99% of fandom, geekery, otakudom, etc. is information.
One secret of building a geeky career is realizing that most of what we love – and thus what we want to do – relates to information. Games on video and video games, fiction in text or animation, movies or films. It's all encoded, processed, delivered, and shot into our brains.
So if you're looking for a geeky job, there's a good chance it's entirely or partially about the creation, delivery, and access of information-heavy resources. A video game on DLC is no different in this way than the latest song downloaded from a band.
I realized that there are three sides of information delivery: The Information itself, the Creation (and alteration) of information, and the Transmission of information. In examining the career to turn your fandom into payday, ask yourself which of the three (or all?) are you on?
Information is the content. The song, the game – and the marketing campaign.
If you're on the information side you need to know:
- People WANT the information. They're often less worried about the how-they-get-it than getting it. If you're on the information side, make sure they get it.
- People WILL get the information. As youtube, hulu, scanliations, and everything from iTunes to rampant piracy show if people want it, they'll get it. You'll want to make sure you distribute your information well (and in a way you get legitimately paid).
- There's a lot of information out there – back catalogs of songs, untranslated manga, etc. This can be your competition.
EXAMPLES OF INFORMATION-BASED GEEKY JOBS: Writer, artist, columnist, reporter.
Creation is the ability to create and to a lesser extent alter and package information. The graphics tool, the video editing program, the writer's helpful software are all in the Creation category of geeky jobs.
If you're in the creation side:
- Creation tools have ballooned over the years – but it's often missed. There are TV shows that did special effects on desktops. You can build a music studio at home for what you'd pay for a used car. If you're involved in creation tools, it's a place where you can expect demand.
- As people want more information and interest in information production expands, tools will need to improve. The userbase is changing.
- There's always room for growth – and indeed it is happening. The question is can you benefit while benefiting others.
EXAMPLES OF CREATION-BASED GEEKY JOBS: Programmer for a graphics program, coach.
Transmission is about giving people access to information so they can do whatever it is they do with it. The Transmission area of Geeky Jobs has expanded rapidly lately in an age of Hulu, YOuTube, websites, mail programs, etc.
If you're in the transmission side:
- This is an area of rapid change as we've seen in the Everything Wars: YouTube versus Hulu, Amazon versus Barnes and Noble, Apple versus Google, etc. Expect it to be crazy for awhile.
- There are many ways people get information and this seems to be expanding. People want what they want when they want it.
- Transmission is nothing without content – and thus dependent on the first two categories. Never forget transmission is nothing without something to deliver.
EXAMPLES OF TRANSMISSION-BASED GEEKY JOBS: Video codec developers, reporter, network engineer, website engineer for content site.
So think over your geeky job – or your ideal geeky job – where do you see yourself working in all these 3 areas? Are you mainly about making Information – or do you want to transmit it? Do you prefer to enable people to create – or enable them to get information? Maybe you're involved in managing these areas – which is a touch of all three.
Where's your geek job?
– Steven Savage