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ecuscino | Created: 29 Mar 2024 | Updated: 01 Apr 2024

Coming this summer: The Dirt!

We are pleased to announce the coming launch of the first ever G-I - sponsored social network designed specifically for geo-professionals! The Dirt represents the culmination of nearly two years of discussion generated during small-group feedback sessions – held both virtually and in-person – with hundreds of practicing engineers, professors, students, and industry representatives.

A major recurring theme in each of these sessions was a desire to extend connections made at conferences and regional chapter meetings while facilitating the exchange of practical knowledge, lessons learned, and amusing anecdotes from the geo-industry. While we recognize the modern social media landscape is already saturated with various websites and apps for social and professional connections, we believe The Dirt will be a wholly unique and exclusive community that will – importantly – bring geo-professionals out of the office and cyberspace to form friendships and mentorship opportunities in the real world.

As the official launch approaches (date to be announced in the coming weeks), here’s what you as a Geo-Institute member can look forward to with respect to The Dirt:

1. The network will be invitation-only to ensure access is limited to the geo-community. The first generation of users will be selected from members of the initial development groups and begin building the foundation of the network by sharing “dirt” on colleagues and coworkers. Dirt will be comprised of unmoderated posts including shout-outs, employee evaluations, and recollections of meaningful conversations about the profession. Once someone has “shared dirt” on you, an invitation to the network will be sent to your email. At this point, you can create your profile and begin sharing dirt of your own!

Some examples of what good dirt might look like:

  • “Rahul Kumar is an excellent field engineer. His ability to distinguish between silty sands and sands with silt is remarkable, and he often logs soil types with his eyes closed. He’s a great coworker but a terrible pickup basketball player.”
  • “Amanda Reynolds is the best seepage modeler we have in the office. She can solve complicated uplift problems with ease and calibrate with piezometer data like it’s child’s play. She does, however, have a strange habit of reciting the entirety of Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gate from the Return of the King film around lunchtime every day. I can usually hear her start while I’m heating up my turkey sandwich in the breakroom; her voice rises emphatically at ‘An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day!’ But hey, if that’s what it takes for her to get through the workday, who am I to judge?”
  • “I’ve been Max Kline’s manager for four years now and he’s definitely a character. Hasn’t shown up to the office on time once since I’ve known him and he constantly calls Terzaghi ‘Ter-gazi’ despite our numerous attempts to correct him. He also insists on submitting paper timesheets, but they’re never legible so he’s been paid out of overhead for probably a decade now. I don’t know what exactly he does for the company engineering-wise, but he does cook a mean brisket. He's probably my favorite guy here.”

2. Sharing dirt and having dirt shared about you will award you site credits, increasing your overall “gradation” level. All users start out as “gap-graded” until sufficient dirt has been shared to build a more detailed profile. The next level is a “poorly-graded” user, who needs to secure dirt from multiple higher level users before attaining the rank of a “well-graded” profile. Well-graded users will have access to advanced site features like the still-in-beta version of the G-I Videogame and unrestricted access to the source code of the website.

3. There will be a dating component of the website as well. Anyone who sends the line, “I’ve searched this website through and through and found there’s zero percent finer than you!” will automatically be banned.

These are only a few of the many features that will be included once The Dirt goes live in a few months! Remember, when you get your invitation email, the sooner you register, the more likely you’ll get your preferred username! (Usernames are subject to review by @DirtAdmin and @BigBadBrad and must meet a reasonable standard of professionalism. Usernames can be no longer than 12 characters, including numbers and symbols. Anything longer will be compacted to a density that the website can process.)

Keep an eye on your email for more information about the exact launch date as well as a necessary mid-year increase in member dues to cover the cost of the development of this project. It turns out hiring a web developer for such an ambitious undertaking is not cheap, especially when they charge by the hour and you spend every weeknight on the phone with them until 1 AM trying to get the app notification noise to sound exactly like the ear-piercing clank of an SPT-hammer dropping from ten feet away.

We at G-I are very excited to begin digging up The Dirt with you this summer!