Monday, March 26, 2012

Nerd Appeal - Redeux

Joining the Nerdfighter community is by far the most interesting aspect of vlogbrother culture. Typically when someone becomes part of a community, she is either born into that community, or she is required to fill a list of prerequisites to gain membership. I often see the latter form of community inclusion in the context of my college experience, when, at the beginning of each semester, hundreds of hopeful girls rush the sorority of their choice. Processes like these are extensive and exclusive; the existing members of the community choose whether others are able to join based on a series of qualifications, like where they are from, what their interests are, or who their contacts are. This is where the Nerdfighter community is unique. There is only one qualification for becoming a Nerdfighter: you have to want to be a Nerdfighter. In this sense, Nerdfighteria acts like Facebook—as long as you have an email address, you can join DFTBA Records, get involved in the social networking site, (Nerfighters.com), or simply subscribe to the vlogbrothers' videos. In any case, if you call yourself a Nerdfighter, you are one.

It is this inclusivity that Nerdfighters and non-Nerdfighters believe makes Nerdfighteria so appealing to a wide range of people. I asked a member of the Nerdfighter community, my friend Taylor, some questions regarding her involvement in Nerdfighteria. Taylor began watching vlogbrothers in 2009, two years after Brotherhood 2.0 made the Green brothers a YouTube phenomenon. She has read all of John Green’s books, attended the 2012 Tour de Nerdfighting, has met John and Hank and the Katherine, and she is subscribed to many of the vlogbrothers partner channels (such as charlieissocoollike, nerimon, crashcourse, etc.). When I asked her what she believes makes Nerdfighteria appealing to so many people, she responded by saying, “I believe that Nerdfighteria is so appealing to people because it has a place for anyone who wants to belong there.”

As a Nerdfighter, I can attest to Taylor’s theory. People involved in Nerdfighteria are incredibly diverse. The vlogbrothers audience is represented by six continents. No two Nerdfighters are the same. Some are interested in literature, some in music, and some in visual art. Nerdfighteria encompasses a variety of interests, and the Green brothers, as well as the community as a whole, do a relatively good job at covering them.

I conducted an interview with my classmate, Logan, who was unfamiliar with the vlogbrothers community until I familiarized him with the culture. During our interview I explained to Logan Brotherhood 2.0, vlogbrothers, nerdfighters.com, and DFTBA records. He seemed interested in the project, saying, “I think it’s really cool what they’re doing.” I asked him what he thought made vlogbrothers appealing to so many people, and he responded by saying, “They have such a huge audience... because they’re in so many different medias. They cover broad interests.” He referred to a vlogbrothers video I showed him in which John Green talked about his college friends. During the video, John referred to several different forms of media including literature, photography, and film. This singular video was enough to show Logan how diverse Nerdfighteria could be. When I asked him if he would consider becoming part of Nerdfighteria after learning more about it, he responded, “Yeah, it’s really interesting... it sounds like there’s something for everybody there.”

Evidence shows the reason people like Nerdfighteria is because they feel welcome there no matter their interests.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nerd Appeal

Becoming part of the Nerdfighter community is perhaps the most interesting aspect of vlogbrother culture. Typically when someone becomes part of a community, she is either born into that community, or she is required to fill a list of prerequisite qualifications in order to gain membership to that community. I often see the latter form of community inclusion in the context of my college experience, when, at the beginning of each semester, hundreds of hopeful girls rush the sorority of their choice. Processes like these are extensive and exclusive; the existing members of the community choose whether you are able to join based on a series of qualifications, like where you’re from, what your interests are, or who you have contacts with. This is where the Nerdfighter community is unique. There is only one qualification for becoming a Nerdfighter: you have to want to become a Nerdfighter. This community acts more like Facebook—as long as you have an email address, you can create an account with DFTBA Records or even get involved in the social networking site on Nerfighters.com. Or your participation in the community could be as minimal as simply watching the vlogbrothers YouTube videos. If you call yourself a Nerdfighter, you are one.

It is this inclusivity that both Nerdfighters and non-Nerdfighters seem to think is what makes Nerdfighteria so appealing to a wide range of people. I asked a member of the Nerdfighter community, my friend Taylor, some questions regarding her involvement in Nerdfighteria. Taylor began watching vlogbrothers in 2009, two years after Brotherhood 2.0 made the Green brothers a YouTube phenomenon. She has read all of John Green’s books, attended the 2012 Tour de Nerdfighting, has met John and Hank and the Katherine, and she is subscribed to many of the vlogbrothers partner channels (such as charlieissocoollike, nerimon, crashcourse, etc.). When I asked her what she believes makes Nerdfighteria appealing to so many people, she responded by saying, “I believe that Nerdfighteria is so appealing to people because it has a place for anyone who wants to belong there.” 

As a Nerdfighter, I can attest to Taylor’s theory. People involved in Nerdfighteria are incredibly diverse. The vlogbrothers audience is represented by six continents. No two Nerdfighters are the same. Some are interested in literature, some in music, and some are interested in visual art. There are so many diverse interests, and the Green brothers, as well as the community as a whole, do a relatively good job at covering a variety of interests. 

I conducted an interview with my classmate, Logan, who was unfamiliar with the vlogbrothers community until I familiarized him with the culture. During our interview I explained to Logan Brotherhood 2.0, vlogbrothers, nerdfighters.com, and DFTBA records. He seemed interested in the project, saying, “I think it’s really cool what they’re doing.” I asked him what he thought made vlogbrothers appealing to so many people, and he responded by saying, “They have such a huge audience... because they’re in so many different medias. They cover broad interests.” He referred to a vlogbrothers video I showed him that involved John Green talking about some people he knew in college, during which John referred to several different forms of media including literature, photography, and film. This singular video was enough to show Logan how diverse Nerdfighteria could be. When I asked him if he would consider becoming part of Nerdfighteria after learning more about it, to which he responded, “Yeah, it’s really interesting... it sounds like there’s something for everybody there.” 

