How To Classify a Geek

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So, you want to classify that nerdy kid that sits next to you in class? Perhaps you want to figure out that guy that works at the computer store.  Maybe you wish to learn more about yourself. You’ve come to the right place!

Missing Image Alert!
See footnotes for differences between Nerds and Geeks.

The term geek is thrown around quite a bit, often in a derogatory manner. I thought it would be nice to disperse some of the confusion surrounding this term and bring to light some of the smaller nuances and discrepancies of its use. This term is actually quite inclusive and has many subsets. Let’s take a look at some of the groups…

The Common Geek:
Often thought of in a negative light, the common perception is that this person will be male, scrawny, glasses-sporting, and socially awkward. Unfortunately, this stereotype is often correct. Now, before we jump to the conclusion that all common geeks are this way, let me state that there are exceptions. The only actual requirement for being a common geek is a love for some type of technology. Therefore, many doctors, scientists, engineers, and even pilots are geeks.

The Gamer:
Gamers tend to come in two flavors. First, there are the loud, obnoxious, and socially awkward types. Then, there are the quiet, reclusive, and socially awkward types. Whilst the label “Socially Awkward” is here applied, it must be noted that many gamers are avid socializers. Their preferred method of human interaction is via LAN parties, the Internet, and, of course, gaming chat interfaces. Gamers will love all things shiny. They love pretty graphics, fast computers, and new releases. Gamers love to have the best, latest, and newest of everything. Everything in life is usually assigned a priority, much like in an RPG (Role Playing Game.) Get food +5, go outside for air +1, complete three more quests in Skyrim +23. Often, gamers will not care as much about the hardware of their computer as its performance in certain games.

The Computer Geek:
Guilty as charged. The computer geek is a lover of all things electronic. Computer parts, microcontrollers, solder guns, LEDs, and Potentiometers, there is nothing that runs on batteries that a computer geek can resist tinkering with. Or destroying…The computer geek will often have at least two computers–one of which he built himself. He doesn’t care as much about performance as he does about customization. Everything is custom, from the UI (User Interface) to the mousepad.

Click on the image to view more awesome art by the geek *cough* artist that drew this. 😀

The Innocent Geek:
This person is truly a unique and interesting individual. The innocent geek seldom realizes his true level of geekiness; if he does, he just doesn’t care. This person will flaunt his knowledge, talents, and geekiness for the whole world to see–not because he is vain, but merely because he doesn’t think it’s abnormal to know the firing-rate and name of every blaster used in Star Wars. The innocent geek can be a great companion, especially when he is willing to learn and try new things. Hey… wanna try levitating granite? It’s fun!

The Artsy Geek:
This geek is one of the most socially acceptable of the geek family. Often, the geekiness of the person is not even known until the area of infection is broached in conversation. The art geek can focus on anything, but tends to fixate on the tools just as much as the medium. If it is photography, the geek will love all things camera. Be it art, the geek will be constantly focusing on new styles painting or the newest Wacom tablet. Here the concentrations begin to converge and overlap, as is often the case. See Computer Geek. If the area of interest is literature, be warned! Once a conversation is started upon Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, the clock may seem to move much slower than is normally its habit.

The Female Geek:
A bit more rare, these are the most unique of the lot. The female Geek will often be socially shy, but not awkward unless she desires to be. Please note, any of the above geeks can be female, it is just more common for the female to stand apart from her male counterpart. The female Geek is often characterized by her vast knowledge of fictional lands or works. Complete knowledge of the characters and plot of Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, or Lord of the Rings is not uncommon. Often, the female geek will be fluent in a fictional language–most commonly Tolkienian Elvish or Dwarvish.

That covers most of the main types of geeks. As I stated in the common geek explanation, anyone with an overt love for anything can become a geek in that area. Bicycle geek, donut geek, music geek, lawn mower geek, pop tart geek… I digress. Now you know what to look for. Do you know any geeks?

Take Care,

Disclaimer and other assorted footnotes:
Perhaps a quick explanation of the difference between a Geek and a Nerd is in order. Actually, this has been the topic of much debate, and I merely used the safest assumptions for the guide given above. Hover your mouse over the terms Nerd and Geek to get an idea of the definitions of each, as given by the Oxford English Dictionary. As seen from the definitions, there is little difference in the terms, and therefore only cultural references to distinguish the two. it appears that nerd can formally refer to an expert in a field, but culturally, nerd tends to be a more derogatory term directed at science, math, and computer techies.
Perhaps a clarification of the term “socially awkward” is in order. Often, it is expected that people interact with each other via verbal communication. Unfortunately, there are those who have trouble expressing themselves in a way that matches the normal conventions and expectations. Usually, it is the topic or manner in which the conversation is held, but it is also sometimes merely that the person who is awkward does not want to hold a conversation. Thus, socially awkward is the inability to, lack of desire to, or ineptitude in speaking with others in normal topics and conversations. No! I don’t want 8 Pop Tarts… I want 12, I want 12 of them! Click here if you have no idea…

How To Be an Internet Troll

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Considering the former success of my “How to be a Spam Bot” post, I figured I would continue the legacy of those wonderful pieces of advice and present you with this. The following is a detailed guide that details the details of trolling. Have fun.

First of all: Never fully agree with anybody! That is the fundamental rule that all internet trolls must follow. You may, every now and then, give concessions to the opposition to allow them a glimpse of hope, but never let them win an argument. Even with this post, don’t follow everything I say…

Secondly: Use as many long words as you can, even if their use is slightly incorrect. If you can make your victim use a thesaurus, you are doing well.

