To start off this Sunday Discussion, I wanted to feature my Draw My Life video I made. It’s was very difficult to make this because I had to tape my camera to a broom pole and have a heavy block hold down the other side of the pole so it would not fall over. A Draw My Life video is a drawing video where you basically draw about your life up to the present. Before you read the rest of this post, you must watch the video!
After you watch the video, I would not be surprised if some of you got a little emotional. Before I talk about the Geek Alabama blog updates, I wanted to talk a little faith. If you watched the video, I talked about my questions about the Christianity faith. Yes, I do believe in God and Jesus Christ and I do pray. But I have gone through hardship after hardship after hardship as seen in the video. Many of you have said that God will answer your prayers. But after I pray about getting out of the latest hardship ranging from abuse to homelessness, nothing happens!
I am starting to question the Christian faith because people says that God answers you prayers over things like hardship, disease, homelessness, abuse, and other things like I have gone through. If my prayers were answered, I would not have gone through the abuse when I was a kid. If my prayers were answered, i would not have been homeless a few years ago. If my prayers were answered, I would not be unemployed for two years now. If my prayers were answered, I would not be starving and only eating one meal a day thanks to food stamps. If my prayers were answered, I would not be driving around with an unpaid car insurance bill. If my prayers were answered, I would not be struggling in life-like I am right now. For now, I still have some belief in a God and Jesus Christ, but if something does not change soon, I might form a different opinion.
I have been out of a job for two years now! For the last two years, I have spent money to cover events all across Alabama and Georgia. Along with the events, I also talk about geeky and nerdy topics, major news topics, roadscapes, and do recipes and crafts! Geek Alabama is pretty much a blog that will talk about anything! Thankfully, many of you have come to read the stuff I put up on Geek Alabama and I thank you! Some people have helped me out like giving me some money and fixing the car. But I can no continue to cover things and not get paid. That’s not right in my opinion.
I do all the stuff on Geek Alabama without getting paid. Yes, there is an ad up top on the blog. But I hardly make anything from those ads. The good news is I have gotten several offers to partner with advertisers and even a deal to join a network to get paid for reviewing stuff. The bad news, this blog is hosted through WordPress.com where paid and sponsored posts are banned. To sum it up, I need around $10,000 to continue the blog. The money would go toward paying someone to design a new website, get a new computer, get new camera equipment and software, microphones, and the other stuff needed to move Geek Alabama forward. As I look at the Indiegogo campaign, it’s still at $0.
Look, I do Geek Alabama simply because no one would consider hiring me period. I have filled out over 300 job applications and I have been to 14 job fairs across Alabama and Georgia with no luck what-so-ever. So for now, I have worked on the Geek Alabama blog and hoping something will come out of it. Yes, I have applied to many opportunities where I could write and take pictures/video for some major websites, but no one has offered me that chance.
So why will no consider me? Here’s my thinking, is it because I have Asperger’s Syndrome, or because I often mess things up or break things, or because I am a little overweight, or is it because I will talk about things that are wrong from anywhere including workplaces?
Somehow while doing the Geek Alabama blog, I have gotten the stink eye from the newspapers. Yes, many people have said what I do on the blog is almost like what the newspapers do with their coverage. But there’s one problem. Often, I will cover events while a photographer from the Anniston Star, Gadsden Times, AL.com, and others are present. So when I put up my own photos and videos while the newspapers put up their own coverage, they don’t like that. They don’t like that I am stealing some of their views which translates to ad revenue. They also don’t like it when I have to comment to correct something they have written. AL.com is the worst when they talk about things geeky/nerdy. I have had to correct them a couple of times already.
