I’ve always been a dinosaur. I like being a dinosaur. It’s comfortable. It’s easy. It makes life much less complicated. I don’t have an iPhone, I don’t do text messages, and I don’t speak geek.
But lately I’ve noticed a certain amount of geekness slipping into my life. I blame a lot of it on Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour. She’s a carrier, sort of the Typhoid Mary of Geekdom.
It’s an insidious thing, this geekness. You start out just dipping a toe into the waters of technology to see what it feels like, and the next thing you know, you’re in over your head.
I was perfectly happy running my little travel rag, and then someone convinced me that I needed a website to help promote the Gypsy Journal. That took a while to get a handle on, but it worked out okay and over time our website has become very popular. But just like rabbits, one website begets two, and two begets three, and before I knew it, I had four websites.
When the blogging thing came along, I thought it was nonsense. Who in the world would waste their time reading something like that? Well, you know what happened there. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now.
Enter Chris Guld, who hounded me into converting my blog to the WordPress format by giving me a hundred reasons why it would be easier to produce and format, would reach a higher readership, and allow the readers to post responses, creating a dialogue.
The next thing I knew, Chris was telling me that a lot of our readers would like an online edition of the Gypsy Journal. We’ll never stop publishing a printed version, but I finally caved in and uploaded an electronic edition of the current issue to a company who handles digital publications. It looks pretty good, and yesterday I sent out a link to it to several of our readers to get their feedback. I’d like to let you all take a look, but since this is just a test run, the company hosting it will only allow a limited number of views.
Here’s where I am with this so far: The cost is extremely expensive, and we’d need at least 500 subscribers to the electronic edition to make it financially viable. The feedback I have received so far is mixed. Some people liked it, some said they would not be bothered, and some said they would read it, but it would take some getting used to.
Do we have 500 readers out there who want to spend $20 a year for an electronic edition of the Gypsy Journal? A lot of you keep asking for it, even demanding. I guess it’s time to put up or shut up. If you’d step up to the plate and subscribe, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know, and we’ll see what the response is.
As for you readers who don’t want to give up your printed paper, no worries. If we do go with an electronic edition, it will only be an alternative way to subscribe, and the printed version will still remain just as it is.
Okay, you’d think that now that Chris has me blogging and looking at online publishing, she’d be happy. Guess again! At the Affinity rally in Albuquerque last week, she told me that if I didn’t Twitter, I was one step above Cro-Magnon man. I’d heard of Twitter, and like blogging, I wasn’t impressed at first (or second) glance. Twitter is a bunch of geeks sending each other short messages telling each other what they are doing now. Huh? Who cares if I’m going into McDonald’s for lunch? And it’s nobody’s business if I have a magazine in hand and am headed for the bathroom. Who cares?
Apparently, a lot of people do! Some people have thousands of followers on Twitter. Chris and her hubby Jim explained to me that while, yes, there is a lot of nonsense on Twitter, it can also be a good marketing tool and a way to stay in touch with our friends and readers, and to update them on what we’re up to. If I post a new blog, or start a new project, or whatever, I can post with a “Tweet” on Twitter and get immediate responses. So now you can follow us on Twitter under the user name GypsyJournal (no spaces). But don’t expect me to tell you where I’m having lunch (unless you’re buying, of course). And when I head back to the library, just leave me alone, okay? That’s my time!
So there it is. I went to bed a dinosaur one night, and woke up the next day and had websites, blogs, an iPod, a GPS that talks to me, a Kindle e-book reader, and now I’m Tweeting on Twitter.
But if I were honest, I’d admit that it’s really not Chris Guld’s fault. I have nobody to blame but myself, when it comes right down to it. I’ve seen all of those Just Say No commercials, and I knew better. But those darned geeks have such neat toys! Who can resist? I need to find a meeting where I can stand up and get it off my chest.
“Hello, my name is Nick, and I’m a geek.”
Thought For The Day – Some folks wear their halos much too tight.