Tag Archives: tech

The People of Gnomedex


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Michael Foley is one of those people that everyone loves to stop and talk with. We’re very grateful for that fact, since he managed to interview many of the movers and shakers who attended Gnomedex last month. Michael was kind enough to give us his raw footage, and Uncle John worked his magic to stitch it all together. Ladies and germs, meet the people of Gnomedex!

  • Tac Anderson – “The most diverse and coolest group of speakers anywhere.”
  • Steve Sorbo – “Gnomedex is about education in the world of social media.”
  • Christopher Burgess – “I come to Gnomedex because out of hundreds of conferences I attend, this is the best .It’s the most humanitarian and technological event of its kind. When you leave here, you feel as though you can change the world.”
  • Kristen Mitchell – “Gnomedex was the first conference I ever attended in association with my online identity. I was happy to feel as though I was amongst family.”
  • Kat Armstrong – “It’s impossible to put into words what Gnomedex is like. Being here – being a part of this – WILL change your life in some way.”
  • Brian Eisenberg – “I come to Gnomedex to meet people and have amazing conversations.”
  • Kenji Onozawa – “Gnomedex has great content, but I love the conversation in the hallways the most. This event attracts an awesome array of people.”
  • Jeff Shuey – “There are incredible people involved in this event, from speakers to volunteers to attendees.”
  • Jeris JC Miller – “Chris has done an amazing job at curating who I feel are some of the most innovative speakers in technology and the social media space.”
  • Pete Voss – “This was my first Gnomedex. A lot of past attendees recommended I be here, so here I am!”
  • Veronica Wei Sopher – “I come here to get outside of my own thinking. I love to see what others are doing and learning. It gives me fresh perspective in my world.”
  • Jamie Nelson – “I come here to find out what’s going on in the geek world, and get an idea as to what is coming over the horizon.”
  • David Hoang – “This was my first time attending Gnomedex. I wanted to be here, because I heard it’s a great place to meet innovative thinkers.”
  • Lacy Kemp – “This conference has a very cool crowd. It’s very different from other conferences – it’s more human. The content is different. It’s less focused on narcissism and more focused on how to create a better you.”
  • Michelle Gamboa – “I volunteer at this event because it’s one of the places that I can meet amazing people and hear about the best ideas you’ll find anywhere.”
  • Richard Wood – “This was my first Gnomedex. I’ve been to a lot of events surrounding this event in the past few years. There’s always such a high amount of energy to the people involved in this conference. I wanted to be a part of that, and their ideas.”
  • Melissa Tizon – “I work with Swedish Hospital here in Seattle. We’re a non-profit hospital which loves technology. We’re using that to improve health care in the greater Seattle area.”
  • Kevin Urie – “I come to Gnomedex because the people are great and the topics are all over the place. It’s always interesting, and I learn something from everyone.”
  • Jen Joyce – “I come to Gnomedex because there are interesting people who attend. I love to learn new ideas from everyone.”
  • Heather Fernandez – “I’m here because I’ve never been. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this conference, so I knew I had to be here.”
  • Willow Brugh – “This was my first Gnomedex, and it’s been exciting. It’s not focused on one topic, and this is where true innovation lies.”
  • Joe Pirillo – “I’m Chris’ Dad, so I’m here to help out behind the scenes, but I also really just enjoy being here.”
  • Karianne Stinson – “Gnomedex is a conference where people talk about what they’re actually DOING, versus people telling about their grand ideas.”
  • Shauna Causey – “I love to hang out with geeks because I am a wannabe geek. Gnomedex rocks for that.”
  • Greg Young – “Television is moving more online every day. I like to keep up with current trends to see how new things can be incorporated into video and television.”
  • Liana Shanes – “I volunteer with Gnomedex because Chris always brings amazing content which helps me learn about things I would never have thought of before.”
  • Maya Bisineer – “The people here are brilliant, and the presentations are all intelligent.”
  • Ken Yeung – “There are a lot of friends here at Gnomedex.”
  • Chris Pirillo – “I come here because my face is on all of the badges! I put this conference on because it started out as just a way for my community to get together. This is a chance, though, to inspire others no matter what type of work they do, or where their passions lie. The idea of Human Circuitry is that our humanity is further influenced by the proliferation of technology.”

