Anything I can help with?
— Chris Guillebeau (@chrisguillebeau) March 28, 2013
Chris Guillebeau tweeted me. Twice. The author of The Art of Non-Conformity and The $100 Startup was, first and foremost, a blogger with the bucket list goal of visiting every country in the world. Now an author famous to me particularly, he asked on Twitter, bluntly and generally, if he could help anyone, and I figured, "What the hell, why not ask a fellow writer about my audience?"
It was a glimpse of the bigger picture. It's no big secret that Twitter is a great way to connect closely with others you'd never imagine talking to and here was a more successful author/blogger/world traveler than I that was opening his inbox to anyone willing to crank out 140 characters. What seemed wild at the time now shines of brilliant strategy and generosity. Guillebeau pointed me to his free manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success, already taking the time to craft a beautiful and effective e-book of sorts to teach others how to develop a blog following without sleazy advertisements or compromises. In a world where everyone can write, a personal touch is the quickest way to gaining a true fan and Guillebeau has me.
With the feedback to my own writing, I've come across two fairly obvious themes: you like me and you like my ideas. Simple enough, right? The challenge is getting a small world to know me and my ideas. What is Explode into Space? Why, as a reader, would I waste my time here? They are the questions we barely bother to ask ourselves when something like The Onion or Perez Hilton or Reddit just fits. It's subtle but effective. You know what to expect from each and you don't mind wasting time cause you don't imagine doing anything else.
Jason Silva is another name I thought had to have some Internet pull. When he tweeted that he'd be chatting with author Daniel Pinchbeck in NYC the next day for just $10, I thought it was a joke. I bought a ticket without thinking, which I rarely do, and made my way across state lines.
Formerly an employee of CurrentTV, Silva has exploded onto the Internet scene with his viral videos, or shots of philosophical espresso, as he calls them. They are simply two minutes of enthusiastic buzzing from Silva, quoting technological minds like Ray Kurzweil and Kevin Kelly, and radically beaming about the epiphanies of life. I highly recommend them.
Amongst the great conversation Silva and Pinchbeck shared with a crowded bar of fifty or so people, a sharp criticism was made of hipsters for the right reason. Forget the fashion and trust-fund support system, Silva criticized the hipsters we all know as being unimpressed by everything, dead to the world around them. It's a slap in the face to life itself. There is awe and inspiration around every corner, and it's something that deeply infuses my writing.
How can we not be impressed with a world where we can contact our favorite authors via Twitter in minutes? How can we not be impressed by the amazing technology you're reading this on right now? No one is reading Explode into Space on paper and pencil. How can we not be impressed that more and more people don't have to drop dead to make the world run?
I'm happy to look on the bright side and this past week I've connected with some great people: authors, filmmakers, new friends and old. The world is ripe for the picking and I'm going to start my collection.
Until next time...
I explode into space.