Tag Archives: matt-harding

Top Ten Gnomedex Memories

We’re entering the home stretch, preparing to launch Gnomedex 10 here in Seattle. Wow – ten years of Gnomedex. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for so long! Planning a conference of this magnitude is no easy feat and this year has been no exception to that rule. However, I have a fantastic team of volunteers without whom this tenth year would not be happening. They’ve all worked incredibly hard to help pull together what promises to be an excellent weekend – and I guarantee you will regret it if you miss out.

Over the past several weeks, we used our @gnomedex Twitter account to ask previous attendees what their favorite memories have been from past years. We took all of the responses and created a top-ten list for your enjoyment – and to help you remember why it is you love Gnomedex as much as you do. It’s funny… a few people have accused us of not being Geeky enough – not technical enough – not hard-core nerd enough. However, looking at the top ten it’s easy to see that the hard-core Geek stuff is not what people remember most.

Gnomedex is all about YOU. We focus a lot on humanity, community and communication. We aren’t a tech conference in the traditional sense, and that’s okay with me. People have repeatedly told me that they have come away from Gnomedex with a new outlook on life… that the conference has changed their life in some way. Something strikes a chord deep within our attendees each year, and that is priceless to me. I was pleasantly surprised by this list, and enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I hope you will, as well.

Without further ado, here are your favorite Gnomedex memories, in reverse order:

  • Watching Miss Gnomedex Christine Juhnke earn her title at Gnomedex 1 in Des Moines.
  • Microsoft giving the first public look at IE 7 during Gnomedex 5, showing off the built-in RSS capabilities.
  • Television actor Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) speaking at Gnomedex 4.
  • Raising thousands of dollars in a short time to help send Cambodian women to college with Beth Kanter.
  • Not one single attendee took their eyes off the stage during the Mars Rover presentation given by “driver” Scott Maxwell during Gnomedex 8. Every Geek in the house had a serious case of jealousy going on.
  • Nearly 2/3 of the attendees jumping on stage to dance spontaneously with Matt Harding (of Where the Hell is Matt? fame) during Gnomedex 8.
  • Having our perceptions drastically changed by Mark Horvath’s presentation about the plight of homeless people. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the auditorium when the money we quietly passed the hat to raise was given to James… the homeless but hard-working man who appeared on stage with Mark.
  • Watching our buddy (and long time Gnomedex supporter) Drew Olanoff tell his cancer to take a flying leap off of a short pier. I’m beyond happy to report that Drew beat his cancer, but his fight against it continues – on behalf of the millions of others still battling the disease.
  • Multi-year Gnomedex attendee Derek Miller couldn’t be with us in person back in 2007. Derek’s fight against cancer began that year, and he was unable to travel. SO – we brought Gnomedex to him via a live video feed from his home in Canada. Derek is still fighting the good fight, and we continue to follow his story and wish him well.
  • Gnomedex 6 keynote speaker Senator John Edwards being told by Dave Winer that he needed to make net neutrality his campaign platform in order to successfully run for President.

What was YOUR favorite Gnomedex memory of all time? Will you be joining us this year? Tickets are going fast – I hope you’ve already reserved yours.