Tag Archives: community

Geek Catalog Update 9/7/2014

Child Reading Magic Library

Here’s the latest Geek Catalog update for those of you interested in civic geekery. You can find the entire catalog sorted by geek interest and community focus as well.

Comics

  • Charitable Work
    • Heroes Alliance – Cosplayers who use their skills for charity and community events.

Computing

  • Charity
    • Free Geek Chicago – A Chicago nonprofit that recycles used computers and parts to provide computers and job training to those in need.
    • Free Geek (Portland) – A Portland nonprofit that recycles used computers and parts to provide computers and job training to those in need.
    • Motor City Free Geek – A Detroit nonprofit that repairs and recycles computers, teaches and educates, and works on Open Source.

General

  • General
    • Geek Market – A philanthropic company in Ottawa that provides markets for geek artisans, promotes community, and raises money for charities.

Video Games

  • Charity
    • Extra Life – A gamer organization that supports the Childrens Miracle Network via personal sponsorship.
  • General
    • Childs Play – The famous organization that provides games and consoles for hospitalized children.

Writing

  • Literacy
    • Stan Lee Foundation – An organization that builds alliances among various groups to promote literacy.
    • Might Writers – A Philadelphia organization that supports writing and literacy by providing free classes and teaching.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.

Geek As Citizen: Boost The Signal

Direction Sign

“Ho ho ho. Isn’t it nice we hate the same things?”

Principal Skinner, “Principal Charming” Simpsons episode 7-15

Complaining about things is a popular past-time for people. We complain about movies, about music, about comics, about television, about politics. Complaining is practically a cause for some people – in fact, a few of them made it into a career, disguising it as punditry or critique.

We geeks do like to complain. We’re passionate about what we love, do, read, speak on, and so on. That, in turn, means we may be critical of things for the very reasons of that passion. The problem is complaining doesn’t address what we’re critical of.

Complaining doesn’t solve things. Saying how bad a cold is doesn’t make it go away, expressing annoyance about a tacky shirt doesn’t make it change its color, and complaining about a bad movie means it’s still a pile of dreck. Complaining at its best warns people off of something – and possibly warns them off of you as you’re a jerk because you won’t shut up.

Too much complaining, even for legitimate reasons can backfire. This is what I’ve head referred to as the “bigger a-hole” theory – talking all the time how bad something makes you look bad. If you look bad, even your legitimate complaints are disregarded because you’re the bigger a-hole and people assume your legitimate concerns originate from your own being a jerk.

Sometimes the messenger is the message, like it or not.

Now I’m all for complaining, or at least tolerant of it (I do it myself), but when it comes down to it, if we want better movies, technology, comics, and anything else, we’ve got to do something else. Complaining solves little.

So when I asked some of the Crossroads Alpha gang what we could do different, the best action became obvious.

Want something good? Boost The Signal.

Boost The Signal (Insert “Can’t Stop The Signal Joke” Yourself)

Complaining as noted does little – at best it warns and at worse it annoys. Complaining rarely results in better works, better tech, and better ideas.

But what we can do is boost people’s awareness of the good things out there, of the wonderful things we find, of the things people should say attention to.

People have a choice in how they spend their time, their money, and so on. When we make them aware of good things, from a friend’s recommendation to writing a review of something great for a major website, we’re making people aware.  When they’re aware, they are more likely to focus on the things we’re promoting.

In short, let’s spend less time complaining and more time making people aware of the good things so they choose them, or helping out those promoting the good things. Those good things are out there, but often obscure, unknown, disregarded, not understood. We can make people aware, we can do our part to get them out there – we Boost The Signal

Its also better than criticism. Criticism as noted can backfire, and I’d also say criticism is something we’re awful numb too. It pours out of TV and talk radio and the like all the time, and most people aren’t good at it.

But how do we Boost the Signal? I’m glad you asked, because over the days to come I’m going to be summing up ideas I found – and wanting to hear about your own.

 

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.

The Geek Catalog – And So It Begins

Sunrise

Hey all, Steve here.  I finally got around to a project I’ve wanted to work on for awhile: The Geek Catalog.  A bit of a Whole Geek Catalog as it were.

The idea is this – we geeks can, should, and want to be involved.  We can apply our skills and our passions to making the world a better place and engaging in our communities.  However where to start is kind of the question.  So I’ve set aside a project for myself where I’m going to begin inventorying ways for geeks to really get involved – based around what we care about.

So The Geek Catalog will list things sorted by Geek Focus (what do you geek over) and Community Focus (what you want to get involved in).  Drop by and find ways to do more!

Now how far can I take this?  Don’t know for sure.

But we’re going to have fun finding out.

 

Computing

  • Female Geeks
    • Made With Code – Promotes women in coding with projects, events, and mentoring. Has several alliances and supporters.

Cosplay

  • Culture
    • Geeks For Consent – Spreads the word on cosplay =/= consent, petitions conventions for proper policy, and more.

General

  • History
  • Knowledge
    • The Digital Human Library – A resource (for Canadian teachers) that provides people to be digital and remote experts. Worth joining, inviting, and emulating – something great to try at a convention.
    • The Human Library – A site encouraging human libraries, where people act as living books. The site encourages and instructs organizers.  Something for geeks to try at cons, clubs, and more.
  • LGBT
    • GeeksOut – A site for gay geeks that focuses on both geek and LGBT issues, with it’s own attitude. Always looking for supporters!

STEM

  • Citizen Involvement
    • Code For America – An alliance of coders and citizens that innovate on technology, draft policies, and create apps to help citizenship.
  • Female Geeks
    • Women Rock Science – A blog about women in science, from resources to history to recent discoveries.
  • Space
    • Penny 4 Nasa – A group working to raise awareness of NASA, get increases in funding, and promote space expoloration.

Video Games

  • Female Geeks
    • Girls Make Games – A series of international sumer camps encouraging girls to explore the world of video games.
  • General
  • History
    • California Extreme – A convention of video game and pinball enthusiasts where the actual machines are brought into one big arcade. Includes panels and other events – and accepts volunteers.
    • Digital Game Museum – An archive of games and game memorabilia that does shows and displays. Based in San Jose, California, but open to support from anywhere.
    • The International Arcade Museum – A giant database of games that you can help with! Also contains huge archives of past relevant magazines and more.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.