Friday, January 1, 2010

Read The Caffeinated Globe for a happy 2010!

The suggestion struck me as one of those backroom horsetrader deals used to secure the trillion dollar health care reform bill. I briefly wondered about the ethics of it all.

But since only potential blog readers, not taxpayer billions, were at stake and because I’ve never been even the slightest bit ethical I quickly agreed.

Here’s what happened: Earlier this week the 48th and 49th blog readers decided on their own volition to become “followers” of my home blog,

Followers are the currency of the blog realm. The logic is that agents and publishers will be interested in working with bloggers who have large followings on the sensible belief that they have a built-in audience to generate sales.

So everyone of us who engages in the pointless exercise of blogging does a little jig every time some friend or stranger posts their microscopic picture in the sidebar and testifies they keep up with what’s being written there.

Forty-nine is still a humble little number, but I find it flattering that it’s greater than one. Building something from scratch like a feisty little readership has been great fun and I’m jazzed by all the friendly feedback I get.

So when nos. 48 and 49 signed up, I did what I always do: I tracked down their e-mail addresses and sent them thanks for the giddy little lift they’d given me. I told them I’d try and keep the blog fresh and lively and asked them to recommend the blog to like-minded friends.

That’s when follower no. 48 replied with a suggestion.

She’s the evocatively named January Asia and is the co-proprietor with Steven Hui of the delicious food & beverage/travel/fun blog, The Caffeinated Globe. I encourage you to check it out. A recent post features an appetizing discourse on how to improve your breakfast eggs (I’m eager to try horse radish, ketchup and black pepper).

Here’s the quid pro quo January proposed:

“I will e-mail a message to 6 persons. In the message, I will introduce your site and your blog. And I will also include one specific post title & URL; that way the e-mail receivers will pay full attention to reading your blog.”

(Actually, she did much more than that. I’m feeling compelled to class up the joint because of her lavish recommendation).

She asked me to return the courtesy, which I’m happy to do. The site she and Steven have put together is based in Thailand and it’s great. I hope I can do even a little bit to bring it some worthy attention.

Today is the first day of a new decade. It’s drizzling a miserable mix of snow and rain. The western Pennsylvania forecast shows five days of snow and highs that do not exceed 24 degrees.

But something about this most binary 01.01.10 date feels like a metaphorical spring. We’ve turned the page on what by every measure was a really awful decade of war, despair and deprivation.

I’m basically starting over. Most of my savings is wiped out. I haven’t had a job or a steady paycheck in three years. I’m battered black and blue by rejection and raft after raft of dashed hopes.

In many regards, I’m like the country I love. Right now, we’re both a mess.

Yet, we persevere with cheerful hearts and hopeful eyes on the horizon.

I remain steadfast in my belief that better days are on the way.

You’ve probably vowed as part of some New Year’s resolution to do something to help your fellow man. Good for you.

There’s people that need it so much more than me. I’m not homeless (yet), I’m not depressed (much), and I’m utterly unworthy of any altruistic consideration (always).

But if you’re interested in helping brighten the day of one fellow man, here’s what you can do. It’s easy. Just put your little picture up and join my randy band of followers. Refer the blog to friends and ask them to do the same.

Some publisher might see it and become convinced one of my book projects is worth a contractual salute. You’ll all be A-list when the party invitations go forth.

Then visit the Caffeinated Globe and do the same. It’s a fun read and if one of your resolutions is to help people who help people, then you should be happy to help my new friend January.

Then for profane giggles go visit Shit My Dad Says. It’s the most consistently funny thing I’ve ever seen on the web.

Don’t feel compelled to sign up as a follower. The guy's already got, by last count, 1,011,713 of them. He’s also got a major book deal and a CBS pilot based on his blog in the works.

Know what that means to me?

Forty-nine down and only 1,011,664 to go!


lexcade said...

man. i was excited to have three followers...

ah well. life goes on. i still take from nathan bransford these knowledgeable words: at the end of the day, it's the book that matters.

unfortunately, i know more people on facebook.

Jinksy said...

That's the first time I've seen the date written as 01.01.10 ! I like it...

Jinksy said...

In fact, I liked it enough to write this:-

Oh one; oh one: one oh.
That was the date you know - a binary delight
I missed. I was too slow.

Now first of Jan'ry two oh ten
will never pass this way again.

Tia said...

Happy to be a follower. :)

Anonymous said...

Chris, does it count if I sign in twice? ; ) Happy, O' it's 01-02-2010 a palindrome day. Hugs, my friend, it's going to be your year

Chris Rodell said...

lexcade -- I think it took me about six months to get three followers. You'd think it would be easier. But you'll get a kick out of it every time a new one signs in. Just keep at it!

Jinxy -- Love that little jingle! I wish we'd have collaborated months ago. We could have made a few bucks. Happy New Year!

Kimmi -- I think you're already signed in under something like 15 names, God bless ya! You're such a big supporter and friend and I'm forever grateful whether 2010 is my year or someone else's.

And, Tia, you're no. 50! Thanks so much. So glad to have you on board. I'll be sending you your owner's manual with all the rules you'll need to obey and how much you'll be charged per word you read. heh heh!

Happy New Year! You guys are the best!

January Asia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Rodell said...

Thanks, Steven and January. It was my pleasure to shine a spotlight on your lovely little blog. I hope it brings you lots of readers and favorable attention.

Happy New Year!

Chris R.