Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

Interview: Chris Pirillo
Tech TV,

Chris Pirillo, a former TechTV personality and creator of took the time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
Chris, tell us a little about and what you've been doing with it lately.

Chris Pirillo
Depends on how you define "lately." If you're talking a year, I've been doing a lot. If you're talking a month, I've been doing not so much. Close to a decade ago, I started Lockergnome as a single text-based newsletter for general Windows and Internet information. Today, it's more a series of content channels that range from Windows Fanatics to Internet Marketing. There are plenty of voices to follow at in 2005.

Lockergnome has more that tripled its hit count in the past year, what do you think has attributed to this?

Reinventing it, quite honestly - which was difficult to do, and a change not accepted by all. The world of content is no longer what it was in 1996, and in order to survive, Lockergnome had to transmogrify into something that was a lot more friendly to the global tech conversation. We still have
newsletters, but we're a lot more Web-page friendly than we once were. I hesitate to tell you exactly what we did to position ourselves in the landscape, but only because it'd probably bore everybody to death.

Can you explain what podcasting is?

I don't think anybody can. It's nothing more than a process that a piece of software facilitates. People make rich content, people upload rich content, RSS feed includes rich content link inside an item, Enclosure-aware news aggregator picks up on this, news aggregator synchronizes with media player playlist. If that's not podcasting, I don't know what is. It's not revolutionary, it's evolutionary. There's nothing new about Internet audio, there's nothing new about news aggregators - but the process has been simplified, which is what makes the evolution appear to be a revolution.

TechTV has really gone down hill since the days you were on it, what do you think has gone wrong?

Everything, and I doubt it'll ever get better in the eyes of the fans. I'm sure the network in its current form attracts a handful of viewers, but I don't see half as much passion or buzz coming from new or existing communities these days. I was lucky to have been doing Lockergnome for so
long before I fell into TechTV's lap. What went wrong? Society! Seriously, mainstream viewers will never want to watch a TechTV-type of network. It's questionable whether or not gamers will ever put down their controller long enough to watch a video game network, too. Not my problem - I've got bigger and better fish to fry now.

You are into so many areas on the Internet, where do you get your energy?

It took me long enough to respond to this, eh? Unfortunately, there's only so much time in the day - and I wish I had more. It's not so much the energy that keeps me going, it's the understanding of how to manage my resources. I've been doing this for so long, that much of "it" is second nature. I had to eliminate coffee from my daily routine, BTW.

How many e-books have you written?

Not too many, actually. At one time, I found doing them to be quite lucrative, but getting people to spend money on anything online can be a terrible challenge. I'd much rather help people find what they're looking for... it's easier and a much more cost effective use of my time.

You once said that "E-mail is a polluted medium", since then it has gotten even worse. Where do you see the future of e-mail?

It'll still be around, but I see it fading in importance - especially when compared to data formats better suited to granular content. RSS, for instance, is a much better delivery mechanism. There's no argument here, sadly. Remember, I wrote *THE* book on email publishing back in the day (late '90s).

What new projects are you working on?

Gnomedex! Everybody dreams of meeting industry influencers face to face, and Lockergnome is bringing a few of them to Seattle for the fifth annual Gnomedex - a conference for entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts. This year's theme: Producing, Consuming, & Monetizing Technology. The weekend-long event will be taking place at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center from June 23-25, 2005. Both Wi-Fi and power strips will be provided to attendees,
two items that are essential for the success of any technology conference. For more information and online registration, just go to BTW, Adam Curry is this year's keynote speaker!

What do you feel has been your best accomplishment?

Good question. I'll take a step back and look at the big picture by saying: independence. Nobody breathing down my neck, nobody telling me what to wear, nobody tellin... oops. I take that back. I'm engaged to a wonderful woman. :)


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