“Am I, Or Am I Not, A Geek? And What Does It Have To Do With My Marketing Plan?”

Aug 09

If you’re un-accustomed to my ramblings, the first part of this post may not seem relevant to you, but I get there eventually — I always do. You can skip to the point by clicking —> here, but all the fun bits and Easter Eggs are along the way.  Also? I didn’t write this for Geek Week.  That’s just a happy coincidence – a coincidence that I’ll take it as a sign of approval from the Net Gawds. Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?

Why is the Ph of YouTube so stable? It constantly buffers!

A few weeks ago, I spotted this video:

It made me smile. A lot.  A WHOLE whole lot.  See, I’m all about encouraging people to boldly be themselves, and refusing to being put into (or kicked out of!) boxes. It’s sorta one of my things.

So I dutifully shared the link on both Twitter & GooglePlus. I started to tag a few especially geeky friends, to bring it to their attention, and then it hit me… If I tagged my “especially geeky friends”  I’d have to tag pretty much, well, EVERYBODY I KNOW!

Here’s what my social media following looks like:

What do you get when you divide a Holstein's circumference by its diameter? A: Cow pi!

Huh. That’s weird.

That teeny-tiny sliver of not-geeks? I strongly suspect they followed me by accident.  Now, it’s true that the percentage of Geeks on Google+ is much higher than average, but still… this is pretty illuminating.

I’ve Never Thought of Myself as Much of a Geek.

Why not?

  • I’m a lousy chess player.
  • I suck at video games.
  • I’ve NEVER owned a game console.
  • I don’t relate to Revenge of the Nerds. Like, At all.
  • I’ve only seen the Star Wars movies once (maybe twice,  but not all the way through, and ONLY the original trilogy)
  • I’ve only seen part of one the LoTR movies.
  • I think I played D&D…. once.  Maybe not.
  • The only conventions I’ve been to were for related to various jobs, and the only costumes there were very lame company mascots. Do you know what kinds of mascots hang out at locksmith conventions? It’s not pretty.
  • I’ve never read a whole graphic novel.
  • I’ve never died my hair unnatural colors, nor have I wanted to.
  • How do I feel about Star Trek?  I can take it or leave it.  (please don’t hit me)
  • A Neutron walks into a bar, and asks "how much for a beer?" Bartender says, "For you, no charge!"

Yeah. That ads up to one lousy geek in my book.

But Then Again?

  • My all time favorite authors are Douglas Adams & Robert Heinlein.
  • I first danced the Time Warp in 1978, while visiting a Jr College for a middle school UIL competition.. that I won a blue ribbon in. Combined, that’s like geek to the power of bazillion.
  • I’ve been explaining the word “grok” for at least 30 years.  Also TANSTAAFL and random references to white mice, sperm whales and pots of petunias.
  • I get at least half the jokes in Kingdom of Loathing.
  • I know what Kingdom of Loathing is.
  • I was quoting The Princess Bride while it was still in theaters.
  • I understand >75% of what my fancy-pants web-developer friend says, and he only talks down to me a little.
  • The Big Bang Theory? I grew up with those people. It’s not a comedy, it’s Reality TV.
  • Yes, I was Penny.

Wait, There’s MORE!

  • I’m pretty sure Sharknado is the greatest mutant disaster monster in the history of the universe! (and no I still haven’t seen the movie, but the song is awesome!)
  • Mr.Darcy was my first crush, decades before Jane Austin was cool again.
  • I read all of the LoTR books in grade school.
  • My new favorite author is John Scalzi, but Neil Gaiman is a close second –  really, I could have gone either way.
  • My favorite audio book narrator is Wil Wheaton. Again, Neil Gaiman is a close second – so close that I could have gone either way.
  • I once told Mr. Spouse I was leaving him for a poly marriage with Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman. Again, I could have gone — um, never mind.
  • And yes, I feel a little creepy now.
  • But not creepy enough to delete the creepy bits.

