Tag Archives: gnomedex-9

Todd Friesen – Confessions of a Reformed Spammer


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Todd Friesen is a former blog spammer. Who knows? He may have visited your blog in the past. Hear his tales of the “old” days, why and how he did what he did… and why he no longer does it.

Todd Friesen is considered by many to be an SEO pioneer. He entered the SEO world in 1998 and has since worked with top-name clients like Sharper Image, Nike, Neiman Marcus and Accor Hotels North America on natural search optimization. He is an expert in search engine marketing, a former administrator at Webmasterworld, and former moderator for Search Engine Watch. He co-hosted the popular SEO Rockstars on WebmasterRadio.FM, as well as a regular speaker at Search Engine Strategies, WebmasterWorld Pubcon, SMX and other conferences including Shop.org. He has also a regular contributor to OMMA Magazine and regularly posts on his own blog at www.oilman.ca.

Todd is the VP of Search at Position Technologies and works with new and established companies to optimize existing sites and help architect new ones to achieve optimal natural search engine rankings. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and currently resides in Gig Harbor WA.

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Gnomedex 9 Photo Awards with Kris Krug


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At the end of Gnomedex 9, photographer Kris Krug graced our stage once again. Last year, he presented his best photography tips to us in order to help us all capture conference moments (and life moments!) more effectively. This year, he provided an awesome and fun look back at this year’s conference by giving away photo awards. Here, in order of appearance, are this year’s photo winners!

  • Too Stylish to be a Real Geek – Brady Forrest
  • I’m Gonna Kick Your Ass – Drew Olanoff for his fight against Cancer.
  • Silver Fox – Buzz Bruggeman
  • Best Facial Hair (other than Kris!) – Jim Roberts
  • Swami in a Cowboy Hat – Shashi Bellamkonda
  • Celebrity Look-Alike – Chris Pirillo
  • Best Gnomedex Photo EVAH! – Airdrie Miller
  • Cutest Couple – Jay Grandin and Leah Nelson. Honorable mention to Paige and Amber, who may not really be a couple… but Kris fully believes in the power of positive thinking! Lastly, but not least in MY book… Robert Scoble and Chris Pirillo. That’s just… scary.
  • I Wanna be KK! – Randy Stewart for helping Kris out and filling in with the camera as needed.
  • Let’s Ride Bikes! – Everyone with our short attention spans. Group lap dance later!
  • Most Immediately Useful Gnomedex Presentation – Phil Plait
  • More Fun then the Death Star – Maker Bot!
  • Hot Boy that we want to Clone in the Maker Bot – Bre Pettis himself
  • Most Inquisitive AKA I’m Smarter Than You! – Teresa – who asked a gazillion interesting questions.
  • In Real Life I’m Actually Quite Likable – Robert Scoble
  • At Least My Slides are Hot and I Talked About Sex – Christine Peterson
  • Darth Vader Heart of Darkness – Todd Friesen
  • Love Bug – Danielle Sipple

Thanks so much to Kris and Danielle for all their hard work taking so many hundreds of excellent photos this year, and for the fun wrap-up to our conference.

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Chris Brogan and Julien Smith – Rise of the Trust Agents


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How did Scoble do it? What made Perez Hilton so much more successful than People magazine? How do emoticons change the way we do business on the web? Join Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, authors of the book Trust Agents, for an exploration of how the human circuitry goals of Chris Pirillo might possibly be accomplished in the coming months.

Chris Brogan is a ten year veteran of using social media and both web and mobile technologies to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Chris speaks, blogs, writes articles, and makes media of all kinds on his website, a blog in the top 10 of the Advertising Age Power150, and in the top 100 on Technorati.

Chris is also the co-founder of the PodCamp new media conference series, exploring the use of new media community tools to extend and build value.

He recently became president of New Marketing Labs, a social media agency. He runs the Inbound Marketing Summit events with CrossTech Media. Chris frequently speaks at and attends marketing and social media events, sharing his passion for all things social media.

Chris won the Mass High Tech All Stars award for thought leaders for 2008. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, The Montreal Gazette, Newsweek, and some other places.

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Phil Plait – Active Skepticism Online


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Phil talked to us about science communication online, and how the “new” (now teenaged, in more ways than one) media has affected it. Specifically how instant info – passed on Twitter – can actually make misinformation spread faster than good info, and how freaking hard it is to clean up once that happens.

