Blogger dating in Bra

Blind date

I have a confession to make… I’ve never really got social media.

I’ve been on facebook for years but never actually done anything on there. I mainly just use it to find out how good, or usually bad, my friends’ days have been and to flick through countless baby photos.

Twitter has passed me by completely. I just don’t see the point of it. My wife goes on there occasionally but it just doesn’t appeal to me. Why say something in 140 characters when you could use several thousand?

And blogs? Don’t get me started on blogs! In my previous life I worked on several press events aimed purely at bloggers. Some of the people I met were outstanding. One, called iJustine, particularly sticks in my mind, and not only because she was gorgeous. She’s a video blogger and at that time had something like a million hits on youtube. I just did a quick internet search and she appears to be a full-on personality now, so clearly meeting me did wonders for her career.

But iJustine was the exception. The vast majority of them didn’t seem to know why they were there and were only interested in where their next free thing, be it a drink, food or some sort of gadget, was going to come from. They had no interest in what they were being told and I failed to see what any company stood to gain from inviting them to anything.

But a month ago everything changed. I crossed to the other side. I’m one of them now, a blogger. And I quite like it. For a start, it’s proving to be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family around the world and to let them know what we’re up to without sending countless emails. I’m also quite enjoying the creative outlet, making contact with other bloggers and reading some incredibly interesting blogs that I would never have found had I not got involved myself.

And this past weekend, I saw another benefit… you can actually meet people. Real people. People off the internet. A couple of weeks ago, I commented on a post by Anna Savino from Italianna – Wine, food & Piemonte. She lives in Bra, which is pretty close to our new (old) house and I was looking for some advice about the local area. She blogs about wine, food  and, funnily enough, Piemonte so if you’re after restaurant and wine tasting advice in Piemonte, who better to ask?!

One thing led to another and soon enough we had arranged to meet for dinner. A blind date, of sorts, except she would be bringing her husband, Claudio, also a blogger, (at lacasagreen) and the genius behind the home improvement website lagrandacasa.it, and I would be bringing my wife, neither blogger nor genius but very handy with facebook nonetheless.

I instantly stopped reading both their blogs as I didn’t want to turn up for dinner already knowing their life stories and inner-most thoughts. That would make an already slightly weird situation even weirder.

So, on Saturday night, we headed to Bra, to an amazing restaurant called Boccondivino (highly recommended if you’re ever in the area, but I’ll leave the food blogging to Anna). We were the first to arrive and we sat, nervously nibbling grissini, waiting for our ‘date’ to show up. It was like being eighteen again. What if they didn’t like us? I haven’t been that nervous in years. As we moved onto the second basket of grissini, we thought perhaps we might have been stood up. Were the waiters starting to whisper about us?

But we needn’t have worried. They were just late. Or on time, as it’s called in Italy. And, as it turned out, they were lovely (and had been equally nervous). We had a great dinner, good chat, nice wine (how could we not have nice wine with Anna in charge of choosing a bottle…) and then we even went on to a bar afterwards so that Claudio could embarrass us at table football (we should have known something was up when he got a bottle of olive oil from the bar so that he could grease the rods…).

And that was it. Our first ever social media blind date had come to an end, and I think it went pretty well. Who knows if we’ll get a second date, but I hope so (have I just made a dating faux-pas by saying that? I’m so out of practice…) If nothing else I’d really like Claudio’s advice on a couple of jobs I have to do in the house, and we need Anna to teach us about wine. I’m not sure what we can offer them in return, besides sparkling wit and scintillating conversation, of course. Our dog can do a few cool tricks, does that count?

So after years of turning my back on social media I’ve finally come around. It appears it is the future after all. Zuckerberg can sleep easy tonight.

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17 responses to “Blogger dating in Bra

  1. Hey, that’s fabulous! I don’t know the blogging world you mention at the beginning of your post. I find the relationships struck up with other bloggers fascinating- we all know a great deal about the life of people we have never met, yet we feel we know well and they make a real difference to my day on a regular basis. It would be interesting to have a blogger reunion so that we could all put a face on the texts we enjoy reading 😉

    • It is a strange relationship you build up isn’t it. I’ve only been blogging for a few weeks yet I already feel I know dozens of people I’ve never actually met, and probably will never meet (unless your reunion idea gets off the ground of course 😉 ) It’s been a real unexpected bonus of the whole blogging thing for me!

      I think big business sees bloggers as a good way of reaching out to a new audience. You have to review things though if you want an invite. I don’t think too many of us expat bloggers will ever be invited along… no free stuff for us!

  2. Blogging did the same thing for us in 2010, when we took a “grown-up gap year” in Lazio. We met (virtually and face-to-face) so many wonderful Italophiles that we took a second “gap-year” in 2011. Now we’re planning a shorter version (3 months) in Torino….arriving the end of April. Never been to this part of Italy and can’t wait to explore another fabulous region. Found your blog thru Anna as we use “social media” to make new connections..We’re on FB at LivingItalian.
    a presto,

    • Well, it’s nice to “meet” you! I’ll check out your facebook page now. It’s great that you’re heading to the area, I’m sure you’ll love it, it has so much to offer. If you need any help or advice just let us know. We’re pretty new to the area but learning fast!

  3. I’ve not met any other bloggers, but met a bloke from a football message board once and was strangely more nervous about that than about meeting my wife!

    • It’s strange isn’t it. I’m not sure why it’s so nerve-wracking… maybe something to do with the privacy of online stuff, or online personas, I don’t know… but like you, I think I was more nervous than I used to be on first dates!

  4. this is so true. I was here in Italy for 4 and half years before I started blogging. I felt alone and frustrated a lot of the time. Since I started writing and talking with other expats, it’s been so great. I’ve discovered that it’s ok to think certain things are completely crazy about Italian culture… other people think that too!! Makes it all much more manageable. You’re lucky you got into it right away – I think it will help your experience a lot.

    • Yep, I’ve found blogging has really helped so far, not only in meeting people, but just in terms of having an outlet. I always said I would start a blog when we got here but deep down didn’t think I would actually get around to it. So glad I did though! You’re so right about thinking certain things are crazy… so many times I’ve been astounded by something and sat down to write about it only to find it’s been covered hundreds of times before. It’s reassuring to know that you’re not losing your mind and these things just aren’t normal!!

  5. bloggerdating! I love this! yes it’s great to meet so many people virtually, I’ve met so many virtual friends in the short time I’ve been blogging, sure if the opportunity comes I’d love to meet them in person, and I am sure I would feel just as apprehensive as you and your wife did at that first “blind date”

    • It’s great isn’t it… it’s been a really unexpected positive for me of starting a blog. It really does make the whole experience of moving to another country a little easier. The apprehension when it crosses over into real life is something else though! 😉

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