Thank you again to Michael and Uncle John for all of their hard work putting this together. Thank you to everyone who participated!

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How to Come Out of the Geek Closet

Geeks are everywhere. We tend to hold some of the coolest jobs on the planet. Our group has some of the most amazing (and personable!) people as core members. The gang is widely accepted socially these days – right? Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Why is it that even in the days of phenomenal technological advances we still sometimes have to hide who we are? Why are geeks ostracized in any capacity?

One teen on Lockergnome reports that his mom told him to not tell people he is a geek. Say what?! He explains further by saying: “When I call myself a geek in front of people, they don’t seem to understand what I mean. Some people misinterpret it for being the Hollywood stereotyped ‘I love school, reading books, doing homework and physically weak nerd.'”

I cannot believe that people feel as though being a geek is a bad thing. Hell, a geek isn’t necessarily even someone who is a computer lover. A geek is anyone who is passionate about something, whether that be technology, water polo or art class.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel there are still negative connotations in conjunction with the word geek?

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Do You Understand?

Over on Lockergnome, I recently asked everyone what the one thing is they’ll never understand in life. The answers have surprised me with their variety. Many of them were one-liners, written to make someone laugh. Several of them, though, had a lot of thought put behind them. When someone replies in this manner, it always helps me to circle back on my own line of thought.

Many men will agree with me that we’ll never understand women. Guess what? Gals can’t figure us out, either. We don’t understand why people blindly follow something without stopping to figure out what it is that “something” may stand for. We cannot make ourselves understand why some people feel they are entitled to more than what life has given them, especially if they do nothing to earn it. In short, we all tend to puzzle over the same set of unanswerable questions at some point in our brain’s meanderings.

What is the one thing you will never understand?

You don’t have to understand computers and how they work in order to know that you need the latest and greatest software and apps that is available.

Do You Appreciate Your Technology?

Gordon asked on Geeks recently: “What do you consider to be this most ignored item of technology?” He talks about how we often take for granted the items we have around us… our gaming consoles, our computers and even our navigation systems. He’s right, you know. Most of us use these items without really thinking about them or appreciating them.

We want the newest technologies. We want things that are better, faster and newer than what we have. But do we stop and think about what we have? Do you appreciate the fact that science has evolved enough to even allow the design and implementation of that smartphone you cannot live without? Do you ever think about those people whose brains are so much more advanced than mine (and perhaps yours) that they can come up with things like this to make our lives easier and more fun?

What piece of technology do you think is the most ignored? What one item do you believe we all tend to overlook – despite the fact that we likely use it every day?

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What is Your Favorite Quote?

TechJohnson asked the Lockergnome users to post their favorite inspirational quotes. I noticed that my assistant Kat had posted a few of her favorites, and some of them really hit home. One in particular resonates due to the fact that it’s how I try to live my life: Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

This quote is useful in nearly every aspect of life – even those pesky fanboy haters. Can you imagine where I would be right now if I let the fear of striking out keep me from playing the game at all? Can you imagine where you would be in your life and career if you were too afraid to take risks and put yourself out there?

It’s not always easy to set our fear aside and keep on keepin’ on. Determination to put one foot in front of another and continue building upon what you started is what helps to enrich our lives.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

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Top $10 Tech

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gillette. All opinions are 100% mine with my standard disclosure.

I'm a Gillette Pro

We take technology for granted on a daily basis. Most people equate the word technology with computer-related items despite the fact that by definition it extends far beyond that scope. Technology encompasses any inventions, gadgets, doohickies, appliances, doodads, thingamabobs, whatchamacallits, and gizmos that we use in our homes each day. They’re the little things that we have lying around, grabbing to use without even really thinking about. We know they’re there yet we don’t stop to realize how much easier our lives are for having them.

I took a tour of my house and opened my eyes to inexpensive (under ten dollars) tech gems that I take for granted, and was shocked to see how many there were. Here are just a few.

