Then I had an e-mail back-and-forth exchange with blogging friend, Galen Pearl. We discussed things we could do to stay fresh with our blogging activities. Suddenly, I remembered that Skype also has the ability to engage in video exchanges, too. It is very easy, and also free, to have a chat with someone and do it on camera so you can see and hear each other.
He has an idea!
Wow...brainstorm...idea time! Maybe some readers of this blog would like to connect with me or other readers in this way. Since most recent computers come with a built-in web cam and microphone the process is painless. For older computers, adding a $10 web cam and microphone is super simple.
One of the neatest things about blogging is the opportunity to make new friends. Last August, Betty and I traveled to Portland, Oregon. We spent face time with Galen and Barbara Torris and her husband, Earl, and became real friends, not just blogging buddies. In January we drove the two hours to Tucson to meet Linda Myers, author of another blog I read regularly, and her husband, Art. That also gave us a chance to reconnect with Barbara and Earl who spend the winter in southern Arizona.
This August we are going back to the Portland area to have more time with Galen and Barbara and Earl. In a totally serendipitous occurrence, Early Retirement Tamara and her hubby, Mike, will be in the area at the same time and want to meet for lunch. Then, comes word that Retired Syd and Doug might be in Portland. too. Finally, add to the mix that Linda and Art Myers may be driving down from Seattle to see us all and we have the makings of a blogging convention!
We may have the unique opportunity to make new friends in person with Tamara, Mike, Sydney and Doug, while strengthening our bonds with Galen, Barbara, Earl, Linda, and Art.
The connections I have made and will continue to make through blogging, are very gratifying. For a variety of reasons making new friends as we age is often difficult. I never expected blogging to be the vehicle to help Betty and me establish important friendships in other parts of the country, but it has.
In addition to the above folks, we hope to meet regular reader Pam in California when we are there in the fall, as well as Sonia Marsh. RJ Walters, the focus of a profile I wrote a month or so ago, is definitely on our radar when we get to the Midwest. Regular reader and commenter, Chuck in Tennessee, has invited us to his place when we are in the Smoky Mountain region.
All this leads me back to where I started: video calls. This may be an excellent way to expand relationships. So, I am wondering, would you ever want to hook up by camera and get to know each other better? Would you like the opportunity to ask me some questions about retirement, or just chat about our lives?
I am willing undergo an experiment to see if this fills a need and opens new doors. If you'd like to connect via a Skype video call, e-mail with your interest at this address: email@example.com. We'll pick a day and time that works for both of us and see what happens.
If this seems to be fun and productive, there is a way to actually put together a conference call with several of us at the same time. Maybe we'd have a round table on when it is best to start Social Security, or what are we doing to plan for the time when we need help with daily tasks. Maybe something a little more fun: best RV parks we've been to or where to go on a summer vacation.
I don't know if video calls will work for a blog like Satisfying Retirement but when do I shy away from trying something new? I'll wait to see what the e-mail response is like. I may get none or I may be overwhelmed. Either scenario is fine; nothing ventured nothing gained.
Remember, you must have Skype installed on the computer you will be using and have a decent high speed connection. It is free, totally secure, and takes about 5 minutes to set everything up. Click the name Skype to go directly to their web site. While you can pay for the ability to call land lines and cell phones, none of that is necessary for the video calls.
In some experimentation I have done, there is an occasional tendency for the Internet connection to be lost in the middle of a video chat. There are some issues with a newer version of the software that we may have to deal with. In that case, we could continue by phone if there is more to say. But, that isn't a reason to not consider doing it.
In the meantime I'll have a comb and clean T-shirt handy to make myself presentable on short notice!