Why (or how) did I join GeekDad? It all happened rather quickly and it was nearly two years ago, but I remember the chain of events quite clearly. The fact that nothing ever dies on the Internet would help recreate the sequence in any event.
I’d been writing professionally for several years, although most of my work was published only on Canadian sites. I did tend to write a lot about family, being a very involved father of a then six-year-old daughter and twin four-year-old boys, and I had a bit of a geeky bent. I have a fondness for technology (last time I looked, the house has six Macs, two AppleTVs and eight or so iPods in use, for example), I’m a true music geek and spent a number of years as a reviewer (although my area of expertise lies more in the 80s and 90s), I still have the prerequisite box full of D&D stuff furtively hidden in the basement, my office is stinking with action figures, I bought LEGO and stuffed it in a closet for years waiting for my kids to be old enough that I could play with it legitimately and there are probably more square feet of bookshelves than flooring around here. I had also been working for a software company for 11 years, although I write full time these days. I sometimes feel as though I’m a little in over my head compared to some of my GeekDad co-writers, but apparently I passed the "patented Geekscore" test. Wired was on the list of sites I scanned every day, and I’d seen GeekDad, but totally missed the call for contributors. My friend Roy sent me the link and prodded me into sending off an application, although I considered the odds of actually being offered a spot to be infinitesimally small.
On May 8, 2007 at 6:27 pm, I received an e-mail from Chris Anderson that started off with "You’re in!"
I was suffering from a major fever that day and had my wife verify that I wasn’t hallucinating. When I recovered, I bought Roy a celebratory burger, but I think I should probably spring for a real dinner one of these days. I’ve had a fun run the past two years. It can be challenging to come up with a post each week and the other contributors and our editor(s) set high standards. But we’ve steadily gained momentum and confidence, and I’m really looking forward to the next two years.
Trying to pick the post I’ve written that’s had the most impact for me is a tough one. Many that have been based on family experiences have been very meaningful on a personal level. Others have given me the opportunity to meet or interact with interesting people I would never have had occasion to meet otherwise. Still others have generated intriguing comments, some of which continued offline. One Father’s Day, my daughter Tasha posted for me- that was cool! But if forced to pick the most meaningful, I would have to say it was one of my early posts, from the end of May, 2007. Muppets in The Battle For Helms Deep ended up showing up on BoingBoing and what seemed like a gazillion different sites, even being reposted on another Wired blog within a few days. There was nothing particularly deep about this post, but it was my wake-up call that what I was writing could potentially be reaching a vast audience, especially when compared to what I had experienced previously. It was also validation that at least some things that I find interesting are appreciated by others and not simply symptoms of a faulty sense of humor. I was in Toronto at the comic shop that inspired my post a few weeks later, and people were talking about the GeekDad post and the amount of interest it had generated for the store. It was inspiring, but a little scary at the same time. And no, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t score any free action figures…