I had the good fortune over the past two years to become friends with Rachael Webster and it ended up being one of the most interesting experiences I've ever had. To be honest, I think my interest in her picked up much more after I found out the whole website was an ARG. I'd never participated in one before and I decided I wanted to see how they worked.
Looking back, there was never really much to it. You just showed up and commented, bounced a few tweets, and she would bounce back. I never could spot if a different writer was at work, it was all Webster to me. The more I kept reading and interacting, the more I found myself not really caring about who was actually behind the other monitor. What does it matter on the internet? I could be a sixty year old Grandma from Kentucky, would you really stop reading my blog just because the source was not what the final product needed to be taken seriously?
That was the idea I built this retrospective around, the idea that identity is just something we use to justify our claims. Missing are the more personal moments I had with Webster, like receiving a thoughtful e-mail after I took a beating in a comments exchange. It was, without question, one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me since I started blogging. A funny thing struck me during that exchange and I told her the same thing:
Sometimes...she seemed more real than most.