Third: Use as many strong, logical arguments as you can come up with. Often times, since you are a troll, your premises will be false. That doesn’t mean your argument can’t be perfect though. I’m telling you! Aliens do exist!! How else do you explain the existence of Lady Gaga?

Fourthedly: Allow certain keywords in your opponent’s language to trigger random rants. Find weaknesses that are completely unrelated to the main point, and exploit them. Make the best use of Straw Men, Red Herrings, and Parades of Horrors as you can. Yes, I said fourthedly. Get over it.

Fifth: Allow the opposition to cite sources, then attack the reputation of said sources. Bring up inane and completely random facts if needed, but discredit the sources at all costs. No! The CIA doesn’t know anything! Their website is the epitome of government cover-ups! 

Sixth: Use webcomics, Urban Dictionary, Wikipedia, and other non sequitur sources in your own arguments. Calvin and Hobbes, XKCD, and Pearls Before Swine are excellent examples of webcomics to use. “I’m sorry you were offended.”

Seventh: When all else fails, resort to name-calling. This is the most stereotypical action of an internet troll, so keep in mind that you are reaching a low point. But don’t let that bring you down… Just move on to the next poor soul.

Eighth: Come up with an awesome troll name. Like, p0pt4rtz43v3r or iloveun1c0rnz… something like that. You’ll figure it out.

There you have it, a guide on trolling the internetz. Now go on, get out there and let the world know how obnoxious you are. Comment on people’s hairstyle before their philosophy. That’s what really matters anyway, right? I mean, why not be as mean as possible on the internet… it’s what it’s there for!

Have a Nice Life,
~ XK

Note – You may not use this guide to the detriment of others. If you go out and hurt someone’s feelings, I will personally come to your website with my army of trolls and destroy your comment area. You have been warned. 

How to Win Friends and Influence Bloggers

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So you want to write a guest blog post? Read this and be enlightened. Unless, of course, you’re a professional blogger, then you can just read this for the giggles. If you are active in any blogging communities (I’m a member of the amazing then you will undoubtedly see many references to “guest blogging opportunities.” These ubiquitous advertising and promotional tactics are a win-win situation for all involved – provided the post is of the quality and type needed.  Check out the list I’ve put together below to make sure your post makes the cut!

Style ~ An important aspect of any blog post, this is especially important when you are writing for someone else’s site. Make sure that your writing is at least similar to the normal posts on the host’s site.  If they usually write in a conversational tone, don’t format your post to MLA research paper standards, you’ll bore everyone to death; even your mom won’t like it. 

Attitude ~ It’s vital to impart a sense of confidence to your readers – without losing the personal bond that’s needed for a reader to really connect to your post. Write so that you make your readers feel as if they’re the only ones that are being targeted by the message. “Date” your reader, if you will. You want that special “spark” to set off a long term relationship with your reader, make them want to hear from you in the future. Don’t make them take a fake phone call to get away from the table.

Consider your host! ~ You want to make your post as accommodating of your host as possible. Just like a good guest, you want to come in and accept the hospitality offered, but you don’t want to take advantage of it to the extreme. One of the goals of a guest blog post is to increase the readership of both the host’s blog and the guest’s. You don’t want to try to hog more than your fair share of the credit. The host should give you a proper introduction and tell the readers a bit about you and your blog. You, in turn, shouldn’t reference your blog every time you take a virtual breath. Say something nice about your host’s blog while you’re at it, it’ll give them the warm fuzzies inside.  

Grammar and Spelling ~ This should go without saying, but I’ve seen perfectly credible people write fantastic posts that contain terrible technical errors. Most casual readers won’t care, but there will be those few who will catch you using the wrong form of “their” or “its” and their train of thought will be derailed for the rest of your post. If you don’t do anything else, paste your post into Word or another text editor and run spell check. If you’re horrible with grammar and deem yourself hopeless, then I recommend getting a friend to review your work. I swear Iran spell cheque on this post! Its just so aggregating.

Topic ~ Normally considered to be the most obviously important part of your post, I beg to differ.  In reality, a topic is only what the author makes it. The most boring of topics can be made entertaining by a good author who engages his or her readers and connects with them. It can be difficult, but if you use the correct vernacular and style, you can write about anything. Just tie the subject back in to host’s site somehow. Never blog about the benefits of Windows on a Mac fansite though, that’s just suicide.

Most importantly, be yourself! Especially if you’ve been chosen based on prior writings. The host wants your input because he or she likes your writing or feels that your voice is valuable. Make sure that your post fits with the site, and that it’ll not stick out like a giraffe in a pigsty, but still use your own voice when you write.  You want to be the pearl in the box of glass beads. Make your host proud to have your post on their site! Now, go write a blog post! Do a good job too, make me proud. 

Until next time,

EDIT: It was pointed out to me by a blogger with much more experience than me (TimeThief at that I hadn’t mentioned anything about policy. This being promptly and duly noted by myself, I decided to put a little blurb in this post about it. Having then undertaken this quest to post my blurb, I want to remind all of my lovely readers that many blogs will have guest posting policies. These policies should be read and understood by yourself before you begin to write a post. If you don’t agree with the policy, then don’t even try to submit an article! For an example, see this link:
Thanks For Reading! (And a special thanks to TimeThief!)