As soon as certain people hear that I'm held in some manner of esteem by him, that I've worked with him on a couple projects now, was in a few classes with him, and lived upstairs from him for a year, it's almost like a direct pass into the inner circle. "This one," they think, "This one knows Austin. She might know something."
It's easy to see how this occurred. While Jablog or DC hubs aren't exactly fight clubs, they're communities in much the same sense. Their presence spreads by word of mouth, with their proponent seen in a near-mythical light. A sense of underground celebrity pervades the atmosphere surrounding him, and though I don't buy into the idea that Austin's a celebrity, per se, I've watched the cult following develop, especially with the mystery surrounding his recent disappearance from campus. There's definitely some power lying untapped here in his favor.
The guy's just got this odd charisma—though much of that, I think, comes from the fact that when you're talking to him, you know he knows what he's talking about. He doesn't give you B.S. and beat around the bush; he tells you things as they are. Yet he does know how to "handle" people, too, when necessary. It's an impressive act all around.
Enough, however, of my waxing analytic on Austin's temperament. I'll do more of that another day.