Every now and then I get recognized by people whom I've never met. This usually happens within the context of the Microsoft puzzle community, sometimes within the context of board gaming, and it's even happened because of this blog.
Celebrities-- real celebrities, who make a living from being in the public eye-- come to expect this and learn how to respond to it. Fans don't expect celebrities to know who they are, and so the celeb can just smile graciously and thank the fan for his support. But when someone recognizes me and I have no idea who they are, I feel like a jerk.
It happened twice today at the company picnic while roaming through the annual puzzle event held there. At two different locations, staffers I'd never met (as far as I can recall) made comments implying a familiarity with who I am. Always in a complimentary way, but it was rather disorienting. I don't see myself as a celebrity, not even a minor one. But within a very small, niche community, I have a certain degree of visibility that apparently makes me a kind of microcelebrity. When I was publishing The Game Report I went through a period where people at gaming events recognized my name, and I understood that. But this recognition by sight is just... weird.
So to put my world back into balance, if you're reading this and we know each other, and we cross paths in the next day or so, I'd appreciate it if you'd feign unfamiliarity.