Promoting Professional Geekery #41 – Fansource All The Things

(For more Promoting Professional Geekery, see this Roundup of past columns.)

If you want to encourage people to use their hobbies and passions in their careers, start paying them or at least having them do work in kind for you. Or, in short, start fansourcing.

I’ve written about Fansourcing extensively – in my definition it’s using fan/geek connections to get goods and services.

When you fansource things, you perform a great service to professional geeks providing those services – and more:

  • You give them a chance to use you as a reference, promoting their career.
  • You give them a chance to apply their skills and thus learn more.
  • You give them a potential addition to a portfolio or resume.
  • You give them a chance for free publicity by being affiliated with you.
  • You give them the real experience of applying their skills.
  • You pay them or provide some other service for them.
  • You promote the idea of fansourcing so others do it (you are doing that, right?)

The result of good fansourcing? Promoting Professional Geekery in a solid, reliable way.

It’s easy to not do this. It’s easy to use a standard business card template or forget that you know the people that provide fansourcing. It takes time to get into the habit, but it’s a worthwhile one.

Do this enough and other people do it. Make sure your fellow geeks get enough time, attetnion, publicity, and money, and their ambitions can be realized.

Sounds worth it to me.

Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at


Roundup: A Guide To Fansourcing

For your convenience, all of the "Guide To Fansourcing" articles in one spot:


Steven Savage

A Guide To Fansourcing Part 6: Wish List

So I've talked about how and when to do fansourcing, and how to use it to enhance your career.  I'd like to close out this series by looking at some things I'd like to see to help fansourcing:

  • Convention Events #1 – Let's start talking fansourcing at cons.  Do panels on the opportunities it has, discuss ways to use it on a resume, etc.  Heck, maybe I ought to set one up . . .
  • Convention Events #2 – What about a need-skills networking event for larger cons, where people can find folks that have the skills they need, or people find folks that need fansourced talent.
  • Job Boards and More – Cons, fan groups, etc. can have job boards for fansourcing.  In fact, someone could do a website just on this (this is a huge hint, by the way).
  • More Use Of The Term – As I noted, I've seen it used to mean various things, so let's use it enough to make sure fan-to-fan talent exchange is one of the meanings.  That way more people think about it and it's advantages.
  • Mentorship – If you fansource, take someone under your wing and help them do it.    You'll spread the idea and help them out.
  • Support groups – Building on Mentorship, perhaps in larger areas people who do fansourcing can form a support group (say, via to help people find "fannish" work.
  • Share Ideas – Got ideas for the way to put hobbies on resumes, fansourcing in your skills section?  Let me know and maybe you can write it up and post it here!

So go forth and fansource!

(Oh, series edited as I misnumbered them)

Steven Savage