Along with being Geek Week, this is also Shark Week - proving that I do, indeed, win the Internet!  Also, what does a shark say when something radical happens? Jawesome!

No, I’m Not Done Yet!

  • Mr. Spouse once asked me if TheBloggess was my secret super hero identity. I had to admit it seemed plausible.
  • If I really like a TV show, it’s almost certainly going to be cancelled. Possibly next week.
  • I own all the DVD’s of LOST. And Firefly. And Brisco County, Jr.
  • I really, really want a pet Chupacabra. I could keep him in the bathtub.
  • Since no one will buy me a pet Chupacabra, I collect unidentifiable and obscure Mexican pottery figures to comfort myself.
  • I’m making scientific labels for those figures to identify the exact Chupacbra species they represent.
  • The labels are waterproof. You know… so they can go in the bathtub.
  • I wanted to name my dog “The Dharma Initiative
  • This year? I finally gave to boredom and peer pressure, and watched the Doctor Who reboots.
  • I wear a Fez now.
  • I think Fezzes are cool.

Huh. I Sure Have A Lot Of Geek Characteristics…

Considering, you know, that I’m not a geek. If I were to put those lists in a mathematically correct pie chart and serve it up via PHP? Dessert would have a distinct flavah of geek. But I’d never do that. Because that would be, you know…  geeky or something. Eww.

Ok, I lied. I totally pie-charted this.

Later on that same day, Schrödinger gets pulled over by the cops. "Did you know you have a dead cat in here?" asked the police officer. "Well I do NOW!"

Meanwhile, Back at
The Intuitive-Analytics Farm…

So it turns out I’m pretty geeky after all.  Maybe I don’t have enough cred to qualify for the American Express Unobtanium  Geek Card, but I’ve certainly scored enough points to defiantly don a propeller beanie should I ever want to. (and oh, I do SO want to!)

And considering the geek-level of following,  I clearly appeal to other geeks with whatever it is that I’m claiming I do as work this week. Apparently, we can smell our own.

And considering that my existing tribe is pretty much Geekdom incarnate? Maybe it’s my latent geek quality that actually attracts my following? Maybe that’s why you’re here, reading this, right now.  It seems I’ve been over-looking the secret decoder key to my tribe’s heart all this time.

My Right People? They’re geeks.

Thank You,
Captain Obvious.

Or should I say… “Captain Oblivious”? I mean, you’d THINK I’d have figured this out a long time ago. But no. Since starting the Circus, I’ve identified my ideal clients as entrepreneurial “creatives” of different sorts. “Creativity” may or may not be the core of their business, but it’s always something that they, as individuals, value.

What does a subatomic duck say? "Quark, quark!"So I assumed creativity was the common thread I needed to follow to reach my right people. It’s a tough thread to follow – it means reaching out to multiple distinct groups – artists, musicians, developers, etc…  groups that each need to be targeted separately. It’s quite an undertaking, and there’s a lot of wasted effort, too, since not every painter, crafter, or musician groks what I do.

But with my Geek-Girl realization, I have a NEW universal thread. Creative Geek Entrepreneurs? I can totally rock that.  It will be easier to produce content and offers targeted specifically towards geeky thinkers. It will be easier to hold their interest, easier to know what is relevant to them, easier to identify what to share with them through social media channels.

But Where’s The Insight For You,
Dear Geeky Readers? Here It Comes!

(I told you I’d get to the point eventually)

Never stop re-considering, refining and defining your ideal clients, your right people, your target markets or right people – whatever you call your tribe, followers, customers, readers or clients.

Sometimes, we’re blind to key aspects of our market’s identity. Sometimes, we’re blind to key aspects of our own identity/brand. And even when we have ourselves and our markets identified with clarity, both our clients and our brands will evolve over time.

