Tag Archives: seattle

Who is the Geek of the Week?


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At some point in the near future, I will be known as the Geek of the Week, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I am honored at being selected. I know there are many Geeks in Seattle, so it’s very cool to have been nominated and chosen. Part of this process is responding to a series of questions.

  • Name – Chris Pirillo. Google the word Chris, and you’ll find me.
  • Age – 34
  • Marital Status – Married to the beautiful Ponzi.
  • URL – Let’s see. We have: Geeks Social Networking site, My Blog, the coupon site, Lockergnome Blog Network, Gnomedex conference site, the live site and the shopping site.
  • Title – Geek. Honestly, I do a lot. I’ve got my own business. I’ve hosted television and radio shows. I’m a blogger. I’m a writer and editor. You name it, I’ve done it. If it’s related to my passions, then I do it. My passions are all related to Technology. I’m a Technology Evangelist.
  • Company – I do business under my Lockergnome company.
  • What do you do, exactly? I live stream, of course. I write a magazine article. I run a blogging network. I host a live segment on CNN. The list goes on. Basically, I found a way to be successful doing what it is I love to do.
  • Geekiest title you’ve ever had. – I don’t know that it was a Geeky title. Back in High School though, some friends called me drenkeeg. I couldn’t figure that out, until they explained it was simply geeknerd spelled backwards.
  • The Geekiest thing you’ve ever done. – I’m live streaming! I’ve been doing it for two years. I take cameras with me nearly everywhere I go. It doesn’t get much Geekier than that.
  • Favorite movie – That depends on the year, and how old I am. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite anything. Heck, I can’t even pick a favorite genre.
  • Favorite game – It’s easier for me to go with a genre again. I’m interested in a lot of things. I love games that I can pick up and put down.
  • Favorite book – I don’t know. I’ve read so many in my life. Cat in the Hat stands out, of course. If I Ran the Zoo is another excellent read.
  • Favorite junk food – I don’t eat hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup, so this is limited. I’d have to say pizza. I love cold pizza!!
  • Favorite time-waster – I don’t really believe in wasting time. I guess it would be watching television, if I had to choose something.
  • Mac or PC – Why’d you have to do this to me? For me, the choice is right in the middle. If you ask me which operating system I believe is more consumer-friendly, I would tell you that it is Mac OS X. So, that’s my answer. I believe that my choice is in-between. There are things that each can do, that the other cannot. I find it difficult to choose which one I’d rather work with at any given time. I’m going to have to answer right down the middle on this one.
  • iPhone or Blackberry iPhone. ’nuff said.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek – The original Star Wars Trilogy, I would like to strike the prequels if I can. I enjoyed Star Trek the Next Generation in college. The only Star Trek movie I really enjoyed was the second one. If I had to choose, it would be Star Wars.
  • Coolest new tech venture in Seattle Now you’re putting me on the spot. I tried to take recommendations from the chat room, but not everyone was sure. Notice I was dodging the question? I know a lot of cool tech ventures in this area. I should have written down the answers ahead of time. There’s Seattle 2.0. It’s kind of a venture, but more a collaboration between people who are really interested in the start-up community.
  • When did you know you were a Geek? – Back in the 5th grade, our family had an old Commodore 64. I remember thinking about it and talking about it all the time. I drew a couple of the keyboard keys on one of my school papers. I’ll never forget that moment.
  • Who are your Geek heros? – I have a great deal of respect for people who have original thoughts, and who are creative in the ways they convey those thoughts. Don’t laugh, but if I have to choose one… it would be Weird Al Yankovic.
  • Look into your crystal ball, what is the next big disruptive tech event? – Due to the economic depression going on, I feel that a lot of the startup companies will disappear. I hope that the code and projects they are developing will live on, though.
  • Final thoughts – Not really. I’ve waxed poetic long enough.
  • Please nominate someone to be a Geek of the Week – Hmm. Who can I nominate? I’ll nominate my neighbor, Jeff. He’s the CEO of Hidden Path Entertainment. They are a company who creates games, and Jeff is a very Geeky kind of guy.

So I guess that’s it! Thank you once again to those who nominated me for this honor, and to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for bestowing it upon me. I shall endeavor to remain a Geek at all times.

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Never Stand too Close to a Street Sweeper

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People care about keeping city streets clean. Unfortunately, some people take it too seriously. A Seattle man was taking out his trash, and somehow got himself stuck inside the street sweeper. Officials are feverishly working to get the man out, because he has dust allergies. That man is Chris Pirillo.

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Thoughts on Seattle

I’m on a discussion list where someone (from the Bay Area) has the opportunity to take a position with a company in Seattle. He was asking for suggestions, experiences, and recommendations. Mark Richer posted a followup on-list, and I asked for his permission to reprint it here. This is Seattle from a visitor’s eyes:

I have been there visiting a few times over many years and always really enjoy Seattle. It’s a multi-cultural city with significant Asian and African American populations. There are great restaurants there, especially if you love seafood. There is plenty to do especially with kids I don’t know if the night life is very exciting overall, but I am sure there are plenty of music clubs. However, if you have kids and you are mostly looking for day time fun, then Seattle has some areas that offer a very lively street life during the days which I find stimulating and perhaps less 20 something yuppie or mega wealthy oriented. One of the things that impressed me about Seattle many years ago were the parks … there are nice parks all over Seattle, very green and lots of water all around. Last trip there we went to a really nice park with a lake and a beach. It was great.

