I love how social media shatters the barriers to entry for fans. I can tweet my favorite actors and authors, like my favorite comic artists or writers and connect with them in a way that has not just immediacy but a social connectedness that's so satisfying.
But there's also something to be said for a letter in the mail. Being a fan can be reading and enjoying but it can also be appreciating and reaching out. I'm trying to teach a sense of appreciation to my sons and encouraging them to reach out.
They love these books in the Joey Fly Private Eye series. They are super cute and great fun for the kids.
After reading them (many times) my boys decided that they needed to write a fan letter to the writer, Aaron Reynolds, and the artist, Neil Numberman.
It was more than a fan letter, though, it was a reminder there are Makers out there. There are real humans who think up and create the things they love. Perhaps it's also a reminder that they can be Makers as well if they choose.
Here's what they wrote (the 5 year old, so bear with him):
The kids also mentioned that they liked tennis and that my oldest had recently lost a tooth.
And here's what showed up in the mail from Neil Numberman.
Note the missing tooth on the bug on the right.
There are no words for the awesomeness of this. This is how you get life long fans, my friends.
Thank you, Neil. You should use your twitter more. ;)
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
"Social Media is the scourge of modern life. It's ills greatly outweigh its benefits. I wish it would just go away."
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.