In my comment to Stuart Henshall's post about his decision to pack in blogging I wrote that the main benefit for me from blogging has been the close circle of friends it has given me. I have written in the past about how close that group can feel and how online friendships can feel at least as intimate as face to face ones.
I have in the past had two or three very close friends who I have spent a lot of time with and with whom I feel I can share anything - no matter how long it has been between seeing each other. However I haven't been in touch with those friends for a very long time now and, despite trying, those rewarding face to face friendships haven't transferred easily to online conversations.
I am beginning to feel the absence of this sort of close friendship and the space it affords to sort things out in your head and to have a group of people willing to accept you for what you are and allow you to really open up about what is troubling you.
In the meantime I have also become addicted to self help books and to seeking ways to improve myself. There is a clearly a level at which I am feeling the need of being improved. A deep feeling of not being right or being good enough has plagued me most of my adult life and nothing I have done has managed to shake it off. I
I am toying with a number of ideas for using online tools to help provide me with a therapeutic forum which could act as a replacement for close circles of intimate friends or professional counseling help.
Could I replicate this high level of closeness of intimate friendship online? Could I discuss the stuff that really matters in an environment where passing it on would be as easy as copy and paste? Could I respect the rights of those close to me and my employers yet at the same time really get to the bottom of things that are troubling me in a manner which may encourage others to do so?
Without at this stage getting into a discussion about blogs vs wikis etc. I'd be interested in knowing what people feel about this, whether they think it might work and even if they might want to get involved.