So it seems as though the reason people like Nerdfighteria is because they are welcome there no matter what their interests are.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Nerdfighter Archives

Brotherhood 2.0 video archives can be found here. These videos can be useful in tracing the origins of Nerfighteria.

A complete vlogbrothers video archive is located here. Many of these videos are also transcribed, which is incredibly useful. Much of the same kind of information can be found here, but in a less organized format.

Wiki Pages:
John Green
Hank Green
Vlogbrothers

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nerdfighteria: A Tentative Glossary

Awesome (n) Shorthand for “awesomeness”; the matter out of which all good things are created

Brotherhood 2.0 (n) The YouTube video project involving Hank and John Green in which the two were prohibited from textually communicating with each other for the entire year of 2007; the foundation of Nerdfighteria

Brotherhood2.com (n) the official website for the Brotherhood 2.0 project; houses a Brotherhood 2.0 video archive, information about the project, and the My Pants forum

Decepticon (n) The opposite of a Nerdfighter

Decepticonian (adj.) Referring to something which is the opposite of awesome (derived from decepticon)
DFTBA (expression) Don't Forget To Be Awesome; often used as a valediction

DFTBA Records (n) The record company created by Hank and John Green, Alan Lastufka, Kristen Franklin, and Sam Rudge; hosts many YouTube artists, and sells music and merchandise for these artists on their website dftba.com

EBO (n) The Evil Baby Orphanage; a hypothetical project where Nerdfighters go back in time and take babies that will become evil adults and put them in an orphanage in Tibet
EcoGeek.org (n) The website Hank Green runs; a blog about the symbiosis between nature and technology

The Foundation to Decrease WorldSuck (n) also known as FDW, or the Brotherhood 2.0 Foundation for Decreasing Suck Levels Worldwide; a foundation created by Hank and John Green with the purpose of decreasing WorldSuck by doing things that make the world a better place, like donating to charities

French The Llama (expression) Often abbreviated FTL; used as an expression of excitement or incredulousness, much like “holy cow” or “gee whiz”

Giant Squid of Anger (n) A Youtube troll, or someone who leaves nasty comments on Youtube videos.

gigacools (n) The unit measure of Awesome

Happy Dance (n) The dance one does when one is incredibly happy; the most clear and distinct way to physically express pure Awesome

Hankian (adj.) Referring to something that has to do with Hank Green

jokes (adj.) A slang term used to describe something that is cool or awesome

The Katherine (n) Hank's wife

made of Awesome (expression) used when describing something that is especially good or cool; for example, John’s book The Fault in Our Stars is made of Awesome

My/Your Pants (n) The online forum in which Nerdfighters can participate, located at yourpants.org; also used in the context of the phrase “in my pants,” which, as discovered by Maureen Johnson, also sounds funny at end of book titles

Nerdfightastic (adj.) The act of being like a Nerdfighter; refers to being awesome

Nerdfighter (n) A pro-nerd term used to describe followers of vlogbrothers; a regular person, except instead of being composed of tissues and cells and organs, they are made of Awesome; someone who fights for all things awesome

Nerdfighter gathering (n) A gathering of Nerdfighters; Hank and John Green may or may not be present at these events

Nerdfighteria (n) The Nerdfighter community. Nerdfighteria is not restricted to any particular geographical area; rather, it is a group of people who share similarities in interests and cultural habits.

NIT (n) Nerdfighter In Training

notsome (adj.) The antithesis of awesome

Puff Levels (n) The height of John’s hair; has a direct correlation to stress levels (the higher the stress level, the higher the Puff Level)

punishment (n) Issued during Brotherhood 2.0 when a brother breaks a project rule (e.g. textually communicating, uploading a video late, or uploading a video over four minutes in length); punishments must be wife-approved and are issued by the brother who did not break a rule.
Secret Sibling (n) A Nerdfighter who makes video responses to the vlogbrothers

Stuff on Heads (n) The belief that if you put stuff on your head, it makes you feel better about life

Tiny Chicken Disease (n) A disease in which tiny chickens lay eggs in your head, and all the goo leaks out of your nose; also known as the common cold

Tour de Nerdfighting (n) The tour held first in 2008 and again in 2012, when the Green brothers travel the country and hold Nerdfighter gatherings about John’s book, Hank’s music, and Nerdfighteria.

vlogbrothers (n) Hank and John Green’s YouTube channel; hosts the Brotherhood 2.0 project as well as their other videos

WorldSuck (n) The amount of suck in the world

Worldsuck Index (n) A gauge of suck levels; ranges from low (like corndogs, which don’t suck) to severe (like malaria)

The Yeti (n) John's wife, Sarah

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chuck On Shuffle - Redeux



Chuck Klosterman is believable, or credible, as a writer because of his honesty. He is very transparent in his writing; he gives his opinion about anything and everything, no matter how brutal or frank. Even though his pieces are notoriously slanted, Klosterman presents his opinions in a way that helps his readers to understand him as a writer.

Klosterman's voice is another thing that effectively portrays his attention to detail. Throughout the article, Klosterman posts links that lead to resources about the subject matter of the article. He makes it easy for the reader to understand exactly what he is talking about for the entire article. Without these links, we would have to take Klosterman's word for it. With the links, we are able to experience it for ourselves.

Overall, Klosterman's writing appears credible simply because he writes intelligently. His writing makes him sound intelligent, and that makes people trust him to a certain extent.