Do you still think online communication is a poor replacement for face to face?

Tom Coates has been trying to find his father who he has not seen since he was five and has been writing about his experiences on his blog:

While I'm on the subject: wow does writing about it all in public make it easier to deal with. Starting a conversation with people about this stuff at work or with friends feels really weird and awkward and not particularly appealing. Who wants to spring that on someone in the middle of their day? Who wants to have to deal with people's awkward reactions when you're already feeling a bit random. Not me. But somehow putting it on the site keeps it at arms length. Making it public - but through the site - seems to ring-fence how awkward people can feel about the whole thing and limits how much they feel the need to be sympathetic or whatever. Realistically, sure it's scary but who needs sympathy? What does it do but make you more aware of the stuff you're trying to avoid thinking about? Yay weblogs. Yay websites. Life-saving little things. Very much approve

Another step in finding my father? (plasticbag.org)

I am more and more convinced that far from being inferior to face to face communication online is, in some cases superior. Certainly when it comes to deep, personal, philosophical matters there is something about the abstraction and purity of the written word shared with others that has a magic that is hard to achieve when face to face with someone.

As Gia said in a comment on a previous post :

Blogs are simply the most direct connection between our minds