It’s funny how things get started, isn’t it? I mean, on the interwebz of today, an offhand comment that strikes someone as funny can turn into a writing project, a website, a community, an anthology, or even a way of life. Someone says something that tickles someone else’s imagination, and something new comes into being.
I’m reminded of this because of my too-brief hangout last night with Juliette Terzieff, commander-in-chief of the Zombie Survival Crew. She’s awesome on many different levels (a former war correspondent-turned-freelance writer-cum-conventioneer), but her current avocation—travelling around the country attending comic and genre conferences and spreading the word about the ZSC—came to be during one of those offhand Twitter conversations a year and a half ago. (Twitter, as you can see, is either an evil machine bent on world domination through creating distractions for creative types, or a brilliant networking tool. Or both. I dunno.)
So Juliette was hanging around online, shortly after The Walking Dead premiered, and some of her friends, knowing she’d survived several war zones as a correspondent, joked about her leading a team of survivors in the event of zombie apocalypse. Amused, she posted a blog about who she’d want on her crew in such a tragedy, and, as happens occasionally…it exploded. A few of the actors from The Walking Dead hopped on the virtual bandwagon, volunteering to join up, and within a month, the Zombie Survival Crew had a website and a mission: to keep you safe from the shambling hordes.
That was 18 months ago. Now, with two seasons of TWD behind us, the ZSC is still going strong, and Juliette has been traipsing across the country for over the past year, manning (womanning?) booths at conventions and spreading the word about disaster preparedness.
Because that’s really what it’s about, folks. Sure, there’s humor and pop culture and marketing behind the crew, but when it comes down to it, the point the ZSC is making is that people should be prepared for disasters of all stripes, not just a horde of walkers trying to eat your tender parts. (Case in point: the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response website. Really, you should click through.)
And it all started with an offhand conversation on the Twitters.
Pretty cool, huh?
Anyway, I suppose my point is that big things can come from small thoughts. Silly, overcaffeinated comments on the social media can lead to entire movements. And on the flip side, I’ve seen an errant Goodreads comment lead to a firestorm of controversy in the writersphere. It’s all about what catches the attention of internet denizens, isn’t it? (And Lord help you if Maureen Johnson or Neil Gaiman RTs something you say on Twitter. At that point, you’re all-but guaranteed to have consequences beyond what you anticipated.)
So go forth and tweet cautiously, friends. Or don’t. Blog circumspectly, and try not to offend anyone. Or offend everyone in equal measure. It’s your life. But whatever you do, get ready for a strange ride, cuz shit’s about to get real, yo.
I have no idea what that means. Except that with great power comes great drink specials at high-end clubs. Or something like that.
I should stop talking.
Now where did I leave my crossbow?