All right, this will be a post that will talk about the current, and what I want Geek Alabama to become. Let me start with this. I have had several people on social media and in person criticize me or be critical in what I do. I mean, one person told me about another person talking about me. And this person said I was “cynical.” Um, I don’t think I am like that. You see, anyone who writes online has to talk about the good, and sometimes has to talk about the bad as well.
Yes, I love talking about and covering events and talking about projects, shows, products, other people, and more. But, sometimes you also have to talk about things that some people might not like. A job with a blogger, writer, or journalist is to tell the truth of the story. And if something is not good, for example, the Milken Institute ranking the Anniston/Oxford metro as the worst performing small metro area in America, you have to talk about it. Even if it offends some.
This person also said he wishes someone would hire me, and I should “lighten up.” Let’s get some things straight! You are not just going to ignore something because some people thinks it will be harmful. Any news or blog website would also do the same thing. Any news or blog website is going to talk about the good and bad things. It’s why websites like this exists! The local newspaper and TV station has also talked about not so good news here in Anniston/Oxford. Like I say, it’s news, no matter if you like it or not.
So, let’s get to the meat of this post. Some people have also asked me why I am still doing this. The short answer, because it’s in my blood! It took me long enough to figure out what I can do best, and the short answer, I can do awesome writing, photography, and videography! When I filled out a career survey about 10 years ago, is shown my best occupational category was a creator. Man, it nailed it!
I walk along side the road for miles to make sure I can keep the website updated and cover the events and things I think will be interesting. Many people have seen me walking alongside the side of the road. And some have asked what I am doing. The short answer, I am being a creator!
I mean, if I was not being a good creator, I would not get to interview Kid President.
Or talk about a new Toyota Corolla.
Or interview someone from The Walking Dead.
Or cover the Lt. Dan Band.
Or cover a great high school football game.
And you get the point! To see what I do, you need to check out my visual resume below.
So, some other people have asked me about why I don’t do more. They want me to cover more events, cover more small businesses, do more videos, do more photos, cover more people, cover more sports. Basically, become a great news website. The short answer, no one is willing to sponsor me. I mean, I have talked to everyone, and I even spoke to business owners at a chamber event. Still, nothing!
So as of right now, I am walking down the side of the road for internet access. And near my apartment, you often find me sitting in public areas to use the free wi-fi. Hey, I have to keep the site updated!
So, let’s now talk about the future of me and the Geek Alabama website. Late last week, I had lunch with a local monthly magazine called Calhoun County Insight. They wanted to see if they wanted me to help them out. I think they were looking to grow what they do like what I am wanting to do here on this site. You see, in the Anniston/Oxford metro, the local newspaper dominates just about everything, and they easily get the most people reading them in this town. Even if some people don’t agree with what they write about.
It means everyone else is left with the scraps, something like that. The few sponsors who can afford to advertise in this area mostly goes to the newspaper. Now, Insight has some sponsors, and they are expanding their reach to the Gadsden Metro, which in my opinion has a better economy than the Anniston Metro. Insight is wanting to grow their readership, which is about the same levels of readership here on Geek Alabama. So, I told them I would write a post about what I want to see on Geek Alabama, and on Insight as well. Because, I would love to take the newspaper down!
So, below are five things I want to do here on Geek Alabama. These five things are things I want Geek Alabama to become. And this would also crossover to the Insight folks as well. So, let’s get started!
1. Cover More Events With Pictures And Video
Yea, that is the main feature here on Geek Alabama. Cover events and take plenty of pictures and videos. Now, when you cover an event, people wants to see photos. But today, people also loves seeing videos of the event as well. Something I have learned is people love watching videos online, especially on YouTube. I think one thing that needs to happen is I need to be carrying two cameras. One camera for pictures only. And one camera for video only.
I already have video editing software, and eventually I would like to upgrade that too. But, I am badly wanting to cover more great events across the NE Alabama / NW Georgia footprint. And in places like Birmingham and Atlanta as well. One thing that needs to happen over at Insight is I would upload all pictures as an album on your Facebook page. I would also create a Flickr feed, because people love tagging and sharing photos!
I would also get more active with videos. Insight does have a YouTube channel, but the last video was over an year ago! You need to get a profile picture and a better YouTube header uploaded, I can help with that! At the end of the day, people on the internet wants more than a written story. They want photos and videos to tell a story. Media is having to transition to this, or fall far behind!
