One Happy Bubbly Geek Speaks Out!

Due to a confluence of events, Starscream misbehaving (that’s what I named my computer), and deadlines I didn’t get the chance to read through many of the posts for Speak Out with your Geek Out until today.

Wow, you people impress me like nobody’s business. I have never seen anything like this. People are not just being enthusiastic about themselves but they’re also listening, connecting and promoting tolerance. This community is nothing short of amazing — and the event hit Geek Dad on Wired.com! Yesterday Jonathan Liu posted about the event and today? Matt Forbeck interviewed me about Speak Out for Wired.com!

Today, I decided to sit down and write a letter to a much younger version of myself.

Dear Younger Me:

You’re a teenager. Your world seems very big but at the same time it’s very small. And you hate it. You hate feeling like you’re the only kid who is fascinated by everything, who prefers music, gaming and reading to other people’s hobbies. I know what you’re thinking. Oh yes, I really do. And you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.

Let me tell you something, girl. You feel this way now? Because you haven’t found your tribe yet, that group of people who will share your passions and make you stronger. You’ve seen so many movies, write so many stories, and read so many books about a heroine. Sometimes, you even think you are one. Well, guess what? One day you’re going to meet her.

Then you’re going to meet a hero.

Not long after that you’ll get introduced to another one. And another one. And another. Until all of you together create this amazing community of people who work and play together. Who laugh and cry, support and tolerate, argue and make up. In this community, you don’t have to pretend to be anyone you’re not, you can pretend to be a character you’re not and that’s okay! While you won’t like everyone (and everyone won’t like you) rest assured that you don’t have to brandish that sword as much as you have been. You can be you and you will be loved for it by people you’ll love back.

So don’t worry about your future. You have one. You really do. It’s going to require tough choices but you’re well on your way to getting there. You just keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy the ride.

<3 Older Me

Happy First Day of Speak Out! Where to Go

Happy First Day of Speak Out with your Geek Out! The Twitter hashtag is: #speakgeek. The Facebook event is public and people’s enthusiasm is already exploding.

If you’ve written a blog post, please visit the official website or the Tumblr and add your link to the comments below.

Stand Up, Cheer and Be Counted at Speak Out with your Geek Out

Based on activity late last week and early this morning? I predict there will be a lot of happy, positive geekery to be had.

Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!

25 Blog Ideas for Speak Out with your Geek Out

Speak Out with your Geek OutToday’s post is to give you some ideas to blog about. If you want to help, please share your ideas for blog post ideas in the comments below or contact me to do a guest post.

Before I do, I want to share with you one of the debut posts encouraging people to sign on. Read Speaking Out by Gary and maybe you’ll get inspired to write your own story.

List of Positive Blog Ideas for Geeking Out

1. What words of reassurance do you want to share with people who feel embarrassed about their hobbies?

2. Why are you proud to identify yourself as a geek? Can you do this in a way that doesn’t condescend or sound elitist?

3. True confessions: If you have engaged in nerd rage or edition wars, what would you say to someone who said they weren’t going to try your hobby because you were too negative?

4. When was the first time you realized you loved your hobby (or vocation)?

5. For professionals out there, how did you turn your passion for your hobby into a career?

6. Remember a time when someone put you down for the hobbies/vocation you love so much. Now, imagine sitting down to a table and introducing them to your passions and how they make you happy. How would you do it and what would you pick?

7. Is there a hobby or vocation you think you’d be passionate about but haven’t had the time/courage/opportunity to learn?

8. Name someone you admire for their hobbies/vocation. Post an online fan letter telling them how much they inspire you.

9. Teach us something cool about the hobby/vocation that you’re into in a way even beginners will understand.

10. Interview someone you know who’s into a hobby/vocation you know nothing about.

11. Review your favorite book, game, comic or other media in a way that tells us how this property affected you.

12. Come up with your own Speak Out with your Geek Out manifesto. Tell us why this movement is important to you.

13. Talk about something you want or have that represents your hobbies or interests better than anything else.

14. Was there a person in your life who encouraged you or taught you about your hobby or vocation? Write them an online “Thank You” letter.

