I first coined the phrase “Nerd Since ’86” a few years ago.
I had wanted to open an Instagram account, which would focus on all my interests and hobbies, and wouldn’t be lost among all the photos of my children that I filled my personal profile with. Nerd Since ’86 was the name I came up with, for that account.
I was born in 1986, and have been into “nerd things” for as long as I can remember. It started with Star Trek, which my parents would show me as a very young child (so young, that I don’t personally recall watching it with them at that time), and grew from there. Hence the name, Nerd Since ’86.
Quite simple, really.
That Instagram account never went very far, mostly because I realised that it would be unable to allow me to discuss the things I love in the way that I wanted; I needed to proudly display my loves and hobbies in a much grander way.
Eventually, I thought that a podcast network covering all bases of my interests, would be the right way forward.
I was so far along in this process, that I even recorded a two hour podcast with a guest. It would never see the light day, though, as my mental health took a bad turn at the end of 2019, and my plan to launch Nerd Since ’86 as a podcast in January 2020 went up in smoke.
Then, of course, came COVID-19.
If I were not a father of two young children, it’s quite possible that the nine months of various lockdowns [caused by the global pandemic] would have been the perfect time for me to get my voice out there, to discuss all the things I love about superheroes, science fiction adventures, and more.
But, alas, I am a father, and those nine months were largely filled with trying to keep my children entertained within our plot of land that we were rarely allowed to escape.
But, something did happen in that time, and it made me realise that Nerd Since ’86 was still something that I could make happen. Ironically, that “something” was a podcast. Well, three podcasts, as it would come to be.
I had just finished up a rewatch of Star Trek: Enterprise, my partner-in-crime’s (read: mother of my children) first viewing of the show. I had a sudden urge to launch a podcast discussing it with her and, even though that type of thing was completely out of her range of comfort, she surprisingly agreed! Perhaps is was more of a reluctant agreement, in hindsight.
I don’t think even an hour had passed, when I was contacted by an old associate via social media. He was, as it happened, launching a network of Star Trek-related podcasts, and he wanted me to front a Star Trek: Enterprise show with another person he had signed up. I couldn’t make this up.
I told Katie and, perhaps because she saw it as a lucky escape, she told me to go for it. And, I did. But, I really hated that our own Trek podcast was now not to happen. It had come, and gone, so quickly.
That would soon change but, at that time, I was now committed to just one podcast: The Expanse – A Star Trek: Enterprise Podcast, with co-host Kris Hill.
There were hiccups with the podcast network, which threatened everything, of course. And, by hiccups, I mean that the network never happened. Mere days after advertising our upcoming network to hundreds/thousands of fans, via advertisements at a virtual convention (thanks, 2020), my former associate became my former-former associate, as he suddenly had a change of mind about the entire thing, and quickly kicked everyone out of his home, for lack of a better term.
Holosuite Media would be reborn out of the ashes of the failure that was We Made Trek (is it even a failure, if it never officially launches?), and The Expanse would have a home [and still does], where it launched exactly on schedule despite the big problem I just wrote about.
Leaving the home of the man who had asked us all over in the first place presented another opportunity. Holosuite Media needed a Star Trek: Lower Decks podcast, as the former-former associate was keeping his own one at his existing website.
Along with, I believe, two other people, I put myself forward to create and appear on a new podcast dedicated to the soon-to-launch new Star Trek series, Lower Decks. The team was set, and the new show was born… for about a day, or so. Maybe not even that!
After an opportunity came up for one of the proposed co-hosts to take charge of a podcast series dedicated to Star Trek: Discovery, I somehow found myself as the only person with my name attached to this Lower Decks discussion show. I quickly saw an opportunity to team up with my partner-in-crime and, somehow, she agreed to co-star on a brand new show with me: Blast Shield! A Star Trek: Lower Decks Podcast.
Doing Blast Shield! together was such a rush. Whilst she genuinely believed herself to be absolutely sh*t at co-hosting the show, I personally thought she took to it like a duck to water. But, being a podcast based around reviewing an ongoing weekly TV series, it was always at the back of my mind that Lower Decks would soon finish its first season, and we’d no longer be doing the show regularly until Lower Decks returned in mid-to-late 2021.
I quickly had a thought: what if I could finally persuade Katie to go back and watch the four oldest Star Trek shows with me, and then get her to talk about them on a new podcast series? Somehow, she agreed to it (with no pushback, either!), and Her First Trek: A Star Trek Review Podcast was born. Or, at least, scheduled to be born in January 2021.
You may be wondering what three Star Trek podcasts have to do with Nerd Since ’86. Well, quite a lot, as it happens.
Before we recorded a pilot episode for Her First Trek, I knew it would need a home. I’ve done enough podcasts, in the past, to know the various places I could host them from, but my relationship with HolosuiteMedia.com’s owner had felt very safe and rewarding to that point, so I wanted to offer him the chance to add the show to his quick-growing list of podcasts. If he said no, I’d go it alone. Simple.
Thankfully, he said yes!
As I started work on Her First Trek, I found myself thinking about that Nerd Since ’86 name, and everything I had wanted to do with it. Despite my best intentions to bury it, a little voice kept asking me, “can you still do it?”
Eventually, I realised that with some adjustments, yes, I could. It just so happened that the adjustments were, in this case, to increase the workload exponentially by turning it into a YouTube-led channel, with a website to prop it up, and some podcasts, too, including early access to Blast Shield! and Her First Trek (for Patreon supporters, that is).
And so, here we are. It’s 1st January 2021, and today I am officially launching NerdSince86.com and Her First Trek: A Star Trek Review Podcast on the same day. Launching everything on the first day of a new year felt somewhat comforting, and meant-to-be, despite the ridiculous workload it created in trying to get everything ready in time.
I don’t know how NerdSince86.com will evolve. It’s led, mostly, by video content and I hate seeing my own face (hence one of the reasons I wear the glasses on camera – easier to not look at myself!)… so, that right there is a challenge. But, I’m committed, and I now have a platform to talk about all the nerd things that I want to.
And, no, not just Star Trek things. Far from it, in fact.
I’ll no doubt try many things with the videos, the podcast, and the website. Some will work, and stick, whilst many will miss the mark completely and never be seen again. God knows, I’ve struggled to settle down on a video style, for one (i’m now leaning toward the raw and more natural scenery…).
That’s kind of what makes this so fun and exciting to do.
The main thing, for me, is that I just want a positive space to engage with like-minded fans. I’m sick to death of seeing haters attempt to take over social media discussions about these franchises that you and I love so much.
I’m equally sick to death of the YouTube haters, who pump out a load of bullsh*t lies and hate, just because they make a few cents each time someone clicks on their video.
I might just hate the social media lot more, though. At least with the YouTube lot, it’s simply business. The social media trolls are just a bunch of wankers.
If I don’t enjoy something, I don’t waste my energy on it. I have so little time to enjoy television and movies, so why would I waste it hate-watching something? Why does anyone do that?
Even the worst things I watch, I’ll try and find positives in it. And, why not? Why give yourself to something for an hour, or two hours, or perhaps even longer, just to look back and regret every second of it? F*ck that.
I’m not wired that way. I haven’t been for a very long time, in fact. And, that’s why I can tell you now that Nerd Since ’86 will be unashamedly positive. If that is a problem for some folk, that’s fine. They’re not my target audience.
Heck, I don’t think I even have a target audience! If no one ever reads this, or visits my website, I’ll still just be damn happy to be out here talking about all the things I love.
It’s time to get started, I guess!