Q&A: ‘Granny Geek’ Gay Revi

Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

Soon after Gay Revi made Oak Cliff her home about five years ago, the Dells District resident began writing opinions, local news and restaurant reviews for her blog, grannygeek.us. Revi has lived all over the United States and has family and friends from Connecticut to California, so she first started blogging as a way to keep in touch with them. Her blog also offers helpful information and insights for Oak Cliff residents and people all over the city.

Where are you from, and why did you move to Oak Cliff?
We chose Oak Cliff as a retirement community, but I’m originally from Western Pennsylvania. My son has lived here for about 18 years, so we moved here to get closer to him.

Why did you start the Granny Geek blog?
I started it a long time ago when I was living in Missouri. I just feel it’s very important to talk about what’s going on in my neighborhood. Local things often get overlooked by the media — zoning issues, neighborhood businesses, parties, whatever. Those kinds of things are interesting to local people.

How did you get the name Granny Geek?
My kids gave that name to me. I bought my first computer in 1982, and I got my first Mac in 1984, and I’ve never looked back. I’m a big believer in Mac products. My kids would call me for tech advice, and they gave me that nickname. I can’t do very many grandmotherly things. I don’t crochet. I’m a loss at sewing. I can cook some, but I’m a whiz with software. I’ve spent so much money on software, I think dope would’ve been cheaper.

Was software your business?
No. My husband and I started doing digital archives in the ’90s, and we did that for years. I’m retired from it now, but we were doing it before it was common. We also ran an internet radio station back when Live365 was free, back in about ’98. We played music from my iTunes, which had about a thousand songs, and we would put in local service announcements. And then, over the years, I’ve run a lot of websites, probably about 30, mostly for nonprofits. I helped Turner House before they had a website. I was in the Peace Corps in the ’60s, and I ran a site for my Peace Corps class for years. Now I do the website for my neighborhood association, the Dells District. Just about anyone who has a cause I like, I’ll put up a website for them.

What do you like about blogging?
It’s a great outlet for hissy fits. About a year and a half ago, we started one called Dallas garage sales from hell, and the City Council passed an ordinance on garage sales, so obviously, it was a worthy hissy fit. I consider it a pretty major win for a pretty major hissy fit. In fact, I (met) with the City Council (last month) to talk about how the ordinance has helped curb garage sales in our neighborhood. I also like doing restaurant reviews. People are always offering to give me free food, but I refuse to take payment or any considerations for anything I do. I’m 72 and I can’t be bought … unless there’s a lot of zeros in the number.

Do you use social media?
I had a Facebook account for a while, but I don’t like it. I don’t want to see all that information about people. I don’t want to know who’s sitting in an airport bar. I can see the advantage of it because I do check the Dallas police page or the Dallas City Hall page, but I just don’t bother with a Facebook page. Also, I think it’s too easy to spend too much time on it, so I feel like it’s a waste of time, so I don’t do Facebook. I’d rather read a book.

How many readers do you have?
The blog gets between 200 and 400 visits a day. I have about 40 or so RSS feeds. One day, I got about 2,000 hits on something I wrote about George Bush because dailykos.com linked to it, and that was the most hits I ever got in one day. I’ve gotten requests from TV stations to use pictures off my blog, and of course, I’m always willing to do that. Garage sales from hell was wildly popular. That got picked up by Sean Hannity. He said we were undermining capitalist rights by restricting garage sales. Obviously, he didn’t understand the issue. But it brought a lot of people to the website that day.

How often do you post to your blog?
I try to post once a week, but I don’t always. When George Bush was president, I posted more often because I had more hissy fits then.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Oak Cliff.