Ah, the ol’ twinge of butterflies. It’s time once again to put my money where my mouth is and meet “internet friends” in a real-life setting. I took pause before entering Teneman's castle at PenCon; I mean, spending four days with 60-some-odd people I've never met before is a pretty mind-boggling situation. Sure, it could be great. Or they could have set up a highly-efficient organ-harvesting assembly line in the basement.
… Well, disassembly line, to be precise.
I get it. Despite being an extroverted person by nature, I tend toward nervousness in these situations too. Will we all get along? Will there be any long, awkward pauses? Will I still have all of my internal organs safely tucked away inside my body at the end of the day?
I find myself looking for rules for approaching situations like this — your grandmother may call such rules etiquette — but there aren't many codified rules for finally putting a face with a name when it comes to meeting those met online. It’s a bit of a brave new world of social interaction, and to this point the rules don’t seem to yet be firmly established.