Meet my new project: poem.ly by Jamie Young

My head is constantly filled with ideas for apps, services, websites, and books. Though, some are still in the process of coming to life, one came to fruition this weekend. And I'm super excited about it.

Meet poem.ly

I like poetry. A lot. And I've been thinking more and more about how it seems like a dead art; no one seems to read or write poetry much. It's not hip anymore. Well, I want to change that. Because poetry is amazing and beautiful; poetry can heal your soul. 

The idea for poem.ly came from something I would tell my boyfriend all too often:

"Everyone needs more poetry in their life."

I think this past week put that even more in perspective for me, with everything that's been going on in the world. Will poetry fix all our problems? Of course not. But it can help us in a lot of other ways we probably don't realize.

For one, writing poetry is proven to be therapeutic. It can help with many illnesses, like depression. Poetry can even help you with your memory. This one hits close to home for me. My grandmother has Alzheimer's and is one of the many reasons I am who I am today. Among other types of literature, she loved poetry. She wrote and recited her own often. When the Alzheimer's first started to affect her, you could tell how hard she was fighting: She would recite the same poem she wrote when she was a young girl to us. She still remembered it. It was still in there. She was hanging on. Hanging on with a poem. 

Needless to say, this project means a lot to me. 

Our inboxes aren't very happy places anymore. They can incite feelings of being stressed, frustrated, and overwhelmed. 

You need more happiness in your inbox. You need more poetry in your life. And poem.ly aims to accomplish both. Simply subscribe to poem.ly and start receiving a handpicked poem once a day to make your inbox a little bit happier.

We promise that this email will be one you look forward to each day.

My hope is that in the future we can begin accepting poem submissions—poems you love, even poems written by you or someone you know—to be included in the daily poem.ly email. I don't just want to share the poetry I love, I want to read and share the poetry you guys love, too.

So, please, go! Sign up for poem.ly! We'll be launching later in September—which is very soon, I know, but I wanted to get this rolling and get you poetry as soon as possible. I'd like to start with a good amount of people on the list, so please do tell your friends and family, or even share with a stranger you meet at your coffee shop today.

Because everyone needs more poetry in their life. 

Don't forget to follow us on Twitterlike us on Facebook, and follow our Instagram account.

Thanks for all of your support!

On #Ferguson... by Jamie Young

Civil Rights Act, 1964. 50 years later. Ferguson, Missouri, 2014. 

Civil Rights Act, 1964. 50 years later. Ferguson, Missouri, 2014. 

"Everything happens for a reason." 

I always hated it when someone said that to me when something terrible happened. What a cop out. What a bad excuse. What's the reason for hate? For hurt? For pain? It never seemed logical to me. 

Then today it hit me. 

"Everything happens for a reason."

Normally I'd say that's bullshit, but it occurred to me that a lot of us—hell, let's be honest, most of us—wouldn't be aware, wouldn't be standing up for our rights, for what's right, if it wasn't taken to this level. As unfortunate and god awful as these events over the past week have been, perhaps that's what it took for us to truly see what's going on. 

And boy have the Ferguson police department, and other government officials, shown us. Thanks for showing us. Thanks for showing us your true colors. Now we know what it looks like. Now we can see the problem clearly. 

Death and hate and taking away our freedoms are not okay. That's not right. But I'm glad we're all aware of it now. Thanks to social media, thanks to the journalists on the front line standing up for our rights when we're unable to because we're so far away. 

I don't typically write about things like this. But my heart is so heavy after hearing, and seeing, everything going on in Ferguson, Missouri after Michael Brown's death, that I just needed to let some of it out. 

I'll leave you with this video. If your heart can take a bit more, that is. Because this is scary.

But I'm glad we're aware. That's important. Thanks for making us aware, Ferguson.

Be safe. 

Stand up. 

We're with you.

My name is Jamie. And I'm a tech douchebag. by Jamie Young

Jordan Cooper invited me to be a guest on the Tech Douchebags podcast. The episode is up today, so check it out and see if I can un-sarcastically overcome Step 9 (taking bets now). 

We talk a lot about my Twitter snobbery, home screen porn, and our quest to find the infamous Kyle (more like Jordan's promise to hunt him down).

Episode 20: "The Internet Girl Scout"

 

Why I'm a geek by Jamie Young

geek |gēk| noun informal 

1. an unfashionable or socially inept person. 

• [ usu. with modifier ] a knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiast: a computer geek. 

2. a carnival performer who performs wild or disgusting acts.

Well, I may at times be unfashionable as my favorite wardrobe consists of a nerdy, ironic mashup t-shirt and no pants (ah, the perks of working from home!), but I'm definitely not socially inept. You can blame the travesty that is The Big Bang Theory for the majority of people thinking geeks are all socially inept (and, apparently, the dictionary—way to go, dictionary).  

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But knowledgeable? Check. An obsessive enthusiast? Check. Computer geek? Check, check.

I'm knowledgeable about and obsessed with the same things typically. Makes sense, right? 

I watch a lot of anime. I read a lot of graphic novels. I'm starting to teach myself CSS and Photoshop just because I love learning new things; I think it's fun. 

I'm smart. And a smartass. I'm a grammar Nazi. The worst kind. So much so that I almost feel bad for ripping you to shreds for using the wrong form of "your" on Twitter. Except I don't. At all. And I will forever argue with you about the Oxford comma's importance. 

I'm obsessed with words and writing. I love editing things. I find it fun and, at times, relaxing. I'm quite the perfectionist. I even have a semicolon tattooed behind my ear because it's my favorite punctuation mark (the em dash a close second).

I probably have the biggest geeky t-shirt collection you've never seen. I'm not joking. I have well over two hundred. It's...a problem. Mostly because I don't have room for them all in my dresser or closet anymore. I even have my own hashtag dedicated to my many t-shirts on Instagram: #jamiehastoomanytshirts. Teefury and Redbubble and Woot have gotten more of my money than I'd like to admit. But how am I supposed to pass up stuff like this?

Speaking of obsessions: I have a fascination with the home screen on iOS devices. Arranging the apps, making them all look visually pleasing while also placing them all in logical spots on the home screen itself: it's called home screen porn. I even wrote an entire article on how to do it, and used to podcast about it ever week. "Zen and the Art of the Home Screen" is what it's all about. Now that's an obsession. Get down and nerdy with me about your home screen and we can be BFFs.

I grew up with computers and video games. I even taught myself HTML when I was 13-years-old by curiously inspecting other websites before making my own (over and over again). But, when I was even younger, I lived in the type of household where we used the computer so much to play King's Quest VI and chat in AOL chatrooms, that our parents would password protect our PC and try to limit our time on it because we were, well, obsessed. 

So, then what happened? You guessed it...we would get around the password protection so we could play Myst or DOOM in the middle of the night. My parents were furious, but also a little impressed.

The first video game I remember playing was Splatterhouse. On our Turbo Grafx 16. When I was 5. I mean, come on—killing zombie fetus babies with a chainsaw—how can you not want to play that game? Though, I think my mother blames that for how I turned out (love you, Mom!). But I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Growing up with two older brothers, video games, and computers was the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm a geek because of all these things, but most of all I'm a geek because that's just who I am. And I'm proud of that. 

Now, it's your turn. Embrace your inner geekness and tell me what makes you a geek.

(This post was written to celebrate "Geekness Day" on July 13. Thanks to SingleHop, a new geeky startup, for the idea!)