I’m the first one to tell you that I wasn’t the social media flag bearer from the start. I was hesitant to jump into something that felt like it was opening up my personal life for the whole world to see. But then a friend created a myspace account for me and modern day phobias started to subside.
This same friend threatened to make a Facebook profile for me, but I beat him to it so as not to have him make me look like a nut or put Too Much Info on my page. We’re still friends, but he can’t touch any of my profiles, or action figures. The social network that I embraced the most has been Twitter. If you haven’t used twitter yet, it’s probably because you have the same reservations that I did “What can you say in 140 character snippets?” I had a personal twitter account which I tried, but didn’t use. Then, after I started blogging on the regular (geeksoulbrother.com) I created one for my site – @geeksoulbrother. Now I’m kicking myself for not diving into twitter much earlier than I did.
Let me back up a bit. I’m a mix of introvert and extrovert. Growing up, I didn’t like big gatherings where it was expected to know everybody. But then I would be loud and animated with close friends and enjoyed getting the attention. Now, having walked the road of life for many miles, things have flipped. I learned how to talk in crowds and gatherings, give speeches and presentations, and be able to spark up a discussion about current politics or the current superhero film (more the latter).
Social media was the next thing I had to conquer. I mean, how was I going to start writing scripts, or develop media projects, or even start a blog if I was worried about what people thought of my writing and opinions?
I started with Facebook because, well they are suppose to be your family and friends, right? If you can’t sound stupid or crazy in front of them, who can you? I found that people aren’t as critical as one might think. Of course that depends on how far you put yourself out there. I tend to put myself out pretty far, sometimes without meaning to. But it still worked out because I could go to my next steps, which were blogging, podcasting, and being on Youtube.
Back to getting social and twitter. Unlike Facebook or Google+ or many other social networks, twitter is built for people to know people, quickly and without worry. To socialize with people at a safe distance, yet have comfortable conversations with strangers. You know that cashier that you talk to almost every time you go to the store? The one that likes horror movies, has kids, asks about your day, leaves you with a joke? That’s twitter. But it’s much more. I’ve met people that have helped me promote my site, gotten celebrity guest because of it, connected with black and non-black geeks that I would never have met any other way. In fact, because of a conversation I had on twitter, I came up with this site as part of the next gap to fill for the black geek community.
I kept reading tweets about geeks who were black and didn’t know that there were whole communities out there that they could connect with. I referred to them in a post on my other blog as ‘Islands of Afro-Awkwardness floating in the caucazoid sea of geekdom.’ They were geeks and could hang with fellow geeks, but didn’t find that added cultural aspect to share over.
So here we are with BLACK GEEKS MEET, one answer to the call of ‘Where are all the Black Geeks At?’ And this isn’t the only answer, nor the first by far. There are plenty of communities that are social gathering places for black geeks and nerds. My online friends and fellow bloggersBlack Girl Nerds andThe Black Geeks, orBlack Science Fiction Societywere answering the call well before this site. But the mission is specific – help black geeks know about each other, get out of their shell, find a virtual geek home, and give a platform to network and encourage each other. Maybe BGM will become a full networking site, maybe even a place to find a geek date that likes sweet potato pie. Personally, I hope it is able to help in all of those categories. There is nothing as refreshing (socially) as seeing Black men and women connecting on different levels at once – culturally and intellectually while getting their Nerd on! I love a good Nerdy conversation.
So let’s get social and see where it takes us all in life!