10 Questions with Cindy Chaney

1. First, how do you define nerd and how is a nerd different from a geek?

That was the big question at Orc Con! I am always surprised when I tell someone about the site and they complain that they are a geek rather than a nerd. Let’s settle the debate once and for all, I think the average person uses the terms interchangeably and only nerds and geeks worry about the nuances between the two. (That’s right, I just called you a nerd. Or a geek.) In media, the term ‘nerd’ seems to be attached to people who are very academic and education-focused, while ‘geek’ is attached to those who are into technology and gadgets.

In my opinion, both groups tend to be interested in things that the mainstream population thinks is un-cool. For example, both geeks and nerds play D&D. However, nerds will take that to the extreme by memorizing the rule book. Geeks may love Zelda, but nerds will get a tattoo of Link on her foot (check out nerdgirl zelda’s profile for proof).

I know you guys are Big Bang Theory fans, so let’s use Sheldon as an example. Sheldon is definitely a nerd, whereas Leonard is a geek. Leonard has the same interests as Sheldon but he does not take them to the same extreme. Plus, he cares about other things like women and being social, and Sheldon has no use for either. I think people often feel nerds have poor social skills. This may be true, but not because they can’t be social. They are just too busy saving the universe to make time for it.

2. Tell my readers about your website My Nerd Girl.

Mynerdgirl.com is a social networking site for nerds. We also have featured nerd girls that we do photo shoots with in hopes to break down the stereotypes a bit and say “Smart is Sexy”. We think nerds can be social and wanted to create a place where they can meet people with similar interest. And membership is free!

As a user you can create your own profile, add friends, watch videos, blog, view and comment on pictures, chat in the forum, view upcoming events, read articles, and send questions to Dr. Ando our sexologist. We’re working night and day in the lab on some new features due out soon.

3. What made you decide to start a website?

Like most great ideas throughout human evolution, it came to about on a trip to Vegas.

4. What has been the hardest part of starting your own website?

I have my MBA, I used to analyze small businesses for a living, and I teach college-level business courses. None of it prepared me for starting my own website.

The hardest part for me was dealing with web companies. The first one did not deliver what they promised, the second flaked out, and the third went bankrupt. Now one of the Nerdgirls has finally signed on to help me fix some of the bugs left by company number three and do some upgrades. Looking back, if I would have learned all the code myself, the site would have launched a year earlier.

5. What advice would you give to other people considering starting their own social networking website?

Don’t give anyone any money up front.

Also, the internet does not have a 9-5 work day.

6. Do you feel there are stereotypes or misconceptions about women who are fans of more traditionally “guy geek” stuff, such as comics, roleplaying and computer games?

Yes, I think that there are many, and that’s why I wanted to start MyNerdGirl. Most of all, I think that people assume that nerdy girls are unattractive, and that is why I do the photo shoots. Nerdy girls are the most attractive women on the planet because they are the whole package. I try to bring out each woman’s individual personality in the photos because that is what makes us beautiful. We also don’t photoshop the pictures because I want young girls that come to our site to see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, or Dr. Horrible?

I think my favorite is Firefly, but we have fans of all three on the site.

8. We’re doing this interview before the much nerd anticipated movie “Watchmen” releases, but we will be publishing the interview after the film’s release. Care to make any predictions?

I predict it will give me a Nerdgasm, which will be just as hot as it sounds.

9. I only have 8 friends on My Nerd Girl, can you help me amass friends there?

People who blog tend to pick up more friends, as do people who go in the forum. However, the best way to find friends is to scroll through the new users tab and just ask people. We are working on adding a search tool soon, that will allow you to filter users based on their interests.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

What do you like about MyNerdgirl.com?

I liked the idea of place to get to meet other women with interests similar to my own. Outside of the internet it’s hard to find other women who want to swap recipes, AND talk comic books, on MyNerdgirl.com those are the only women I find.

About Cindy Chaney:
Cindy Chaney is a self-proclaimed nerd and creator of MyNerdGirl.com (an interactive and informative social network for nerds). Cindy’s goal is to provide a positive environment for nerds to celebrate what makes them unique. She believes that smart is sexy! Cindy wears many hats in the quest for global dominance including writer, editor, producer, event coordinator…well, you get the idea.

When Cindy isn’t busy talking to fellow nerds on MyNerdGirl.com she is playing games (video games, board games, RPG’s, and the occasional LARP) or reading (books, comics, and manga). Cindy is also a talented scrapbooker and has a gray belt in martial arts.

As with all Nerds, she has a long list of academic achievements including a Master in Business Administration from Cameron University and Bachelors in Organizational Leadership and Communications from Chapman University. Cindy is also an instructor at Westwood College where she is currently Teacher of the Year.