Can you make real friends through blogging?

A few years back my husband was offered the opportunity to relocate with his job to another part of the UK.

It was miles away from where we live now, in a part of the country where we knew no one and there were little or no opportunities for me to continue my career as a journalist.
In the end we decided not to make the move because, well I had just had a baby and I wanted/needed my friends and family around.
Back then I didn't blog. I hadn't plugged myself into this amazing group of mums and dads. These online parents who are always there for you with a kind word, a behind the scenes 'hug' and their own brand of cyber support.
As I said in an article I wrote for new website SuperSavvyMe, when I did start blogging, I was amazed at this community of men and women – parents who I wished I had ‘met’ when I was pregnant with my own two children.

I was pondering this again when That Girl39 at 40 Not Out bestowed a Circle of Friends Award on me and said she considers me to be in her circle.
And I wondered how many of you out there have made 'friends' here online?
Have you only ever swapped comments, have you emailed each other behind the scenes, have you actually met? Have you 'connected' with someone through blogging? Does it matter that you have never met or does sharing a comment bond mean more than some of the 'real' friendships you have?

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