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Need Your Help! Feedback on Speak out with your Geek Out

Posted on September 16, 2011 by Monica Valentinelli

Speak Out with your Geek Out began with a single drop of creativity. Today, from where I sit, I’m floating happily along in an ocean of laughter, smiles and friendship. For that? I thank you muchly. (See: the answer to why is a raven like a writing desk.)

The majority of the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. There have been a few critical conversations that highlighted deeper issues within the community but that is to be expected from an event that got a lot of attention. Speak Out got a signal boost earlier in the week which amplified people’s knowledge about it. Geek Dad on blogged about it, John Kovalic from Dork Tower drew a strip about it, Matt Forbeck interviewed me for GeekDad and Jennisodes podcast hosted me for a special chat.

In my mind, what has happened here can and should happen again. Many people would like this to be an annual event. There have been other conversations about going above-and-beyond what this event is. For that? I need your help.

Everything that was done: interviews, comic, writing, hosting, logo, etc. was donated or done on a volunteer basis in an extremely short span of time. Please keep that in mind when you’re answering my questions. You can either comment below or answer these on your blog and link to them in the comments.

(1) Do you feel Speak Out was a positive experience? Why or why not?

(2) Would you like this to be an annual event?

(3) Did you understand participation was voluntary? That there was a reason why “geek” was never defined?

(4) Is there anything that can be done differently for next year?

(5) If your answer to (4) was yes, how would you feel about a Kickstarter to help fund those goals?

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3 Responses to “Need Your Help! Feedback on Speak out with your Geek Out”

  1. Jessica Olin says:

    1. Yes, yes, a million times yes. It was a positive experience for me because it gave me a new way to approach a topic that is important to me and central to the theme of my blog.

    2. I think making it an annual event is a fab idea.

    3. Of course it was voluntary. Were there people who thought this was a requirement? Not defining “geek” gave us room to explore the topic from our own part of the geek-o-sphere.

    4. I participated in Library Day in the Life, and that event has a central repository kind of thing that might be useful if “Speak Out with your Geek Out” happens again. (

    5. The change I suggested is free, except for the labor that goes into setting up the space.

  2. Brian Hagen says:

    1. Speak Out was awesome, it was really interesting to read about everyone’s “geeky” hobbies. Also, when writing about my own geeky hobbies it was significantly easier to get over that initial awkwardness, because I knew that there was a supportive community out there.

    2. I think having an annual Speak Out week would be great. I would certainly gear up for it every year.

    3. The voluntary nature of it is was quite obvious (even with the mild cajoling from my wife). I liked that geek was in no way defined. Culturally I think that it is generalized too narrowly, it was nice to see the idea of “geek” given a little room to breathe.

    4/5. I liked Speak Out as run. The only possible change would be to organize one night of the week where people actually got together to speak face to face about their geeky hobbies. In theory this would be free, but for the organizational efforts to let people know where to meet up. Though I would not be opposed to donating to sometype of Kickstarter or seed fund for Speak Out.

  3. Ray Frazee says:

    (1) It was a fantastic, positive event for me, and it allowed some of my friends who aren’t into the “geek culture” to get an idea of what we are about, what we are interested in, and what it’s like to be a “geek”. I was told by one of my friends that she could feel how personal the things I wrote about were. Strangely enough, those friends who are themselves geeks really weren’t interested in the event. Can’t say why; perhaps they aren’t geeky enough.

    (2) Let it go annual. Run it every year. It’ll be fun.

    (3) Absolutely. Leaving it open to interpretation meant one could run with the idea and make it their own. And even though it was voluntary, I felt like I had to write, because it was my duty to get my message out there.

    (4) I don’t think anything should change.

    (5) I would like to see some meeting events held–“All Geek Coffee Shop Chitchat!” or something like that. And a little Kickstarter would be great.

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