Someone you met when you found their web site while surfing the 'net at four in the morning and thought it was so cool you just had to send them email about it and, to your surprise, they replied.
Someone with whom you occasionally get into AIM or ICQ or (insert random chat program of your choice here) conversations, and with whom you sporadically exchange emails about unexpected but nonetheless often pleasantly surprising things.
Someone you still have a hard time believing is real but for the fact that you have this mysterious cosmic online connection with them—
—until then you met them in person once or twice and it was weird but somehow not unfamiliar.
Am I making any sense here? I think maybe it's only random the first time it happens, and after that the magic is gone. In which case I'm sorry for all of you, though I promise you're every bit as sublimely (un)real to me as my first internet friend was years ago.
I'm not making any sense. That's okay. Someday I'll be more expressive about it than that, and then I'll be truly able to thank Random Girl (Miki), my first and randomest internet friend, for being kind and generous and wonderfully unpredictable to a total stranger who sent her email two incarnations of her website ago.
(Finding out about Dan Bern/Bernstein shows that weren't even being advertised on the website she maintains was a nice added bonus, too.)