  • Batteries – Can you imagine a world without batteries? Take a glance around you right now and count how many items you see that need a battery to make them work properly. When I did this myself, I was astounded at how many there were. Imagine coming up with alternatives for all of the battery-operated things you use regularly. How much time and effort do you save by having these objects? Before the invention of batteries, we had to power our gadgets with the help of tiny dinosaurs on treadmills, and this could get quite messy after a long day.
  • Toothbrush – Yes, a toothbrush is a type of technology, and one we definitely don’t stop to think about. We simply use it – day in, and day out. Prior to an actual toothbrush being invented, our ancestors likely used their finger or a leaf to clean off their teeth IF they even thought to clean them at all. Imagine how gross you would feel – and look – if you never used one of these simple little pieces of tech. When your teeth feel like they’re wearing sweaters, it’s time to get scrubbing!
  • Earbuds – The next time you’re out in public walking around, make a conscious effort to notice how many people have earbuds sitting in their ears. Thousands of people use these on a regular basis while walking, cooking, cleaning, exercising, sitting on an airplane, or during their commute. We listen to music and podcasts, catch up on the news or our favorite shows, and generally tune out the rest of the world for those few stolen moments of solitude. Even if you’ve got nothing to plug them into, they’re nice for avoiding conversation with street corner tuba buskers and one-eyed spare change hustlers.
  • Gillette Fusion ProGlide – For men and women alike, shaving is something we do without thinking, though this hasn’t always been the case. Before the advent of the safety razor in relatively recent human history, shaving could be a quite dangerous chore that was tasked to experts. I shudder to think about how we would all look without having a simple way to shed unwanted hair -from our chins to our legs to our underarms – whatever the case may be. We want to look and feel our best, and shaving is just one of those things we do to prepare ourselves for whatever lies ahead. Until recently, I never took the time to notice how invaluable my razor is. On the other hand, think of all the gadgets I could have at the ready if I grew a gnarly gnome beard to keep them in!
  • Electric Can Opener – If you cook, you know exactly why this made my list of items. You’re busy whipping up a pot of your famous chili and have to spend fifteen minutes opening several cans of beans, tomatoes, and sauces. With one of these shiny little pieces of technology, that time is cut to just a moment or two. I am convinced it also saves me from having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my wrists. I’d make sure to rinse it between peeling open cans of dog food and peaches, though. Just saying.
  • Alarm Clock – It doesn’t matter if you use a traditional alarm clock, your cell phone, or your computer. You still likely use an alarm to wake yourself up at a certain time. Can you even imagine what time people would stumble into work or school each day if we didn’t have some type of alarm clock in our bedrooms? Very few of us have our bodies programmed to wake up automatically. I’d definitely never make it on time to morning appointments without one of these. The rooster I was using annoyed the neighbors, so I made them a nice chicken dinner as a peace offering.
  • Thermometer – If you’re a parent, you are already grateful beyond belief for these tiny little pieces of tech goodness. You can easily tell when your child has a fever. It’s not so easy to tell with the touch of a hand exactly how high that temperature may be. A kiss to the forehead may tell you that the person needs a dose of Tylenol, but it won’t tell you if they may need other medical intervention. Even as an adult, one of the first things a doctor will ask when you call them is how high your fever is running. Without the aid of a thermometer, you cannot begin to give them an accurate answer. Resist the urge to tell your doctor where he/she can stick that damned thermometer, anyway.

When one remembers that technology doesn’t only encompass things you’d find in your office, it’s easy to appreciate the things around us that we use on a daily basis. Each of the items I listed make life a little easier for us. Isn’t that what technology advancements are all about?

What inexpensive pieces of technology lying around your house do you use regularly without thinking about them? Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…

Tech Questions and Answers


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After we did another round of live phone calls, I decided to place Pixie on my lap and answer a few of your burning questions (at least, those being posted in the open chat room at the time). Mind you, only the questions were burning; I couldn’t answer questions related to burning sensations.

And to anybody who thinks I was a bit short with my answers – that was intentional. They were scrolling by so fast, I wanted to get to as many as I could. Plus, so many of the questions were impossibly general (answered before several times over in the hour preceding).

