same prompt! Isn't it great meeting friends you already feel you know? Stopping by from Mama kat's.

  5. I had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogging friend at the SITS Bloggy Bootcamp in Philly this year. It was fun to put real faces to names, etc. and everyone was just as I'd expected them to be.
    Your experience sounds more fun. I am looking for more organizations to join for many reasons and new friends is one of them.
    Thanks for the post.

  6. i am your newest follower and I love your header! have an awesome day!

  7. Great post!

    I'm a new follower from the "Thirsty Thursday" Blog Hop! I Would love a follow back :) It would be awesome if you could also follow me on Networked Blogs & Facebook too!

    Thanks, Misty

  8. you were above me on Mama to 4 blessings blog hop so I thought I'd drop by and follow:)


  9. Thanks for linking up to It's Freakin' Friday! I'm now following you back & Hope to see you next week!


  10. Following you and I hope you can follow me back. I've got a giveaway linky that's open all weekend and seven giveaways of my own at www.thingssentmyway.com.

  11. I'm not an active member on any online communities, but it sounds like a great way to meet new people.

    I'm your newest follower from Sensational Saturday Social.


  12. Hopping (late) with Social Parade. I really like your positive vibe. I definitely a follower! I met other moms I had met online, one lived in Washington, another lived about 2 hours away and we had known one another for more than two years -- shared pictures. What a great experience and friendship that has last for many years. Anyway, thanks for sharing about your meetup. What a wonderful experience! ~Jamie


  13. Hello!
    Following your blog!
    Please Follow Back!

  14. following you from the Satuday Stalk. www.twokidsandacoupon.com

  15. One of my favorite subjects . . . I met my love online and the evolution of our relationship has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life . . .

    We took it ponderously slow, but you have to be careful . . .

    Thanks for following my blog . . . I'm following you back :-)

    Hope you are having an awesome Thanksgiving week . . . Gina


  16. There are a select few folks I've met and 'known' for a few years online that live in far away places, who I'd love to meet sometime!

    I have faith these people are who they say they are - they are simply too 'them' not to be!

    I wrote a post about my experience of meeting people online and how it changed how I thought of internet social groups for Dona Nobis Pacem (Nov 4th), and I think it is one of the most amazing developements for modern man!! :-)

  17. Oh, just in case you wanted to read it, it's at Blogblast for Peace


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