When worlds collide

Ok, there were no collisions; it was just a mixing of my online and offline world for the first time.

Lanier Upshaw, Inc, my day job employer, co-sponsors a fundraising event for the Peace River Center; a private, not-for-profit, community mental health organization providing behavioral health and substance abuse treatment, crisis services, as well as domestic and sexual violence services to our community.

The event, the Full Moon Howl consists of a clay pigeon shoot in the afternoon and a dinner and silent auction in the evening. Quite the combo, but easily pulled off where I stay in Polk County, Fl.

They let you have a gun, Dorman?

For the shoot, I invited my online friend Adam Toporek of IntenseFence; who lives close enough to me and I know is a ‘shooter’. My offline friends who joined us were Nick Emanuel, president of Citrosuco, NA and Dr Bo Jackson, a local veterinarian.

I consider Nick one of my closest offline friends and have known him about 10 years. Knowing his personality and comments he has made about Facebook and Twitter, social is not something we normally discuss over a beer or during a round of golf.

Since there were 36 teams and it takes awhile to cycle through each round, there was plenty of ‘downtime’ providing ample opportunity for mindless chatter……….er, uh, meaningful conversation.

You do what?

Whereas I don’t consider myself a closet blogger, the majority of my offline friends have no clue the extent of my ‘social’ activities. You would think riding around town in my Burger King social media guru crown might be a tip-off, but apparently not. However, I knew ‘social’ would come up in the conversation with Adam in tow.

It was going to be interesting to see if I was ‘outed’ and be necessary to convince my offline friends just how big of a deal I really am…doh… Out of a crowd of about 200 people, I knew only 2 I was Facebook ‘friends’ with.

What did you kill?

Time mostly as it took 30-45 minutes for each round. When they cut us loose and put us in the ‘gates’ to shoot we had six clay pigeons being launched simultaneously from all angles. We each had two shells in the chamber and a primary target to ‘kill’. If you hit your primary then you located the two remaining targets to clean them up.

Being the ruthless killers that we were, out of a max possible score of 60 we knocked down 30. That did place us in the top half but not quite at the ‘attaboy’ level. One team ‘killed’ 54, but there were teams in the teens, so we didn’t pull up the rear.

So, how did it go?

Quite well actually, we really didn’t delve too deeply on the ‘social’ side but Adam and I did discuss strategy and purpose. I told him I still view my activities as a networking opportunity, and he will attest the way I interacted with the group was very similar to my online presence.

Oh yeah, it also gave us the opportunity to talk about a quite of few of you, so if you feel it’s necessary to defend yourself then you better show up next time, huh?

Unfortunately Adam could not stay for dinner so he missed my  power eating display, but he did catch glimpses of it in the afternoon as I never lost sight of the hor devours table.

It was an enjoyable day indeed

There were no collisions or awkward conversations, and it appeared Adam enjoyed himself; even with the sketchy friends I introduced him to.

If there is any question as to whether online relationships are real, I have no doubt they are. I’m just glad some of my online friends are close enough to visit.

I’m still eager to meet more, but how about you; have any of your online friends become offline friends as well.

Pull, or was that duck he said?


66 thoughts on “When worlds collide

  1. Wait. You have real life friends? How does that work? I’m sorry Bill, but from my limited tech knowledge, I don’t think you can have it both ways. You have to choose one or the other: online or offline friends. Your call.

    That is so cool you got to meet Adam in person and have him meet some of your offline friends. Keep wearing the Burger King crown, you deserve it even if the rest of the world doesn’t give you the props you are owed.

    Congratulations on hitting so many clay pigeons. The world is a safer place because of your marksmanship. Few people realize those pests are the Earth’s biggest threat. Super Bill to the rescue! 😀

    • As long as I’m buying drinks I have friends. You thought social was fickle, you should see these clowns I know as soon as I put my wallet away.

      It is somewhat funny how the people who aren’t in social really don’t ‘get it’. Because of this, there can be the ‘great divide’ when these conversations come up.

      I had actually met Adam before at Gini’s tweetup in Orlando and figured he was socially acceptable enough to bring him over to Lakeland……….:).

      Those clays sure are pesky; it’s a good thing we eradicated most of them. I do what I can to make this a better place to live.

      • Well, Bill, that’s why people don’t understand social, because we hang around each other even when no one is buying the drinks.

