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Live from #Gnomedex, Day 2

August 21, 2010

Day 2 of Gnomedex has been pretty friggin’ awesome. Here’s a quick recap: goes live

Shauna Causey and Melody Biringer officially launched the site for their new network, Tech Mavens, which seeks to connect women in tech with good role models. You could learn a lot from the Tech Mavens squad no matter your gender, but if you’re a young woman in the tech business or if you know one, I’d highly recommend checking out the site and keeping your eye on it.

Gender neutral: Help them figure out a color for their logo (Tech Mavens is still very young). You can’t see the options at the permalink for some reason, but you should be able to see the options on the home page.

Oh, and guys? A few words from Shauna: “I need to add: Tech Mavens is not a dating site” (tongue-in-cheek, of course, but also probably somewhat serious).

Scott Draves (momentarily) stuffs everyone in Room 23 from LOST

I’m still trying to figure out what the hell Scott does, but here’s my best shot: He writes algorithms that create crazy, moving histogram images and then open-sources (some of) the algorithms so other people can contribute to them and change how they look…in real-time. Or something. All I really understand is that what he does is awesome and it confuses the hell out of me, so I’ll bullet point some resources:

Scott and Alex Mueller showed off their still-in-progress sustainable farm

This, combined with Scott’s presentation, have made Day 2 the “pleasant surprises day” because I honestly didn’t expect to find their presentations so interesting. Scott and Alex basically dropped everything a while back, bought some land out by Spokane and started building a sustainable farm that they plan to eventually live on (they’ve been camping for a while now).

You should check out their website, particularly the timeline/map, which lays out everything they’ve done up to this point. It’s kind of like the ultimate DIY project and they’ve relied a lot on social media and tech to help them along the way.

More updates coming, so check back later today.

[UPDATE: Wednesday at like 12:30 p.m.]

…Sorry, I got a little busy, but here’s what else was significant:

Jason Barger had a lot of good ideas, but his delivery un-sold me

Remember seeing Star Trek V for the first time and thinking, “This is Star Trek, but…”? That’s kind of how Jason Barger’s talk was.

In short, Jason wrote a book called Step Back from the Baggage Claim (I know because he said “baggage claim” or “step back from the baggage claim” about a thousand times during a 20-minute speech) which spawned a website, motivational speaking tour—pretty much a little mini-empire. The idea behind the book and everything else is pretty simple and easy enough to get behind: If you want to change the world for the better, the decision to do so has to start with small, singular acts (a slightly vaguer description is available on his site).

I’m all about treating people well and trying to spread that by example. But Jason’s delivery of his message was just…I’m trying to be diplomatic and polite here, but I just felt like I was watching an infomercial at 3 a.m. It seemed awkward on its own, but especially at a conference largely comprised of people who espouse the virtues of authenticity and originality. Talk to me, don’t come with a canned speech that you repeat everywhere. That’s all.

A couple dudes who made a Firefly fan movie gave out some of the best advice I’ve ever received

I’ve never seen Firefly so I won’t recap their whole talk, but here’s what one of them (Matthew Dougherty) said:

Get off your ass. … If there’s something you’re passionate about…just do it.”

I think that’s what Nike meant to say.

The Oatmeal is the funniest thing to come out of Seattle since Almost Live!

I don’t know how I didn’t know about The Oatmeal—actually, I probably did know about The Oatmeal and just didn’t know it. If you’re still in the dark like I was, The Oatmeal is a site run by Matthew Inman, who draws hilarious cartoons like this. I can’t properly describe Matthew’s talk, except to say it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen at Gnomedex. Just watch it.

Things I missed

There are a few people and speakers I missed, but I will give them due credit in my Gnomedex wrap post, which will be coming up before the end of the week.

In the meantime, check out some of the presentations on Chris Pirillo’s UStream page.

What did you like most about Gnomedex? Or hate most? Or just anything? Drop a comment.


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