A friend of mine hassles me a bit when I call myself a geek, dork, or a nerd.
But for me I’ve been to so many different labels, they really don’t really mean anything anymore.
I wrote before about the power we give words. That’s kind of what I think of labels. They only have the power that we give them. I’ve been (I am) black sheep, tomboy, preppy, treehugger, feminist, leftist, hippy, loudmouth, bitch, know it all, asshole, sister, daughter, friend…. It’s an endless list.
One thing I learned very early one in my current job is stereotypes exist for a reason. They aren’t always accurate, they may be outdated, and horribly offensive. But they have developed over time because there is some “thing” in all cultures or societies that has fed this.
I’ve been a cheerleader of WordPress since I first found it. I love WordPress. The community, the ease, and the support (the app… so-so). I’ve connected in the real world to other WP users and tonight I reached out to some here in Memphis. Holy Moly! What a bunch of geeks. I sat there for an hour and half and I have almost NO idea what the hell these people were talking about. They were all developers and programmers, not bloggers and writers.
Do you remember the old Saturday Night Live skit where Eddie Murphy disguised himself as a white man to get a loan at a bank? That guy was at this meeting! Also in attendance was the comic book store guy from the Simpsons. That stereotype that nerds have no social skills? Well, the woman leading the gathering didn’t introduce anyone. She acknowledged there were new people there, and asked if the new folks had a rudimentary understanding of WP, but jumped right into a slideshow about plugins and php. I giggled when I was telling my friend about this meeting and her response was, but you’re a geek. I am a wee tadpole of a geek compared to these fellas.
Just so you don’t this this is a judgemental rant about geeks. It’s not. I’ve always been an interloper and a bit of a chameleon. I used to manage a software and video game store long before I owned my first computer. My regulars would buy a new game on day one. When they’d come in the next day, I ask them about their favorite parts and they’d tell me in great detail. I’d then use that nugget to tell the next customer that would come in and ask me about the game.
Gratefully, the gathering didn’t last as long as scheduled. I knew going in I wasn’t going to make it to the end since my alarm goes off so early. But, I am now fully prepared for the next cocktail party when someone ask me what my thoughts are on multisite, smush, or the best plugins for site optimization. I can answer that.