Chris Pirillo wearing the Gnomedex 2007 T-shirt.
Chris Pirillo wearing the Gnomedex 2007 T-shirt.

Gnomedex[1] is a single-track technology conference hosted by Chris Pirillo, the owner of Lockergnome, LLC[2] and is produced by Chris Pirillo and his staff at Lockergnome. Pirillo was the co-host of the show Call For Help on the former cable television channel TechTV. Gnomedex started as an outgrowth of Pirillo's technology newsletters, IRC channel and web site. The conference name is a satirical portmanteau of Pirillo's Lockergnome and the now-defunct Comdex technology trade show, which was a massive and influential annual event at the time of the first Gnomedex conference.

Gnomedex has grown into a conference exploring new and emerging technologies with influencers, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts as the primary audience. It bills itself as the crossroads between producers and observers, between users and developers. The conference format is meant to serve the needs of the attendees, many of whom are prolific bloggers and podcasters.

The first Gnomedex took place in October 2001 in Des Moines, Iowa, while the tenth Gnomedex took place in August 2010 in Seattle, Washington. Gnomedex organizer Chris Pirillo announced that due to the difficulties in operating such events, that the tenth was likely to be the last Gnomedex unless additional backing and resources were brought forward to help spread the administrative and organizational overhead.[3][4] A Gnomedex stage was included in the first Seattle Interactive Conference in November 2011 after Jake Ludington reportedly convinced Chris Pirillo to continue the event.[5] In March 2015, Chris Pirillo announced that Gnomedex will be making a return sometime in 2015.[6]



The first Gnomedex was held Friday, October 12, 2001 through Sunday October 14, 2001 in Des Moines, Iowa.[7] Originally scheduled for the weekend[8] after 9/11, it was postponed for a month to allow people to adjust their travel plans. Despite the uncertainty, nearly 200 people attended from all over the United States, Canada and Europe. The keynote was delivered by Steve Gibson, president of Gibson Research Corp. Presentations included:

  • David Lawrence[9] on the future of the music industry
  • Userland Software employee Robert Scoble discussing OPML and RSS technologies.
  • Derek Brown from Microsoft's Mobility Team demonstrating a Pocket PC-powered phone (technology which had just launched).
  • Mark Thompson, freeware developer for AnalogX
  • Mike Elgan, technology writer and editorial consultant
  • Steve Kiene of eSellerate

David Lawrence also made a live broadcast of his radio show Online Tonight from Gnomedex.

Sponsorship was by several companies, including SnapStream and Microsoft.


Gnomedex 2.0 occurred on August 23 through August 24, 2002 in Des Moines, Iowa at the Downtown Marriott. The keynote was delivered by Leo Laporte, formerly with TechTV. The speaker list included:

  • Evan Willams from
  • Phil "Pud" Kaplan, creator of
  • Ed Ross, founder of PC Talent
  • Doc Searls
  • Beth Goza
  • Steve Gibson
  • Mark Thompson of Analog X
  • David Lawrence

Microsoft was the banner sponsor.


Gnomedex 3.0[10] was held in Des Moines, Iowa on July 25 and 26 2003.

Jennifer Staack was crowned Ms. Gnomedex 2003.[11]

Beth Goza and Kevin Unangst from Microsoft presented on Digital Media in Microsoft Windows.

Speakers included:

Microsoft and Google were the banner sponsors.


Gnomedex 4.0 (a.k.a. "Geeks Gone Wild") was held from September 30 to October 4, 2004 at Harrah's in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Originally, Gnomedex 4.0 was going to be sponsored by Comedy Central and have an open bar. The theme (and sponsor) changed several times after it was announced. The keynote was by Steve Wozniak.[12] Notable speakers and events included Nick Bradbury, Henry Copeland, Dan Gillmor, Ross Rader, Robert Scoble, Jason Shellen,[13] Wil Wheaton[14] and a live broadcast of the Gillmor Gang syndicated technology radio show. Sponsors included Microsoft, PayPal, Google, AMD, Yahoo! Search, DecisionCast, and ZDNet.

IT Conversations produced podcasts of the sessions, which are still available online.[15] The podcast of Steve Wozniak's keynote address is one of the all-time most popular audio programs in IT Conversations history.

