An Officer in the Nerd.Army
I’ve written before about my nerddom, but I think it’s been officially finalized.
Since December of 2003, I have been involved in a community of nerds at NerdNYC. We have this rare blend of longevity, shared interests and offline friendships. In fact, most of my closest friends I found at Nerd, and now we made our own little enclave in Forest Hills.
Like with any open community, NerdNYC has a handful of creepies, but for the most part? We are really reclaiming the term. A large portion of us have professional or interesting jobs, are devoid of body odor, can handle conversations and maintain eye contact. Just generally great, intelligent, funny people. We have about 80 really active members on our message board, but there are a lot of people who lurk, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Nerdy activities include anything from role-playing and board games to comics, crafters of all kinds, Buffy-nuts and mini painters. We have nerds who are YouTube sensations, authors, playwrights, full-time game designers, cookbook authors, software developers and lawyers. Families come to our events, and single people looking to make new friends – although I can think of about 4 marriages off the top of my head as a result of NerdNYC, trust me – we aren’t a dating service!
Participating and growing the NerdNYC community is something I have always done, somewhat haphazardly – organizing picnics, helping with Recess (our quarterly game day/convention) and fostering general community events. But this past year, NerdNYC has really ramped up. We obtained non-profit status, and John (the chair) has really gotten the ball rolling and taken on a ton of responsibility. This past Saturday was the first Officers meeting I have attended, and it was really great. We have a lot of vision for the community, in terms of growth, goals and reach. And we have reliable, capable people who can really get momentum, and keep it.
In terms of responsibility, it appears I am in charge of Promotions and helping organize non-gaming related activities. I like to think of it as “community management” (a buzzword these days). It was really interesting and confidence building to see how much I could really add to the community in terms of knowledge and skills I have gained from not only personal experience, but professional. It was the first time I realized that my love of this community may actually help me in my professional life – both with practice, networking and as a resume-builder. Like, “Wow, I actually know what I am talking about here!” I finally faked it until I made it (speaking of networking I just remembered – I acutally got my current, wonderful job through a Nerd).
So, those of you nerds in the NYC-area, keep an eye out. And if you have any experience in running community events for a non-profit, please let me know!