Get Em to the Geek: Geekend 2010

November 10th, 2010 | Category: Marginalia

I scarcely know where to start. Geekend is the beautifully geeky brainchild of Sloane Kelly, Jacob Hodesh, and Miriam Hodesh. 2010 marks the second annual meeting of what everyone familiar hopes will be many years of the interactive conference. It has just the right balance of size and intensity.

I didn’t get to Savannah until late on Day 2, so I roamed around downtown by myself Friday night. I stepped into a raucous karaoke session and had the biggest beer I’ve ever seen. No problem not finishing it because in Savannah, you can drink in the streets. To-go cups are a normal courtesy, and I took one and finished my beer, strolling languidly back to my hotel.

Immediately upon arriving at the Coastal Georgia Center on Saturday morning, I was rushed into the geek melée. Swag bag and badge in hand, I sneaked off to the speakers’ green room to finish the final tweaks on my presentation. People always say of SXSW Interactive that the best stuff happens in the margins, that the sideline conversations are always better than the panels and talks. Well, as much as it resembles SXSWi, Geekend is not quite like that. I’m not saying this because I was one of the speakers this year, I’m saying it because Geekend’s organization and size lends itself to round-the-clock stimulation. Sure, the chats in the hallways and at dinners are productive, enlightening, and awesome, but they do not outshine the scheduled talks.

My talk was called “How to Do Stuff and Be Happy” and was loosely based on my previous post of the same name. It seems to have gone over well, and I had numerous inspired chats with attendees and other speakers over the rest of the time I was in Savannah: so many amazing people all in one beautiful city for a very limited time. From futurists (e.g., Frank Spencer and Scott Smith) and future-of-music geeks (e.g., Aaron Ford and Jack DeYoung), to indie entrepreneurs (e.g., Noah Everett and Scott Stratten) and big-media programmers (e.g., Oscar Gerardo and Craig Johnston), as well as just plain badasses (e.g., Maria Anderson, Zachary Dominitz, Pete Hottelet, et al.): It’s a pressure cooker of inspiration.

The closing after-party at SEED Eco-Lounge was the perfect, weekend-ending, chaotic spectacle: fire juggling, ribbon/curtain dancing lady (check the photos), loud, mashed-up hits, and literal dancing in the streets. Geek bedlam!

Geekend 2010 was one of those events where saying “thank you” to the organizers, the speakers, and all of the attendees just sounds ridiculous–but I’ll say it anyway: Thank you! See you next year!

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Here are a bunch of pictures I’ve gathered from the event. Many thanks to the camera-wielding folks I borrowed these from (e.g, Sloane Kelly, Jennifer Parsons, Josh Branstetter, and Rhiannon Modzelewski). And a special thanks goes out to Alex Sandoval and Rhiannon Modzelewski for hauling me around, taking me to the fair, and letting me sleep on their couch that last night. You folks are saints!

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