15. Write a letter to a younger version of yourself. What would you say to inspire you?

16. Share with us the positive aspects of your hobby or vocation on your community.

17. If you’ve dealt with stereotypes and name-calling before because of your hobbies, how did you persevere?

18. Photo bomb! Show us pictures of your favorite geek-or-vocation related activity.

19. Geeks are often stereotyped. Write your own, positive geek stereotype that turns the negative around.

20. Give us ten reasons why it’s good to be a geek.

21. Start an internet meme that tackles your interests. Then tag us to respond.

22. Did you abandon your favorite hobby or interest because you didn’t have the time? Pick a night and dive back in. Then write about it!

23. Dig deep and tell us how your hobby or vocation has made your life, or the world around you, a better place.

24. For professionals: If you have a product, website or service to sell, share with us your passion for what you have created or what you have to offer. This isn’t a chance to use marketing-speak on us, be genuine!

25. For professionals: Sponsor a give-a-way or contest on your blog to encourage people to share your interests.

Observations from Coordinating Speak Out

Yesterday, we surpassed 1,000 people on the Facebook event who have pledged to be positive about their geekery. So? Today’s post is my random list of observations from coordinating Speak Out with your Geek Out.

Do you have thoughts to share? Post ’em below!

+ Sometimes, the difference between getting annoyed and understanding what someone has posted is a matter of semantics and an utter lack of smiley faces.

+ More than a few people identify themselves as geek because they’re damn proud of it.

+ It’s quite possible people post and forget someone else is reading their words.

+ It is all too easy to be negative and it takes a lot of effort to keep sharing the happy.

+ Enthusiasm IS contagious.

+ One negative post or update can ruin someone else’s mood.

+ People want to understand what the word “geek” means because they want to feel included rather than excluded.

+ It’s all too easy to get hung up on the meaning of one word.

+ It’s not true that being mean is the only way to be heard on the internet.

+ Many people aren’t all positive or all negative, but rather shades of both.

+ Some people look for any way they can to be an advocate for their personal philosophy, religion or political background.

+ Community is a word that means something different to different people.

+ It’s hard to understand that some people struggle with being accepted for their hobbies when another has no problem with it.

And last but not least?

+ We’re a lot more alike than we think we are.

Originally posted at SpeakOutWithYourGeekOut.com

FAQ for Speak Out with your Geek Out

Q: So, what are you considering a geek?

A: The minute we define what a geek is someone, somewhere will be excluded. The goal of this event is to fight labels and stereotypes that others would use to describe us. So far, people have spoken up that they feel like a geek because they’re devoted to math, science, their children, comics, games and a myriad of other topics. This event is designed to share our passions in a positive way with the community, to give voice to those of us who are normally afraid to simply love what we love and be who we are.

Q: I post about this already. What makes Speak Out with your Geek Out any different?

A: WONDERFUL. Unfortunately, many people out there are afraid of being stereotyped or their love of their hobby/vocation takes on the form of geek cred, edition wars or nerd rage. This week is about happiness, positivity and openness. It’s about inviting those who are shy to step forward and encouraging those who can’t “grok” us to share in what we do. It’s about telling people who have been bullied for their interests that there is nothing wrong with being a geek. It’s about setting aside our differences and focusing on the positive. It’s about doing this for those who can’t and being a part of the geek community.

Q: Is this in response to a specific event?

A: While it was inspired by the latest internet gaffe, there is always another one just around the corner. This week goes beyond that, it’s to think “big picture” as opposed to min/maxing the hell out of the next faux pas. It’s to say that it’s not cool to use geeks to bait us, because we’ll just make our own brand of cool.

Q: How can I participate? I live in a foreign country.

A: The event is virtual, so if you have a blog or website, if you have a social media account, if you’re online? Post away.

Q: Wait, you said you wanted to hit a 1,000 bloggers. How can I be counted?

A: I’m going to make this as EASY as I possibly can. If you want to be “counted” toward that number, then visit this Tumblr or the Facebook event or my website or the official Speak Out with your Geek Out website during that week and add your link to the initial post in the comments below. It will be VERY clear where you can do that. It will also be helpful if you can use the Twitter hashtag #speakgeek and snatch the logo.

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Monica Valentinelli > Events > Speak Out with your Geek Out

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