My little venture into the world of social networking has so far proven to be more social than I expected. I now have five "followers" of my blog. I wonder if Jim Jones started this way? How committed are my followers? If I hand over a cup of Kool-Aid are you still sniffing it first?
Let me know how you think it's going, oh followers of mine. I really have no idea what I'm doing here, mostly just trying to type up a little something every day. At least I know a few intrepid souls who have gone before me. I guess if I had to list my three biggest blogging role models they would be:
Sailor Jim Johnston -- I first came across Sailor Jim via alt.callahans on Google. Alt.callahans is a Usenet group based on the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon books by Sailor Jim, and it was once upon a time one of the largest groups on Usenet, back in the early proto-days of the Internet. His current blog is titled Sailor Jim; Storyteller. I'll probably put together a full post or two on Sailor Jim and some of his writings, but for now suffice it to say that I like his stories and his writing enough to have contributed the index for his book Naked Through the Snow; and other bits of silliness in exchange for three free copies. If there's a style of any sort emerging on here, it's probably some reflection of Jim's blog because that's the guy I've been reading the longest.
(BTW, one of the customer reviews of his book on Amazon.com said, "And don't forget to read the index." That may actually be the peak of my professional acclaim as an indexer. Nobody ever recommends reading an index, but I tried to make an index suitable for that eminently readable book, and I reckon I may have succeeded.)
Ryan Claytor -- Ryan has done a series of autobiographical comic books called And Then One Day. It's taken a couple of different forms over the last four or five years. One of the interesting things about it is that a couple of the more recent volumes were part of his MFA project in which he studied the nature of autobiographical comics. His stuff made me do some real thinking about the nature of autobiography, which was also interesting thing to think about in terms of how it applied to blogging.
I happened to pick up one of his original And Then One Day comics at my local comic shop because it had a fuzzy cover (really) and was for sale for only a couple of bucks and was hooked. Ryan just moved out to Lansing, Michigan, from California. I met him at a comic talk in December and he seemed okay with the Winter, so I think I'll have to get in touch with him again and see how he's holding up now that we're headed into February.
His work is now on display in an exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, and I certainly plan to check it out while Monique and I are out there next month.
Gettysburg Mom -- That's right, my very own little sister Susan Magee Riordan, whose blog is called Gettsyburg Family. She started up her blog at some point early last year or maybe in 2007, and I quickly came to appreciate what a great tool it was for letting me keep in much closer touch with what was going on with her family. She also writes on of the most consistently entertaining blogs on the net, and I'm not just saying that because she posts cute photos of my nephew and nieces. If you haven't read her blog, check it out. She was the true inspiration for me starting a blog of my very own.
Also on the social networking front, I'm also now up to 117 friends on Facebook. Honestly, I figured I might eventually get up to a couple of dozen at some point this Spring once I got around to tracking down various family members and the Meisner for Treasurer crew. And it's been fun, too. At least half of the folks on that list have tracked me down. How they figured out that I was now on Facebook is a bit beyond me, but what the heck. It's been a lot of fun. I've heard from a few people that I haven't heard from in years, and that part's been really great.
Speaking of my ever-growing friend list, I also had a friend request this week from somebody whose name I didn't recognize at all, and who didn't seem to have any common friends with me. So I've sent back a note asking him who the heck he is. I'm happy enough to friend anybody on Facebook, but mostly I'm just curious. Who are you, Peter Ferrara, and why do you want to be my friend? You already have 14 friends and I don't recognize any of them. On the other hand, when I consider the vast number of people that I have known over the years, it would hardly be surprising if a few slipped past my initial memory filters.
Boy, am I gonna be embarrassed if it turns out that Peter Ferrara pulled me out of a collapsed coal mine and then donated two pints of blood to keep me alive ... and I've gone and forgotten the entire incident!