on-line penpals

Is it just me, or has it become difficult to find on-line penpals? I used to correspond to a few people whom I met on newsgroups, mostly “penpal wanted” messages. Now, all I see are personal ad sites for finding dates. Is there still a good way to find people to correspond with? I know, the SDMB has the coolest people, but it’s more of a party situation than a one-on-one letter exchange. And it’s a bit artificial, with handles rather than real names.

While I agree there is more or less a party atmosphere on this board that doesn’t preclude members exchanging e-mails with each other on a variety of topics. However you’re talking specifically about pen-pals and I think the reason why you don’t see more of that sort of thing on this board is because you can discuss pretty much anything you can imagine in one forum or another.

However I do have to admit that sometimes when you come in late to a thread that you have an interest in it can get confusing. I was just perusing a thread on morality in GD and the responses had gone to two pages. It’s a bit disorienting to read a long post dealing with one point only to get to the next post which responds to a completely different point ten posts up the thread. If you’re just exchanging e-mails with one or two people that sort of thing won’t happen.

Also, with you living in Tokyo, you might not be fully aware of how many board members actually associate with each other IRL. I just joined the board in October and after going to just one doper get together I have made a number of new friends. Not much point in having a pen pal from the board when I can just pick up the phone and call some of these people.

But I like the idea of pen pals; having a person you communicate with specifically instead of just tossing your words out upon the Teeming Millions and praying you get a response. So let’s make this the pen pal thread. People interested in pen pals can check in here and people can work out who they want to respond to.

I exchange regular or semi-regular e-mails with several Dopers, plus with some old friends from years back. It’s nice to get e-mail that’s not forwarded inanity, tho I di get wome rather inane silliness from some of my friends.

I met my wife through www.penpal.net; she was here in D.C., and I was on Canada’s West Coast. Neither of us were looking for significant others, but that’s the way it worked out.

It’s a neat site, you can search for people by country, sex, and age. You get a little run down on what their interests are and you can also post a little ‘blurb’ about yourself. A couple of friends of mine also ended up with long-time penpals as a result.

Caveat: don’t sign up to this site if you’re looking for romance. They actively discourage people looking for dates there. I know, I know, that’s where I met my wife, blah blah blah. But we didn’t sign up with that intention (she was looking for someone who spoke Spanish, and got me instead. My blurb was just that cool! ;))

Yes, I realize many of you exchange personal e-mail. I meant that in this party/board it’s hard for me to get to know someone well enough to start doing that. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, Aguecheek, thanks for the link - I checked out that site and it does look promising. I’m not looking for romance so that’s fine.