Tag Archives: gnomedex-10

Gnomedex Conference Reviews

With this year’s Gnomedex behind us, we’re starting to see the feedback from those of you who were with us. It’s important to remember that while no two people have the exact same experience when attending a conference, you all take something away that enriches your life. Take the time to read what others have to say about the event – you might learn something new.

If we happened to miss your post, please let us know and we’ll be happy to include a link to your thoughts.

Thank you once again to everyone who helped make this conference possible. From all accounts, this was the best of the series and we couldn’t have done it without you.

What Do Presenters Have to Say About Gnomedex?

According to nearly everyone in attendance, Gnomedex 10 was a huge success. Many are even touting it as the best of the series. While it’s nice to hear these things, we know that the success is directly related to the excellent lineup of presenters we watched on our stage. This year, the amount of talent and creativity inside of Bell Harbor was unparalleled. The subjects presented may have been vastly different from each other. However, the passion, inspiration and dedication of each presenter was the common theme that brought it all home.

Photo Credit to Jean-Luc David

We asked our speakers what Gnomedex meant to them, and a few have already responded with glowing praise. We will update this post with input from other presenters as we receive it.

Amy Karlson told us that “Gnomedex gave me my twitter “ah-ha”. Most of us HCI researchers haven’t caught on, but I now “get it” and am forever changed. I have even considered writing an opinion piece for our major conference entitled “Why researchers must use twitter”. I was amazed at what a strong sense of community it is able to create instantaneously and how effective it is for filtering the fire hose of information we all struggle to keep on top of. This epiphany may alter the course of my research!”

Willow Brugh says that Gnomedex was “Authentic: The core group are honest, kind, and no-bullshit. This means the rest of the conference follows suit. And holy crap, but that is nice. Accepting: As someone who is often the exception to the rules – whether due to hair, or gender, or interests, or whatever – I really appreciate this. Everyone expressed admiration of my hair; and everyone was up to talk about anything. Interesting: You have to have people who are interested in order for things to be interesting. It seemed that everyone had invested a lot of time and energy into their passions, but part of that was still interacting with the world. And that’s fucking brilliant.”

Trish Milines-Dziko made my little Geek heart sing when she told us “This was my first experience at Gnomedex and it far surpassed anything I thought it would be. My colleagues attended last year and didn’t really give a description that matched what I saw when I walked in the door, so I felt like I was looking through fresh eyes.

Chris is extremely personable and was really hands on – unlike some other conference hosts who think they’re just too good for the little people. Every single person involved with the conference was upbeat and knew how to treat folks.”

Larry Wu echoes the sentiment I keep hearing from attendees when he says: “I have never been to a conference where the atmosphere is about collaboration instead of competition. I was impressed with the openness and friendliness of the attendees, and the broad range of super high quality presentations.”

What did YOU take home in your heart from Gnomedex this year? Leave us a comment and share your story with us.

Brian Solis and Community at Gnomedex


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If there was a theme in our Gnomedex schedule, it was that YOU have the power to change the world. No one embodies this ideal more than this year’s keynote speaker Brian Solis.

Brian has been coming to Gnomedex for many years as a paid attendee. He felt that this was the only conference which held value for him. He always walked away with something special. He used this to talk to our audience about what Gnomedex is and was… and what it has meant to him.

“If the elite have TED, the Geeks have Gnomedex.” Gnomedex, to Brian, is the place where community comes together and creates positive change… in ourselves and the world around us. The web defines a whole new era of society. Anyone who doesn’t realize the true power at their fingertips needs to be educated. Every tweet, blog post and podcast is a tool that you can use to help create the change that you desire to see.

We are the last generation to know privacy as it was. Each of us has the opportunity – and obligation – to help educate those around us. Party of the beauty of social media is to earn a response. Isn’t that why you tweet? You want to see what someone has to say about your thoughts. You want to know how the community will embrace them and take them further.

There are studies that show Twitter is making the world a smaller place. Social media is closing the distance. However, the way we communicate and connect is changing drastically.

People talk about how social media is about relationships. Brian reminds us that we don’t exactly send each other birthday cards. We check in with the idea of those we are connected with. We’re grooming an idea of relations over relationships.

Brian is globally recognized as one of most prominent thought leaders in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has influenced the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing.

He is principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning New Media agency in Silicon Valley, and has led interactive and social programs for Fortune 500 companies, notable celebrities, and Web 2.0 startups. His website is ranked among the top of world’s leading business and marketing online resources.

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Spot Draves Brings Digital Art to Gnomedex


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Spot is a visual and software artist living in New York City. Draves is best known as the creator of the Electric Sheep, a continually evolving abstract animation with over 60,000 daily participants. Draves’ award-winning work is permanently hosted on MoMA.org, and has appeared in Wired and Discover magazines, and even as an official skin for Google Chrome.

When not working as a full-time artist, Draves has worked for a series of technology start-ups. Draves is now an engineer in the mapping division at Google Inc. Spot started VJing at underground parties in the early 90s and still performs live.