Our brands, marketing and offers have to evolve, too –and that means paying attention. It doesn’t matter if your awareness comes from gut-level intuition, crunching stats, surveying customers, hiring a market research firm, or working through it in a blog post like this one.

Just keep considering it with fresh eyes, helped along by a pair of fishbowl-lens glasses. And maybe you could don a propeller beanie to keep your brain cool…. it should be fashionably cocked at a rakish angle, of course — an angle which you’ve no doubt calculated for maximum rake effect using your incredible maths skills. Yeah, that’ll do Pig, that’ll do.

I'd tell you a chemistry joke, but all the good ones Argon.

To Infinity… and Beyond!

Descarte walks into a bar. The bartender says "would you like a drink?" Descarte responds "I think not!" and disappears. That's all for now, folks!

Comment Geek-Out  Bonus: Share an example of your personal  geek/not a geek traits, and I’ll award you a pair of virtual geek glasses. Share examples of both geek/not-a-geek traits, and I’ll award you a virtual propeller beanie!

P.S.Major geek points and a bonus light-saber go to biz numbers geek Nicole Fende who brought the whole geek branding topic into my conscious awareness in the first place. Thanks, Nicole. You may live to regret this.


  1. I’ve always wanted to attend Star Wars Celebration. (And I adore your propeller beanie. The colors are almost iridescent.)

    • I found and find it most kyool that it turns out that even we have something in common – the love of Story. LOVE your new site!!! Keep rockin’ the Wondrous Words! 🙂 :>

  2. I’m happy to be a part of your geek tribe and have you in mine. Of course I also think Nicole is awesome. In my house we speak in quotes from Firefly and Doctor Who. If I could find some geeky, goth-ish, horror movie lovers that also enjoy folk metal and ghost hunting, I might get somewhere with finding people that actually want to buy my stuffs. Of course, I’d also have to quit being watered down.

    • Yes, you would ;-D (says the doc to herself).

      Well, I’m geek-y, ADORE Metallica’s ‘Garage Inc.’ albumn, and yes, Mike and I explore relations with ghosts as well as other members of the pan-paranormal world, so will I do? 😀

      SO nice to read that your household speaks in quotes too – makes me feel much less crazed.

      Rock on that coming out of the Murky Waters! I’m doing my best to join you in that – perhaps we can compare notes along the way. 🙂 :>

  3. Tori Deaux /

    (quick update – i’ll be unexpectedly out of the house today, but I’ll be responding tonight!)

  4. Funny you should mention Nicole, Tori. It was when Nathara & I realized in the course of consultation-based homework that our most corporate, posh-est Avatar/Purr-fect Purr-son for WonderLand was a hardcore, albeit largely closeted, BrownCoat, that I knew we were on to something major.

    So recently, I’ve begun noticing what Stories people are paying attention to, which ones they understand without explanation. (Wonderland, anyone?)

    It’s interesting to see the others also starting to come out of hiding and admit their love for Stories.

    Or maybe it was there all along and I didn’t dare believe that such congruence was possible.

    In any case, I’m taking it as a firm Postcard from the Universe as well as a Sign that yeah, there is Tribe out there. Just gotta keep speaking my own language, WRITING MY OWN STORIES, and find them.

    Btw, it makes sense what you are saying when one takes a look at who’s stayed and who’s drifted over the last while.

    In other words, I think you’re on to something HUGE here as well.

    Best of Fortune to you! 🙂 :>

  5. Tori Deaux /

    @ChristyBower – Here’s your geek cred glasses for admitting your convention-dream — and a bonus beanie because you showed it lurve:

    @Delisa – You, too, get both… for admitting your geek quotation habit and that you water down your true voice sometimes:

    @Birdy – For you… I have geek glasses and a woo-woo ghost!

  6. Ah, Tori. I am so glad I found you. I started watching Star Trek when it first came out with my grandfather (yes, I am in my 40’s and proud of it). Heinlein is one of my favorite as well as is Anne McCaffrey. I want to live on Pern more than anything. I just watched The Breakfast Club with my 15 yr old daughter and felt like I was 16 again. I am still a geek and proud of it. Baa Ram Ewe.

