SciTechBlog   « Back to Blog Main
August 24, 2009

Gnomedex puts the human face on tech

Posted: 01:53 PM ET

Warm and fuzzy.  That’s how I felt after attending Gnomedex in Seattle for the first time. Those are words you generally wouldn’t associate with a tech conference.  In case you’ve never heard of Gnomedex, it’s an annual gathering  for self-proclaimed geeks, like myself, organized by tech enthusiast Chris Pirillo.

Full disclosure here – I came to know Pirillo when I started working with him on his quirky video segments for CNN.com Live.  We stream them each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET.

This year’s theme at Gnomedex 9.0 was human circuitry – the intersection of humanity and technology.  Pirillo sought speakers who would share personal experiences that would inspire others.

I was uplifted by the fact that this year’s conference attracted the most number of female attendees for any Gnomedex.  Why?  “Stories,” Pirillo told me, as we were listening to Amber Case, a cyber anthropologist, share strangely alluring tales about human beings and prosthetic culture.  “Putting the word ‘human’ in there was like, ‘Oh, so it’s not a geek’s conference as much as it is about people,’ ” said Pirillo.

Emotional talks from Drew Olanoff and Mark Horvath also elevated the ‘H’ factor at Gnomedex.  Olanoff, recently diagnosed with cancer, started a campaign on Twitter inviting others to blame everything in their lives on his cancer – by using the hashtag #blamedrewscancer.

Olanoff became emotional on stage while describing the radical shift his life took since he was diagnosed in May.  His story touched the audience – as evidenced by the prolific updates on FriendFeed and Twitter.  One person there tweeted, “I #blamedrewscancer for all the tears in the audience. #Gnomedex”  Olanoff wrapped up his session by embracing two attendees who had also been diagnosed with cancer.

Horvath, another inspiring speaker at Gnomedex, uses his vlog Invisiblepeople.tv to raise awareness about the plight of homeless people.  Once homeless himself, Horvath is currently touring 25 cities to put a face on the problem by bringing real stories to life.

Horvath’s words had immediate impact.  The word ‘homeless’ briefly trended on Twitter during his session, and someone in the audience passed around a hat, raising $1800 for a tent city in Seattle called Nickelsville.

Pirillo told me he thought he wouldn’t be able to top Scott Maxwell’s standing ovation from last year’s Gnomedex.  Maxwell’s job is pretty much the envy of all geeks: he drives the Mars Rover.  This year, the audience stood up twice – once for Olanoff and once for Horvath.

If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume the audience at Gnomedex was more interested in surfing the Web than in the conversation unfolding on stage.

“This is a conference where a lot of people have their laptops open,” said Pirillo.  “We can always tell which speaker has lesser impact when the bandwidth spikes,” he chuckled.

But the online activity is also a sign of a deeper engagement – a real-time feedback loop between speaker and audience.  During sessions, Pirillo monitors his Twitter stream #gnomedex to gauge what’s resonating with the audience and what isn’t.

“That’s where you learn when you’re doing good content or bad content.  If they’re talking about what’s happening you’re OK,” said Pirillo.

Pirillo made me promise to mention Mona Nomura, whom he credits for pulling 98% of the conference together in a mere two months.

“I’m not a female, and I’m not taking away from birth but every year, it’s like giving birth,” said Pirillo about the challenges of putting on Gnomedex each year.

“Now we have nine beautiful children.  Some are a little more beautiful than others, some are a little ugly,” he laughed.  What about this one, I asked.  His reply: “This one was very beautiful.  There’s a couple of pockmarks, but I find perfection in imperfections."

Posted by:
Filed under: Internet • social-networking sites • technology • Twitter


Share this on:
AhmdEdump   January 31st, 2021 3:34 pm ET

cialis available in walgreens over counter?? Stromectol purchase cheap cialis https://impotencecdny.com/ – canadian pharmacy viagra brand ’


Kbbgceme   January 31st, 2021 7:38 pm ET

curved penis and viagra mail order pharmacies viagra buy http://erectilejyzd.com/ – dapoxetine ’


Etsuko Kuhre   February 1st, 2021 3:15 pm ET

This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!

https://yt1s.com/facebook-downloader


JbbvEdump   February 3rd, 2021 12:19 pm ET

most reliable canadian pharmacies top rated online canadian pharmacies sildenafil citrate


Fvfccibia   February 3rd, 2021 1:31 pm ET

can veterans get viagra paypal viagra uk overnight delivery on viagra


LbsxEdump   February 4th, 2021 4:20 pm ET

canadian pharmacy reviews cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better discount drugs online pharmacy


AhkdEdump   February 6th, 2021 9:49 am ET

canadian online pharmacies legitimate by aarp canada pharmacy no prescription canada pharmacies online pharmacy


