A few thoughts and updates on Nerdvana’s 10th anniversary

Announcement, Columns, Events, Featured, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Top story

Ten years ago today, I hit “Publish” on Nerdvana’s very first post. That’s hard to believe, but then again we believe in some pretty wild things around here …

A lot has changed in those 10 years. I left the East Valley Tribune, where I started this blog with a couple other journalists back in 2007, and moved my family to Colorado in 2011 where my roles have expanded to include manager and part-time educator. But I have still kept this site going, and will do my best to continue to do so, in one form or another.

Last year, I acquired Nerdvana from the new owners of what remains of the Tribune. I took it over with the hope of making it something greater, but no grand plan for doing so. I’m still working to make this thing support itself — let’s just start there, OK? My main motivation was to keep this creation, into which I and many others have poured so much effort, from going dark — as the purchasers said was likely to happen if they kept it; that, or I faced the prospect of watching someone else turn it into something different, for better or worse. I couldn’t let that happen. It’s a big part of my work portfolio, and houses content linked to by others for a similar purpose, in addition to being my gateway to learning how to make the most of WordPress and many other digital media tools that I now use every day.

Stronger together

So the journey continues. But I wouldn’t have been able to keep things going without Bob Leeper’s genre film reviews and convention coverage, or his encouragement and enthusiasm — sometimes against significant odds and obstacles, I know. He’s a true friend despite the many roads that separate us these days.

And we have reinforcements. Recently, I’ve picked up an intern: David Buck is working with me in conjunction with his media education at Colorado State University-Pueblo. He’s been spearheading our first forays into audio and, dare I say, podcasting? And he’s been a fresh voice here on gaming nostalgia. (Keep an eye on our progress by subscribing to Nerdvana on YouTube.) On the topic of fresh voices I’ve had the honor of mentoring Madison Houston, a young video games journalist whose work has sometimes also appeared here. The three of us have made for a growing Colorado contingent of Nerdvana contributors, even as coverage of Arizona events continues. And onetime Arizona journalist Amanda Keim has moved on to Minnesota, from where she still keeps us informed about the always-evolving Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling. We’re everywhere these days!

There are, of course, many others who’ve shaped this site over the years — too numerous to name individually, but you can see what they’re all up to here.

Another time …

Five years ago, for Nerdvana’s fifth anniversary, I was back in Arizona’s sweltering heat for NerdvanaCon, part of Downtown Mesa’s Second Friday, thanks go Bob’s lobbying and the Tribune’s then-generosity. It was a great experience, but not in the cards this time around. I had hoped — and still hope — to gather a few Nerdvana veterans together for an anniversary roundtable podcast, so keep an ear out for that in the days ahead if the stars align. Or, should I say, if the cats get herded?

However, maddening as managing it can be sometimes, right now I’d just like to sincerely state how grateful I am this site is still around, and for the support you have given it.

How you can help

If you’d like to support this site and its ongoing operation, please make sure you’ve liked Nerdvana on Facebook and followed us on Twitter. Use Apple News? We’re there, too. Drop us a line with story ideas and tips, and sign up for our email newsletter, which is very much a work in progress. You can go even further by supporting Nerdvana with your shopping on Amazon (if you’re going there anyway) and considering adding us to your whitelist in any ad block extensions you use. (No judging here.)

Happy Nerdvana-versary! To me, and to you.

Featured image: Adventureland, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, this past April (Jayson Peters)

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About Jayson Peters

Nerdvana's founder and owner. Digital editor, social media director, educator. Lifelong Star Wars fan and Trekker who also worships all things Tolkien and Doctor Who.