The Quest to Follow 150

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I awake in the dawn of a new day in Webland to the sound of tapping. I open my eyes open to the see the old man in his white robes, dancing around a cherry blossom tree, hitting it with his stick.

“Are you just going to lie there all day?” He says, as he leaps in the air to reach a particularly high branch and shakes a fresh batch of blossoms to the ground.

“I was just thinking.” I reply, bothered by the acquisition in his tone, but I don’t know if he hears me over the sounds of intensified thwacking.

So I shout a little too loudly. “I was thinking about how I would go about finding 150 people to follow?” And turn to gesture at one of the multiple roads open to me to meet this quest objective.

  1. Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves on WordPress
  2. Blogs of Note from Blogger
  3. Friday Follows on Twitter
  4. Website and apps intended to help you find Twitter e.g Wefollow.com
  5. Other recommendations from other bloggers, top 10, award lists etc

Behind me I hear the building rhythm of his taps continue undisturbed. I look at the long paths in front of me still daunted.

“I want to make sure I go in the right direction. You know. So I know I’m following the right people.” I shout and my voice falters in the sudden quiet that falls.

When I look back around, the old man is sitting cross legged in the bed of fresh pink blossoms on the ground. The white gnarled stick balanced across his thighs, his eyes are closed and body is perfectly still. A few remaining flowers fall and settle on him and without opening his eyes, he speaks in a gruff voice.

“And you have been thinking about this for how long?”

“Well er… its been maybe 6 days.” I reply, as I think back to my last A to Z post.

He looks up at me then and lets my own words hang in the silence. Sweeping his stick across the space in front of him, he marks out a clean semi-circle of ground in front of him and gestures for me to come closer. I step into the small space filled with the smell of sweet blossoms.

“Now is not the time for thinking.” He says and reaches out a hand to pick a single blossom from the pile that surrounds us. He holds it out to me and I cup the flower in my palm.

I can just make out the faint spiral symbol of an @ and a name, when a gust of wind blows it from my hand. I turn trying to grasp it again, but the wind blows stronger still and suddenly all the blossoms are twisting away from the ground.

I brace against the rising wind trying to dig my toes into the ground. I look down to see the old man still sitting on the ground. His robe flaps against his calm unmoving body at the centre of the swirling flowers and he grins at me.

“Now is the time for doing.” He shouts and laughs above the growing din of the wind around us.

I stand caught in the flurry of blossoms twisting up into the sky. Their petals are a blur as they fly past, I reach out both hands and feel the blossoms flow between my outstretched fingers and feel the nervous butterflies in my stomach as I know I must begin.

In May, I will catch and follow a total of hopefully 150 people via blogs and twitter. This breaks down as:

Week 1: 30 Follows

Week 2: 36 Follows

Week 3: 42 Follows

Week 4: 42 Follows

Rules:

  • They must be people or groups of people, who inspire and interest me (no random clicking allowed)
  • They must be new people I’ve come across as strangers online (no colleagues, friends or family)
  • I will contact them at least once via comment or tweet (hopefully saying something meaningful)

If you fancy doing this challenge yourself, I’d love some shared moral support and feedback on this digital quest. Feel free to start this with your own 4 week timetable and just let me know in the comments or link back of your own experiences.

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