  7. Marie A /

    Oh, hon, I knew you were a geek–all the best people are.

    In looking at your analysis of Google+ and Twitter followers, I wonder if I’ve skewed your statistics because my profile doesn’t identify as geek. Although I definitely didn’t start following you by mistake.

    I have certain geek characteristics as evidenced, for example, by the preceding paragraph, though, alas, none of the useful geek skills.

  8. Tori Deaux /

    @Mantha – I’m so glad you found me too! For Ewe, an extra beanie for the Babe reference.

    @Marie – dahling, I’m proud to have you in my .1%. Here’s a pair of geek glasses and a beanie for the mention of statistic skewing, plus I want a photo of you wearing them on stage. (Hey, I COULD do a large printable version, then you could cut them out and put them on with double sided tape! )

  9. I knew Mr. Perfect was the man for me when he answered the question “Kirk or Picard?” with “It depends.” He also admitted early on in our dating that he was just here to observe the humans and would be reporting back to his home planet in the next decade or two.

    I’m an artist who grew up in a household of left-brained math/computer geeks. So I’m exactly your right peeps.

    Rock on!

  10. Dina Eisenberg /

    My sister from anotha motha, so good to find you. I LOVE my geekiness. I’ve been a Trkkie for years right through Voyager and my dear Capt, Janeway, and i can proudly say ive attended a Star Trek convention in a hotel way past capacity.

    Grok is still the right word sometimes.I’m a fan of History2 channel, American Ninja Warrior, Alton Brown (food science baby).love Game of Thrones and milked Ready Player One for very single yummy sci-fi, video reference.

    Gene Rodenbury was right. Sci-fi fans re optimists who believe in a better world. Thx for the fun!

  11. Wow I love this post Tori. Not because I get a shout out (which yes is cool – thanks!), but because I don’t even know where to begin with comments. I could write a whole blog post as a response!

    Here’s a fun fact about TANSTAAFL – it actually gets uses in business books! I can still remember the first time I read Stranger in a Strange Land, couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.

    The video is amazing. As a mom to a 5 year old girl it can be a real struggle to balance her need to be girly with the overkill in the pink bomb aisles of toy stores. Fortunately we own all 7 seasons of Voyager (and TOS too), so my kid puts on her pink princess dress, grabs her Tricorder (yes you can get kid ones on Amazon) her toy gun and pretends to be Captain Janeway.

    As a numbers geek the pie charts rock, and I love the 1% who have fallen in Tori’s Hotel California.

    Oh and Tea – It depends is exactly how I would answer the Kirk, Picard and Janeway captain question!

    Now I’ve got to figure out where to put that new lightsaber. I’ve already got 8 mounted on the walls of my office (yes really).

  12. Tori Deaux /

    @Tea – What a great “I knew he was the one…” story! For you, glasses and a beanie for growing up as an artist in a house of techies (no wonder you’re a Trekkie!) (I had to include that for the rhyme, I hope you don’t mind)

    @Dina – Ready Player One is brilliant! I hope the movie does it justice. Here’s your geek glasses and a bonus beanie for the rockin’ Rodenbury quote!

    @Nicole – Go ahead! Respond with a blog post! I kinda miss those back-in-the-day blog multi-blog conversations that only geeks remember 😉
    Here’s a pair of girl geek glasses with pink bows for your daughter, and a beanie for you!

  13. I’m a geek. I love science fiction in all it’s forms! what I love most though is displaying my geekiness through t shirts or my phone case and having my tribe recognize me.

    • Tori-Admin /

      @Ronnie: Well, let’s see if a rainbow beanie and geek glasses help the rest of the tribe recognize you a wee bit faster:

      Also… welcome to the Circus!