One geek to rule them all

· Book News, Weblog Concepts

Starting off with free email newsletters and a curious brand name, Chris Pirillo has emerged as enfantrepreneur terrible on the web scene.
After traditional publishing companies and venture driven ghastlies dumped megabucks pursuing the e-book millennium during the dotcom folly, the word among publishers and authors these days is that e-publishing turned out to be a bunch of hokum, when in fact Chris’s GnomeTomes enterprise is doing a steady business in that nascent field. (Disclaimer: later this year I will be bringing out a series of targeted blog-software handbooks – Nanopublishing with… – with the assistance of GnomeTomes.)
Meanwhile, the Gnomedex conference has busted out as a must-attend for the digerati. They’re announcing this year’s Gnomedex now (“The Fellowship of the Geeks”) and I think you’ll have to agree that $99 buys a lot of bang for the buck in Iowa.
Of course, Chris is also the host of TechTV’s Call for Help show, he writes a column for CPU Magazine, I think he’s even coauthoring a book with the dreaded John C. Dvorak.
Naturally he has a popular blog, a beautiful wife, glamorous groupies, a crack staff of compadres, and seemingless endless inventiveness and energy.
I definitely plan to attend Gnomedex this year. First, though, I’ve got the annual Waterside Publishing Conference coming up (April 10-12) looming. It turns out the hotel (the Radisson) is having their Internet access overhauled the weekend of our conference, so it looks like we’ll need to go through SBC (formerly SBC Pacbell, formerly Pacbell) or an independent Berkeley DSL company to get a three-day line put in. SBC quoted us $400. Doesn’t that seem high?
I’m determined to make our conference wireless and bloggable. I’m hoping to finally, formally launch my “Agent7” blog about technology publishing and publishing technology in time to cover the conference there live. John Ross has been a huge help in getting that set up.
But back to Chris. His blog won the best techie blog Bloggie this year, I think. And the conference, with its “One geek to rule them all” slogan seems like a gauntlet throw-down to me. Doctorow vs. Pirillo celebrity-death match?