Apr 302009

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 editor@gypsyjournal.net 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.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  13 Responses to “But I Don’t Wanna Be A Geek!!!”

  1. Hi Nick…we will be heading back to the states sometime in October/November and at that time I would be willing to pay $20. for an online issue of the Gypsy Journal.


  2. YES NICK, I’ll subscribe, Trying to get a “news paper” while traveling FT is a pain.

  3. Yes, we would subscribe to an online version of Gypsy Journal.

    Just a thought – you can increase your “geekness” even more! Several of our RVing friends have discovered Wii games. We have joined them in their RVs playing miniature golf and bowling as well as Wii-Fit for physical exercise and fitness. It is great although a little above our current budget. A new techno toy for you to try:-)

  4. We’d pay $20 for an online subscription! That’s a deal, Nick. However we can get the Journal, we’ll do it. See you in Ohio!

  5. Ha! another soul I’ve captured 🙂 I wonder if anyone else has ever been called ‘Typhoid Mary’ and considered it a compliment!

    We just got a Wii. We hope to make it part of our ‘act’ when we do our seminars at RV parks. I think the most fun is creating your onscreen face … your ‘Mii’ … It works kind of like a Mr. Potato Head game. Can’t wait to see Nick’s.

    And yes, surprise, surprise … I would subscribe to an online Gypsy Journal where I would never want a mailed paper version.

    Your friend, and nemesis
    Typhoid Mary – aka Mrs. Geek

  6. Nick, we’ll stick with paper. We already spend too much time on the computer. We still like to hold the Gypsy Journal in our hot sweaty hands while we follow you and Miss Terry on your adventures around the country. Of course, we won’t give up reading your daily blog and Today’s Hero blog. Chris and Jim ARE infectious, aren’t they!!!

  7. Nick I’m joining you in Geek land. I just bought the new Kindle 2 (my birthday good excuse),on facebook, have a blog and considering twitter. I just love new toys.


  8. Nick, have you gone batty? With all the e-mailing, writing, paper-publishing, elecronic-paper-publishing, blogging, forum-ing, kindle-reading, twitter-ing, texting, wii-ing??, and who-knows-whats-next-ing… is there any time left for seeing the great big old USA??? What happened to the old Nick?

    And Yes, we will subscribe to the electronic gypsy journal for $20 when available.

    Take care…


  9. Thom,
    The old Nick got tired of being poor and broke. In business (and we are a business, after all), you have to adapt to the current market to survive and grow. It doesn’t mean we have changed our focus, we’re just looking at new additional ways to spread the word.

  10. Don’t fret Nick…just heard on the news that 70% who sign up drop off…there is only a 30% retention rate on Twitter. Now facebook has a retention rate of over 70%…

    Looks like twits get over twittering quickly….


  11. Yes, Nick, we would subscribe to a digital version of the Gypsy Journal. Although I still like to hold magazines and newspapers to read, I also like the ability to receive them digitally to save and archive for later use.
    Will see you in Celina in the fall.

  12. Hi Nick; Count us in on the e-paper. Tech IS the first part of Tom’s e-mail address ya know. But he says he is not a geek… yet. He says he married one and that’s close enough. lol Barb

  13. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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