My Itch For A Niche As A Geek Blogger

Confession time, kids. I’ve been having doubts.

Doubts about the way I identify myself and this here blog. Although I deliberately chose the path least personal by making things a bit more geek-centric, reporting on the latest in geek culture, films and events rather than the stuff which goes on in my day-to-day life, it’s hard sometimes to find something which is actually worth reporting on or writing up; I could easily tell you about the week I’ve had, for example, but for various reasons it’s actually been pretty crappy so I wouldn’t wish to expand on that.

Just as I’m coming to realise that maybe writing a blog doesn’t come too easily when I’m also writing for a day job, and sometimes I’d rather come home, feed my fish and collapse on the couch with 360 controller in hand, I see something inspirational that not only affirms my faith in the geeky lifestyle and my continuing desire to immerse myself in it, but also near enough re-energises me during a time in my life that’s been, well, rather exhausting of late.

I don’t know where A Guide To Geekdom fits in with all this, but I really want to take a bit more pride in the way I run it. It hasn’t come easily lately and I hope to fix that. It’s all down to my internet friend Ari (whose Comic Books And Cookies blog you should all have bookmarked by the way) and a post she herself took inspiration from fellow blogger Leslie IRL to write, about finding your niche. Discovering what you want, what you’re good at, and where you fit in with this whole crazy business. So without further ado, I’ve shamelessly stolen the list of questions the ladies asked themselves in order to understand myself better as a website…writing…erm…guy. So here’s my itch for a niche.

1. What is one of your favorite words, that you have never heard anyone else that you know of describe themselves as?

Cerebral. I have heard it used to describe a wrestler but that was coupled with the word ‘assassin’ and I haven’t killed anyone to date.

2. If someone was to search for your blog in Google, and you could rank on the first page for 5 keywords, what would they be?

Geek culture, video game news, geek blog, geek lifestyle, cerebral assassin.

3. What is your favourite adjective? Especially one to describe the way a person is.

Ace. That’s got to be one of my most over-used words to describe good things, although ‘marvellous’ and ‘superb’ also get a fair bit of use as well.

4. Think of your favourite movie character, comic book character, or cartoon character, that you self-identity with. What are a couple of words you would use to describe their personality? What colour would you describe them as?

I would say that Scott Pilgrim is a rather confused person. He’s incredibly loyal but also incredibly immature. Not in a sense of making fart jokes, but just that he hasn’t grown up yet. I’d say he was a sort of blue, like Mega Man’s armour blue.

5. What colour are you?

I think I’m the same sort of colour, like a sky blue. I want to be that serene but it’s hard not to work myself up about the slightest things sometimes.

6. What are you the most knowledgeable about? What would other people say you are the most knowledgeable about? When is the last time you went on a really good rant about something?

I’m really good with just geeky trivia stuff; when did this album come out, which character did so-and-so play in this film. Someone said the other day at work that I “know loads about sport” but I’m not sure that’s true. I do seem to be the go-to for random facts. I’m always ranting about something or another but that thing about bad journalism proper set me off this week.

7. If you had to design a business card right now, and could only have 3 words on it, what would those words be?

Pop culture addict.

8. Your blog is a food. What food is it and why?

Ice cream, because it hits the sweet spot but it’s bad for you to consume too much.

9. If you could plan a photo shoot for your professional head shot, what would you be wearing? What piece of clothing, jewelry, or accessory would you wear that screams you?

I have a t-shirt which says “the cake is a lie” on it. I love that anyone who doesn’t know the reference would probably dwell on it for a bit, like, what does that mean? But anyone who does know it will love it, and probably think somewhat highly of the bloke wearing it as well. That’s the sort of shallow behaviour I indulge in myself.

portal t-shirt

The cake is a lie.


10. If you could collaborate with any blogger, artist, or person, who would it be, and what would you bring to their table?

I think I’d like to work with Adrian Tomine. His comics are great. He writes and draws such extraordinary stuff but within the most everyday circumstances. I’d want to write a script for a comic that’s about…just, stuff that happens to normal people. I’d be very excited about something like that. Failing that I’d have Trent Reznor perform spiky cover versions of all the punk stuff I used to play in bands. That’d be interesting, for me at least.