Now I want to talk about the local TV station in NE Alabama. For the last three seasons, I have volunteered my time to help out with Pigskin Roundup. In fact, last season I was the only one providing the online coverage like putting up the scores and the pictures I took of the game I went to each week. I was doing all of this while paying for gas myself and not getting paid from them. Yes, I have had many people including high school coaches tell me I should not be helping out on TV 24 anymore since I don’t get paid. I also have some good ideas about making a TV show around the Geek Alabama blog like some of you have suggested. But no one over at TV 24 will listen. I will still cover high school football this fall and I want to cover a high school game every week on the blog. But will I still help out TV 24 this fall? I will let you know.
I also wonder about my future here in East and NE Alabama. There has been some bad news about this region. For example, the Gadsden Metro has been ranked the 5th poorest metro region in the country. And for Anniston/Oxford, that metro area ranks 364th out of 380 metro areas across the country for growth according to the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. Also on the list, Calhoun County lost the most population from 2010-2012 than any other county in Alabama at around 1,120. Also, Alexander City has been featured in the news with this New York Times article talking about how men can’t find jobs in East Alabama. When you also see a show on History Channel called Bamazon which features men from Tallapoosa County who are so broke they go to Central America to find gold, you know the region is in trouble.
Look, it does not take a genius to figure out that all of East Alabama is in deep trouble. Yes, there are groups like Clear Plan 2030 who are trying to fix the problems in the East Alabama region. But people need help now! There are several people (including me) who are suffering in East Alabama. And if nothing changes soon, we might be seeing 60 Minutes doing a cover story on how far East Alabama has fallen. If nothing changes very soon, I will be moving on from East Alabama for good. And sadly, I believe my mom and brother will have to do the same thing. Other people will be doing the same thing and that will not be good for this region.
So you are asking “what do you want to do with the Geek Alabama blog?” Well, after the blog is redesigned and the equipment I need is purchased, you would notice some changes. First off, after I get to move to WordPress.org, there are a couple of advertising agencies that are interested in the Geek Alabama blog. For now, they can’t advertise because WordPress.com bans paid and sponsored posts and outside advertisers. Two, I would like to continue to cover events around Alabama and Georgia. The only way that is going to happen is with some money. I would continue to do photos and videos of events like I have done.
Next, I would continue to do special videos featuring Roadscapes, cooking, music, and more! I have some ideas to do some more videos involving video games, board games, science experiments, vlog episodes, and much more! The new camera equipment I need would go toward making better videos! The new computer I need would go toward the new software and hardware needed to make and process videos faster and better. Here are some examples of what I have done so far!
Many of you have also suggested that I partner with a TV station to do a weekly segment on their morning shows. I really do think that this is a fantastic idea! The only problem is no one has contacted me to do that yet. So to all the TV stations in Birmingham and Huntsville, I would to love to start something where I talk about some of the biggest geeky / nerdy stories of the week. Contact me at: email@example.com
I feel good about the geek and nerd culture in Alabama, Georgia, and the southeast. I keep getting invites to events involving everything from conventions, concerts, fundraisers, outdoor festivals, arts and dancing, sports, you name it! It also makes me feel good to see some TV stations in Alabama talking about tech and geek. The TV stations out of Birmingham and Huntsville have shared my stuff often which I love! ABC 33/40 does Tech Bits with Thomas the Tech Guy.
WHNT News 19 does something I like called Driving You Crazy where Steve Johnson talks about bad roads in the Tennessee Valley.
All of this does mean Alabama has a geeky and nerdy culture. This is what I like talking about on Geek Alabama! But I just need someone to give me a chance to prove myself. I can’t keep volunteering myself for events and paying out of my own pocket to cover events. What I am pretty much saying is I must get paid to continue to do stuff! I work very hard on the Geek Alabama blog and I will continue doing what I do even if some other people out there doesn’t like what I do. If you know of something that can help; e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/nvyoung or on Twitter @nvyoung You can also donate via PayPal by clicking here!
- June 2013 Geek Alabama Update On Things (geekalabama.com)
- The Southern Geek – Vlog Episode 4 (geekalabama.com)
- The Geek Alabama Fundraiser Starts Today (geekalabama.com)
- Introducing Geeks Helping Others (geekalabama.com)