        My husband doesn’t get “social” either. But he lets me bring home friends I meet online to stay with us for a week. 😉

  2. I would have brought my snowshoes:)

    I’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting any of my online friends in person (cough…I was knocking on your door but you didn’t answer. What’s up with that?), but I look forward to the day when circumstances, events or plans collide to make that a possibility. Most of my online friends live far, far away…sigh…

    Where do you come up with your witticisms? Hor devours table? That is top shelf fab. Cheers! Kaarina

    • We had all types, the snowshoes might have been appropriate.

      Actually the hors devours were jambalaya and grilled ‘wild’ hog sausage. Adam being the vegetarian wouldn’t go near it so I had to eat his share too……:).

      I hope there is a day we can get the most of us in a room. Mimi Meredith is actually in the Tampa area this week but we couldn’t find a time to carve out for lunch.

      Good to see you; hope you had a great weekend.

  3. Hi Bill,
    I enjoyed the style of this post – the self-interview, we’ll call it!
    Like Carolyn, I’m wondering how you have both online and offline friends, and like Kaarina, I’m far away from my online ones! Unlike Kaarina, I haven’t been knocking on your door, so don’t worry about that. If I ever get to Florida though…

    • Maybe one of these days I’ll quit talking about myself, huh?

      There is a big divide between the two groups as one is ‘all in’ and the other typically barely dabbles in social. I’m just a diverse guy however, I can maneuver in both worlds very easily.

      You better look me up if you come to Florida.

      Good to see you; hope you had a great weekend.

  4. Several of my online friends have become offline friends – you, Adam, Gini, Mary Barber, Jennifer Mitchell, Sean Williams… too many to name! And I consider Ken Mueller an offline friend as well, though we haven’t actually met IRL as yet. I think I’ve only been disappointed twice in “online” people thus far, which is a pretty good record.

    I want to learn how to shoot! Maybe that will be the next new thing I do soon…

    • Hopefully I didn’t fall into the ‘twice’…..I know you were expecting me to be much taller and much more handsome, but I thought I had told you I was using my high school picture for my Avatar.

      Yes, I am so glad I got to meet you IRL and hopefully next time it will be for more than an hour.

      Shooting is fun; you can take out some aggression’s……..legally…..

      I see you have Michael at your place today. I guess I better get started on my GP for you that I promised, huh?

      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Always good to hear when fellow bloggers go that step further and turn their virtual relationship into a real one.

    Living in the UK, most of the guys I connect with are, like yourself, in the US. When I’m next in the States I’d love to meet up with a few of you guys. Plus, maybe Stu and I will get a chance to meet up sometime this year.

    Sounds like you had a good day, and it was for a good cause.

    Online and offline networking is extremely powerful, and always will be.

    • It just takes it to a deeper level, but like you, I have very few that are local. I look at is as a place to stay when I show up on my ‘friends’ doorstep………..:).

      We had a good day; good fellowship and good food.

      Thanks for stopping by; hope your day went well.

  6. I’m with Carolyn … AWESOME pic – USE IT!!

    Well, we’ve had dinner a few times Bill! You were as funny in person and oh how everyone just loved you as one of my top dinner guests! Slap, slap … wake up!! Oh, oh! I forgot that was in my dream …

    I have one offline friend who doesn’t go online at all and I have, what I definitley consider as online friends whom I dearly treasure and would love the honor of meeting one day!

    Totally dug this post Mr. Dorman – thank you for the early morning smile! 🙂

    Have a faboo day!

    • Yes, I will be a hoot at the dinner table……..if you don’t mind me eating with my mouth full………..that would be fun to have a tweet-up dinner; except we would actually talk.

      As soon as we took the pic my offline friend asked if we were going to tweet it; and of course we did.

      Thanks for stopping by and nice words; it was a good day indeed.

      I hope you are doing well ma’am.

  7. You know, it’s kind of funny, but I have no problem at all picturing you to be exactly the same person online and offline. That is not how I picture everyone online….I think that is why you can SO pull off the Burger King crown and cape Social Media King thing…it’s BECAUSE you are the poster child for authentic….you aren’t any different online than you are offline and that makes you “attractive” (don’t let it go to your head) to your friends (online and offline)
    Sounds like the event was fun/interesting. Are you going to “spill” who of your loyal true blue followers you dished about? Hmmmm?
    Have a great week!

    • Too late, I will fish for any compliment……….:).

      When I bounce around the blogs and ‘talk’ with people, it is identical to how I behave in a room full of people. I talk, I connect and let everything flow from there; I don’t have any specific agenda other than having fun. That is very sustainable for me.

