from dial-up to bloggy belonging

Welcome to the first Sluiter Nation Recruit of 2012!!  Don’t know what a Recruit is?  Refresh your memory here.

I had to find a way to start 2012 on a super great start, so I was THRILLED when Tiffany of the mom blogger social network site, Bloggy Moms agreed to kick off this new year of Recruits!

Bloggy Moms was one of the very first “group” type blogs I found myself exploring when I realized that this sphere o’ blogs existed (almost three years into my blogging adventures).

I met some of my first bloggy friends there and found some of the first blogs I ever read there.

It is a GREAT site for networking!

I always figured it’s founder/creator was some huge personality who would never actually talk to a lowly newbie blogger.

I was so wrong it’s not even funny.

After being a member of Bloggy Moms for awhile, I started following Tiffany’s personal blog, A Bloggy Mom and her twitter account @bloggymoms.  I found out quickly that Tiffany doesn’t just sent out “corporate” type “blanket” tweets, she is actually a person and mom who tweets and blogs about the same stuff we all do:  surviving this phase of our life.

I was SO lucky to get to meet Tiffany in person at BlogHer; I only wish we had more time to chat because she was AWESOME.  She has really been an inspiration to me as far as following your dreams and goals.  Not only does she have a hugely popular mom blogger network, but she launched a blogging conference last year too!

One would assume from all these awesome accomplishment that she has always been someone who can just fit right in…easily talk to everyone….right?

Well…maybe not.



I don’t.  Belong, that is.  No matter the situation, title or group.  I feel I don’t belong.

At least, that’s how I felt at one point in time.

I was never going to belong.

Until the day I heard the then sweet sounds of a dial up modem.  I was connecting.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but it was something.  I could belong.  Somewhere.

In an instant, okay it wasn’t quite an instant, I could connect with people from all over the globe.  I surfed the amazing world wide web.  I found sites like angelfire and tripod where people were expressing themselves.  I signed a few guest books.  That’s what you did, you signed guest books back then.

I stumbled across programs like mIRC {instant relay chat} and eventually ICQ {I seek you – clever huh!}.

I belonged.  Finally.

If I didn’t quite fit into the group on a chat room… I could easily move to the next.

Yet in a way, we all seemed to belong.  No matter our interest… we all seemed to be online for the same reasons.  Reaching out into this new void.

I never thought the beginnings of social media would transition into what we have today.  Through blog platforms, social networks and mobile apps… we can reach out and connect to each other.  We now even have meet ups built around these amazing social tools.

No matter where we are, what interest we have or how introverted we are… we belong.


Ok dial-up?  Oh how I was brought back with that one!

And I SO did not know about anything other than my email back then.

Anyway…you need to “connect” with Tiffany.  She is a LOVELY person who I really hope I get to see and hug again soon.  Working with her and just knowing her is a joy.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I am still finding my way through the social media world, but I remember the first chat room I felt I belonged in. Even though that chat room did not last, the friends did.

    • Oh I know! The chat rooms I went to didn’t last very long, but friendships seemed to carry on for a long time over various mediums. I still wonder today about some of the friends from nearly twenty years ago!

  2. Ok, I feel really dumb that I never got ICQ was I seek you when we used it. LOL! It does make me feel like I’ve come a long way in my techno-savviness, though… Love Tiffany and Bloggy Moms!

    • Someone pointed it out to me, I didn’t figure the ICQ out on my own either 😉

      Back in those days, I never imagined that I would keep up with everyone through my phone as much as through the computer. Never dreamed of the smart phones… but lovin’ them!

      And thank you for the sweet compliment!

  3. What a great feature for kicking off 2012! I love Tiffany – follow her on Twitter. And ICQ is quite ingenious!

  4. I’ve been online off and on since I was 15, so uggh…17 years now? My first REAL immersion into it though was when I was 19, depressed, alone, and feeling like my world was caving in. There were so so many nights I spent countless hours in AOL chat rooms finding my people. Now you’d call it your Tribe 🙂

    We TypEd LyKe Dis and we were terribly annoying, but I was in love with it all! I’ve met amazing friends who I still talk to today. I’ve kept some of those people in the computer, but a good majority of them are “real lifers” now.

    I’ve found love and heartbreak. I’ve kept online diaries that eventually brought me to blogging. The internet is my saving grace. It gave me a place to be when nowhere else felt like home. An escape from reality that turned into an extension of everyday life. An amazing evolution.