The published schedule was as follows:

  • The Future of Security (panel): Chris DiBona (moderator), Neil Wyler, Fred Felman, CJ Holthaus, Nico Sell, Dan Appleman
  • Maximizing Your Blogging Strategies: Adam Kalsey (moderator), Robert Scoble, Nick Bradbury, Ross Rader, Jason Shellen, Dave Taylor
  • Keynote Speaker: Steve Wozniak
  • Maximizing Your Digital Lifestyle: Eric Rice (moderator), Jim Louderback, Patrick Norton, Ken Layne, Anil Dash, Paul Kent, Tim Handley
  • The Future of Online Content: Scott Johnson, Greg Reinacker, Steve Gillmor, Dan Gillmor, Peter Kaminski, Jason Calacanis
  • Wil Wheaton
  • The Future of Online Advertising: Dave McClure (moderator), Jeff Barr, Henry Copeland, Bill Flitter, Gokul Rajaram


Chris Pirillo at Gnomedex 2005
Chris Pirillo at Gnomedex 2005

Gnomedex 5.0 was the first of the series to be held in Seattle, Washington at the Bell Harbor Convention Center. The conference took place from June 23–25, 2005. Notable presentations and activities included:

  • Microsoft announced that RSS feeds would be supported in the next version of Microsoft Windows. They also gave the first public demonstration of Internet Explorer 7, focusing on its RSS features. Attendees received a track jacket from Microsoft with "Browse, Search, Subscribe" and "(Longhorn icon) (heart icon) RSS" patches.
  • Adam Curry delivered the closing keynote, while simultaneously recording an episode of his podcast, Daily Source Code.
  • Kathy Gill from University of Washington presented on blogging in the classroom[16]
  • Julie Leung gave a presentation on personal and public media
  • Phillip Torrone of Make Magazine presented on the craft of making
  • David Winer sang The Beatles' Yellow Submarine.
  • An episode of the Gillmor Gang podcast was recorded live.

Scheduled speakers and panels were:

  • Dave Winer
  • Dean Hachamovitch of Microsoft
  • Steve Gillmor, Dave Sifry, Scott Gatz on Tomorrow's Syndication
  • Kathy Gill, Paul Vogelzang on the Tomorrow's Education
  • David Geller, John Battelle, Dan Gillmor on Today's Citizen Media
  • Matt Westervelt, Asa Dotzler, Scott Collins, Matt Mullenweg on Tomorrow's Open Source
  • Hobie Swan on MindManager
  • Julie Leung on Blogging as Social Tool
  • Mark Fletcher, Scott Rafer, Bob Wyman on Tomorrow's RSS
  • JD Lasica, Terry Heaton, Cory Bergman on Tomorrow's Media
  • Steve Rubel, Chris Sloop on Tomorrow's Public Relations
  • Denise Howell, Buzz Bruggeman, Jason Calacanis on Today's Digital Legalities
  • Adam Curry

A sold-out crowd of over 400 people attended.


A Gillmor Gang photo from Gnomedex 6.0
A Gillmor Gang photo from Gnomedex 6.0

Gnomedex 6.0 was held in Seattle, Washington at the Bell Harbor Convention Center from June 29 - July 1, 2006. Notable presentations were:

  • keynote by Senator John Edwards[17]
  • a discussion and demonstration of Pixsy by Chase Norlin[18]
  • a demonstration of Melodeo by Bill Valenti and Rob Greenlee[19]

The published roster of discussion leaders was:

A sold-out crowd of over 400 people attended.


Gnomedex 7.0 was held in Seattle, Washington at the Bell Harbor Convention Center on August 9–11, 2007.

Roster of speakers:

Also, a selection of Ignite Seattle! [3] participants gave a series of 5-minute Pecha Kucha-style presentations.

A sold-out crowd of over 400 people attended.


Gnomedex 8.0 was held in Seattle, Washington at the Bell Harbor Convention Center on August 21–23, 2008. The theme for this year's Gnomedex was "Human Circuitry." Listed below are the speakers, along with videos of their presentation (hosted on YouTube):

  • Alex Steffen[20]
  • Amanda Koster of SalaamGarage[21]
  • Dr. Arvind Krishnamurthy from the University of Washington
  • Ben Huh of I Can Has Cheezburger?[22]
  • Beth Kanter from Summit Collaborative[23]
  • Brady Forrest from O'Reilly Radar
  • Danny Sullivan[24]
  • Dave Mathews from boxee[25]
  • Eric Lin[26]
  • Ethan Katz-Basset[27]
  • Eve Maler, from Sun Microsystems, discussing managing online relationships[28]
  • Francine Hardaway
  • Gabriel Maganis
  • Jeremy Toeman[29]
  • John Malkin[30]
  • Josh Bancroft
  • Kevin Fox[31]
  • Kris Krug[32] on photography (higher quality version of video here [33])
  • Larry Halff[34] from Magnolia
  • Mark Bao[35]
  • Matt Harding[36]
  • Monica Guzman[37]
  • Nathan Wade from the University of Washington[38]
  • Sara Davies[39]
  • Sarah Lacey[40]
  • Scott Maxwell from NASA[41][42][43]
  • Tadayoshi Kohno
  • Tara Hunt[44] (presented with Larry Halff from Magnolia)

The main hall was filled to capacity with almost 350 attendees.

Interesting or notable events included: Dancing with Matt Harding.

