Sunday Discussion: Nathan Young’s Ice Bucket Challenge


Geek Alabama Discussion

First off, I have enjoyed a little time away from the computer, mostly to reflect and do some job searching.  Even though I did not post anything for a few days, I still got a lot of traffic!  So that does prove that I have a loyal fanbase, thank you to the Geek Alabama fans!  Now, while I was away, the Ice Bucket Challenge took off.  The challenge is to pour a bucket of ice and water on top of your head and donate $10, or donate $100 to the ALS Association, and avoid getting soaked.  Many people have taken the first option, and have gotten soaked!  Now, here is my Ice Bucket Challenge video, and it comes with a twist!

Since July 2011, I have been unemployed, and I have searched the ends of the Earth for anything.  Now, I have gone over 1,200 job rejections, and my challenge is simple, I will do the Ice Bucket Challenge, when someone hires me!  And I really want to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, but being rejected over and over again is tough for anyone, especially me.  I have already lined up the person who will pour the ice over my head, and it’s the person below who photobombed this Batman photo.

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And, I have already lined up something crazy to complete the challenge, but nothing will happen until I am hired, even if I have to move away from Anniston Alabama.  Which has become one of the worst places in America for unemployment and the economy, thanks to Forbes, 24/7 Wall St., and other publications.  I am not discounting the insane amount of money raised towards ALS research, which is great, but if I can’t buy the ice and water needed to do the challenge, what can you do?

So, every day starting on Monday, you will see this picture posted on Crowdsourcing Mornings, and on my social media pages.

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I have been rejected from a wide variety of jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and even a couple of TV show opportunities as well.  Yes, even people who are a Aspie can be successful in a job, this is something some people don’t get!  To help anyone who is thinking about giving me a shot, I am embedding my visual resume, cover letter, video resume, and visual resume infographics.

If you want to contact me, e-mail me at NathanYoung@GeekAlabama.com!

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View The Kryptonite Is My Weakness Music Video


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The beginning of this music video poses this question?  What do you do when you have been rejected 1100+ times and live in the worst metro area in America for unemployment/economics, make a music video!  In this parody music video staring me called Kryptonite Is My Weakness, you see me struggling in the job search while going around in the community.  The entire music video was shot with a smartphone and was done in two days.  The song in the background is from the 3 Doors Down song “Kryptonite.”  So sit back and enjoy the video!  And if you know of anything e-mail me at NathanYoung@GeekAlabama.com

It’s Official, The Anniston/Oxford Metro Is In Deep Trouble


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The Anniston/Oxford Metro has struggled over the past few years, mostly due to Fort McClellan shutting down and the job cuts at the Anniston Army Depot, BAE Systems, and other places.  Now, I can honestly say that the Anniston/Oxford Metro is in serious and deep trouble!  And there are several factors to look into when making a statement like this.  First off, The Anniston Star had an article talking about the Anniston/Oxford area having the WORST unemployment spike in America for the last 12 months or one year.  Over the past year, the unemployment rate has jumped to 7.8% in Calhoun County, (it was 6.8% in March 2013) and out of 372 metro areas in the United States, the Anniston/Oxford area is one of the worst places in America to find employment, the worst!

But that is not all my friends, over the last three years, the Anniston/Oxford metro area has seen the loss of nearly 2,000 people.  Gee, I wonder why this area is losing thousands of people, that’s right, it’s because there are no jobs here!  And earlier this year, the Milken Institute put out a list of 179 small metro areas in America based on economic performance.  They said the Anniston / Oxford area is the second worst performing small metro area in America for 2013.  This is not something I am making up, look at the picture below or click on the link to see for yourself.

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And now, I have a couple of charts to show you documenting the destruction of the economy in the Anniston/Oxford metro.  From the website called Department of Numbers, the first chart is the CES Employment Change.  As you can see, from 2006 to today, most months have featured job losses.

