However, this article is not a review of the book but rather a guide to get the full story out of the book using social media.
I first encountered the books author Baye McNeil AKA Loco on Instagram as I actively seek out people taking photos of Japan, my favourite tourist destination. I followed and commented on his photos and he reciprocated.
As he also had a Twitter account I connected with him there as well but it was dormant relationship in the beginning as our common ground was the sporadic relationships Instagram nurture. The fact he had a blog actually escaped me for quite a while.
One day Loco posted the cover of his upcoming book on Instagram. I had no idea what it was about at the time and even if I knew I would never had bought it as it wasn’t fiction or work-related.
But this was an “IGer” so when it was released I bought it straight away for my Kindle app.
I responded to his post, Loco replied. I tweeted about his book, Loco thanked me in an honest way that few bigger companies can do… so far I probably haven’t told you anything you haven’t heard before; A small company/self-employed using social media to promote their services.. yada yada yada.
@fransgaard Still laughing! Gonna laugh myself to sleep
— Loco Gaijin Hero (@Locohama) January 23, 2012
But the book was not the full story
As I started reading the book I learned the content was fueled by Loco’s blog, which I had previously been oblivious to the existence of. The book seems to be a coherent narrative of his individual blog posts.
Many of the aspects of the book were foreign to me. I knew next to nothing about youth gangs in 80s New York or racism on an industrial scale in Japan.
But some of the book’s themes were uncomfortably familiar to me and brought back unpleasant memories. With the new world of social media I was able to share these memories with the author himself via Twitter DMs. Suddenly I felt part of the story in a very real way.
The online sequel
Blog, Tweets, Instagram all lead up to the book, but the story continued afterwards, not only with me spamming Loco with Twitter DMs, but in a much more profound way.
One day I saw this tweet from Loco which sent a chill down my spine:
— Loco Gaijin Hero (@Locohama) January 24, 2012
I won’t spoil the book, but White Boy Chris has played an important part in Loco’s young days to the point where the book has a whole chapter dedicated to him. Unfortunately Loco and Chris lost touch a long long time ago.
How often have you seen something on the telly, in a newspaper or even in a book where you end up with this “I wonder how this turned out…” feeling stuck in your mind?
The Internet can continue the story. In fact, why stop there? My Kindle version of the book is digital. Shouldn’t it be possible to update it with a little footnote just like you would in a blog post where new information has surface?
Please share your thoughts on digital storytelling… and yes, I can recommend “Hi! My Name Is Loco and I am a Racist”.