Would you please link your name here in the forum to your wordpress.com blog? You can edit your forum profile and change the url to do this. Then when folks try to help answer your questions they can click on your username and see your wordpress.com blog and that would be very helpful.
The wordpress "friend surfer" gives you the option of linking to the rss feeds of your other friends at wordpress. It's only for wordpress blogging friends and you cannot add bloggers from other sites to it.
If you want you can also make make a visible text widget for your sidebar with your friends thumbnail images from other blogging hosts and links to them in it. And this will help with the set up and configuring of widgets. Inserting an image into a text widget and displaying it in your sidebar will result from following this walk through.
-> write post -> upload image -> send image to editor - > copy the entire image code -> presentation -> sidebar widgets - > text widget -> open text widget and paste in the image code - > save changes
Because you are new and you seem to be quite well acquainted with the blogging world I'm thinking you would probably like to become as independent as you can as fast as you can. But don't hesitate to post if you can't find your own answers. This will introduce you to some basic wordpress resources.
Happy blogging. :)