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And this chart shows the total employment from the Anniston/Oxford metro.  According to the chart, CES employment for Anniston peaked in March 2007 at 53,700.  Since then 8,600 jobs have been lost in Anniston.  CPS employment reached a maximum of 53,442 for Anniston in March 2007.  7,872 jobs have been lost in Anniston since then.  And if trend keeps going, more jobs are going to be lost and the chart below will continue to nosedive.

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And if you are lucky to have a job in the Anniston/Oxford area, how much money are you making?  Probably not a lot, because a 24/7 Wall Street report has said the Anniston/Oxford metro had a 2.4% drop in the average yearly wage, the WORST in America.  Here is what the website said about this area.

No metropolitan area suffered a greater decline in average weekly wages as Anniston did in the fourth quarter of 2012. The public sector, which often pays higher wages than the private sector, declined 3% during that time. In addition, the number of jobs in trade, transportation and utilities declined by 4.2% during the year. Job cuts and wage reductions are likely to continue in the Anniston area in 2013 as the federal sequestration hits the Anniston Army Depot, which makes up a large share of the area’s workforce.

So, how do we fix the problems dragging down the Anniston/Oxford metro?  For starters, the people needs to vote out the current people in the legislature like Del Marsh, and the person from the US House Representative Mike Rogers.  Kind of ironic that a Republican stronghold is responsible for the worst economy in the United States.  Second, leaders in this city from the chamber to the mayor and city councilmen needs to make recruiting jobs the only priority.  With the charts saying the area has lost over 8,000 jobs, and only around 2,000 people have left the area.  That means there are around 6,000 people out of work in Anniston/Oxford, I don’t know if the number is accurate, but there are thousands of people out of work in this area, that’s for sure.

And third, leaders in this metro area needs to listen to their citizens, and not just ignore them.  For example, I have written about ideas to turn this metro around, and when I have gone to a mayor or other leader, I get passed up.  People in this area has ideas to turn around this area and bring in jobs, the leaders just needs to listen to them.  Because of the unemployment problems, many people, including me, are on some type of welfare program like food stamps or disability.  And I don’t blame these people, because there is nothing here.  This area can not survive on retail and fast food businesses, it can’t!

People are getting so frustrated they are escaping the Anniston/Oxford area to improve their lives.  And for the folks like in the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, this area is not improving and jobs are not here.  And let’s be honest, how long it will be before the Anniston Army Depot closes down and gets moved to another fort?  Many people are afraid that the depot will close down because the chemical weapons are now gone, and the US Military is cutting back and consolidating their bases and depots.  Let’s be real, Anniston, Oxford, and Calhoun County, this area is in deep trouble, and making Anniston an eco-friendly town is not going to save this area.

I have been saying this, and I will say this again, the Anniston/Oxford area needs new blood or leaders.  For the folks who are unemployed in Anniston/Oxford, like me, who has been unemployed for three years and has filled out over 1,000 job applications, you will have to move on and leave Anniston/Oxford, there is no other choice.  And for the ones who are barely surviving with a part-time or low wage job, you need to leave the Anniston/Oxford area as well, it’s your only choice.  Unless you want to be on welfare for the rest of your life.  Congratulations Anniston/Oxford, your metro area is worst than Detroit when it comes to the economy, let’s celebrate!

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Geek Alabama’s 3000th Post, Thanks For Being A Fan


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UPDATE:  Thanks for reading this post!  The reason I had to write this post is simple, I can not keep working for free from people here in East Alabama.  And lately, the only people who wants to bring me on are the ones who wants to have me work for no pay or be taken advantage of.  Sorry, can’t keep doing that, enjoy this cute animal picture!

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Can you believe it, this is the 3,000th post on Geek Alabama!  It’s has been a wild and crazy ride since I started Young’s Blog then Geek Alabama in August 2011.  Geek Alabama has grown into one of the top ranked websites in Alabama and the southeast.  Many people have complemented me on the pictures, videos, and written posts I take and write of reviews, events, and people’s work.  A lot of people come to read my opinions on controversial topics with a geeky/nerdy twist.  And yes, I have grown into one of the top social media and media influencers in Alabama and the southeast!  It has been a great and fun ride!  Have you checked out my Alexa rankings?

