Podcast 21 – How much is a geek worth these days?

When Ethan Banks isn’t mountain climbing, he’s blogging, podcasting, and network architecting.

Our guest: Ethan Banks of Packet Pushers. Our mission: How much is a geek worth these days? Ethan is a blogger, columnist, co-host of the Packet Pushers podcast, as well as being a network architect.

There’s a New IT Tribe of technologists who have become social communicators. They do it because they love doing it, but if we don’t put a value our own time, are we undervaluing ourselves?

These IT influencers are gathering together their own communities of IT practitioners. These are people that IT vendors really want to talk to. With online ads and email spam becoming ever less effective, who else can they turn to but the bloggers? And why not pay them?

We tried to stick to the color of money in this week’s podcast, but we also wandered into topics of integrity and endorsement, career paths, employer attitudes and the little discussed joy of just getting to talk to smart people about new ideas and new technologies.



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  1. […] Podcast 21 โ€“ How much is a geek worth these days? | Geek Whisperers – Ethan talks about the Packet Pushers business model on the Geek Whisperers podcast and the fine line that we walk everyday between commercialism, community and integrity. Well proud of having hm as a partner. Must listen. […]

  2. 29 November, 2013

    The other value a geek like Ethan can bring their employer is the ability to bring what I’ll call enhanced escalation to bear.

    Back in the days when I was a hands on consultant and writing for Network World or NetworkComputing there would be times when I had a problem with a vendor that did tech support via call back. When a whole day went by after the first call back that simply collected the service contract info and a brief description of the problem I called the VP of Marketing, who I knew as a journalist and he made sure that level 2 tech support called back within an hour.

    • Amy Lewis
      18 December, 2013

      Great point Howard. Increased visibility is exactly that!

  3. SueFogarty
    17 February, 2014

    I have only recently found your podcasts and find them fascinating — I’m bouncing around and listening to as many as I can. As an editor for a trade publication, I found this one really hits on issues I’m having a difficult time dealing with every day.

    I think Ethan’s view that publishing companies (and likely a lot of marketing departments) have money to burn is pretty optimistic. Content budgets are shrinking rapidly and I don’t see much end to that. My company, at least, has caught on to the value of community, and more and more expects contributors to be willing to give us content for the sake of sharing and visibility. Ethan has been around a while, so he has relationships in place, but I fear new bloggers may have trouble “monetizing” themselves quite as easily.

    • Amy Lewis
      18 February, 2014

      Thanks for listening and your comment. I also come from old-school publishing, so the idea that there’s money to burn has long been a foreign concept. However writers have been held at higher value than other content forms (say podcasting). ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It’s an interesting discussion and we’re not done evaluating market value by a long shot.

      • SueFogarty
        19 February, 2014

        Thanks for your reply, Amy. It looks like we have a lot in common — herding the same unicorns, if you will, although I was calling them simply practitioners, how boring! Would love to pick your brain at some point.

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