-Before you created Deep Nerd Magazine, what were you doing? What led you to the idea of creating an online magazine?
As you go through life, you try to figure what the meaning of life is all about. Life’s funny that way. I was first working for a startup company as the Business Development Director for a rare coin and precious metals company that was relocating to Austin, Texas. Relocating for me was not an option. Furthermore, I knew I wanted to do something to help people. More specifically I wanted to help children. Bullying was something I kept seeing in the news and throughout social media and I believed I was in a unique position because I was about to have a lot of free time on my hands, and having worked in business development and in sales capacities I took the knowledge I gained to become an entrepreneur so I thought if there ever was going to be the perfect time, this was it. I wanted my company to focus on empowering anyone who might find themselves being a target of bullying; I wanted people who had been bullied to stop feeling hopeless and helpless.
I was having a conversation with an old classmate from high school one day who asked me if I had I thought about creating an online magazine just out of the blue. I hadn’t, so I asked him what it would look like. He said he didn’t know, he was simply wondering had I thought about it. Naturally, I began to think about it. Starting an online magazine wasn’t part of the original plan, however, I knew it would give us a platform to bring the topic up as well as share interesting articles from up and coming writers who were equally passionate about what Deep Nerd stands for as a bullying awareness company.
– Naked Without Makeup, the book you’ve written, what is it about?
Naked With No Makeup On is about helping people become comfortable with themselves so that what we present to others doesn’t end up being a false representation of who we really are. Often times we become what others expect. We play a part or we become a character full time and lose touch with who we are because we’ve been wearing “make up” for so long that we no longer recognize ourselves.
– When you were developing the magazine, what was your goal?
My goal in creating Deep Nerd Magazine was to build a platform to introduce the conversation about bullying in its many forms while at the same time giving a vehicle to people to express themselves, making the magazine a place for people to read great articles from various perspectives.
– Why make bullying the focus and platform of the magazine?
Twitter name @deepnerd already existed beforehand which was where I addressed specific issues on bullying on that platform. Bringing up uncomfortable topics isn’t easy. I had already begun working on making bullying my business, no pun intended, so I had to be true to what I told others I was working on and I had to be true to those who were already following us on Twitter. I wanted to create my own version of what already existed in an online magazine form.
– What bullying organizations or people have you worked with to build Deep Nerd?
We are waiting with baited breath to work with motivational speaker / anti bullying advocate Lizzie Velasquez who was also a PAL (Peer Assistance & Leadership) in high school. She is a beautiful spirit and has an amazing personality and sense of humor. We have something we’re working on putting together and I look to make an announcement on what will be taking place in the Fall of 2017. Tom Thelen is someone else who we believe is making a huge impact in the lives of students across the country and would love to collaborate with as well.
– With bullying as the platform, who is your intended audience?
Bullying unfortunately is a form of communication, in my opinion. People who bully others are telling you something. A lot of times it’s a cry for help. I believe it’s our job as parents, educators, friends, etc. to figure out what that cry is about. Reaching out to and teaching students as early as possible how not to fall into the temptation of using bullying to convey their messages helps everyone. Our goal is to be there whenever we are needed, whether that be for a 6th grader or for someone in their 60’s dealing with the long term psychological effects of bullying or having been bullied for several years they are our targeted audience, and everyone in between
– What content will Deep Nerd the Show generate?
Reading and learning will never be out of style so I would encourage everyone to become a reader for life because you will continue to expand your mind and will always learn something new. We will regularly feature new authors on Deep Nerd the Show and will invite them onto our show and will have all kinds of cool surprises for our viewers. There is nothing wrong with being intelligent, for the record. Deep Nerd The Show is the personal thread that will connect the readers with the content of Deep Nerd Magazine. In many cases we will dive deeper into the subject matter previously covered in articles written in Deep Nerd Magazine and in other cases the content we cover will be exclusive to Deep Nerd The Show. Our aim is to bring you exclusive interviews and engage in conversations that a magazine article covered in 1000 words or less couldn’t do. Also, those who are contributors to Deep Nerd Magazine are passionate people as well as the people they cover. We want you to get to know those who write or otherwise contribute to Deep Nerd Magazine and what better way to get to know them than to have a conversation with them? Or in the case of our podcast learn their personalities by watching them have conversations with others covering mainly topics we present to you in Deep Nerd Magazine.
– How can people reach you and engage with Deep Nerd to support the cause of bullying awareness?
– Who is Douge Hamage?
Douge Hamage is a 17 year old normal teenager who feels as if he is misunderstood and to a degree may be. His home life isn’t the greatest and he is sometimes put down by his parents because they really don’t get him. Douge is very intelligent and very shy, however, he’s coming out of his shell by learning he’s 100% perfect just as he is. He works at Blaster Burger after school and has a boss that only sees him as part of his labor force and has experienced a degree of workplace bullying. His love for technology and the environment helped to create what has turned into one of his best friends, Bug Frog, that he made from e-waste when he purchased computer parts from a store next to his job that was going out of business. He has a crush on a girl he’s known since elementary school and has worked up enough courage to let her know he’s interested in her. Douge Hamage is the kid that everyone at one point or another can seem themselves in and he is taking us on his personal journey of development and maturity in a way comic strips have never seen.
– How did the comic strip Douge Hamage come about?
Willie Carwell, the co-creator of Douge Hamage emailed me and asked if I had thought about adding a comic strip to Deep Nerd Magazine, which at the time I hadn’t. He expressed a strong interest in contributing his creative talents. A few emails and a phone call later he made his case, we discussed what Douge Hamage would need to bring to the magazine, and a sketch later Douge Hamage and the storyline was created.
– What can viewers expect from Deep Nerd in the next six months?
Expect to be informed, expect to be exposed to great stories, interviews and musicians / bands and music that may be overlooked because they haven’t made it yet. Or perhaps they haven’t found the right platform capable of presenting what they are doing in a way that expresses the magnitude of their gifts and overall story. We want to find the stories no one else is talking about and share their passion with the world. We will focus on the positive while telling the stories our readers need and want to hear. We want to share with our readers that no matter what you hear or even see, you are the one that has the final say in how you will respond, you determine whether or not to focus on the rain or the rainbow in every situation because it’s a matter of perception and your response to what you perceive.
– What does the Deep Nerd team look like?
Think of the most talented, creative and hardworking people in the world who are passionate about what they do, who get what the mission of Deep Nerd / Deep Nerd Magazine and you have a glimpse into what our team looks like. We have the best of the best working on helping us take our message to the world and Deep Nerd Magazine wouldn’t be anything without them. #TeamDeepNerd #NoBullyingAllowed