Thursday, October 10, 2013

The 2013 XOXO awards

By now you most likely have read several blog posts depicting the inspirational and motivational nature of the 2013 XOXO festival. All of them perfectly capture the essence of the event, so why the fuck add to the list? Well, I wanted to take a different approach in describing my experience at the festival. For me, the most appealing aspect of the festival was the human connections it created. As many have stated, the Internet descended on Portland and I got a chance to converse with some fantastic individuals that are part of the maker movement. My hope is that through this blog post (my 1st ever) you'll be able to get a small glimpse into the festival and the amazing folks it attracts.

I intend on accomplishing this by presenting the inaugural XOXO awards. This highlights my observations of festival activities, people I met and things I learned. Before I introduce the 2013 winners, a few things to note. First, I'm calling the trophy the XOE [ex-sooo-eee]. Secondly, this is based exclusively on my judgment. Lastly, I have asshole tendencies, so you’ve been forewarned.

Best dressed
Jadel M displayed style like no other.

Best bot

The drunkest
The weather

Coolest shirt
Will Turnage had 3D printed shirt buttons that lit up. To view this and other festival shirts, search for #xoxoshirts within Instagram.

Best animated .GIF
Not sure who these lovely people are, but having been there, this must have taken a significant amount of coordination. The end result is just plain awesome.

Note the background wall is made entirely out of 3.5" floppy disks.

By the way, the ladies managing the photo booth were by far the most animated though...loved their energy and enthusiasm! 

Best organizer
Gary Chou organized several breakfast/lunch/dinner events before the start of the conference. Attendance was high and it gave many of us an opportunity to make new friends. Thank you Gary!

Best hair
Alex Bignell would make Fabio's hair follicles tremble.

Best stage dancer
Liam Campbell was the only male brave enough to get on-stage with Jack Conte and he rocked it!

Most contagious laugh
When Emmet Connoly laughs, so will you.

Walking encyclopedia
If Google were a human being, it would be Andrew Cedotal...except Google would have attended Stanford instead of Yale :)

Best non-XOXO attraction
The goats, without a doubt.

Longest distance traveled
Brian Henriquez, all the way from Japan!

"Suckiest" Twitter handle

Funniest person
None was funnier than Seth Stell...that's a fact.

Drunkest of them all
The winner doesn't remember a thing...

Most intriguing head banging technique
Andy Baio during the Anamanaguchi set. Does anyone have video of this?

Best contribution to the Oregon economy
Brian Watson, who received a speeding ticket on his way back from Nike HQ. Rumor has it that it was in a car2go vehicle. If that were to be true, it'd be quite the feat.

Best excuse for losing at Super Pole Riders
"My controller doesn't work," by Ben Purdy. To be fair, his controller did stop working and I was a lousy partner.

Coolest moment
The "oh shit!" circle dance during the Jack Conte music act. I believe at some point during the performance he sprayed liquid nitrogen into the crowd. I was fairly drunk by then, so I could have been imagining that :)

Best event video
Eddie Codel had a drone attached to his backpack and would fly it around on occasion. You can see aerial footage taken by this drone here.

Best XOXO book submission
The inspired bear from Ben Werdmuller was creative, funny and it perfectly illustrates the awesomeness that is XOXO.

Best open bar
All of them!

The festival was a blast in every regard. Should there be another iteration of it, I highly suggest you consider attending, for it will inspire you, make you cry uncontrollably and lead you to “realize that making shit can be a lonely journey.” Now go outside…


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