Nerdfighters FTW!

Think back to when you were in high school. Did you know a nerd? Were you friends with a nerd? Maybe you even were a nerd… I know I was. And if you were a nerd in high school, you know that being a nerd can be a pretty lonely thing. Sure there are groups of nerds, like band nerds, chess nerds and computer club nerds, but if you’re a anime nerd, or a science fiction nerd, it could be really hard to connect to other who share your passions…

Until now!

John Green, author of YA novels like Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns, teamed up with his brother Hank to start a Web 2.0 project where they created daily alternating vlog (video blog) posts. They called their project Brotherhood 2.0 and vlogged about their lives and their work. Hank is a expert on green technologies and writes about them on his blog Ecogeek. He also writes songs. Here’s an example of their early work:

About halfway through the project, Hank wrote a little song about the last Harry Potter book, which was getting ready to come out that week.

The video was featured on YouTube’s front page and the popularity of the already popular group exploded.

The result: Nerdfighters

So, why should we care? Well, below is my well reasoned (?) argument. Links abound, and most of them are to B 2.0 videos. They’re mostly to explain the odd references. Click if you wish.

Why Brotherhood 2.0/Nerdfighters is important for future librarians:

1) Understanding the power of Web 2.0 and social networking.
John and Hank Green have taking their random musings and turned them into an internet sensation. Now, of course, that’s partially because they’re made of awesome, but also because they were not afraid to put themselves out there. Since the end of the official Brotherhood 2.0 project, they have created their own social network using Ning, as well as maintaining profiles on YouTube and Facebook. Are most librarians as awesomely jokes as Hank and John Green? Probably not, and we won’t be pwning Oprah anytime soon, but we can still increase our visibility by increasing our web presence. To understand just what Brotherhood 2.0 has done for John, take a look at his most recent vlog post.

2) Understanding our users.
The vlogbrothers YouTube Channel has 45,473 subscribers and the Nerdfighters Ning has 14,499 members. Sure, some of those people are authors, librarians and Hank and John’s friends and family. But most of those people are teens and young adults who self-identify as nerds and like things like fantasy, science fiction, Harry Potter and Twilight. “We’re Nerdfighters: We fight against suck….we fight awesome We fight using our brains, our hearts, our calculators and our trombones.”
Ladies and Gentlemen: These people are library users, or they should be.

I’m not saying that you need to go to YouTube and watch all 361 videos or carve your own DFTBA jack-o-lantern (DFTBA stands for Don’t Forget To Be Awesome). but watching a few of the B2 Must See Videos or looking around at the Ning might help librarians understand their teen users (although librarians who like to ban social networking sites should not be told about ning.com)

Until next time, Best Wishes!

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2 Comments

  1. bgood said,

    October 28, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I thought the people that wore the same trendy clothing brands and had the same hopes, dreams and hairstyles were the nerds. Turns out they are called jocks. Glad I didn’t realize that back in high school or I might have been even more self-conscious.

  2. Stephanie said,

    November 13, 2008 at 12:20 am

    oooh, john green is great! I really liked Looking for Alaska and Abundance of Katherines, read them both for YA Lit class this semester. Definitely will check out Nerdfighters vlog 🙂


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