Thursday, April 23, 2009

Giving up that which defines me

xkcd webcomic 285 entitled "Wikipedian Pr...Image via Wikipedia
For seven and a half years, I've written a column called Geek Trivia. On Wednesday, April 29, 2009, the last issue of that column I'll likely ever write will be publicized in its e-mail newsletter. I'm taking a full-time job with a competitor of CBS Interactive, the publisher of Geek Trivia and its host blog, The Geekend, for which I also write several times per week. I built The Geekend from the ground up, and I have come to regard my Geek Trivia readers (of which there were about 60,000) as not just fans, but in some measure friends. Saying goodbye to them is more difficult than I imagined it could be.

Google my name--Jay Garmon--and you'll find my work for the Geekend in the top two or three results. Google Geek Trivia, and you'll find my work for that column first and foremost. In some ways, Geek Trivia and The Geekend have defined me, professionally. They've opened doors for me that I never thought possible.

My role as a guest on TechTalk radio, I garnered through Geek Trivia. My connections to the wonderful bloggers at SFSignal, I made through the Geekend. John Scalzi noticed--and reacted to--my work there. (And then recalled the incident enough to sign books to that effect.) Writers and artists like Rich Lovatt, Mike Sterling, Valerie D'Orazio, David Gallaher, Lar DeSouza, Steve Ellis, Rich Ginter, Hannibal Tabu, Andrew Hackard, John Klima, Dwight MacPherson, Rich Barrett, Chris Meeks, John F. Merz and Mary Robinette Kowal follow me on Twitter because of my networking done in part through the Geekend. I've been cited as a source in Wikipedia articles because of Geek Trivia, which is a very strange notion indeed.

Ironically, I've "ended" Geek Trivia before, only to have my fans demand its return. Twice. I cannot begin to tell you how gratifying those responses were. The only compliment that comes close is that TechRepublic won't continue Geek Trivia without me, which is equally sad and humbling all at once.

For over eight years, my career and my online identity have been tied in some measure to TechRepublic in general and Geek Trivia specifically. That's a quarter of my life.

And now I'm giving all that up.

It is a strange new world I enter now, one where I have to reinvent myself online. My wife is actually glad of this, as she's looking forward to my having just one set of deadlines (that of the new day job) and me spending the rest of time either away from the keyboard, or writing what I want to write, not what I'm obligated to write. Hopefully, that means my long-neglected personal blog (this one) will get some attention and, more importantly, my long-forestalled fiction writing career will finally get underway.

It's time to move on to the next chapter, but no matter how promising or exciting my prospects may be, I cannot help but be momentarily saddened by what what I'm leaving behind. It has been good to me, and I'm the better for it. Those of you who knew me as the Trivia Geek, please look for me here. I'm not gone, I'm just different. And I look forward to seeing what is to come.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. One chapter ends and a new one begins. Such is the way of life. You may quote me.

    Best of luck, Jay. You're always welcome around our part of the web -- but even more so if you're bringing bagels. :)

  2. I can't believe that there will not be a geekend anymore :(

  3. Good luck, Jay! It's always intimidating changing jobs and reinventing yourself, but I'm sure you'll do well.

    Also, thanks for dropping me on that ubergeek twitter list!

  4. I am just relieved that you have a day job. But I am pretty bourgeois.

  5. You deserve to take a bow. It was a great run! All good things ...

  6. TR won't be the same without Geek Trivia. You will be missed, Jay.

  7. So glad to hear the good news, Jay.

    The bad news, on the other hand...

    TR won't be the same without the Trivia Geek. You will be missed.

    Good luck and enjoy.

  8. Dude, i had no idea!

    We'll spend some time on it this week on the show! I'm just happy to have been in a position to give you and Geek Trivia an unshakable home ... we'll have you on with us for as long as we're on the air and you're still willing to put up with our shenanigans, crap, and occasional stupidity. And by occasional, I mean whenever Dave and I are speaking.

    At least now we'll know that you're not holding onto your best stuff for your pals at TR! ;)

  9. Best of luck in the future Jay. Your column will be sorely missed, but it will be though upon with the fondest of memories.