      We covered a pretty good group; actually we were talking about the event in Knoxville coming up and who we thought would be there. I had not planned on going, bug I might have to work on it; sounds like fun.

      I got my Christmas present today, it’s fabulous; thank you so much, that was very kind and thoughtful of you.

      I hope you have a great week, thanks for coming by.

  8. I am not supposed to tell anyone that I was at the golf tournament with y’all or that I was one of the officials who organized the Full Moon Howl. I suppose now that it is over I can tell you that I was the guy named Skeeter.

    Most of the time I have noticed that the people I have met in real life aren’t much different than they appear to be online. There was one exception when she turned out to be a he but we don’t talk about that one. 😉

    • I thought that was you Skeeter, I had asked your brother Bubba if you were going to show up.

      It might not be as intriguing as you left it, but I think you could come up with a great post about how a she ended up being a he. Did you see the size of her Adam’s apple?

      Good to see you.

  9. Bill,

    Not too many men that shoot stuff as a hobby also blog. And if they do I don’t want to see the photos. I get enough of that on FB with my hunting brother in law. So that picture is quite unique. I have to admit, I never pictured you with a gun, let alone a big one. I see you more in that Burger King Hat one. LOL.


    • My hunting days are over; but shooting a gun is kind of cool….very macho, huh? There was a team w/ two ladies on it that did better than us……..say what?

      What? You didn’t think I had a big gun………well I never……….:).

      You are probably right, the BK Hat is much more appropriate.

      Good to see you; thanks so much for stopping by, I’ll be by your place in the AM to see Hajra.

      • Bill,

        Did that come across as bad or what? Now that I read it maybe I should say, “I picture you with a really big gun”. LOL.

        I shot a shot gun one time and my arm was sore. I think that is the name. YOu know the big guns that you shoot clay pigeons down with. I also tried my hand at a rifle. Now that was more my speed. Silent and deadly, just at the paper target though, no bambie, lol.


    • There, that’s a much better response……..:). Shotguns will typically hurt (kick) more than a rifle; that’s why you have to snug it up to your shoulder. Mine did have a bruise on it afterwards……….but it was a manly bruise……

      No animals for me either at this point.

  10. Hi Bill,

    Delightful, did you exaggerate a little bit with the camouflage vest, I just mean: clay pigeons are known for being rather shortsighted!

    And you had me snorting with your “hor devours table” – something I normally do not do as it is not considered ladylike!

    Next time I would appreciate an invite (and please include the airfare as well – thanks), this sounds like real fun and we have had this discussion before: you would fit in nicely with my IRL group and I have an inkling the same goes for me.

    Have a great week and thanks for starting mine with a good story and some laughter!

    • Yes, it was hard to see me with all that camo on; I probably should have painted my face too however. Actually, it was the only thing to hold the shells because you had to reload 5 times for each round.

      Yes, I have a feeling we’d be right at home at each other’s place; fun is my MO.

      If somebody puts food out a la buffet style, I don’t need no stinkin’ plate; I can graze quite nicely without one………:)

      Good to see you; I’ll be by your place to see what you quit….and it better not be social…….

    • Barbara, don’t underestimate those clay pigeons. Those who have aren’t around to tell the tales.

      Bill was very wise to wear the camouflage. That’s why he survived to be able to write this post. And get a very cool picture!

  11. I love the thought of getting together offline…with anyone, Bill, not just you! LOL! But it would be a blast. My dad used to shoot clay pigeons and hunt for deer and ducks. Tried to eat his catch a few times. Yuck!!
    I tried elk last week. Gagged. I’m no fun!

  12. Hmm… how come most of my online friends live on the other side of the world… coincidence or well thought strategy? 😉

    I did meet a blogger the other day but we’ve never met online and we got introduced that way and she never called me back or never came online… should I take the subtle hint?

    Another blogger friend did come to Dubai, but I was at my parent’s place for that weekend! I should start having a thing, where I call them all over for actual. And then I can have my blog rating drop to zero.

    Plus, I actually have to think of something intelligent to tell them when I meet, I mean look at you guys, you all talk about technology, marketing, social media, public relations and all that jazz and I just blabber loudly what’s in my crazy head… I need a speech before I meet anyone. Deal.

    Back to you, maybe you can have your BIV done by Ameena and you could have the gun and the stars like Brankica did it! With the crown of course!

    • I will beat somebody down if they start talking about technology, marketing, public relations, etc when we are supposed to be having fun….:).