Phil Plait is an astronomer, author, blogger, and skeptic… which means you better have some good evidence for any claims you make to him! In fact, Phil is the President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, a non-profit based on the works of noted conjurer and skeptic James Randi – famous for debunking the spoon-bending efforts of Uri Geller. The critical thinking movement is growing by leaps and bounds, and the JREF has been at the center of a grassroots effort to bring more skepticism into everyday life, especially online.

Phil writes the Bad Astronomy Blog, now hosted by Discover Magazine, and he blogs for the JREF and for SkepticBlog.

His books debunk many misconceptions about astronomy, and to his chagrin he still deals with Moon Landing deniers, astrology, and UFO believers to this day.

In his opinion – and he’s right – the Universe is cool enough. Why make up stuff about it?

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Christine Peterson – Life Extension for Geeks


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Compared to our computers, our bodies are mind-bogglingly complex systems. There’s no “life extension pill” available today, and none is likely to arrive soon. Fortunately for us, we can use our technical skills to evaluate and implement today’s life extension techniques, some of which can be fun – at least from a geek perspective.

Christine Peterson catalyzes new technologies: first, focusing on atoms, she co-founded Foresight Instituteto advance the field of nanotech. This work is accomplished by providing balanced, accurate and timely information to help society understand and prepare for nanotechnology through public policy activities, publications, guidelines, networking events, tutorials, conferences, roadmaps, and prizes.

Her work is motivated by a desire to help Earth’s environment and traditional human communities avoid harm and instead benefit from expected dramatic advances in technology. This goal of spreading benefits led to an interest in new varieties of intellectual property including open source software, a term she is credited with originating.

More recently, having noticed that — as some crudely put it — “aging sucks”, she works to further life extension, especially within the tech community.

She serves on the Advisory Board of the International Council on Nanotechnologyand the Editorial Advisory Board of NASA’s Nanotech Briefs, and served on California’s Blue Ribbon Task Forceon Nanotechnology.

Christine is the co-author of one book on nanotech, and another on collaboration technologies. She is a member of IEEE, and an alumna of MIT.

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Firas Khatib – FoldIt


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Firas Khatib is a postdoctoral researcher in David Baker’s Laboratory in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Washington. He is currently trying to cure cancer by getting people to play online video games, specifically Foldit, but has yet to break the news to his grandmother who would not approve. Firas received his PhD in Bioinformatics from UC Santa Cruz in 2008 where he gave the graduate commencement speechfor the school of engineering; luckily they still gave him his degree.

The University of Washington are investigating whether the brainpower of humans worldwide can be brought to bear on critical problems posed in computational biology. The long term goal of this project is to utilize the combined power of humans and computers in order to build accurate models of disease-related proteins by introducing a new approach: distributed computing driven by human intuition.

The problem of accurate prediction of protein structures remains one of the most important unsolved dilemmas in biology. Determining the correct structure of a protein helps researchers successfully target them with drugs. Currently, experimental methods for solving protein structures result in accurate, high-resolution solutions, but cannot keep pace with the quantity of information. Developing new computational techniques to produce experimental-quality models is one of the most important problems in computational structural biology.

While progress in high-resolution protein structure prediction is being made, particularly here in David Baker’s research group using our Rosetta prediction algorithm, consistent computerized production of models with atomic level resolution are still out of reach. Even with the current supercomputing and distributed computing power available, the protein structure prediction field is still years away from being able to predict the 3D structure of any protein whose genome has been solved. A novel approach to this problem is the use of human puzzle-solving intuition and pattern recognition skills in conjunction with computers running the Rosetta algorithm.

Foldit is an interactive Rosetta-based program that was recently developed by the Baker Lab and University of Washington’s department of Computer Science and Engineering. This program allows users around the world to directly manipulate protein structure models on their home computers in real-time using Rosetta’s energy function. The ultimate goal of Foldit is to use results from the computer program to improve protein structure prediction algorithms by capitalizing on human 3D problem-solving skills. Human users can recognize that certain moves they make might temporarily result in a worse Rosetta energy score, but lead to a better overall energy score. Humans have the advantage of awareness that often the only way to get to the correct low energy state is to go through many high energy conformations. Foldit users are also able to share their solutions with others around the world, taking advantage of the strengths that different people have.

