News & Events,  Opinion

Consider me ignited, Raleigh

Way to go Raleigh! Last night’s Ignite Raleigh event was a very entertaining blend of technology, entertainment and education. I could go on and on about the awesomeness of the event but let me try to keep things brief by highlighting a couple of particularly fantastic contributions…

Everyone Needs a Dumb Guy
Chris Moody (@cnmoody) did a presentation about the “dumb guy” in the office who asks the often dumb and difficult questions the client will ask. It was a very quick look at the benefits of broadening your advisers; diversity of POV leads to more information and better decisions… sounds like he’s read ‘The Wisdom of Crowds‘! Chris did a great presentation with some really nice slides and I enjoyed the reaffirmation of things I’ve read about from other folks who agree it has potential…

What Happens to you Digital Identity After you Die?
Evan Carroll (@evancarroll) spent five minutes making me think about a social media world without me in it. There were a number of things I hadn’t considered – the preservation of my online content, sharing passwords with the right people, and the potential for my thoughts to be heard long after I’m dead. Since I’m not sure anyone’s listening now, let alone in 50 years, this wasn’t a presentation that compelled me to action but it did make me think. And remember that I don’t have a will.

Presentation Zen
Bethany Smith (@bethanyvsmith) is a fellow NCSU-er so I have to give her props for braving the stage and sharing her advice on good presentation design. I was already sold on her agenda of short, to-the-point, bulletless presentations that use lots of pictures. But I definitely want a copy of her presentation to give to a couple people I know…

Why My Cat Can Get a Job Before You
It’s totally true. Her cat is legendary. Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) did a very engaging presentation about her favorite cat (yes, she ranks her 5 cats). Scrubby, the fantastic cat has a blog, Facebook profile, Twitter account and is on LinkedIn. He’s done more than most of us to build a solid, reputable online identity and that goes a long way with employers in this day and age. Very compelling, humorous and well-done presentation.

Nerd Girls Unite! Women Don’t Have to be Lame
So I actually got into a heavy discussion (re: argument) with a couple of guy friends prior to the show about the difficulties of being a woman in technology. Guys don’t understand what you’re doing in their domain, there’s plenty of cultural obstacles and I’ve had my share of outright discrimination from men during my history in the technology field. In the end, I did a lousy job trying to explain my frustrations so I was delighted that Charlotte Moore (@cavaticat) showed up on stage to explain my challenges far more eloquently and entertainingly than I did.
Charlotte was a great speaker and had fantastic slides. Her presentation had some excellent examples of everyday frustrations girls have when navigating the Geekdom. She made me proud to be a geek girl.

In fact, I’d say the evening was a great day for geek girls in the triangle. All the ladies had great talks and represented very well. Much of my morning was spent following these fascinating women on Twitter and I’ve started a Twitter list, ncgeekgirl to help consolidate the awesomeness. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the idea of a Geek Girl Camp in the Triangle. Or a least a geek girl tweet-up. These ladies are some great resources and I’d be glad to know them better.

So to recap: #igniteRaleigh was awesome and awesomely inspiring. My friend Jason (@opus2008) and I had toyed with the idea of presenting on a little pet project we have, @wordassociation but time and nerves got the better of us and I regret it now. Maybe next year… And along those line kudos to the planners and ALL presenters at 2010 Ignite Raleigh. It’s tough to get up there and you all did a great job!

Can’t wait for next year!