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For instance, I have taken awesome pictures of many great events and people!

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I have taken some great video footage!  People like it when I do special videos like Roadscapes, interviews, and other cool stuff!

I have seen many great places / businesses and reviewed them so they can get more visitors and customers.  And it has worked!

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I have taken some awesome sports pictures of high school football.  Here in Alabama, football is a big thing!

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And of course, I have talked about some great topics that carries a geeky / nerdy tone, or this site would not be called Geek Alabama!

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I have also built some awesome websites for some people!  One website is called Unlimited Fiberglass, and the other is called Alabama Alive!

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There is a lot more including promoting crowdsourcing projects, doing weather coverage, highlighting great people, reviews of products, apps, TV shows, movies, and more!  In fact, me (Nathan Young) has become a top media official in Alabama and the southeast.  Along with the many people who follows me, I have a lot of businesses in Alabama following me as well!  See, there is more in Alabama and the southeast other than politics and college sports!  But with all of this success, there comes a problem.  I started this site back in 2011 as a way to market myself, since the past 13 jobs have all ended in burning flames.  Now, I have crossed the 1000th job application mark, not good.

Look, I have tried to get my name and what I do out there.  I have volunteered my time for local media places here in East Alabama, only to be shown the door and not be taken seriously.  I have had other people try to help me find jobs, but nothing has happened.  And yes, I was even a part of the local chamber, and I got to speak about what I do to the local business community, but nothing has happened.

I have even created a visual resume, that has over 7,300 views now!  I also created a visual resume infographic and visual resume infographic game board.  Yes, I have personally created one of the most popular visual resumes online, I did a good job!

So now, I want to make a big announcement, that is not too good.  I am sorry I am having to say this, but what can I do.  I have been unemployed for three years now.  Some people I have worked with have simply turned their backs on me after I have volunteered my time helping them.  No, having a disability like Asperger’s Syndrome is not an evil thing, and sadly, some people thinks having autism or Asperger’s is evil, thanks to some media coverage.

So what happens next?  For starters, I know I will have to leave the Anniston/Oxford area. The Anniston Star had an article talking about the Anniston/Oxford area having the WORST unemployment spike in America for the last 12 months or one year.  Over the past year, the unemployment rate has jumped to 7.8% in Calhoun County, (it was 6.8% in March 2013) and out of 372 metro areas in the United States, the Anniston/Oxford area is one of the worst places in America to find employment, the worst!

 

But that is not all my friends, over the last three years, the Anniston/Oxford metro area has seen the loss of nearly 2,000 people. Gee, I wonder why this area is losing thousands of people, that’s right, it’s because there are no jobs here! And earlier this year, the Milken Institute put out a list of 179 small metro areas in America based on economic performance. They said the Anniston / Oxford area is the second worst performing small metro area in America for 2013. This is not something I am making up, look at the picture below or click on the link to see for yourself.

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And now, I have a couple of charts to show you documenting the destruction of the economy in the Anniston/Oxford metro. From the website called Department of Numbers, the first chart is the CES Employment Change. As you can see, from 2006 to today, most months have featured job losses.

Job chart 2

And this chart shows the total employment from the Anniston/Oxford metro. According to the chart, CES employment for Anniston peaked in March 2007 at 53,700. Since then 8,600 jobs have been lost in Anniston. CPS employment reached a maximum of 53,442 for Anniston in March 2007. 7,872 jobs have been lost in Anniston since then. And if trend keeps going, more jobs are going to be lost and the chart below will continue to nosedive.

job chart

And if you are lucky to have a job in the Anniston/Oxford area, how much money are you making? Probably not a lot, because a 24/7 Wall Street report has said the Anniston/Oxford metro had a 2.4% drop in the average yearly wage, the WORST in America. Here is what the website said about this area.

