What is “famous and nonfamous strangers”?

As David and I update the site, it occurs to us that a little explanation is in order for both newcomers and, you know, posterity.

Relatively early in the blogging craze (back in November 2002) I decided to create a site that would mimic the kinds of conversations my wonderfully erudite, articulate, and most of all hilarious friends have when we get together. Since you can’t have a dinner party every day, why not a blog instead? I intended more of my non-Seattle-based pals to get in on the act, but for whatever reason (lousy weather?) most of the active contributors live here. (I’m going to continue to hassle the rest of you.)

So the style of the site is conversational, occasionally confrontational, and generally short and to the point. Most all of us blog around the edges of work (and of course the busy lives we cram in outside those 40-60 hours a week), so there is a forced economy to much of what we post. As a huge Orwell fan, that “dispatches from the front” feel is something I love about the site.

I set out a few original categories (which have since been augmented) and set a nonfamous.com loose on the world. The results have been tremendously satisfying. As of today, we’re averaging around 300 unique visitors a day, a tally aided no doubt by references to the blog in the New York Times, BBC News Online, The New York Daily News and Slashdot.

Our themeline is “commentary on the world around us, with an effort to keep paranoia at the lowest healthy level.” Especially when we talk about politics, a little paranoia doesn’t seem unreasonable, but we do try to avoid sounding like our patron saint.

At any rate, that’s surely enough introduction– browsing the site is by far the best way to get a feel for it.