I was able to tweak my schedule and attend Gnomedex last week in Seattle. It was absolutely worth the time. If you were there you know what I mean. If you weren’t I hope to see you next year. I know I’ll be back.
Gnomedex is the brainchild of Chris Pirillo and is supported by an army of volunteers, including Chris’ dad, to keep the event firing on all cylinders. Gnomedex had a tagline of “Human Circuitry: a Tech Conference of Inspiration and Influence” and I think it achieved this with a unique confluence of information, ideas, and inspiration.
This blog post is not intended to be a detailed look at every session, but I do want to highlight some of the points and people that made Gnomedex the place to be.
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith recently released their first book called Trust Agents. You can get their new book at your local book seller or from Amazon. They highlighted a few of the sections and gave a great talk that included a lot of audience interaction and ended with a great Q&A session.
The Active Skeptic & The Bad Astronomer
Anyone associated with James Randi (The Amazing Randi) is instantly on my good guy list. Phil Plait (aka @BadAstronomer) spoke about his work at Discover Magazine, his work with the James Randi Educational Foundation and the $1M prize that has gone unclaimed for years at the JREF.
My favorite quote from Phil was when he was referring to some of the misguided and ill-informed people that make outrageous statements by using only the facts that support their claims. He said they “Spin, Fold, and Mutilate Reality”
Did You Get Your MakerBot at Gnomedex?
If you don’t know what MakerBot is you probably will soon – especially if you have kids. MakerBots are the modern day equivalents of Legos and erector sets of my generation, but with a 3-D and computerized twist. Bre Pettis is one of the founders of MakerBot Industries and he is as close as I’ve seen to a modern day Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye (a local Seattle based scientist).
This was cool. Brady Forrest of O’Reilly Radar introduced the idea and let the speakers do their thing. There were several speakers that I knew Byron, Betsy Aoki, and Jay Cross and they were fantastic. I did not know the other speakers, but I was impressed. They were all really good.
I had never been to an Ignite event before and now that I’ve seen one I think I might like to put together a presentation and give it a test run at the next Ignite.
Also, Bryan Zug of Lilipip and I are thinking of a way to create “Toastmasters 2.0” or more accurately a way to help Ignite presenters match the 5 minute format and successfully deliver an Ignite session. (hmmm, this could be my Ignite session).
Drew Olanoff spoke about WHY his cancer is social. He was funny, engaging, and brought tears to anyone in the audience with a heart. If you get a chance to hear him speak take it – you will not regret it (or watch the video replay on the Gnomedex site). If you want to know how YOU can Blame Drew’s Cancer --- click here.
The Day 1 party was hosted at Spitfire. Great location and great food. Try the chorizo stuffed mushrooms. Hewlett Packard and Picnik sponsored the party and HP even gave away two really nice laptops. Very cool. Conversations were continued from earlier in the day and lots of new friends were met and new conversations and friendships were formed.
That was just Day 1 – That was a LOT of Great Stuff
I was only able to attend the first day of Gnomedex. However, I did see the tweets and heard from friends that attended that the speakers were equally as powerful and inspiring as Day 1. Next year I hope to make it to both days.
Thanks to RealNetworks for the MF* and MF** Party
Thanks to Lacy Kemp for inviting me to the party RealNetworks was hosting to close out Gnomedex. I was not able to make it back from the Seattle Seahawks game in time, but I heard the party went well into the next morning. I just hope I’m still on Lacy’s MF* list for the next RealNetworks party.
Gnomedex 9.0 was Great – I’ll be Back
I will be back. I'm already thinking about Gnomedex 10 (G10?). I hope to see you there. Who knows maybe I’ll be speaking at an ignite session or perhaps something else. I’d only do it if I thought I could match the passion of the people I met, listened to, and learned from at Gnomedex 9.0
Did you attend Gnomedex? What did you think?
About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 16 years working in various aspects of the ECM space. I spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and most recently Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.
** I am available for consulting projects and speaking engagements. My areas of emphasis are business development and alliance management at the Intersection of Enterprise Content Management and Social Media.
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