No metropolitan area suffered a greater decline in average weekly wages as Anniston did in the fourth quarter of 2012. The public sector, which often pays higher wages than the private sector, declined 3% during that time. In addition, the number of jobs in trade, transportation and utilities declined by 4.2% during the year. Job cuts and wage reductions are likely to continue in the Anniston area in 2013 as the federal sequestration hits the Anniston Army Depot, which makes up a large share of the area’s workforce.

With me being rejected from jobs, volunteering opportunities, funding to expand the blog and accept advertisers, and even reality TV shows, I just don’t know what to do next.  I have had quite a few close calls where I have met with other people in person or via Skype on potential opportunities, but every time the opportunity has fallen apart.  Everything from jobs, business opportunities, show ideas, speaking opportunities, website partnerships, and more.  Some people like me just has a lot of bad luck!  And that is okay, until you get so frustrated when you have been rejected over 1000+ times now.  Things get even more complicated when I don’t have a working phone or car.

So here is what I am asking from you the readers.  Do you know of something?  With me being one of the most influential online people in Alabama and the southeast.  And with all of the businesses and people following me, you would think I would have found something by now, but nothing has happened.  Look, I am not a bad person who should not be just ignored.  I just want someone to give me the chance to prove that I can be great, and not having 13 past jobs in the last eight years is an automatic turn off.  I am afraid what is going to happen is I end up homeless, which I do not want to happen.  Congratulations Anniston/Oxford, your metro area is worst than Detroit when it comes to the economy, let’s celebrate!

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So, if you know of anything, please e-mail me at NathanYoung@GeekAlabama.com.

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My Mother’s Day Message To My Mother, And I Address The Geek Alabama Critics


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So today is Mother’s Day, and I wanted to write this post and talk about my own mom.  And let’s just say, my relationship with my mom has been very interesting.  For starters, this is not going to be your average Mother’s Day post, and if I offend some of you out there, I apologize, since this post is going out to a lot of people, it’s going to go viral.  My relationship with my mom has been rocky to say the least.  For starters, she talks about how I divided her relatives, when it was the relatives telling me stuff about her.  Second, she gets frustrated because I can not hold down a job, sorry I am looking for my 14th job in seven years, having a disability and trying to work does not mix very well.  And three, my mom thinks I lie a lot, and that is also not true.  I wanted to share a few excerpts from a e-mail she sent me a few weeks ago.

 “As for your email, you are doing it again. I did not find it interesting, I found it to be whining and “Poor, poor, me” AGAIN. Your brother is working. He is using his CDL. You have one and you can find a job trucking. Your blog is a HOBBY. Your readers are not, and will not support you. Go ahead and write another blog about how your “relative” said that your readers will not support you. It did not work the first time you tried it.”

“Why is it that your brother can get a trucking job, but you can’t? He had an accident in his new job and got fired. He had another job in one week!!!  NO MORE EXCUSES. NO MORE LIES. Get off your ass and apply for a trucking job. There is a 75% turnover rate in the trucking industry and there are always jobs available.  You WILL NOT get a job writing blogs. It’s time to be an adult, and take responsibility for yourself. The free ride is over. Quit whining and putting your hand out for others to give you money.”

“I’m sure you will have an excuse for this as well, but don’t bother. 50% of what you say has turned out to be lies. I have stopped believing.  Apply for trucking jobs. Your blog will lead to your being homeless. You are at the end of the free ride and you have alienated anyone that was willing to help. Apply for any trucking job that you can find on the internet. Have I said this enough?  So go on your blog and repeat the same story. It did not work before. You have one more month of rent out of me AND THAT IS IT. I am sure that you will post this as well. You have trashed me before on the internet, and I have grown numb to this. So go ahead and do your worst. You WILL NOT “shame” me into helping you any more.”

So let’s start with the truth, I have not trashed you on this website, I have also never mentioned you name on the website.  We have had arguments with councilors and you even tried to put me in a special needs class at the local mental health center, that did not last long.  As for why I can not apply for any trucking companies, you might want to read below, and it involves what happened at the last job, that I got fired from, and it resulted in a lawsuit, that I did not win.  Yes, I know this blog is more of a hobby, and I have been applying for many jobs, in fact, I have applied to over 1000+ jobs now, with only one interview.  The problem, is because of where I live, read below.

