Most sites aim for ad revenue or advertorials to increase their dollars and brand awareness. How do you feel about paid content being used on popular websites?
I think it’s fine as long as it’s in moderation, doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of the website and goes along with the voice. Bigger sites with a paid staff are pressured to make money and get hits because they have a staff to pay. But if you’re an indie blogger I think it’s best to approach these opportunities very carefully since you don’t “needâ€ the money. I shoot down 99% of the paid opportunities on my blog because they just don’t fit with my voice. Since I didn’t start blogging for money, I never feel pressured to make money.
In addition to your respective sites, your latest endeavor is Geek Girl Brunch with your friends Rachel and Yissel. What was the inspiration behind this creation and why do you feel it is appreciated by your contemporaries?
Geek Girl Brunch started as a way to hang out with my Internet geek girl friends in real life. Most of us are bloggers and we would talk to each other daily online for years but would only see each other at comic cons. After a few successful brunches with our circle of NYC friends, Rachel and Yissel and I wanted to open this up to other lady geeks in the form of a meetup group. Just like there is sexism in society, there is sexism in geek culture. There is still a “white boys clubâ€ aspect to geek culture. We wanted to create an environment where identifying geek girls can be themselves without fear of bigotry or
ridicule. The bottomless mimosas don’t hurt either [laughs].As more and more businesses get into the digital side of things the need to stay ahead of the curve is apparent. What are some ways you see Girl Gone Geek (or Geek Girl Industries) improving on the successes and standing out from the rest of the pack?
This year I decided to only write about stuff you could find on my blog. So I’m going to continue to do just that and approach geek culture in an interesting and unique way. I’ve gotten really personal on my blog and talked about death and relationships. It took a lot of courage but it was worth it. I hope that revealing how geek culture impacted my life in personal ways can help others cope and relate. I’m going to continue to push myself as a writer and learn from my past experiences, which (I hope) will help me stand out from the rest naturally.
African Americans in nerd/geek culture are somewhat marginalized in the mainstream. What part do you see yourself and Girl Gone Geek playing in helping to spotlight influential participants within the culture?
We are most definitely marginalized in geek culture. Women of color have that twice as hard. It’s terrible that we have to fight not only racism but also sexism in both mainstream society and our beloved geek culture. I’ve been raised knowing the hardships I automatically face being a black and Hispanic woman, and don’t let it stop me from achieving my goals or being proud of who I am. I feel responsible as a blogger of color to voice the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of people of color and women of color in geek culture. I know I have this platform and if I can use it to help make a change for geeks of color I will.
There have been countless times where people don’t believe I love all this geek culture because I’m a black girl. It makes me feel like a unicorn. Like I’m a myth and I don’t exist. So I hope with Girl Gone Geek by simply being a black geek girl in the space will give voice to others. I always support my fellow geek bloggers of color whenever possible. We are all in this together. I also want my blog to show little black girls who love “Star Wars” that you are not alone. If you let someone stop you from loving geek culture, they are stopping you from being yourself.