Opinion: Why it's now COOL to be a GEEK

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Jon_small_new.jpgJonathan Weinberg writes…

This is possibly the most important techno story I’ve seen all week, it’s officially ok to be geeky. A new list of the UK’s most coolest brands has been released and the top 10 contains SEVEN firms related to gadgets, gaming and the internet. So if that’s not a reason to embrace your virtual friends and give thanks I don’t know what is.

The iPod was only pipped into second place in the CoolBrands 2007 by James Bond’s favourite car, the Aston Martin, and you could argue there’s something geeky about being a fan of that motor. No longer is it nerdy to be geeky – because both are different.

As Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg said on Jonathan Ross’s chatshow the other night, he’s proud to be a geek but that doesn’t make him a nerd.

And we’re obviously not alone because YouTube, Bang and Olufsen, Google, PlayStation, Apple and Nintendo were all among the top 10 of cool beating off once heralded brands like Ferrari, Rolex and Prada.

Lee Farrant, of marketing experts RPM, added: “Cool is not an easily definable formula – if it were every brand would be trying to harness and replicate that formula. It is elusive but you know it when you see it!”

That’s a bit like geeks really. I think it’s far easier to spot a nerd than it is a geek. And there’s just as many geeky women out their as blokes.

My fellow Tech Digest scribe Kat readily admits to it and ShinyShiny boss Susi says: “I wear my geek badge with pride – the massive leaps forward in recent years of design in technology has meant that having the right MP3 player is now more important than having the right trainers.

“The public don’t regard gadgets as purely the domain of IT departments any more. It’s also becoming more commonly accepted that women love their gizmos too, which has only helped to add to the ‘cool factor’.”

Kat adds: “Gone are the days when it was decidedly uncool to be clued up on all things technologically-advanced, now those who stay ahead of the pack in the latest tech and online fancies are highly esteemed by their peers, for being in the know and always with the latest gadgets.

“The world we live in is highly-technological, and those who follow the advances in the tech world are more than happy to call themselves ‘geeks’. And with role models such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Kevin Rose from Digg, it’s no longer seen as uncool to strive to be a geek.”

I couldn’t agree more. After all, what is it they say – the geek shall inherity the Earth!

Top 20 in full
1) Aston Martin; 2) iPod; 3) YouTube; 4) Bang and Olufsen; 5) Google; 6) PlayStation; 7) Apple; 8) Agent Provocateur; 9) Nintendo; 10) Virgin Atlantic; 11) Ferrari; 12) Ducati; 13) eBay; 14) Rolex; 15) Tate Modern; 16) Prada; 17) Lamborghini; 18) Green & Black’s; 19) iTunes; 20) Amazon

Jonathan is a tech journalist who’s happy to be called a Geek but draws the line at nerd or even worse, techie!

Jonathan Weinberg