As for applying myself, I have covered many things to get my name out there!  I volunteered my time for a local TV station here in Anniston, and they never acknowledged my work!  The newspaper here in town also thinks I should go away, and I know this, because I have chatted with former employees.  I have even made a visual resume that has around 7,000 views now!  It sounds like you think I am a lazy person who does not care about anyone, and no, I am not whining and have not alienated everyone who knows me.

I have had a major and rocky relationship with my father, who abused me a lot, and now I am having a major and rocky relationship with my mother.  I am sorry having Asperger’s Syndrome is resulting in me being more of a quiet person, which translates in no one wanting to hire me.  I am sorry I have made a lot of mistakes which have resulted in things being broken.  And I am sorry I can not hold down a job.  I moved to different parts of this country a few years ago to find work, because East Alabama is economically dead.  It did not work out, and I ended back up here.  If things don’t improve soon, I am afraid we all are going to end up on Dr. Phil, and that would be embarrassing.

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I am sorry we are having a tough relationship right now.  I am glad you have helped me since I have became unemployed, but complaining to me is not going to solve any problems.  I have tried to apply to jobs, and nothing has happened.  It’s not like I can head my resume to President Obama and President Bush.  Over the last 14 jobs, I have applied to over 3,000+ jobs.  It’s not because of my work experience, my education, my weight, or my looks, it’s mostly because of my personality and disability, and I never tell any employer I have an disability.  It’s just some people have better luck with being hired to jobs, and some people can never be hired on at all, and it’s a lot of bad luck!

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Guess what, I have become very good at something since I have become unemployed again, and that is media stuff!  I have been complimented with my writing, reviews, pictures, and videos!  And I have even applied to jobs that would fit with what I do best!  I wish you would stop beating me down with what I am doing, and start celebrating what I do best!  If I was not a successful media person, I would have never worked with all of these great companies below!  And I would not be doing chats with TV networks, that is fun!

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I wanted to share a few secrets I have kept from you.  First off, yes I do have a car, that is broken down, but did you know I have paid the car insurance on it each month, because it’s state law, if a car is in a parking lot/apartment property you have to pay insurance, thank a police officer for pointing that out for me.

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Second, you gave me some money here and there for the bus system here in Anniston, but did you know I can not ride the bus system anymore.  No, I am not banned.  It’s because they can not stop anywhere along Greenbrier Dear Rd., and all businesses along the road have banned them from entering their parking lots, which means no more bus service!

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And three, after the lawsuit from the delivery company, which I did not win, the state of Alabama suspended my license.  Because I violated federal laws, I have kept that secret from you, but now you know I guess.

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I’m sorry mom, but the Anniston/Oxford metro area is done!  The Anniston Star had an article last week talking about the Anniston/Oxford area having the WORST unemployment spike in America for the last 12 months.  I have also talked about the Milken Institute and the list of 179 small metro areas saying the Anniston / Oxford area is the second worst performing small metro area in America for 2013.  You also have the Talladega/Sylacauga area as the 5th poorest area in America.   Plus the article that ranked Gadsden as the 4th poorest city in America.   And it’s a mega recipe for disaster.  And the only way to prevent this disaster is for me to move away from Anniston and East Alabama, and there is no other choice available.

Mom, I am thankful you have paid my apartment bill since my unemployment ran out, but you keep thinking there are jobs available in Anniston/Oxford, when there are no jobs available.  Thousands of people, including some I know from the chamber and other events, have moved away from Anniston/Oxford because of the problems in the local economy, even you moved away after being laid off from this area.  Keeping me here is doing no good!  I want you to save you money, and the only way that is going to happen, is for me to move to Birmingham, Huntsville, Auburn, or another city, every other metro area in America is doing better than Anniston/Oxford!  If I moved, I would find a job a lot quicker! It’s like Anniston/Oxford is in a WWE wrestling match, and the metro area is down for the count, one, two, three, ding, ding, ding, it’s over!