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KIRO 7 Intern Meg McNamara Learns Social Media at Gnomedex

KIRO 7 has long been a supporter of our community and the types of things we do. Jenni Hogan herself has attended any number of events in the past. She and her team GET social media and the opportunities to connect with all of you that the various tools provide. Jenni couldn’t attend our recent Gnomedex conference herself, so she sent her super intern Meg McNamara. Armed with a Flip camcorder, Meg learned the ropes faster than anyone in recent memory.

Once she learned how to properly pronounce the conference name, Meg was off and running. She managed to score a few cool interviews: one with keynote speaker Brian Solis, one with KIRO 7 Seattle web producer Paul Balcerak and one with yours truly.

Her enthusiasm is boundless, as evidenced by a quote from her in the story KIRO 7 published: “I left Gnomedex pumped about the social media celebs I met and excited to claim my name in the online world! Yay!”

Thank you for being with us, Meg. You’re more than welcome to hang out with the rest of the gang any time. Thank you also to KIRO 7 for their support.

Geek on a Trapeze


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The Gnomedex wrap party this year was held at Emerald City Trapeze, and hostessed by @seattlewinegal. In addition to great food and drink – and professional aerial performances – several of us in attendance got our chance to fly through the air. Keep in mind that I do NOT enjoy heights and I have never done something like this before. However, I have to say that the whole landing thing was pretty cool.

Have you ever flown on a trapeze? Don’t knock it until you try it.

Much thanks once again to all of our party sponsors that night for an amazing event – Blue Moon Burgers, Beer2Buds and the Washington Wine Commission.

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Scoble and Pirillo – What is Gnomedex?

Apparently, Gnomedex has a lot to do with beer – at least according to Robert Scoble and myself. It was a conference of inspiration, innovation, influence and illustration. Somehow that translates into a “bunch of drunk Geeks.”

We had a great time talking with the kids from OmniTechNews. We discussed how Gnomedex was the first conference where Robert noticed that everyone had a computer and was connected to the Internet. I feel that it was all about individuals using the power of technology to get a message around the world in seconds flat. It helped to empower people.

Our biggest piece of advice to young tech enthusiasts everywhere is to learn some code!

Austin Heap Speaks Out Against Censorship at Gnomedex 10


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If you don’t know who Austin Heap is, then you’re going to want to. He recently appeared on the cover of Newsweek Magazine, where his work in bringing uncensored Internet to the people of Iran was featured. Austin believes in fighting censorship in all forms and works tirelessly around the world to foster change in the way governments, leaders and citizens think about the free exchange of information. He is someone to be admired for the things he’s done, but he’s also one of the nicest and most genuine people you will ever meet.

Austin is the Executive Director of the Censorship Research Center, which works to provide anti-censorship education, outreach, and technologies for free to those who need it most. Their first major project was discussed during this presentation. Haystack seeks to provide access to information and communications to the Iranian people following the restrictions imposed by the Iran government.

The work Austin and his team are doing is nothing short of amazing. Watching this video will open your eyes to the strides being made each and every day against censorship… and will show you how far we still have to go.

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Robert Scoble Interviews Kat During Gnomedex


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During the Gnomedex registration party, the people watching the live stream wanted to talk to Robert Scoble. Kat dragged him over to the camera and apparently tried to leave. Robert had other ideas though. He decided to turn the tables on her and he interviewed her. Keep in mind that Scoble interviews some of the biggest and brightest people in technology and social media.

In the minds of our community members, Kat is a rock star of social media AND technology, and it was smart of Robert to take time to talk with her. I’ve long said that I would not be doing as well as I am without having her by my side for the past three years, and I meant it. She was instrumental in making Gnomedex happen this year, and in making it the best we’ve ever had.

According to this footage captured by UncleJohn, Robert and Kat had quite an interesting conversation. What would YOU ask of either of them if you were going to interview them?

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Electric Sheep Will Frolic at Gnomedex

I wrote about the Electric Sheep screensavers which flit across my desktop in the past. Electric Sheep is a collaborative artwork, which was founded by Scott Draves. It’s run by thousands of people, from all over the World. When their computers “sleep”, the Electric Sheep turns on. The computers then talk to each other over the Internet. They share the work of creating abstract animations that constantly morph and change… known as the “sheep”. The result is an “android dream”, which pays tribute to Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Scott Draves – artist extraordinaire – will be joining us on stage at Gnomedex 2010. is a visual and software artist living in New York City. Draves’ award-winning work is permanently hosted on MoMA.org, and has appeared in Wired and Discover magazines, and even as an official skin for Google Chrome. When not working as a full-time artist, Draves has worked for a series of technology start-ups. Draves is now an engineer in the mapping division at Google Inc. Spot started VJing at underground parties in the early 90s and still performs live.

Scot’s software artworks are released as open source and have been used for two decades by many other artists and designers in their own work. We are excited to have him as a presenter this year at Gnomedex. Tickets are still available – grab yours today!