      Oh I’m sure we could find something to talk about. Since your life and culture is vastly different than mine, I could spend days asking you questions about that. And the whole time you could be analyzing me wondering why I am asking certain questions. I’m pretty sure you are intelligent enough…….

      Have you been to the states? I did have a friend working in Dubai at one time and almost went there to play some golf and just hang out. He’s back in the states now.

      I do know a few locals who are on Facebook and Twitter, but not quite as deep as I am; we know each other and acknowledge each other when we attend the same event.

      Good to see you; look forward to seeing you at Allie’s in the morning.

      • No, I haven’t been to the states. My sister lives in California and her kids almost bribe me into coming every time; but they always end up coming here. But then California is mile away from Florida! I will have to make two trips! 🙂

  13. Sounds like the day was a success. Not just for you but for the Peace River Center as well. That’s awesome Bill and glad the day went well for you guys. Even if you didn’t score high with the hits. Hey, it happens to the best of them right!

    Glad you got to meet Adam in person and hope he enjoyed meeting some of your offline friends. Did he say he’s do it again? It so, great sign things went well. 🙂

    I agree with Carolyn, keep wearing the Burger King crown. We all believe you deserve the recognition Bill and it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks.

    Love the photo, a real manly man one for sure! Gun in hand, urgh!!! Bill to the rescue, oh yeah!

    • They have the ‘right’ people behind this; I think they raise a big chunk of change. Open bar and 3 course meal probably wasn’t too cheap, so they must raise a lot just to cover that part.

      Yes, Adam will do it again; there is even a skeet shooting place in Lakeland we might try and get together and shoot again.

      I know, really? Don’t people know who the heck I am……..

      Thanks for the compliment and good to see you; hope your journey back 10 years did you well.

    • Absolutely, of course I might need a few more clothes. Of course, Amber-Lee might have a bear skin or two I could wear.

      Good to see you; thanks for stopping by.

      It was a fun day indeed.

  14. I’ve skyped and chatted with some of my online friends, but never met them IRL. I think a relationship is much healthier when it’s confined to the Internet :-).

    Where do I get myself a Burger King social media guru crown ??? I need one of those!!!

  15. Bill,

    So, I’m a shooter huh? You must not have been watching my clays fly away to safety each round.

    For those of you who are wondering, in person, Bill’s just like he is online — only armed… and eating. 🙂 But yes, I will attest, the way Bill approached the event was very much like how he approaches social here and around the Interwebz.

    It was fun mixing online with offline, and I’m glad we had the chance to do so! I tried not to out you too bad with your IRL friends, but I did want Nick to know that he was friends with a social media superstar!

    It’s been a pleasure meeting some of my social buddies offline — Erica, Gini, Shonali — and I’ve yet to be disappointed. I agree — the relationships are real. Hope I can meet a few more of the folks that hang out here at Casa Dorman eventually.

    Thanks for a great time at the Full Moon Howl!!! Really enjoyed hanging out IRL and meeting your offline world. We’ll get together soon to help do our part to protect the world from the growing clay pigeon menace.

    • I don’t know if I told you, but Nick and I were at an event on Thursday night and we ‘discovered’ we were fraternity brothers. We have known each other 10 yrs and I guess it just never came up…..kind of like social, huh?

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and felt comfortable among a bunch of people you didn’t know. The dinner was hopping pretty good and Allyson and I actually danced quite a bit. She had quite a few of her friends there so she was happy.

      Ever since they took those danged clays off the endangered species list, it’s hard to keep them at bay; but I think we did our part on Saturday. Maybe we can plan a Teneroc adventure soon.

      Thanks for making the drive Sat and thanks for stopping by today. Hope your week goes well.

  16. I might use that picture for the cover of my book 🙂

    Your story got me thinking, I actually don’t have a single online friend who lives in Norway. So, nobody close by. I’ve met a few online from Denmark, but that’s about it.

    • Yeah, you are going to be in a world of hurt when Jack, Craig and Mark show up on your doorstep w/ our snow parkas on wanting you to feed and house us…….:).

      If you were going to use it for your book, we should have put a mean face on, or maybe a deranged face, huh? We could traipse along your ‘walk’ in the woods drawing cryptic symbols and shooting black birds and leaving them on the path.

      Good to see you Jens, hope you are well.

  17. Is the online world totally taking over our lives? 🙂

    We are starting to build serious friendships online and we are dating online. We rent movies online. We shop online. We pay our bills online. We check our bank accounts online. we recruit for our employees online. We test them online…. humm what else now?