Sponsors included Blue Sky Factor, Chevrolet,, Design Reactor, General Motors, HP, Mighty Leaf Tea, Pathable, Solarwinds, SnapStream, Sony, TechSmith, Ustream, Viewzi, WeatherBug, and Wetpaint.

Pirillo also announced he was interested in doing three to four smaller one-day events across the United States in 2009, but did not give further details.


Gnomedex 9.0 was held from Friday, August 21, 2009 to Saturday, August 22, 2009. Commercial sponsors included Amazon.Com, BlogWorld, C-K Graphics, Comcast, CNN.COM, Digital River, ESET, Griffin, Hawaiian Airlines, Hewlett-Packard, ICanHasCheezBurger, Ipswitch Software, Jinx, Leatherback Printing, Mashable, Microsoft, nPost, PC Pitstop, PCC Natural Markets, PhotoJoJo, Picnik,, ReadWriteWeb, RealNetworks, Seesmic, Shozu, Starbucks, ThrowBoy, Ustream.TV and WeatherBug. Organizational sponsors included BBJ, BrighterPlanet, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Heifer International, Puget Sound Blood Center and Social Media Club Seattle.



Violet Blue - Gnomedex 10
Violet Blue - Gnomedex 10
(CC) Randy Stewart,

Gnomedex 10 was held August 19 through August 21, 2010, in Seattle, Washington at the Bell Harbor Conference Center and shared registration with pii2010 as a part of the larger Seattle Geek Week event.

Commercial sponsors included American Public Media, Atlas Networks, Banyan Branch, the Bellevue Business Journal, BlogWorld, Deploy Day, EventBrite, GirlsInTech, GoDaddy, Griffin Technologies, Hotel Max, Hover, IAmEastSide, the Issaquah Press, Jones Soda Company, Mashable, Microsoft, the Modern Media Man Summit, Parallels Holdings, PCC Natural Markets, Pipeline Deals, Pooper Trooper, PopChips, Privacy Identity Innovation, the Public Insight Network, RaceVision, RealNetworks, ReveNews, Seagate, Seattle Net Tuesday, SeattleWineGal, SmartCup, Social Media Club Seattle, SuperAntiSpyware, Swedish Medical Center, UStream.TV, Washington Technology Industry Association, WeatherBug, Yelp and Zing Bars.

The tenth Gnomedex conference had a similar schedule to previous Gnomedexes held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center, starting with registration and then a social mixer for attendees to meet.


  • Brian Solis presenting the opening keynote on community[59]
  • Trish Millines Dziko from the Technology Access Foundation on providing computer literacy skills to minorities
  • Charles Brennick of InterConnection on reusing and recycling computers
  • Austin Heap, creator of the Haystack software[60]
  • Tom Nugent
  • Todd Welch
  • Willow Brugh[61]
  • Johnny Diggz
  • Rob Knop
  • Bill Schrier
  • Amy Karlson
  • Shauna Causey and Melody Biringer
  • Larry Wu
  • Scott "Spot" Draves of Digital Sheep[62]
  • Scott and Alex Mueller of Moosicorn Ranch[63]
  • Melissa Pierce
  • Violet Blue on sexuality[64]
  • Jason Barger
  • Steven Fisher and Michael Dougherty
  • Tim Hwang
  • Matt Inman of The Oatmeal[65]
  • Seattle Wine Gal on Wine Tasting How-To's
  • OmniTechNews
  • Joe Pirillo and Judy Pirillo on 10 Years of Gnomedex

Organizers indicate that the 2010 Gnomedex will likely be the last.[66]


Gnomedex 2011 was held on November 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington at the Washington State Convention Center and held in conjunction with Seattle Interactive Conference 2011.[67]


  • Marcus Barnes-Cannon from the University of Washington discussed the PROTECT IP Act.
  • Libby Tucker discussed how technology could be used to reduce the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a/k/a "Plastic Island")
  • Shawn Ahmed of the Uncultured Project discussed global poverty and shared his own experiences providing aid in Bangladesh in the aftermath of Hurricane Sidr.
  • Michael Haley, Ph.D spoke on designing systems to function as desired.
  • Chris Burgess of Atigeo discussed cyberbullying in a talk title Unintended Consequences [68]
  • Pascal Schuback of CrisisCommons discussed how technology and open data could be used in crisis management and humanitarian aid to provide realtime data.
  • Kent Nichols of AskANinja explained how to find an audience for online video series
  • Microsoft's Robotics division gave a demo of Roborazzi, a camera-toting robot for taking pictures at social events.

Chris Pirillo said he was thinking about holding another Gnomedex in 2012 as a standalone event.


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  5. ^ Gnomedex back from another near-death experience
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  26. ^ "The 3 Rules of Mountain Biking". YouTube. 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
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  34. ^ "Tara Hunt and Larry Halff – Ma.gnolia 2". YouTube. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  35. ^ "Mark Bao – Meet Generation Y". YouTube. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
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  68. ^ Unintended Consequences

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