Interviewed for Sexiest Geeks Alive

Sexiest Geeks Alive - Casey McKinnon

Andrew Mager sat down with me in cyberspace last month (does anyone even use that term anymore?) to ask questions about my work and my geek love. It's one of the most in-depth interviews I've done in a while, so if you're interested in learning how I came to work in new media, here's your chance.

Click here to see the article.

Update: The web site went down, but here's a copy of the interview via Wayback Machine.

You know you’re a geek when you take a picture of yourself every day.

You know you’re a geek if you make a weekly comedy show about geekdom in your apartment.

This geek isn’t worried about being categorized as being a geek. Oh, and she’s dead sexy too.

I had a chance to sit down with Casey for an interview in the calm chambers of Gmail.

You studied communication in school, but what made you want to work with online media?

Though I studied communications in school, my life had taken a turn towards working in international affairs. Three years ago my boyfriend Rudy Jahchan told me all about a feature in Wired about something called “Podcasting”. I asked him if technically we could do this with video instead of audio (thinking we were the first to do so :P) and we launched our first video podcast for fun in October 2005. Thanks to the adjacent launch of the video iPod and interest in the subject matter, our numbers spiked instantly and we became the top subscribed podcast on iTunes within a month. That, and all the attention that followed from traditional and online media, motivated us to invest in better equipment and spend more time producing new content.

Tell me about Galacticast, A Comicbook Orange, and Kitkast

Kitkast was our first production, a 10-15 minute weekly sex news and interviews show. The series caused a lot of controversy amongst the video blogging world since it was not a personal vlog and was modeled after television.

I was very proud of the show, but was getting tired of the subject matter and dressing so publicly in my lingerie and felt that after six months I needed to go on haitus to try something new and reassess whether I wanted to continue producing Kitkast in the long run.

Being huge geeks, my boyfriend and I launched Galacticast in May 2006. Originally, we had the vision of creating a network of shows, and we initially started producing four segments in three shows a week: News of the Worlds (sci-fi/entertainment news); A Comicbook Orange (a comic book review show hosted by Rudy); Attack of the 50ft. [Celebrity] (interviews conducted by remote correspondents with comic creators, actors and directors); and Sci-Fi Night Live (skit comedy show).

After a month of struggling to balance our growing network with our day jobs, we decided to concentrate on one segment only, the skits. The show went on to win five Vloggies and gained a lot of attention in the mainstream media, and by November of that year I made the decision to quit my day job as a diplomat’s assistant and follow my long lost dream of working in media.

We soon got into talks with Next New Networks, where one of the founders was a big comic book fan who missed A Comicbook Orange, and in June 2007 we relaunched the show with me hosting. Though we only produced the weekly show with NNN’s funding for six months, I still get emails from fans who are hungry for more. I would definitely continue to produce the show with new partners if we got the offer… I, too, miss the series. We’ll see what happens ;)

What is the one website you check as soon as you wake up in the morning and why?

I have four web sites that are always open in Safari on my iPhone. The moment I wake up, I roll over and check: Twitter, to find out what my friends have been up to and if I had any replies to something I said the previous night; Flickr, because I post a daily self portrait and I’m always excited to see if anyone’s commented; Facebook, I’m obsessed with the Friends For Sale app; and I Can Has Cheezburger?, which I enjoy checking out while cuddling with my boyfriend… although I must admit, I’m getting sick of all the Ceiling/Basement Cat jokes. Lame.

Would you rather never be able to use the Internet again, or never sleep in a bed ever again?

Yikes! Tough question, but I can’t live without the Internet… I can live, but it would be a rather dismal existence. I’d rather be roughing it like a character in a Brian Wood graphic novel than be cut off from my tubes.

Rock Band or Guitar Hero?

Rock Band. Better guitar, more instruments, public performance possibilities ;)

Do you like living in Canada? Are they “Internet-saavy” up there?

I was raised watching American television and only live 30 minutes from the borders to New York and Vermont, so I feel a stronger connection to America than my own country. However, I mostly love Canada where I feel America falls short: a nation that accepts and really celebrates its’ multicultural diversity. I believe that the American dream has been swept aside in times of fear-mongering, but I have every confidence that the xenophobia will pass once Barack Obama becomes president.

As for technology, Canada unfortunately falls behind. There are certainly many Canadians who are internet-savvy and who hunger for the latest technology, but less companies interested in investing in this future. It is for this reason that we felt the need to purchase our iPhones from the US and unlock them ourselves. The same thing goes for the development of new media. We’ve met many wonderful Canadians producing successful web shows (ex. Tiki Bar TV & CommandN), but to develop those shows, we all need to look south for funding.

Oh yea, do you consider yourself geeky? And what is a geek to you?

I am absolutely, without a doubt a geek, although my tastes have changed over the years. When Rudy and I first started Galacticast, I was much more into science fiction. Now I find myself much more interested in playing video games, reading graphic novels and being involved in the latest internet memes.

Above all else, though, I am abnormal. And I feel that being a geek involves the outcast feeling for being passionate about something outside of the norm. Extra geek cred should be given to unique creators and those who’ve embraced their individuality against all odds (bullying, name-calling, etc.)

Finally, if you could work anywhere, where would it be?

I would love to team up with a great blog and host/produce a new web show with them. Off the top of my head, some great matches for me would be sites like Kotaku, Joystiq, io9, Ain’t It Cool News, Newsarama, and Comic Book Resources.

Aside from hosting, I would also die to be cast in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the new Dune adaptation coming out in 2010. Die.

I am one of Casey’s biggest fans, and I have never even met her in person. Next time she comes to the bay area, I hope to give her a big hug. Keep rocking north of the border Ms. McKinnon.

Follow Casey on the web:

http://www.caseymckinnon.com

Facebook

Twitter

MySpace

Photo credits in order:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/1436581578/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caseymckinnon/868344128/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vubui/523563601/