If you ask a “what is better” question in our live chat room, you’ll see one of the bots answer you with: “Chris recommends you use what you want to use, download what you want to download, try what you want to try, buy what you want to buy. These choices are all personal in nature, so it’s always difficult to answer the question of “which is better” (so don’t be surprised if Chris doesn’t answer your impossible question).”

Imagine being asked the same question every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year – then imagine how you would answer it for the 1,000,000th time. Imagine that.

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Affordable Technology Conferences

Via Jared Fretwell:

I think I have an idea for one of your upcoming YouTube videos. As a young technology enthusiast, I started to think of more interactive ways to get involved with the world of technology. After watching some of your Gnomedex conference videos, I started to do more research on similar conferences to yours. One of the other leading conferences I came across was the Web 2.0 Summit. However, once I saw the price tag for attending one of these events, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to afford to attend any of these conferences off my wages working at Best Buy. So with that said, why do these conferences cost so much money to attend? I understand that the planners of the conference buy all kinds of goodies for the guests, but is that the main reason? I’m guess the rest goes to paying the guest speakers? How can a 19 year old like myself get around to attending one of these beneficial/expensive events? Are there more cost thoughtful ones I can look into? Till then, I’ll just stick to watching the recordings of all the keynotes on YouTube!

You know, having been a part of the conference production process, I can tell you that it’s extremely time consuming. What you experience at a typical event happens due to months of coordination and planning by several individuals and teams.

It costs money because… well, THINGS cost money.

You have to decide (for yourself) if the value that an event provides you is above and beyond what it would cost you to attend. However, simply “watching videos online” doesn’t do an event justice – you’re getting 10% of what a conference provides.

“Expensive” is relative.

Conferences are valuable not because of the content on stage, but the connections made with the crowd. You might argue that the same “feel” can be seen in a comment thread or two, but… well, a YouTube comment thread is about as valuable as a festering bowl of dog snot.

Free events are great, too – but with no cost filtering in place, you’ll often be rubbing shoulders with bozos instead of bingos; a few dollars often separate wheat from the chaff. “Free admission” is often shrugged off as something lacking value.

My suggestion for anybody serious about making a business in the world of technology is to get the f*** out of their house. You have to meet people in real life, you have to be seen on the scene. You also don’t want to be known as the person who only sees value in free (or comped) events – what would that say about you and your business practices?

Do Computer Majors Mean Anything Anymore?


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The job market is always changing. Computer program majors often find themselves having a tough time after graduation. It may sound insane due to the number of computer-related fields that are are there. Much of it depends on where you live, and what your exact area of focus is.

You cannot possibly try to get a “general” computer degree anymore. Pick a specific area that you are good at or interested and focus on that. If you’re a developer, go develop! If you’re more of a networking whiz, you know what you need to do. There are SO MANY hundreds of possibilities. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face by choosing too broad of a major.

A consulting route isn’t a bad idea, but you honestly have to be REALLY good at what you’re trying to do. However, becoming a developer is where it’s at right now in MY mind. The other areas won’t disappear any time soon, no. But look at all of the dev opportunities out there right now. That’s the hottest and most in-demand area.

Network like crazy every chance you get. I say that about pretty much any type of career, but it holds even more true of us Geeks. Social connections enable you to find the path before the path is eliminated.

Most importantly, love what you do. Don’t choose an area of study just because you think you’ll make good money. Sure, that’s an important consideration. You have to support yourself. But if you hate what you do, you’re not going to do it for long. Know where your passions lie, and choose your path based off of them.

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What Does the Tech Future Hold?

While writing about the astronauts tweeting from space earlier tonight, I couldn’t help but think about other technology breakthroughs that could be coming sooner than we think. Even five years ago, we wouldn’t have dreamed that we’d have people out in space sending real-time messages to us here on Earth via an instant-messaging type of communication such as Twitter.

Heck, five years ago we thought that “someday” we would have a black President. We figured maybe “one day” we would see cell phones that actually let us DO things. It seems to me as though “someday” is here much sooner than we figured.

What other things do you feel that we may see come to fruition sooner than we previously thought? What other ground-breaking news have you read today?!

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