    Great story 🙂 Thanks for sharing it 🙂

    • Oh, it’s taking over our lives alright so we have to take special measures to make sure the in real life encounters are still appreciated and important too. Online social can be VERY convenient, but it can also make us socially lazy as well.

      So good to see you; thanks so much for stopping by.

  18. Hey Bill! You bad ass you! What with the gun and all…

    I’ve actually made several, what I would call, friends online. I have a lot of acquaintances, of course, but I’ve really connected with a few people. The only reason I haven’t had them over to my house is because they’re scattered all over the world. But I’m sure I’ll see them in time. And thanks to Skype, we’re able to have amazing conversations and even see each other any time we like. I think social is what you make it. If you’re the kind of person who tends to be superficial and fake in real life, you’ll probably be that way online as well. If you genuinely connect with others, you’ll have opportunities for that online, too. So, good for you for bringing your two worlds together. And for being one of the “real” ones. :o)


    • Billy Bad Ass; that’s me alright……………grrrrrr……….:).

      Social might allow you act a little differently because of the seemingly safety of your computer, and say or do something you normally wouldn’t, but yes, it doesn’t take long for your true colors to show. So yes, social is very much like real life except on steroids because we have an audience with so many.

      Like you, I have Skyped/Google chatted w/ several and have met a handful in person; there were no surprises, pretty much everybody was what I thought they would be. I’m sure most who meet me probably think I am way more cooler and better looking in real life though…………….doh………….

      Just like anything, you only get out what you put into it, right?

      Good to see you and thanks for the nice words. I hope your weekend is going great.

  19. I’d love a skeet shoot. I prolly suck at it. Been a long time. Not to mention, I can’t see as well as I used to.

    Do you have your own shotgun?

    • Yes, that was my weapon of choice. Growing up in a semi-rural small community, I practically grew up with guns. I had a .22 rifle by 10 and our parents would buy us a box of shells (50) and just cut us loose for the day. Pretty scary when you think about it, but we were very responsible with them thank goodness.

      We had fun, many of the skeet escaped our wrath to live another day however……….:). Good to see you Stan.

  20. Hi there Bill,

    Your reputation proceeds you, my friend. I’ve heard… no wait, read, good things about you. I see that you definitely have that sense of humor a lot of our mutual fellow bloggers talk about.

    It sounds like you made a cool bud! That’s Rocking!

    I have yet to meet any of my online friends, but I’m hoping that the day is fastly approaching to meet a some of them; especially the ones that are here in the States.

    Loving that rifle (and hoping that’s what it’s called), I’ve yet to shoot one… or even a gun for that matter. One of these days, I hope.

    Anywho, it’s a pleasure to finally cyber-meet you. Hope to get to know you better through future post.

    All the best. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  21. Hello sir, thanks for taking the time to stop by. I see you around as well and know how time consuming all this can be at times trying to visit all of your friends. You remind me of my friend Griddy who always left long, well thought out comments as well.

    That weapon I am holding is a shotgun which has a much shorter, but scattered trajectory. A rifle is a single bullet with a much longer distance.

    I don’t shoot a lot these days, but I did grow up around guns so I have fired a round or two in my day. It can be fun; I prefer targets to living things however, but there are a few people I wouldn’t mind getting in my sights……….:).

    Good to meet you too; I see we actually follow each other on twitter as well. I’m sure we will bump into each other again soon; take care and have a fantastic weekend.

  22. I’m going to buck the system and take the opposite stance here. I’m starting the “Save the Clay Pigeons” movement. All over Florida these harmless birds are being shot down in their prime, bits of clay scattered to the wind. Won’t someone help these gentle creatures??

    Anyway, so glad you go to mix your online and offline worlds once again. Like Kaarina, most of my online pals are too far away. You never know–there are reasons to travel–like conferences and vacations:)

    Hint, hint…The hubby and I have never been to Florida;)

  23. […] I scheduled the post to run on Tuesday morning, 7AM sharp. I had that sense of accomplishment that most of us get when we get a blog post written.  It’s off of our radar screen and we can get back to focus on that which lies before us.  Monday night I had the dubious pleasure of sitting in on a zoning meeting and, to prevent myself from dozing off, I occupied myself by reading some blogs.  I happened on Bill’s post for this week and glanced at his post from last week.  Now, mind you, I had actually read that post AND I had commented on it.  Guess what the title was….yup….When Worlds Collide. […]

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