I love it when I read things that make me nod my head even though nobody can see me nodding my head and then later when I write a little entry on my website I can mention that I was nodding my head and not be lying about it.

What I was nodding my head about.

I stopped writing my silly anecdotes and fake diatribes because they were invariably taken wrong by people who didn't know me at all. And that golden period where I was making all sorts of great friends (and fans) ended when people started mailbombing me and CCing Jeffrey Zeldman (!) when mailing me hate mail for some weird reason. So I tried to jump from egoist to pundit (and failed) and then to some sort of music diarist (and failed) and now I think I'm some sort of quasi-linking-pundit with no real opinions about anything.

Now all my friendships live in AIM or gmail, and I may subscribe to a few new blogs every month, but I rarely feel the desire to make new friends via blogs.

I have to say there's some little part of why FilePile is closed that's related to this as well. Everyone wants a place they can go to hang out and feel like they're amongst friends (notice how I didn't mention the "Cheers" song). I'm grateful that FilePile exists for us and I can't imagine what I'd do if it didn't. If FilePile were like Metafilter, all open and accessible to anyone, we'd miss out on so many of the personal stories and triumphs that bubble up through the ratings system. I have been nearly moved to tears over the death of piler's dogs or celebrated another birth or marriage of a piler with 2500 of my friends. I don't get that with blogs anymore.

Some years ago, we (and I mean 'we' who were seeking online communities), used to dial into several BBSs and juggle friends and meet up for coffee or pizza to trade diskettes or printouts because some of us were on 2400 baud modems (if you don't know how slow that is, you don't want to know), and then the Internet rolled on the scene and for a time we could maintain the smallness of these communities because it was still a bit of work to connect, much less have anything to say once you were connected (see CUSeeMe).

My point that I'm stumbling towards is I think a private blog, a private mailing list, a private community site is where I want to be right now. It's where I mainly exist these days and it's where I can be me—without Jeffrey Zeldman's knowledge.