11. Pick a tagline for yourself. Or a few. 10 words total, for your identity, and niche.

Sarcastic and sleepy since 1985.

12. If you could copyright one item, food, object, or animal, and when people see it they would think of you, what would it be? It will help if this object is not already associated with someone else.

I’m not so sure what it would be nowadays, but back in the day when The Sims came out my friends used to rip the piss out of me for playing it so much. Maybe the modern equivalent would be the Mass Effect trilogy.

13. Your blog is an animal. What animal is it, and why?

A dolphin. Friendly, sleek and communicative.

14. You have to pick 2 emotions that your blog will make people feel. What are they?

I would hope that it makes them laugh, and also gives them a sense of pride about our little corner of culture and the talented people who dwell within. That wasn’t referring to me.

15. Someone who reads your blog writes you an email, expressing that your blog caused them to do something, or feel something, or think about something, or try to make something, and it makes you so happy to know this. What did it cause them to do?

I think I want it to have given them just a quick pick-me-up for their day, just to have read this one particular site out of all the ones they visit on a daily basis. Just to laugh, or maybe to check something out that I’ve gushed about. Sending me money would work too.

16. What’s your favorite mythical creature, and why?

The kraken. Because inside jokes.

17. Your blog is referred to someone that you admire by a friend. They use these 2 words to describe your niche.

Funny and informative.

18. You can only use one social network to promote your blog, forever. Which one do you choose and why?

Got to be Twitter. So many people who can be reached faster than others. Things like Facebook would have to snowball and pass from circle to circle, whereas Twitter just gets out there in a flash. I also see it as more of a challenge to get my message across in less characters.

19. You would love it if this store posted your blog’s business cards on their front counter.

Travelling Man, no doubt about it. My favourite comic shop.

20. If you had to pull an Emma, and take a photo of yourself looking down from your chin of your feet and the ground, where would you choose to be standing, what would you choose to wear, and why?

My big brown boots, and my favourite pair of black cords; some suitable nerdwear.

21. What are you most passionate about? What would other people perceive you as being most passionate about? Are these things different?

I’m not sure how to answer this really. It strikes me that I’m a rather cynical person at heart for various personal reasons. I care a lot about my football team, but it’s not really passion. I think people would say I tend to get passionate about my interests, which is true but…I dunno. That one’s left me a bit stumped. I’m passionate about where I’m from; I take great pride in being a Yorkshireman. There is that.

22. You have to choose a celebrity to do a poetic reading of your favorite blog post, with the perfect voice. Who is it?

Stan Lee. He’s still got that tremendous enthusiasm which I could never hope to match. Either him or the Iron Sheik.

23. What image on someone else’s blog have you seen that you love?

Dom Poleon did a weird celebration dance in the same week that The Boss played at Leeds Arena. Probably this.


24. You can only blog from one location for the rest of your life. Where is it?

In the world? Because I’ve only ever really blogged from two places; Pontefract where I was born, raised and still live now, or Manchester which is one of the major culture capitals of the world, where I did my degree. Probably Pontefract.

25. You walk into the Internet cafeteria. You see tables with every blogger ever. You sit down at the table with these 5 bloggers.

What I thought I’d do was get a table to myself first, and then tweet the Geekocracy crew; first five to make it to my table are the winners. Oh, and then I’d push some other losers off the next table over, drag it across, and then there’d be seats for Ari and Adam.

26. You have to decorate your online bedroom. What is the pattern on your bedspread? What poster is above your bed? And what CD is in the CD player?

My little brother used to have a Leeds United bedspread which I was so, so jealous of. So there’d be that. Above my bed would be either Nighthawks by Edward Hopper or a picture of that flame-haired temptress Jean Grey. For music I would probably choose ‘I Get Wet’ by Andrew WK cos, y’know, party; or maybe some nice soothing drone.

That was a lot of fun. Thanks to Leslie IRL for the inspiration. Have a go yourself and see where your niche lies. Even if you don’t get as clear a picture as you’d like, it’s still worth a bit of head-scratching and a cool way to spend an hour or two.

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