The University of Washington is a great public university and there are plenty of shops around there as well as the other shopping districts in or closer to downtown. Living in a city with a university often offers more cultural and other amenities. With the university, Microsoft, Boeing and other companies in Seattle, you will find plenty of very educated people there. Also it’s a very liberal city so if you’re looking for something akin to San Francisco, it has that.

As far as the weather goes, it is frequently overcast and drizzles a lot. It doesn’t really pour hard often so it’s very different than Portland’s weather. You find 1/2 the people walking around with umbrellas and 1/2 that don’t bother. The actual amount of rainfall is higher than San Francisco, but lower than Miami. It’s just not sunny very often. While it’s cooler in the winter than San Francisco, it’s still a west coast city with moderating temperatures in the winter because of Pacific Ocean currents. The nicest sunniest weather is in the summer. Finally, another factor to consider is that Seattle is way north which means long days in the summer (like 10 PM sunsets) and shorter days in the winter. If you crave sun, then move to Colorado or Southern California or Arizona or some place that is frequently sunny. If you want a moderate climate and don’t mind a dark sky most of the time, then there is nothing otherwise harsh about Seattle’s weather.

Other things to note about Seattle is that the traffic can be horrendous at times. I don’t know about traffic in the city as much from personal experience as traffic south on the freeways to/from Seattle and Olympia. On our way in last time from Portland, we hit really bad traffic, but on the way out leaving after 3 PM on a Friday in the summer, we got caught up in horrendous traffic on the freeways. Unable to escape by rush hour, we got caught in the commute traffic for each of the cities as we crawled south. Perhaps escaping up north is easier. I would find it a huge benefit to be close to Vancouver BC and the rest of western Canada. The Canadian Rockies for example are incredibly beautiful, and starting from Seattle on a summer trip, are much more accessible than from California.

Finally, what I would do is check into the options for schools for the kids. In general, I believe Washington has a stronger commitment overall to public education than most western states. However, if you plan to live in the city rather than target a community with a rep for great public schools, then you should really find out how good the city schools are now. It’s just a challenge to operate large urban school districts for many reasons, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find excellent schools if you look carefully. Private schools are also an option. And if your kids aren’t school age yet, then you can always plan a move later to a location that optimizes for that.

Could’ve been worse.

Seattle Area Apartment Search Help

I’ve got a friend who just came into town, and his housing arrangements fell through. He’s been flipping through Craigslist, having posted a general request to secure living arrangements twice in the past couple of weeks.

Sorry that our Seattle-area discussion list is down at the moment (and I’m not sure when it’ll return). Normally, I would post this request on there – but time is of the essence in this case… and I would appreciate any and all leads that would bring a solution to this predicament.

I’ve given him my ClearWire modem, so Internet access is not an issue. He’s a telecommuting geek, listens to music on headphones only, doesn’t “party,” doesn’t mind animals, low-maintenance and easy to get along with. I thought he might find a sublet in the U district in the interim, since his budget is ~$500/mo. If you’re looking for a roomie, or know of someone who is looking for one, PLEASE let me know ASAP.

Seattle Blogs: Unite and Untie

First, have you tagged your face yet?

Then, you might be interested in the pre-event poll results. “Are you happy to see a local media company do this for bloggers?” With 181 Responses, 133 were Yes, 45 were Kinda, and only 3 were No. “Even if you’re unable to make this event, would you like to see another one planned in the future?” With 165 Responses, 134 were Yes, 28 were Maybe, and only 3 were No.

I realize this isn’t a comprehensive list (far from it, I’m sure) – but here’s what summaries I was able to uncover through my trusty news aggregator throughout the day:

After we get KOMO to give us a short date range, we’ll set up a Web-based poll and see which date is most relevant for most people. From that point, I’ll set up a free EventBrite page for anybody to RSVP into. With that, we can better collect our respective “RSS feeds” and instantly construct a community explorer that will serve to help us discover one another before and after the event(s). I wish I had thought of THAT before. 🙁

If we each try to bring at least one other person next time, we’ll have a full-blown invasion on our hands (the friendly kind, mind you).

Seattle Bloggers: We're Here to Stay

I was congratulated by so many people tonight (most of whom I did NOT know or who did NOT know me). I really feel awkward taking ANY degree of credit for this event. KOMO should be very, very, very inclined to do this again and on a regular basis – it’s only going to grow and increase flow. I’m just happy to be one conduit.

If KOMO is the rallying point for bloggers to get together, become acquainted with one another, and ultimately stretch their relationships beyond special interest circles, then KOMO can and should accept that role – which could be willingly embraced by any other traditional media outlet that was just hoping to learn more about its most vocal community members and advocates (read: bloggers).

