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Well Met Online Part 1

Whether single or not, you might (must) wonder about people who meet on line. Real friendship? Real love? Finding a good new person to add to your life is often a challenge once one is a certain age. Watch love unfold as two writers meet in this linked four part piece. A snack or a full course meal. Just for you. And it’s fat-free.

I bought a new computer two years ago. The time was ripe for me to enter the world of Windows and the WWW after 12 years of playing with stone axes, otherwise know as DOS. At first, this seemed an innocent enough pastime. I spent an hour or so daily racking up MyPoints and surfing for AllAdvantage. There were the impulse purchases on eBay and the Amazon auction; I even listed and sold a few items as well.

Then, in a seemingly unrelated series of events, I set my feet upon the path that would eventually have me driving 1500 miles across country to be with a man whom I confidently expect to be with for the rest of my life.

Epinions

Being the sort of person who has opinions on almost every topic, it was only natural that when I was spammed by Harris Poll to join and fill out questionnaires, I eagerly did so. After a few weeks as a member of Harris Poll lovely T-shirt, no money, but a fine 100% cotton shirt
they suggested that I check out a new site.

This site actually was offering to PAY me for my opinions. They wanted views on consumable products, but accepted editorials on child rearing, book, films, music and travel destinations. Not only would they pay me a whole quarter every time someone hit one of my articles but Harris Poll was chipping in ten bucks as a signing incentive. I became an Epinions Personality.

Writing On Line: Hooked

By the time the introductory rate of a quarter a hit was discontinued, I had swallowed the hook and it was lodged fast in my belly. I was writing articles regularly and, praise all gods, people were actually reading them! Now I was earning only three cents a hit, but I was getting lots of hits and my popularity at the site was growing. People were “trusting” me and getting email alerts when I wrote and posted something new. I started getting lots of comments. The feeling of euphoria was powerful. It had been years since anyone had paid any attention to my writing, which, at that time, was all of a technical nature. I was a research geologist and publishing regularly. I knew I could write. But this internet stuff, posting frivolous articles on websites for payment was a novelty for me.

After about six months of writing on Epinions I had developed my own solid core of followers. Nothing too flashy, just some deeply disturbed readers who enjoyed my take on things. I never concentrated in one subject area, but tended to spread all over the place: a power tool one week, a movie review the next, and a brash editorial on the behavior of young children after that. The eclectic nature of my writing precluded me from ever achieving the lofty status of Advisor, but I didn’t care, I was having fun and making friends and getting paid for it.

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