Seattle Techies Take to the Streets for a 10-Day Geek Week
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anchoring the week—pii2010 (which stands for privacy, identity, innovation), and Pirillo’s own Gnomedex (if you’re interested in going, sign up quick, because according to Pirillo, it’s going to be the conference’s last year). These, he says, are for the “more serious-minded geeks.”
Other events range from fun and games, like the Seattle Geek Golf Tournament, which has an 8:00 a.m. tee time this morning, to small get-togethers, like SMC Seattle’s “Social Media & Entertainment” Q&A on Tuesday with The Oatmeal creator Matt Inman, which Pirillo calls “wildly popular.”
Other events to watch throughout Geek Week: Gnomedex is kicking off its opening celebration with an event called Chic Meets Geek, specially designed to “bridge the social gap between the cultural chic and intellectual geeks,” with a special surprise geek and/or chic celebrity guest. “This is the first time this event is happening in a city outside San Francisco,” Pirillo says.
The Gnomedex Open Government Hackathon on Sunday, August 22nd will also be a popular event, according to Pirillo. The free 24-hackathon will bring Seattle techies together as they test their bandwidth, and race against the clock to see who can build the best open government application before the day is over. The idea is to take open government data, “and develop something people can use,” Pirillo says.
And just in case this doesn’t sound like enough geeky silliness, Geek Week will be capping off with a Bellydance Tweetup on the evening of the 22nd.
The variety of events speaks to Pirillo’s true aspirations for Geek Week—to get people out of their offices, away from their computers, and interacting with each other.
“If people like that, and it gets them out of the house and gets them mixing up, then I consider that a success. So even if it’s just two people, I’ll be happy,” he says. “Too many people talk about doing things, but don’t actually do them. So if anything, Geek Week is about taking action. I’m always surprised to discover groups around town who overlap with my interests.”
Over 300 are expected to attend Gnomedex alone, and although Pirillo doesn’t know how many people will be participating in Geek Week when all is said and done, he does say he has “very lofty goals” for the event. He’s like to see it become a Seattle staple—maybe even one that returns frequently throughout the year.
“It doesn’t have to be once a year, it can be more often,” he says. “It all depends on how many geeks there are in Seattle. That’s the big question: are there enough geeks in Seattle?”