KuikFLOUG   February 7th, 2021 10:19 am ET

viagra prices hard for 36hr like viagra viagra online bestellen org


Aqcfcrinoagog   February 8th, 2021 3:42 am ET

cialis usa cialis black in australia cialis omline


JbnbThill   February 8th, 2021 4:06 pm ET

canadian pharmacies indian pharmacy buy generic viagra online


Nncscibia   February 8th, 2021 7:21 pm ET

guarantee viagra next day in the us generic viagra online next day shipping paypal payment for viagra


Kbcxceme   February 8th, 2021 11:47 pm ET

board of pharmacy canadian pharmacy review erectile dysfunction


FqhhEdump   February 9th, 2021 1:43 am ET

hiv medical pharmacies canadian pharmaceuticals


JbbnEdump   February 10th, 2021 10:11 am ET

what is the cost of cialis 5mg cialis en la farmacia cialis bucuresti


Fbsgcibia   February 11th, 2021 1:52 pm ET

kaboom cialis cialis 20 mg for sale how to buy cialis us


LabxEdump   February 11th, 2021 2:24 pm ET

cialis e fertilita' how often do you take cialis effects of cialis and viagra


AhbzEdump   February 13th, 2021 4:26 pm ET

payday loan resolution reviews ohio payday loan consolidation payday loans philadelphia ms


KbbfFLOUG   February 14th, 2021 12:03 am ET

viagra for women australia cheap viagra in the usa buy generic viagra using mastercard


Abcfcrinoagog   February 14th, 2021 7:40 am ET

bay viagra online from usa where to buy viagra viagra geniric


JbnvThill   February 16th, 2021 3:25 am ET

cash advance america bbb payday loans in brooklyn ohio cash advance america rock hill


Kvaxceme   February 16th, 2021 8:56 am ET

cash loan plus calgary payday loans in taylor ge money car loan contact number


Nbnhcibia   February 16th, 2021 10:30 pm ET

sildenafil 20 mg tablets price order female viagra online discounted viagra


FqbbEdump   February 17th, 2021 8:35 am ET

payday loans affiliate programs payday loans salisbury maryland advance payday loan troy mo


Fjjucibia   February 26th, 2021 4:13 pm ET

viagra cialis levitra http://viagraonlinejc.com/ viagra before and after photos


ClarkPring   March 1st, 2021 10:58 am ET

7w8xq xiyvj l3ni


Kndnceme   March 2nd, 2021 7:16 am ET

viagra spider how long before sex should you take viagra define viagra


Nbmocibia   March 3rd, 2021 10:52 am ET

cialis promise program cialis generic online buy cialis through paypal


Briana Montagne   March 4th, 2021 10:22 am ET

Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, regards . "What the United States does best is to understand itself. What it does worst is understand others." by Carlos Fuentes.

https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/


Davida Rocca   March 6th, 2021 2:19 pm ET

Rattling great info can be found on web blog . "The only thing you take with you when you're gone is what you leave behind." by John Allston.

https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/


JvqqEdump   March 22nd, 2021 2:38 pm ET

https://dissertationahelp.com/ – dissertation guide writing dissertation dissertation assistance service dissertation statistics help


LmoppEdump   March 23rd, 2021 12:59 pm ET

http://essaywriteris.com/ – can someone write my essay for me the essay writer best essay writers please write my essay


AbgcEdump   March 24th, 2021 11:54 pm ET

https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – example thesis thesis writing service thesis proposal example thesis editing


AbgcEdump   March 27th, 2021 7:35 pm ET

https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesis coaching help in writing thesis writing a thesis paper writing a thesis


GrvThill   March 30th, 2021 4:44 pm ET

https://kloviagrli.com/ – best time to take viagra https://vigedon.com/ – viagra prescription https://llecialisjaw.com/ – cialis cost https://jwcialislrt.com/ – cialis generics https://jecialisbn.com/ – how long does it take for cialis to work


Brfgceme   March 31st, 2021 4:42 am ET

https://ljcialishe.com/ – viagra and cialis together https://cialisvja.com/ – cialis manufacturer https://viagraonlinejc.com/ – mexican viagra brands https://viagratx.com/ – does viagra help with premature ejaculation https://buycialisxz.com/ – cialis over the counter at walmart


AbgcEdump   April 2nd, 2021 12:59 am ET

https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – free thesis help mba thesis thesis help online thesis printing


caverject suppository   April 3rd, 2021 4:00 pm ET

what is alprostadil used for https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil covered by blue cross


why vardenafil dosage over 65   April 3rd, 2021 9:14 pm ET

vardenafil dosage instructions https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil sublingual under tongue


buy tadalafil   April 4th, 2021 11:37 am ET

tadalafil dosage https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 60 mg for sale


where can i purchase sildenafil   April 6th, 2021 7:56 pm ET

sildenafil 100mg online canada https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil us pharmacy


AbgcEdump   April 9th, 2021 5:43 pm ET

https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesiswritingtob.com thesis software thesiswritingtob.com free thesis help


alprostadil gel online   April 12th, 2021 5:44 pm ET

injectable ed medications https://alprostadildrugs.com/ how to administer transurethral alprostadil


zithromax pill   April 14th, 2021 2:30 pm ET

what does zithromax treat https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax dosis


cialis canadian pharmacy   April 16th, 2021 4:42 pm ET

cialis on line purches canadian pharmacy https://canadacialisstore.com/ do you need prescription for canadian perscribition of cialis in usa


vardenafil cvs   April 21st, 2021 5:08 am ET

buy vardenafil online without presciption https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil vs tadalafil which is better?


