Clay Parker Jones has a write-up of last Friday’s Likemind meetup of bloggers and online folk – about six of us altogether – who spent the better part of an hour chatting about blogging and such.

Meeting people in person whom I had either A) only conversed with online or B) never heard of before but who share a common interest is tremendously gratifying. “Friending” someone on a social network or linking them from a blog is fine and good but it’s so much better to put a face with the name and be exposed to an actual, non-hyperlinked conversation.

Not only do these people bring great stories (Mark was hit by a stingray, Hemel told us what the New York Likemind events are like) but talking to them reminds me that tone of voice is so important in telling a story. When I meet someone in person I read their blog differently cause I have a sense of how they speak, something that adds value to their site.

Here’s hoping this is the first of many Likemind-organized meetups here in Chicago.