Interview with Steven Savage with Fan To Pro–Part One


As we continue our series of Professional Geeks, we interview Steven Savage who publicly declares himself as a Professional Geek. He’s so pro, that he writes a blog titled: “Fan To Pro” which specializes in helping geeks everywhere, take their geekdom to a level where they are doing what they love, and making it a career. I call him my “Geek Sensei” since I have been a fan of his blog and been putting his wisdom into practice for years now.

He is the author of two books (and one more on the way), and his part two will be all about his writing works. But for today’s interview, we are going to talk about all things techie!

This year, Fan To Pro will be celebrating three years of blogging. In a platform, that is already young in itself, what advice do you have to young bloggers and those who are starting their journey into the blogsphere?

Actually it’s just finishing its third year around the start of June!

My advice?

1) Have a definite vision for what you do – OR throw it all at the wall and find a vision.
2) Involve other forms of media like Facebook, mailing lists, message boards, and more to build communities
.3) Become aware of the different platforms and learn to move between them so you can always adapt technically.

You use terms, that are not currently in any modern dictionary to define “professional geeks”. So if you got the opportunity to ever submit them formally to the dictionary, how would you submit “Pro-Fan, Pro-Geek, Pro-Otaku”?

I’ve actually thought of this!

Pro-Geeks are people who are geeks who have turned their interests to their careers. Geeks are people defined by enthusiasts.
Pro-Fans are fans who have turned their interests to their careers. A subset of Pro-Geeks.
Protaku – Are anime/manga/Japanese culture fans who turned their interests to their careers. A subset of Pro-fans.

How do you feel about those who have decided to keep their geeky life and their professional life separate? Unlike those who have decided to integrate both into their lifestyle?

That’s a choice that is right for some people. Some of us want our geeky life separate, and for some people who work – they need a “relaxation” part of their life set off from the other parts. However I think people should consider a more integrated geek lifestyle.

Do you have any words of wisdom to those who are still having trouble getting their projects together thanks in part to The Great Recession?

I find it helps to use Richard Florida’s idea of a Great Reset and realize that this is a massive economic re-alignment as well as a period of great pain. If you can then look for the changes, the new economic patterns, you can use that knowledge to help with improving your economic life. If you know for instance a city has better job opportunities find out how to move there, if you know an industry trend will kill your job leave early, and so on.

Learn about economics in general and your industry in particular. Check news every day to keep up on trends. Leverage the latest technologies. There is an insane amount of resources out there that can help you, but people aren’t aware of them. There are tools out there to help you with your own business, from outsourcing insurance to marketing. There are ways to get trained online to gain skills. There are networking tools. The world is changing, and some of that change is the painful result of bad economic choices – but some of the change is due to technical advancement. Understanding both will help.

Based on the current uprising in Egypt and Tunisia, how do you think geeky social media things like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, will evolve in the usage of all geeky media big and small?

Social Media really is its own phenomena. People naturally connect and relate to each other, it’s just we now have the tools to practice that on immense scales. Social Media is going to be unstoppable in all its current and past incarnations. Social Media is also now inextricably political, it’s been easing that way anyway, but these events pushes it all the way. Social Media companies will become politicized if they don’t stay above the fray.

How would you like to see the “Geekonomy” grow in the years to come? And is there any specific places that you see it growing and that you would like to see grow?

I’m still learning to define the Geekonomy! It’s part of my obsession actually. Where do I see the geekonomy going and growing?

1) Global is big. Geek culture, geeky things are now globalized. That’s good for people into international business, translators, and marketers – and people making the media.
2) Multiplatform media is big. No product will be alone, but will have blogs, games, comics, etc.
3) Megamedia will begin go make more inroads – people use media to socialize, so big, well-defined worldsettings and properties (Trek, Star Wars, etc.) are going to be huge

Since you are a technophile, where do you see the future of our platform of blogging?

Blogging is going to be roughly the same for a longer time, because it’s a precise, functional, format. But blogging will eventually extend through various devices and media, so your average blog will eventually be on the web, in an App, and maybe a Kindle feed automatically. Platforms will have to adjust to this, but the basic concept though is pretty solid.

What is your geek manifesto? What do you wish to declare to all your fellow geeks in this world?

I’ve got one right here:

http://www.fantopro.com/blog/2010/04/the-fan-to-pro-manifesto.html

Anything else you want to add?

I believe that what we love, what we geek over, really can be the foundation of much of our lives if we pursue it. So go out there people and make your dreams live!

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