Rfvbcibia   April 23rd, 2021 3:05 am ET

cialis and depoxitine https://cileve.com/ cialis one a day with dapoxetine canada


JbsdEdump   April 23rd, 2021 5:41 pm ET

Aristocort shoppers pharmacy shoppers drug mart canada


Bbdfceme   April 24th, 2021 1:54 am ET

viagra warnings http://gensitecil.com/ what is the active ingredient in viagra


AbdgEdump   April 24th, 2021 5:15 am ET

Dipyridamole https://canadianeve21.com/ Epitol


what is tadalafil   April 24th, 2021 10:03 am ET

tadalis sx https://elitadalafill.com/ order tadalafil


Lhdvcibia   April 24th, 2021 9:49 pm ET

cialis black in australia https://asciled.com/ generic cialis with dapoxetine


sildenafil 20 mg price   April 25th, 2021 11:33 am ET

cheap sildenafil online https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ cost for generic sildenafil


LrbsEdump   April 25th, 2021 7:25 pm ET

levitra vardenafilo http://uslevitraanna.com/ medicamento levitra


Rfvbcibia   April 25th, 2021 10:09 pm ET

cialis cheep http://cileve.com/ canadianmed cialis


JbsdEdump   April 26th, 2021 12:50 am ET

doctor prescription https://onlinecanda21.com/ shoppers pharmacy


GvdbThill   April 26th, 2021 1:33 am ET

tadalafil citrate liquid dosage https://boxtadafil.com/ maxim peptide tadalafil review


Bbdfceme   April 26th, 2021 8:49 am ET

viagra boys street worms https://gensitecil.com/ viagra 100 mg


GvdbThill   April 26th, 2021 10:58 am ET

blue sky peptide tadalafil review https://boxtadafil.com/ is tadalafil generic


AbdgEdump   April 26th, 2021 3:55 pm ET

kamagra oral jelly https://canadianeve21.com/ – pharmacy prescription Super ED Trial Pack


FbsfEdump   April 26th, 2021 4:05 pm ET

Tenormin https://uspharmus.com/ canadian cialis


LrbsEdump   April 27th, 2021 3:47 am ET

levitra generique http://uslevitraanna.com/ viagara cialis levitra comparison


FbsfEdump   April 27th, 2021 8:23 pm ET

approved canadian online pharmacies https://uspharmus.com/ Plendil


Lhdvcibia   April 27th, 2021 10:32 pm ET

cialispills online http://asciled.com/ black tab cialis


chloroquine for malaria   April 28th, 2021 10:50 pm ET

used to treat malaria chloro https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine tablets


Rfvbcibia   April 28th, 2021 11:41 pm ET

buy cialis 36 hour https://cileve.com/ – cialis 60 mg cialis in canada


canadian meds cialis   April 29th, 2021 2:15 am ET

cialis on line purches canadian pharmacy https://canadacialisstore.com/ buy cialis online canadian


JbsdEdump   May 1st, 2021 5:18 am ET

Dilantin http://onlinecanda21.com/ Prometrium


ed pills online   May 1st, 2021 3:33 pm ET

can erectile dysfunction delay pregnancy https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile lubricants


Lhdvcibia   May 1st, 2021 5:19 pm ET

black ants cialis australia https://asciled.com/ cialis paypal


AbdgEdump   May 2nd, 2021 6:02 am ET

drug price https://canadianeve21.com/ – Atorlip-5 prescription drugs prices


Rfvbcibia   May 2nd, 2021 11:43 pm ET

cialis online mastercard https://cileve.com/ viagra vs cialis side effects


Rebfcibia   May 3rd, 2021 11:04 pm ET

where to get free samples of cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ cialis no prescription


JebgEdump   May 4th, 2021 1:41 pm ET

safe canadian pharmacies no prescription needed pharmacy peoples drug store


Bbshceme   May 4th, 2021 3:42 pm ET

cheap generic viagra http://loxviagra.com/ how expensive is viagra


AnooEdump   May 5th, 2021 6:29 am ET

salg av viagra i norge https://llviagra.com/ viagra en el neonato


Leave Your Comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.


subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

subscribe RSS Icon
twitter
Powered by WordPress.com VIP