The more knowledge we have on how proteins fold, the better equipped we will be in the fight against protein-related diseases, such as cancer and HIV. Foldit can contribute to this global fight by giving worldwide participants an immediate and relevant application for scientific knowledge, and hopefully reinforcing motivation to understand the underlying science.

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Jay Grandin and Leah Nelson – 20,000,000 versus 20: Audience vs. Impact


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Leah Nelson and Jay Grandin have established themselves as accomplished New Media producers with web content that has seen audiences of over 35 million. The success of their short films, comedy and documentary work has led to contracts for original series with companies such as Myspace, and inspired them to found Giant Ant Media, a web-focused video studio that creates unique campaigns and shows for online audiences.

Nelson’s short documentary, Kaka’win, traveled to numerous festivals and was awarded Best Canadian Short at Toronto’s Planet in Focus Film Festival. While working on Bongo, they followed anthropologist and director of Urban Project, Danya Fast and were granted unique access to a world few outsiders are welcomed into. The trust they gained allowed them to witness a life-changing and often taxing experience in the lives of a group of street hustlers and brings an intimacy to the film that is necessary in telling their guarded stories.

Telling fart jokes on MySpace led to Jay and Leah start a charity, which led to making a documentary in Africa.

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Warren Etheredge – The Art of the Interview (Or How to Grill a Star)


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As founder of The Warren Report, Warren Etheredge curates and hosts over 250 events every year, a podcast and television series. The Warren Report promotes “slow culture” through commentary, outreach, events and education. Their principle: Smarter audiences make a better world!

We’ve all seen them, documentaries built on boring, lifeless interviews. We’ve all read them, profiles that don’t even hint at the motives of the person behind the story. Warren Etheredge has spent a career interviewing filmmakers, authors and ordinary people both on screen and in print and has an uncanny ability bring out insights his subjects never imagined they’d share.

During this program Warren offers structures, tips and strategies to turn mundane questioning into the art of interviewing. It is an art that Warren has honed in more than 1,000 professional interviews. He is currently producing The Warren Report television series in which he conducts in depth interviews with documentary filmmakers and experts on the issues brought up in their films. The show gives audiences both vital information about the issues as well as film, book and research resources for learning more.

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Beth Goza – Nerd Craft: A Field Guide


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Beth describes herself as a gadget loving, game playing, movie junkie who reads, knits, and spends far too much time on the Internet. Emerging from the explosion of next-gen DIY movements, hand crafting revivals, and celebrating all thing geek comes a unique set of makers; the nerd crafter. Nothing is off-limits from the imagination and ingenuity of these crafters, who blend their passion for sci-fi, gaming, technology and all things geeky with their love of paints, fabrics, fibers and all things crafty.

Goza presented a Field Guide to the various families, genus and species of Nerd Craft and shows how sites like craftzine; events like the Renegrade Craft Fair, and communities like Ravelry connect and galvanize crafters who share a passion for fibery-arty-geeky goodness.

Her presentation was not only enlightening, it was also hilarious. The best part had to be all the men in the room silently groaning at the beginning, thinking they would die of boredom during a talk about things like knitting. However, Beth presented her discussion so well that she soon had the full attention of everyone in the room – men included – and much laughter rang loudly during the entire time she was on stage.

I still want some of those little Darth Vader things she made!

One of the best parts of her presentation is that she auctioned off some of her crafts. The proceeds were donated to Mark Horvath’s Invisible People project. Can you even think of a better way to show the Human Circuitry them at work?!

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Angel Djambazov – Amazon, Affiliates & Taxes


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Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. In his journalistic career he worked as an editor on several newspapers and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine. Later his career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year award at the Affiliate Summit.

Currently Angel is the OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit Angel also serves as OPM for Keen Footwear, Intelius, and Core Performance, has an advosiry role with PopShops.com which was awarded Best Affiliate Tool (2007 and 2008) award by ABestWeb, and is the Managing Editor for Revenews.com.

When the affiliate nexus tax, commonly known as the Amazon Tax, first appeared in New York last spring much of the marketing industry was caught off guard. Since then battles have been fought in eight states over similar legislation including a veto by Governator. We will go over how such legislation impacts you (whether or not you are affiliate or an Amazon associate); how big corporations like Amazon, Overstock and Google have reacted to such legislation; discuss similar types of legislation that may have an even more detrimental impact on ecommerce; and provide resources so you can stay informed.

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