I always find it easier to get to know people and them to know me online before meeting in person so they know who I actually am.
In person I'm very withdrawn under I get to know someone and in a lot of cases, people aren't willing to give you the time of day if you're not just instantly open.
BUT, once I was comfy with the person, I wouldn't want it to stay as an online thing if it was suppose to be serious. I need physical contact. For me, online guys are just some harmless fun.