communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.


Geek cool

Technology changes a lot and it is mostly expected to change the way we perform some strenuous or undesired tasks. Initially, computers were developed to do things human were too slow or to annoyed at doing because computers were able to do repetitive work without breaking down and screwing up. With the rise of computers a special community of people was born, those who could "talk" computer-talk, coders and tech specialists, who, because of their propensity towards long-nights in front of the computer, some lack of social life and the habit of speaking in highly specialized lingo became to be known as nerds or geeks. Interestingly enough, the term is a pejorative one as shown by the most common definitions that google provides.
BUT, the immersion of easy to use, shareable web 2.0 type of technologies into mass culture has managed to create a shift in perceptions and give rise to something resembling geek coolness. The power of being able to control the very essence of something that has come to be more a part of our everyday lives than TV - Internet, makes all this formerly-ignored community highly attractive from a number of points of view:
1. They can interact and work with the Internet
2. They may become very rich if they come up with something truly ingenious (witness the Google guys, Facebook creators etc)
3. They have developed a type of fashion that seems to catch on (message Tshirts, baggy trousers with loads of pockets) witness the google search
4. There is a big chance that infusing some geekiness will generate higher performance - as discussed in this Wired article
What makes this community so attractive is also its unwillingness to change and to become more like everyone else, thus displaying a form of rebellion which in itself is commendable. A questions remains though: this may be beneficial for the technology, but is it helping the rest? I work with "geeks" on a daily basis and so does anyone who has an IT department, and it seems that there is still a divide between the expectations of the two sides. Somehow both sides need to come to terms with the special needs of the other. And, however cool geek may be, I fear this process still needs to happen two ways, not just one :D


Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say one thing... you are an idiot.

The human beings who you term as "geeks" built the very computers and structure that you are now arrogantly spouting your views upon.

I'm not sure if it's an actual jealousy, or genuine desire to remain uninformed, but you should, to borrow a 'geek' saying: really get a clue.

Adina said...

and i say get a life + phrasal verbs dictionary ..
I dont think the idiom 'really get a clue' exists..
and as far as the article goes: just using the term geeky coolness makes this (not) worth while.
Personally, i go by the fact that all jobs are important and all of them have their cool and less cool sides. Therefore, i don't see the need to pay extra attention to certain groups, like (what you call) geeks. they're just people, they have a job to do like everyone else, it's not more or less important, so why praise/damn them?
utterly pointless...

Adina said...

btw, I think geeks fall into the category of fashionable jobs atm. I swear we could make some kind of graph with jobs that were trending in certain periods of time. A couple of years ago, it used to be fancy to work with anything related to Management, before that Banking used to be the top hit for cool jobs etc etc. I think the wave will go by soon, because ultimately something can be a trend only if people allow it to be, and also I've never witnessed anything that has an X Coolness Factor that lasts over a consistent period of time.
Therefore, it could be a lot cooler to ask: which category is up next?

Bogdana Butnar said...

@anonymous, if you had bothered to stand up for your opinion and showed me a name i might been more interested in a conversation :D
@Adina, please read the references and then try to understand the point of the article which is "Internet has made a formerly derided community appear cool"; anyway, thanks for your point of view which makes sense but don't understand why you seem to think it's contrary to mine or why you choose to present it with such obvious distaste for mine :D

Liviu said...

I believe that the coolness factor is the result of the success of such geeks as Larry and Sergei (Google, of course :) ), Chad ans Steve (from Youtube), Mark Zuckerberg. All of them are geeks and all of them made it big and are now cool.

So I agree that the Internet gave geeks coolness.

I think there is another reason for geeks becoming more cool. Imagine that mainframes would still be around and there were a bunch of bearded saschuach-looking characters with pizza stained t-shirts walking around them. It ain't so coll anymore.
And now picture the last TC50 and how cool most of the founders/speakers seemed to be. It's a necessity to be cool. You can get to the top in today geek world if you know how to be cool.

Also, have you heard of Geek Chic :)?

picsel said...

sorry for the late answer.

first, it should be nerd, not geek. as there are photography geeks, food geeks or even marketing geeks.

secondly, it is not the people that became cool, but the nerd-ness. simply because technology became a part of our lives, those people feel the need to be on the wave. including you.
the un-cool nerds are still un-cool. there have always been cool people around. but now they happen to choose internet-tech as a way of expression. if it were 500 years ago, they would have chosen horse-riding or gun-powder-stuff, i don't know/care.

thirdly, it seems that you have a problem with what you call geeks. the people you work with. the problem is yours and it is there probably because you do not understand or know them. as it always is when it comes to social stuff.
it's not their language that you should understand. or their work. it's, as you somehow say it yourself, about the people.
you are one, they are many. make a change within your knowledge and stop asking others to change within their soul.

i might have said this before, but the "formerly-ignored community" is still there and it still wants, perhaps, to be ignored.
there were not millions of nerds 5 years ago. neither there were millions of agencies like the one you work for/with.

get real.