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Before I wrap up this post, I wanted to address the critics of this blog.  There are not too many critics, but there are some out there, including some from my own family.  Guess what, if this blog was not successful, it would not be ranked as one of the top websites in Alabama and the southeast, as of Mother’s Day, the Alexa worldwide ranking is around 145,000, out of 30+ million websites!  My website is ranked ahead of many TV stations and newspaper websites, and this website is all done by one person, me!  The newspapers and TV stations have a staff full of people, and I am running a website without getting any money, sounds fishy right?  You would think a TV station, newspaper, or news website would hire me on, and I have tried to be hired on, but with no success.

So, there are five things most critics criticize me on.

1. I don’t cover what people in Alabama want the most, sports and politics

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Geek Alabama mostly avoids all of that politics and sports talk.  Yes, here and there I do a sports or politics related post.  I pick the Iron Bowl winner each year and I might talk about the corrupt Alabama Legislature too.  In fact, I try and go out once a week and take high school sports pictures!  Like the picture above, I love promoting high school athletes, and the schools likes me covering them!

2. I am not spreading myself out enough

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Well. I have built a great fanbase and audience, all without spending one cent on advertising.  I have promoted hundreds of crowdsourcing projects, TV shows, movies, products, small businesses, events, and more!  And most of the time I cover someone’s project, event, or business, I get a thank you e-mail or thank you response on social media, I enjoy the thank you’s!

3. I am not looking hard enough for jobs

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That’s not true, I spend some time everyday looking for jobs, in fact, I have now applied for over 1000+ jobs and had only one interview.  In addition to the job applications, I have been to 14 job fairs, including the one in the picture above, where I stood outside for 3 hours in 90 degree heat in business clothing, not fun!  I have also marketed myself with my visual resume with 7,000 views now!  So I am trying, the problem is Anniston/Oxford is one of the worst places to find jobs, in America!  That does not help!

4. I am lazy because I am on food stamps and applying for disability

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What can I do, I have been unemployed for three years now with no luck.  My next job would also be my 14th job in seven years, yes you heard that right.  No, I am not lazy, I job search every day, and I write, take pictures, take video, and more!  I am a very hard worker and I work around 16 hours a day, with the rest of the time devoted to sleep.  I am not lazy, I just live in an area with a very bad unemployment problem, hence why I will have to move.

5. Geek Alabama is not successful

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That is far from the truth!  If Geek Alabama was not successful, my Alexa rankings would not be around 145,000 worldwide, making my site one of the top blogs/websites in Alabama and the southeast.  The problem is some media people in TV, radio, and newspapers views me as a problem.  Especially the media folks here in the Anniston area.   The reason why most blogs are ranked very high is because the writers go on the radio, go on TV, or have columns in major websites.  For me, I have tried to get a regular radio, TV, or major website segment, and I have been rejected every time!

So, I don’t know what is going to happen next.  I hope something changes and I get some cash flow so I can accept the advertisers wanting to come on Geek Alabama.  And a major website, TV station, or radio station gives me that shot to prove myself and that I can do it!  When you have been rejected thousands of times now, it starts to take a toll on your emotional health, it does, don’t tell me being rejected thousands of times would not affect you emotionally, because we are human.  I wonder what is going to happen at the end of May?

If I do suddenly get evicted, I would have the highest Alexa and social media counts in the country, and be homeless at the same time.  That would make national news and embarrass Alabama.  So right now, I am starting to scout potential homeless spots in downtown Birmingham, because being homeless in Anniston would not be practical.  I just want someone to give me a chance, and I have already proven myself, that is all!  I have shown my spirit to many other people, I like to help out other people, which I have done.  In fact, many people who knows me have called me a “Southern Gentlemen”, how nice!  I have the proof in the pudding to be successful, I just need someone to give me that chance!  I also have dreams as well!

If you know of something, e-mail me at barcncpt44@aol.com, tweet me @nvyoung, or Facebook me at: https://www.facebook.com/nvyoung

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