The story of my seduction began innocently enough. I know what you're thinking, that old cliche', "That's what they all say." I was simply reading the newspaper one day and came across a small UP article in the top right hand corner of a page close to the back, which caught my eye. I read the article, becoming increasingly intrigued. I noticed an Internet web address to the place they had described. Seemed harmless to me to clip that article right out of the paper - just in case I might want to visit that address later. So, clip it I did.
"Later" came much sooner than I thought. Before the day had ended, my curiosity led me to my computer keyboard where I typed in the address. I had made my first foray, but not my last, by any means, into the mysterious, some even had said dangerous, environs of the blogosphere. I had reasoned that life is filled with risks -- that somehow, I felt better equipped to deal with the Internet risks than some dangers I could encounter late at night on a darkened street in my real world.
Stories had it that real bogeymen habited the blogosphere; that one must always be on guard against those who misrepresented themselves. Why, Jane could be Jim, and Bob might even be Mary. As if that wasn't danger enough, there was the risk the pictures of a handsome distinguished looking gentleman of a certain age, or the ravishing young beauty might well be photos taken of them 20 or 30 years earlier than their actual age. Even those of so-called average appearance (whatever that means) might be predators. Heaven forbid, the pictures might not even be of them at all!
But I felt confident that I would learn to be able to discern the reliable sources in the blogosphere from those "others," if I should ever encounter any. I was certain I could avoid being taken in by the wiley machinations of those reportedly waiting to accost me. However, I did keep encountering a rather large cadre of bloggers who are "writers." I'm not sure if I should be wary of them or not. But I'm getting ahead of myself, since it wasn't until later that I realized how many writers there were.
Continued in Part II.