2. Do More Video Series
One thing the media folks are doing is more video series. If you go on YouTube, you see the popular videos are personal daily vlogs, science videos, and funny videos. I would like to expand the video series I currently do. For example, I could start doing a weekly cooking video. People love watching cooking videos on YouTube. I would also do a video series where we profile local restaurants and businesses. You could profile a restaurant and see how they cook that dish, for example.
I would also like to improve my weekly vlog series. And we can do video series profiling local singers, profiling local people, interviewing people, gaming videos, unboxing videos, science videos, and much much more! The possibilities are endless here! And all you need is a HD camera, a background light, and a microphone. Yes, today you have to do more videos and be active and present on YouTube. I am already doing very well on YouTube, and I will need to get Insight more active on YouTube.
3. Do A Podcast
More media organizations and blogs are also doing an online podcast, and uploading them to iTunes. The number of podcasts continues to grow, for several good reasons! One, people like listening to something useful while going to places, working out, or while in the car. And, if you listen to podcasts, people love being interviewed and featured on them! Podcasts have really taken off!
I have wanted to do a podcast so badly! And maybe working with Insight, we can get a Podcast off the ground. The podcast would be something like talking about current events, talking about local events, and getting people to come on the podcast. We would have to work out the details. But today, having a weekly podcast would be a very smart move!
4. Review More Businesses And Products
Yes, blogs do a very good job reviewing and talking about products, businesses, gaming, and TV shows/movies. One thing I think will need to happen is to finally get Geek Alabama moved to self-hosted, it needs to happen! With that move, I can put my own ads on here, do more product reviews, and more. And, the site would move faster as well. I have a feeling I will be doing some work on the Insight website as well. Because today, you need to update a lot more often than once a month.
So, I think you will be seeing Insight stuff here on Geek Alabama. And some Geek Alabama stuff in the monthly magazine. One thing that needs to happen is we need to be accepted to Google News. This one move would increase readership and creditably immediately! It would take having several writers and a re-design of Geek Alabama for that to happen.
As for the products, many product reviews won’t cost a dime. Because companies send products to bloggers to review for free, in exchange for a written post. As for the businesses, they would love the publicity! And many would let you eat there for free for example, in exchange for an article. Yes, I think you will soon see more product and business reviews here on Geek Alabama and on Insight.
5. Do More Interviews And Cover People
So, I told the Insight folks during the lunch date last week that I think we need to be doing more coverage. For example, I would like to expand high school sports coverage! In Alabama, we are so sports crazy, so this would be a smart move! And yes, I think we will need to talk about some college sports as well. I could also do weather coverage, like doing a daily weather forecast on social media, like I do now. I would also like to do more community things, like profiling animals that needs to be adopted from shelters. And profiling people who are doing things like selling handmade products for example. How about reviewing movies, the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” movie is coming out in May!
I would also revive Weekend Roundup here on Geek Alabama. I don’t do it now because I don’t have the time because of limited internet time. I would do a weekly event schedule because people are going to forget about events in the rush lives we are in today. Reading a monthly magazine about an event in the later part of the month means people are more likely to forget that event date. The roundup post would highlight all the events, concerts, movies, and anything else that needs to be mentioned.
I would also re-post major events coming up. For example, in the beginning of the month Insight posted things about the Noble Street Festival. The problem is the event organizers did not send out the event schedule until within one week of the event. I would re-post major posts talked about in the magazine a few days before the event on Geek Alabama, to remind people of the events coming up, and to let Google crawl the event stuff on their search engine.
So, those are the five things I am wanting to do here on the Geek Alabama website. It has been a rocky road up to this point. But, I think things are beginning to turn around for the better, I hope. Since the folks from Insight say they would pay me for event coverage, my first event coverage will be the Noble Street Festival this weekend. I will be out all day taking plenty of photos and video of the event! I might even cover the Model City Music Festival on Friday night, just need to make sure I have a ride back home.
I would like to first take care of renewing my GeekAlabama.com domain name, which will expire on March 31st. The cost is $99 per year. I need to make sure people can still reach me here. Because if I let the domain name lapse, you will no longer be able to reach me here on Geek Alabama or e-mail me. Because my e-mails are linked with the GeekAlabama.com domain name, no one would be able to e-mail me anymore. That would not be good!
I look forward to helping out the Insight folks! Get ready for some changes here on Geek Alabama! They will be for the better!