Geek Dads Weekly #52 – Cyberbully


In which all three Geek Dads talk about cyberbullying and a great new startup aimed at providing a safe social network for kids. Also: Drew rides a $2,000 bike. Srsly.

Joe sent me a message about an article in the New York Times about cyberbullying, a topic that hits us both as geeks and as dads. Is cyberbullying fundamentally different than bullying that has gone on in generations past? What do you do when you find out it’s your child that’s doing the bullying? What tools are available? We barely scratched the surface of this complex topic, but it’s one that we will be spending some good quality time on in shows to come.

Using facial recognition for the login process is something that startup What’s What hopes will keep its community safe from bullying behavior (as well as from identity theft and potential adult abuse). It doesn’t stop there. Check out to learn how this new social network aimed at 7-14 year olds is trying to fight the good fight. Our prediction is that will be one of the services to watch in 2011. Here’s the survey that Joe mentioned.

Moving on, Drew’s made an offer on a house for the first time! Sweet! Fingers crossed.

After that, I gave an overview of the Attention! This Book Will Fight Breast Cancer charity project. Author Jim Kukral was my guest on Inside Internet Marketing a few days ago, and made a generous offer that we hope will generate more interest in the project. The signed book will be up for auction during Affiliate Summit West 2011.

Drew then spilled the beans about “that thing with those guys” that we’ve been teasing about for the past couple of shows. The project is called Road to Thin, and it’s five guys on a mission to drop at least 50 pounds each – myself, Drew, Kevin Metzger, PJ Mullen and Donny Claxton. We’ve got a site set up, a bi-weekly podcast, and it’s going to be awesome. We’re on Twitter, too.

Lastly, Drew had a test drive on the EliptiGO that he mentioned on last week’s show. It went really well, but… it’s $2,000. For a bike. Still, it’s pretty damn cool.

We wrapped with a short bit from Drew about a press conference that he did with some of the cast of Leverage, including noted joke thief Wil Wheaton.

Thanks for listening! We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave us a voice mail at 281-826-2112.

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Published by Daniel M. Clark

Daniel M. Clark is a podcaster and proprietor of QAQN, a writer at, and an all-around cool dude everywhere else. God, I hate talking about myself in the third-person.

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  1. Kids need to use pen names (maybe). Actually, parents need to train their children to be good people. But, that's not likely to start happening. I've always thought kids having computers in their rooms alone is a bad mistake. But given today's mobile devices – how do you manage those? By the time today's little kids enter grade school, technology is going to be even more mobile driven than it is today!

    The anonymity factor of online stuff is very real. To me, that's the issue to deal with. We teach our children how to behave at home, then we teach them how to behave out in public – remember the first time you took your kids to a restaurant? We have to start doing that with online technology. We have to migrate our kids into all the social areas of life – and train them how to behave, showing them how what they do online has a long, long life, etc.

    I sympathize with all dads (and moms) today. I also sympathize with my peers who are now grandparents. We're all in it together to raise a generation that understands kindness.

    Kudos on the Road to Thin launch. Your families deserve your best health. Good for all of you! It should be an interesting journey.


    1. Hi Randy .. thanks for your comment. It definitely comes down to having parents aware of threats that exist and teaching proper behavior.

      The mobile devices are a huge dilemma. On one hand they are able to keep parents and children connected, even to the point of pinpointing actual location via GPS technology. There is a huge safety upside to that, but it opens the door to SMS and other simple means of harassment. Just after this podcast I heard from someone who said that his middle school daughter has essentially migrated away from "surfing the web" and is solely communicating via text messages and mobile apps.

      Then there is the whole trust element within the household itself, when you start introducing keystroke loggers and GPS tracking .. a classic parent / child battle wrapped in a technology shell.

      In my mind we just need to keep talking about it. Thanks for contributing!

      If you don't mind, would you hit up this quick survey for the guy that I mentioned on the show, let him know if his business model has potential. Appreciate it!


      PS .. sorry for the heavy breathing this episode. Must have had my mic positioned wrong. Blech :-/

      1. I knew I forgot something… I forgot to put the link to the survey in the notes. Sorry about that. Fixed.

    2. I couldn't agree more that what it really comes down to is parenting and teaching the kids to be good people. That's the thing that transcends technology, social status, and everything else – if you don't teach your kid not to be an jerk, chances are, he's going to be an jerk.

      I started writing a blog post a while back that was going to be titled "My Kid is a Bully – Deal With It", but I never finished writing it. Looking around, we (as a society) tend to focus on teaching kids how to react to bullies. Very few people (comparatively) concentrate on the bullies themselves. I suspect it's because the overwhelming majority of parents are either in denial about their kids' bullying behavior or they're proud of it. Maybe I'll finish writing that post. Or maybe I'll turn it into a short podcast episode instead. Hm.

      Thanks for the kudos on the Road to Thin launch. We're really excited about the whole thing, and I hope we can do some good for some of our readers, too.

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