Today the WSJ posted an article about John Green’s as yet unreleased book, The Fault in Our Stars, which has already reached number one on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, even though it’s not coming out until next May. As in, May 2012.

They discuss his use of social networking, and I think they got as close as any publication has ever gotten to understanding what Vlogbrothers is all about, and more importantly, why they’re so successful:

“Mr. Green and his brother Hank, a musician, made early use of the Internet, offering videos and zany postings that gave Mr. Green’s fans a sense of his personality.”

Yes. And no. It’s not just that we get a sense of John Green’s personality. It’s that he and his brother have built a community. In John’s tumblr response he says:

“One of the reasons newspapers and magazines don’t often write about online communities is that it’s impossible to capture in an article what is interesting/fun/awesome about being part of a strong community online. What I love about nerdfighteria is the breadth of conversation: Together, we talk about nuclear power and economically unproductive pennies, about giraffe mating and Paula Deen’s need to ride, about Hank’s songs and my books, about poverty and malaria and truths that resist simplicity. And all the while we have fun and make friends. We get to make interesting stuff with interesting people.”

And it’s not even just that. Nerdfighters have inside jokes with John and Hank. We can go out into the world and recognize another nerdfighter buy the shirt they’re wearing, a hand motion to a friend, a word we overhear in their conversation. It’s like being from a small town in Montana, and then hearing someone mention the town’s name while you’re in Italy. Except that moment of recognition and joy happens everywhere, often. And the community is growing all the time. We aren’t limited to population 1,289.

So that’s why we are so excited about his new book. It’s like if your good friend from high school were to write a book, or direct a movie, or become a journalist for the NY Times. You buy a copy because you not only have the ultimate faith in their ability to produce something you will want to experience, but because you and they are a part of the same community. And that’s just what you want to do for other people who have been where you’ve been and who also find mating giraffes absolutely hilarious.

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