A brush with geek stardom

Critter has been finishing up his college studies, and one of the last classes he’s having to take is one centering around the internet and new media, or something like that.  Basically he just reads books and has to blog about them.  Anyway, the other night his usual professor wasn’t able to make it, but instead this other guy showed up.

He basically just came in, opened up his laptop, and spent the next hour and a half talking nonstop about a dozen different internet-related subjects at top speed, jumping from one to the next seemingly at random in a ADD-fueled tornado of geekiness.  Apparently the guy fit a certain stereotype exactly:  hipster-cool dress, fast-talking over people’s heads, bespectacled, and with that “smart guy” voice you always hear in movies.  Since nobody knew who this guy was and he seemed to be just winging it, the students just sat there and tried to make sense of it.

“Wait, it gets better,” Critter said.  “He had his webcam on, and there were like 600 people watching and typing stuff into his chat window!  It was kinda freaky.”  I said that maybe he’s someone higher up in the geek strata (there is such a thing!), so I asked if he remembered the guy’s name.  “Yeah, it was, um…Chris something.  Pirillo.”  That rang a bell, but before I could say it, he said “His MacBook had a cartoon logo of himself on it.  He’s got some site called Locker Gnome.”

Hah!  I had to laugh…I totally know about lockergnome, it’s basically Chris Pirillo‘s blogging empire of all things tech.  As self-made internet successes go, he’s in the top 10 or higher.  Very famous guy in the “technology evangelism” biz.  I didn’t know he’s a Seattleite, though.  And how weird that he just showed up one night for this class and spent the entire time just talking about random tech stuff…  Some of the students later said they weren’t sure what they were meant to get out of it, but maybe if she had explained who their guest was beforehand it might have made more sense.  To them, it was just some random nerd with a laptop.  I thought that was kinda funny. 🙂

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