Funny thing is: just about everyone was asking about the agenda (even though there really wasn’t any), and curious to know how they were discovered in the first place. Made for great conversation starters, but also underscored my belief that serendipity is the spice of life. I’ve been dying to get out of the technology blogger echo chamber for quite some time, and felt exceedingly relieved to know few others in the room.

So, next time…

  • Need to have a poll to set tentative dates within a specific week. You could never accommodate everybody’s schedule, but at least you can get a better idea as to which night works best for most people on any given week (or no preference, for some).
  • You’ll keep your costs low and confusion at a minimum by keeping it in the same place, even if it happens to fall at different times of a week and/or month.
  • Don’t turn this into anything more than a social event.
  • I might actually tap into your WiFi, because my EVDO signal wasn’t very strong in the studio(s).
  • It’s a radical concept, but what about some kind of semi-UNproduced “Meet The Bloggers” show where you have someone do mini-interviews with the bloggers who show up? Bring ’em on stage, give ’em a small bit of make-up, ask ’em what they blog about, put their URL in the lower-thirds, then run the program either online (exclusively) or in some random 4AM time slot that would otherwise go to an advertisement for Girls Gone Wild Volume XXXIV. Heck, if you don’t wanna do it, I’ll set it up through my live stream next time and do it anyway. 😉
  • What about a table near the entrance where people can drop off a small stack of business cards, just to take a look to see who else might be there – then they might network their way through the crowd looking for the name and connections to that person?
  • I think we would be better off using Upcoming.org to organize attendence – it’s much more open-ended and prone to attracting even more interested bloggers.

The EVDO connection kept halving my live viewers, since Ustream doesn’t handle disconnections and reconnections very elegantly yet. Still, two people took live screen caps before I had a chance to ask. Gordon Medley took the first shot (with the group photo live), and Taylor Hornby snaped the second (with me at the anchor desk):

Prillo Screen Capture Komo Photo OP Blogger Meetup 2 Aug 2007

Live at KOMO

Then, someone else dumped a few of the group shots onto my desktop (thanks to the help of another local blogger). I didn’t catch either of their names, sadly – and I certainly couldn’t name everyone in the photo:

Seattle-area Blogger Meetup Group Photo (2)

Seattle-area Blogger Meetup with KOMO-TV

KOMO-TV and its owner, Fisher Communications, has graciously agreed to serve as host for a blogger meet-up at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday August 2nd. The event will be at Fisher Plaza, 140 Fourth Avenue North in downtown Seattle. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments (alcoholic and otherwise) will be served and everyone who attends is promised a cool piece (or pieces) of KOMO swag. That’s right; we’re digging deep for this.

This is a social event, so come prepared to meet and make new friends. If you know of a local blogger who’s not on the list here, please let me know or feel free to invite them, too. We’d like to meet everybody.

KOMO-TV is interested in getting to know bloggers in the area, and what better way to do that than with a little party? Again, this is a social event; there’s no agenda for the station other than helping facilitate this meet-up. Fisher Communications recognizes the significance of the personal media revolution, and they want to listen and pay attention to what you’re saying. I think this is a good way to start.

KOMO-TV news anchors will be there, so don’t forget to bring your camera! You’ll also be able to take pictures of yourself (and your co-anchors) at the anchor desk.

Please use the RSVP function of this Evite to let us know if you’re coming. We want to make sure we have enough food for everybody. If you have any questions about this event, feel free to contact Leanne Dillon from KOMO-TV at (206) 404-6055.

We should all use “komomeetup” as the tag for photos, videos, blog posts, etc.

Seattle is on Fire!

From the Seattlist (not to be confused with the Seattlest): “Bre Pettis & [Brady Forrest] are hosting a geek night next thursday (the 7th) at the LowerLevel in Seattle. Come if you can. Speak if you can. Sponsor if you can.”

RSVP at Upcoming. I’ll have family in town, and will likely be knee-deep in last-minute wedding planning. Sounds like I’ll miss quite the party. Although, like we do for a few other Seattle-based events, we’re throwing in a few bucks to help feed the geeks.

CHAC is home to three performance venues which cater to collaborative, innovative and community-powered events. Whether it’s food for the belly or food for the soul, CHAC has got it, all under one roof. Cozy up to a cup of coffee, an evening cocktail conversation or rent space for your next event. From live local music to Seattle’s best performances there’s always something brewing at CHAC! We also offer free wireless access in each of its public spaces.

Damn cool Seattle venue, too.

The Blue Angels are Here!

I just heard ’em fly overhead – the Blue Angels are here for Seafair! We’ll be organizing a party for friends this weekend (and I hope we don’t leave anybody out). Since Ponzi and I live on Lake Washington, we have front row seats on our deck for the full performance. I get to watch the pilots practice for the entire week, too – filming ’em again for posterity. I’m usually not into airplanes and airshows, but the Blue Angels are a huge exception to the rule. Here’s last year’s Blue Angels video if you don’t think they’re worth catching in person. Go Navy! Haven’t seen the Thunderbirds yet.