[Creators Spotlight]: Being a content creator is more about the process than the output- Skanda Vivek
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Skanda Vivek, a scientist and an assistant professor at the School of Science and Technology in Georgia Gwinnett College, shares spending his childhood in Bangalore, India and talks about the importance of content in his life.
Creators are the heart and soul of Tealfeed. As they continuously work towards feeding us more information every day, it's only fitting to bring out their journey for the world to know.
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Skanda Vivek.
Skanda Vivek, a scientist and an assistant professor at the School of Science and Technology in Georgia Gwinnett College, shares spending his childhood in India, and talks about the importance of content in his life.
Continue reading to find out more!
Who has been the biggest influence in your life? What lessons did that person or those people teach you?
I was never a great student in school. Part of that was ironically due to my interest in understanding how things around me work (which is what drew me to physics), rather than excelling in exams.
Luckily, I was fortunate to encounter several role models that motivated me to pursue my passions. I would like to highlight 2 role models. First is my aunt Harini Nagendra who is a world-renowned scientist, and showed me that a career in science can be both productive and impactful.
The Second is a tutor B.S. Ramachandra. I remember his motivation and infinitely positive attitude – anyone with the right attitude can achieve their dreams. These encounters have in part shaped my calling to engage in research that makes an impact to society, and create content accessible to a wide range of audiences from school students to subject matter experts.
Tell us about your childhood, what was the best part? Is there any specific incident that has largely influenced the kind of person you are today?
Much of my childhood was spent in India, playing cricket in alleys between busy roads and learning Carnatic music, as well as playing the guitar later on. I fondly remember carefree times, deep friendships, and pursuing my passions.
I think my inclination to music as well as learning multiple languages (which is the norm in India) helps me learn and gain expertise across multiple scientific disciplines.
Where is your hometown, and what was it like when you were young?
My hometown is Bangalore, India. It has changed quite a lot. Back in the day, it was the garden city and the place for retirees. But now it is the Silicon Valley of India.
As an example – the home where I lived for 18 years used to have a road that was mostly empty and we used to play on it. Now it is a bustling highway with an underpass.
How important a role does content play in your life? Are you a full-time content creator? Why did you start creating content?
As a scientist, I spend a lot of time doing research and publishing papers. During this process, I learn multiple concepts at the interface of data science, cybersecurity, and society and document my learning and creations online.
I frequently publish articles on Medium in publications like ‘Towards Data Science’ and write a newsletter on cyber-physical systems. Originally what got me started was an open-access book that I was writing on the Science of Everyday Phenomena. I dedicated Medium blogs to individual chapters. I have not looked back since, and have made some amazing connections along the way.
What’s that one aspect of being a content creator no one talks about?
Being a content creator is more about the process than the output. If you are able to dedicate a few hours every week, and document the activities you do as well as the knowledge you gain by viewing what others have created, you will blossom.
What’s the most satisfying part of being a content creator?
The continuous feedback and ability to hone skills. A secret that is illustrated by the Youtuber Ali Abdaal is to use content creation as an opportunity to consolidate what you just learned.
I love how content creation helps push my boundaries and gives me the opportunity to impact others lives by sharing my experiences.
What are you up to currently and what are your long-term career goals?
I’m an assistant professor at the School of Science and Technology in Georgia Gwinnett College. I also regularly create content for educational companies like Pearson. I dream of contributing to resilient societies through innovative uses of big data and enjoying every small moment along the way.
What drives you to create content regularly?
Passion and dedication.
I currently aim to publish at least one article per week, no matter what.
I am a strong believer in the power of tiny habits and recommend the book by BJ Fogg.
What’s the most challenging part of being a content creator?
Making the time every week, with multiple obligations. This isn’t about content creation specifically, but a general fact that obligations increase as you grow in life, and the need for prioritization becomes increasingly important.
How do you make sure that you aren’t affected by nasty comments and negative things said about you?
Thankfully I haven’t had too much of this as most of my content are quite technical. But I would say to use all the information provided to assess yourself. And at the same time, know your boundaries and when someone is instigating you without basis.
It is hard but it is extremely important to place your knowledge and creations in the larger context especially if you are creating content.
Remember that in the larger scheme of life, the truth usually wins.
Anything else you would like our audience to know about you!
I love to learn new things and collaborate. Please reach out if you are interested in any articles or if you have any ideas!
How would you want people to remember you?
Someone that made a positive impact to their lives.
What's success for you and when you would consider yourself to be successful?
Success for me is relative to where I was a week or a month back. If I increase my knowledge, gain a new skill, or run 10 seconds faster than last week – it is a success.
In the same way, if my content is improving and more people are finding value than earlier – it is a success. In general, I think everyone has a different starting point and it is meaningless to compare with someone else without taking into account what obstacles they needed to overcome to get where they are. We should celebrate small victories, and be kind to others as well as ourselves.
Who’s your favorite creator? Why?
I admire several content creators based on the field. Some examples:
- Data Science: Khuyen Tran, Natssha Selvaraj
- Productivity: Ali Abdaal
- Physics: Feynman
- Cybersecurity: DataBreach Today
To every individual who’s planning to start out as a content creator, what would you like to advise them?
The hardest and most important thing is to *just get started*.
Trust me – every article I write is a challenge to start. But once you put a few words down, it flows. You don’t have to have done a ton of reading about what you will write about.
There is no consistent way of knowing whether your article will be a hit or not. It is a numbers game. The more you create, the greater the chance for success. Plus, to be good at something you need to practice. A lot. The same goes with writing. The more you write, the better you get at it. It’s a win-win!
Few maintain consistency, few remain unique, and fewer are the ones who do both of these right, and earn a spot in Tealfeed Spotlight.