I am a Nerdfighter.
I am going to tell you about being a Nerdfighter because I am betting that at least 98% of my audience are Nerdfigthers and just don’t know it yet. I think it is one of the most positive and affirming forces of nature in the universe and I love spreading the word of Nerd.
But there is a lot to know about being a Nerdfighter and a lot of history to catch up on. It is a lot like coming in to the third season of LOST and trying to pick up all the nuances, except that you don’t really need a Wikipedia site to get you caught up on Nerdfighteria. You just need me and about 800 words. So whenever you see a word highlighted, that’s a link, probably to a YouTube video because a lot of Nerdfighteria exists on YouTube, but not all are videos.
What is a Nerdfighter? Do you fight nerds?
No! There is no nerd fighting involved! Nerdfighters are actually nerds who fight against World Suck. Nerdfighters are an army of the smartest and most passionate people on the internets. Alone it might seem like we can’t possibly change the world, but 100,000 of us can do amazing things.
What is world suck?
Just what it sounds like. Anything and anyone who creates suck in the world or encourages others to promote world suck.
Who started this crazy movement?
That would be YA author John Green (That would be the Michael L. Printz award winning author, John Green) who you might know from such books as Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, and his equally cool younger brother Hank Green. They have a YouTube channel called Vlogbrothers and they were the ones who first started fighting back against World Suck and the rest of us jumped on board to help. That’s kind of how Nerdfighters came to be. I’m proud to say I’ve been following Vlogbrothers since their first year, though not from the very beginning.
Can I be a Nerdfighter?
Are you a nerd? Do you want to fight world suck and spread awesome in the world? Then you are a Nerdfighter already.
What is DFTBA?
acronym initialism whatever, that stands for Don’t Forget to be Awesome. This phrase is POWERFUL. In fact, whenever I’m having a very bad day, I write DFTBA on my left wrist in black sharpie and it reminds me that this bad day is just a blip in a world that is awesome and amazing and I don’t have to let any bad or stressful thing bring me down unless I let it. I keep it there so I can glance at it and remind myself. I’ve strongly considered getting it tattooed when I sell my first book. But it’s not just me who uses this phrase to push them forward. You can find it everywhere.
What kinds of things have Nerdfighters done to reduce world suck?
Glad you asked! I also think it is important to remember that while a lot of Nerdfighters are adults like me, a HUGE number of them are actually young adults so a lot of these things that get done? Yeah, it’s young adults pooling their collective power and making the world better. If that doesn’t give you goosebumps, you’re a robot.
- Project for Awesome 2010
- The Water.org project for Savann Tabak (going on right now, fyi. My username on water.org is tellgreatstories. Come check out the project.) Hank’s Video on Savann Tabak Here
- This Star Won’t Go Out – Ready to cry your eyes out? A Nerdfighter teen by the name of Esther passed away this year from cancer. She was a strong presence in Nerdfighteria and even those of us who only knew her from afar were effected by her death. Some other Nerdfighters, for their Project for Awesome project this year, created a foundation with her parents in honor of Esther called This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation to raise money for families dealing with having a child with cancer. It is really, really amazing.
- The Harry Potter Alliance- an extension of Nerdfighters, I’vedonated to some of their projects in the past, including the Helping Haiti Heal project which ended up with enough money to fill 5 cargo planes ($123,000) to send to Haiti. The planes ended up being named Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and DFTBA. I get goosebumps just TYPING that.
Where can I get involved?
You can get involved just by spreading awesome and reducing world suck. Most of you are bloggers so you have this platform to reach other people just like you. Any time you spread good news and encourage people to get involved, or convince people to read, you are becoming a leader within Nerdfighteria. You are raising your own army to fight world suck. Every time you care about an issue or a cause and you donate or volunteer or spread the word, you are getting involved. It doesn’t take much and it doesn’t necessarily take money. It just takes a moment to care about something enough to do something about it. But you can join up with the ranks of Nerdfighters at these places on the internet (this list is not comprehensive) :
Can you tell me a story?
My hometown, Omaha Nebraska, isn’t the middle of nowhere. It is actually a very big city, it’s just surrounded by the middle of nowhere so we get kind of overlooked. We have our issues though, and to say that it isn’t exactly supportive of nerds or anything that is “weird” would be an understatement. Bless the hearts of midwesterners because they can be some of the kindest in the world, but they are a little behind the times and they like it that way. So I kind of thought I was probably one of the few Nerdfighters in my city until one day I was at Borders (on 72nd and Dodge if you live here) and picked up a YA book I was interested in buying. I opened the cover and found something extraordinary. I found this card:
I bought the book, brought the note home, and have kept it close to my desk (and my heart) ever since. I am so proud to tell you about Nerdfighters and Vlogbrothers and I have loved all the projects over the last few years. Can’t wait to see what we can accomplish next year!
Awesome Videos by Nerdfighters
Are you a Nerdfighter? If you weren’t before, are you one now?