IgniteJoshBronyism
Blog, Video

Bronyism in Modern Culture: My Five Minute Ignite Portland Talk on Why I Love My Little Pony

I’ve been involved with Ignite Portland from the very beginning. I helped get it started five years ago, and helped lead the planning of the event nine times. I’ve taken a break from planning the event, but it will always hold a place in my heart. After Ignite Portland 10, almost on a whim, I submitted a talk proposal entitled “Bronyism in Modern Culture: WTF is Up with My Little Pony?!“. Fast forward a few months, my talk idea was selected, and I shared it in Ignite format (20 slides, 15 seconds each, total of 5 minutes) on stage in front of about 500 people at Ignite Portland 11 on September 19, 2012.

This is the (very well done!) final video of my talk:

The highlight of the event was the people who came up to me afterwards, to introduce themselves as fellow bronies and pegasisters. Sometimes boldly, sometimes bashfully. It was wonderful to meet them, and share that connection.

Some people commented to me that I was really brave to share what I did, but it didn’t feel like bravery to me. Sure, I was a little nervous (about talking, not about the topic). But I was able to share something I love in front of a large audience, and I didn’t die. You won’t, either. Keep that in mind the next time you’re facing something that makes you nervous.

You can view/download the slide deck on Slideshare. I used Pinterest to research and gather material for my talk, and credits for all the amazing artwork and photography I used in the talk can be found here: http://pinterest.com/jabancroft/ponies/

Thanks to the show’s creators, cast, and the brony community for being awesome! brohoof :-)

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Portland Ignites Gnomedex

Speaking of Ignite Portland, Chris and Ponzi Pirillo, and the other organizers of the best geek conference I’ve ever been to, Gnomedex, pinged me last week to see if any Ignite Portland alumni would be interested in giving their talks at Gnomedex 8.0 this year.

As a result, at Gnomedex on Saturday morning, there’s going to be a “mini-Ignite Portland” with selections of popular talks from past Ignite Portland events. (This isn’t an official Legion of Tech event.) There’s also going to be a similar “mini Ignite Seattle” on Friday afternoon, with Brady Forest and his cadre of Igniters.

I somehow got roped into being the “emcee’, introducing the talks, etc (I’m not crazy about getting up on stage), but I hope to get through the intro quickly and sit down fast. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rick Turoczy over at Silicon Florist has a writeup, with a list of the talks that will be featured, and you can see the “speaker bio” page for the talks on the Gnomedex site.

Here are the talks that are migrating north to Seattle:

The coolest thing about all of this? The idea for Ignite Portland was hatched at last year’s Gnomedex. They highlighted some of the previous evening’s Ignite Seattle talks, and I loved them. The energy and excitement were off the charts, and I immediately started thinking (and Twitter-ing) about how awesome it would be to do an Ignite event in Portland. Connections and plans were made, venues were filled to capacity, Legion of Tech was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Besides the obvious coolness of these talks, there’s something poetic about Ignite Portland making an appearance at Gnomedex. It goes to show that a lot of really cool things can happen in the space of one year! :-)

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Tonight we Ignite Portland for the Third Time

Tonight is Ignite Portland 3. We’re having it at the Bagdad Theater again, because that venue was just awesome last time, and it fits the spirit and character of Ignite Portland to a tee. The presentation lineup is just stellar, and we have a (hopefully) more streamlined “advance tickets + general admission” that should reduce the size of the lines (which stretched for BLOCKS for Ignite Portland 2) but still let people just show up and get it. The 450+ free advance tickets were gone in less than 24 hours, and there’s every indication that we’re going to pack the Bagdad to fire code again (700+).

If you’re coming, look for me and say “hi!”. I’ll be the geek in the cargo pants, black t-shirt, and bright orange Crocs. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you can’t make it, you can still partake in the parts of the event that will take place online (the backchannel chatter on Twitter, watch the videos tomorrow, etc.). I just put up a post on igniteportland.com with details on how to experience Ignite to the fullest.

I’m very proud to be one of the organizers of such a cool, popular event. The folks from Legion of Tech (a non profit organization we formed to manage organizing events like Ignite Portand, BarCamp Portland, Startupalooza, and the monthly LoT Happy Hour meetups) are awesome in every way, and I’m humbled and honored to get to work with them (I’m on the board). I can’t wait to see how IP3 turns out tonight, and I’m already looking forward to Ignite Portland 4! :-)

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Today’s your last chance to submit Ignite Portland 3 presentation ideas

Holy cow! Ignite Portland 3 is sneaking up on us, fast! The event will be held on June 18, at the Bagdad Theater in Portland (same place it was last time – RSVP at Upcoming). Know what that means? It means that today, May 28, is the last day we’re accepting presentation idea submissions. Cutoff is midnight (PDT).

If you’ve taken part in Ignite Portland before, you know that the mix of 5 minute, 20 slide presentations is all over the map – pepper to rockets, Dr. Seuss to David Hasselhoff. That’s what makes it so awesome! But we are totally, 100% dependent on YOU for all of those cool ideas and presentations (I sound like a public radio fund drive, don’t I? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

We had a shorter submission window this time, and I think we’ve gotten a lower number of ideas submitted (I’d have to check on that). Know what that means? It means the chances of YOUR idea getting selected to present is HIGHER THAN EVER.

So head on over to the submission page before midnight, give us a summary of who you are and what your presentation idea is, and help us to make Ignite Portland 3 even MORE awesome than the last two! We’ve got a reputation to uphold here, people, and we’re counting on you.

Don’t let the Portland geeky crafty bacon-y crowd down! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Ignite Portland 2 was one of the best nights of my life!

Now that I’ve had a couple of days to recover, here’s my recap post about Ignite Portland 2. It was, in short, one of the best nights of my life. It was so amazing to see how it all came together – the volunteers, the presenters, and the crowd. The crowd! We filled up the Bagdad – they had to cut people off at about 750, and we were so sorry to have to turn away about 150 people (from what I was told). Rick Turoczy of Silicon Florist has done an incredible job of rounding up everyone’s take on the evening. Don’ t miss his roundup post.

The best moment of the night came when I was sitting in my seat, down in front, surrounded by people who had worked so hard to make this happen, and who had become good friends in the process. And we, in turn, were surrounded by all the amazing volunteers, speakers, and sponsors that made it even possible. And we were all in turn surrounded by a crowd of exited people, enjoying themselves in a very cool theater. It all just sank down on me right then, a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling. I realized that this was the coolest thing I have accomplished so far in my life. :-)

So, here are some photos and commentary of how the evening went, from my point of view. I was the first to arrive at the Bagdad, at about 3:00 PM, to get set up. Plus, I had never been to the Bagdad, and I wanted to check the place out. It’s a beautiful building, and has a very cool “Portland’ vibe.

I was also surprised to see “Ignite Portland” up on the main marquee, since I thought we had asked them not to put it up there (we knew we didn’t need help drawing any more of a crowd!):

Marquee

I went inside, and looked around before Todd, Dawn, and the others arrived. I fell in love with the Bagdad – it’s a very cool place. As you’ll soon see…

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