Ignite Philly was back for its tenth go-round last night at Johnny Brenda’s. The event sold out weeks ago.
Before we get to the awards, here’s Ignite Philly by the numbers, as presented by event co-organizers Geoff DiMasi, Dana Vachon and David Clayton:
- 152 speakers (though the organizers noted Ignite Philly 10 had a few speakers below the event’s average, with only 13 talks last night)
- 7 hand-drawn slideshows
- 3 references to blowing up I-95
And if you’re wondering if you should go to the next one, this is what DiMasi of web dev shop P’unk Ave has to say about that: “If you’re asking who’s speaking at Ignite Philly, you’re doing it wrong. Just fucking come.”
Now, in what’s become a little Technically Philly tradition, we hand out some awards, including Best Overall, Best Lightning Summary of a Very Complicated Project and Raunchiest Talk (Yet Also the Most Loving).
It was tough but this award goes to David Devan, general director of the Philadelphia Opera Company. He got the crowd pumped (and laughing) about opera — some would say that’s no easy feat — and what the company is doing to make itself relevant today.
“If an opera company can make community work,” he said, “anyone can make community work.”
Catch a bit of his presentation below.
BEST EVENT PROMOTION
Joe Patitucci’s Powerpoint was straightforward: “Single nerds + free beer!”
Patitucci, part of the plant-made musical (yes) trio Data Garden, presented about his music and plugged Switched-On Garden 002, an upcoming Data Garden event at Bartram’s Garden, that he said would be an “awesome place to be seen if you’re a single nerd.”
With events like those, who needs OkCupid?
BEST DRAWINGS IN A SLIDESHOW
This self-explanatory award (see above) goes to developer Owen Winkler in his presentation “What Open Source Means to Me.”
Kahn’s Powerpoint had gems like, “How does one make a web comic? Have a strong love for Ramen,” but he also gave more serious tips like, make friends with the web comic community, post comics when you say you will and offer exclusive content in your comic books.
“Yes,” he said, “people still want physical books!”
BEST LIGHTNING SUMMARY OF A VERY COMPLICATED PROJECT
Youngmoo Kim, professor at Drexel University and the Geek Awards’ Scientist of the Year, spoke about Drexel’s new ExCITe Center, a broad partnership to push “STEAM” education – that’s science, technology, education, arts and math. The physical building that will house the program is under construction now, he says. But honestly, we couldn’t sum up this program better than he does, so watch him below.
RAUNCHIEST TALK (YET ALSO THE MOST LOVING)
We almost gave this award to Tiffany Schaff, who presented about volunteer organization One Brick and lead her presentation with the question, “How can volunteering increase your sex drive?” (If you’re curious, it was a fake out, but Schaff definitely piqued the audience’s interest.) But Albert Lee‘s love letter to his girlfriend — Philadelphia — has to win this award.
In the last presentation of the night, Lee, who works at the Independence Visitor Center and whose business card actually reads “Mr. Philadelphia,” bemoaned I <3 NY shirts (“Don’t wear that shit here!”) and listed a bunch of insulting Philly titles – Worst Sports Fans, etc. – and tweets, saying “I can’t stand when people talk shit on my girlfriend.”
Fortunately, Lee said, it’s an open relationship. “Everybody gets a ride.”
But Mr. Philadelphia is still a romantic. Nearing the end of his talk, he said about Philly, “She takes a backseat to no one.”