Picture this, if you will; it’s 2006, and I am stuck in one of the most incredibly dull jobs I’ve ever had the misfortune to acquire, in which I entered information from one old, slow computer system to a new, marginally-less-slow computer system. For, like, 7 hours a day. Just that. Clickety clack clickety clack yawn sniff clickety clack home. Oof, it was boring. Luckily, my then-boyfriend-now-husband, who was at the time just commencing my education in all things geek, came to my rescue; “Why not listen to podcasts at work?” My response,because I am eloquent and ladylike, was “What the chuff is a podcast?!” He pointed me towards the Comic Geek Speak podcast forum, and all the shows under that umbrella, and basically told me to have at it, which, of course, I did. Seven hours is a lot of time to fill with podcasts, so I had plenty of time to peruse and choose the shows that would keep me from falling asleep at my desk and twatting my face unceremoniously on the keyboard.
I happened across Geek Syndicate fairly quickly; it’s forum was incredibly lively and overwhelmingly positive, which was a rare thing for a forum to be, and so I decided to give the show a whirl. Barry & Dave’s unbridled passion for their chosen topics along with their delightful accents made the show an instant favourite, and the forum a place where I chose to spend an almost inordinate about of time.
Falling asleep on the job was nigh-on impossible when listening to the two rant and rave at one another; in fact the bigger problem I had was stifling my obnoxiously loud laughter so that my colleagues didn’t think I was some kind of lunatic that was working in data entry because she couldn’t be trusted with anything more taxing than that. I was lucky enough to be invited onto the show (me, a newb!) as Episode 41’s Listener of the Month, and the rest, as they say, was history…
Barry & Dave are directly responsible for my podcasting career (if you can call it that; you may thank or admonish them as you see fit); that first appearance was like geeky lightbulb moment in my life. But they’ve done so much more for me than they realise. Whilst I like to proclaim that I’m not your stereotypical ‘nerd’ (never have I lived in a basement!), the one typical trait I do seem to have is the lack of any real discernible social skills, particularly with new people.
Podcasting, and the associated forums, gave me a way to home in on others just like me, meeting people I know for a fact I’d never have had the chance or the nerve to in ‘real life’. I made a huge amount of friends through Geek Syndicate (one beautiful bird even ended up as one of my bridesmaids) and felt like a part of a real community. One that cared for and supported it’s members. Cor, it was grand.
Sadly the forums are no more, but the Geek Syndicate community is just as strong as ever. It’s a testament to Barry and Dave’s dedication and tenacity that not only is Geek Syndicate still going strong 10 years on, but has evolved into something bigger, that’s still just as entertaining and inclusive as ever. It’s a community I am proud to be a part of. Heck, it’s basically like a second family. And so I raise a glass of whiskey and toast to Geek Syndicate; here’s to many more years of getting our geek on together!