SXSW Das IronGeek Reveals First Four Press/Influencer Competitors; Adds Last “Challenge” with Triviatise

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Joshua Baer, Amanda Coolong, Harry McCracken and Nan Palmero Vie for “Geekiest” Crown Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two weeks from today the rigorous Das IronGeek competition will ensue at SXSW to crown “the geekiest” journalist, blogger or influencer. To be held Tuesday, March 15, 2011, Das IronGeek puts competitors through a series of five challenges created by participating companies Das Keyboard, MapQuest, Seidio, SoftLayer, and newly announced addition, Triviatise. And today, the first four of six influencer competitors for the Das IronGeek crown were revealed as: Joshua Baer, Amanda Coolong, Harry McCracken and Nan Palmero.

A Competitive Fleet of Influencers:
These four competitors collectively represent old school long time tech industry analysis and young buck social networking influencers; California and Texas; men and women; and entrepreneurs, consultants and journalists.

  •     Joshua Baer, @joshuabaer, is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, co-founder of Austin incubator Capital Factory, and one of the most connected people in Austin. Business highlights include creating and selling SKYLIST, one of the first email marketing companies, to Datran Media, and currently running OtherInbox. Not a traditional journalist, Josh is a blogger, social media junkie, and influencer representing the ATX in Das IronGeek.
  •     Amanda Coolong, @acoolong, is COO, executive producer and host of TechZulu, an independent news organization delivering an insightful story of the technology industry by highlighting the personalities behind the brands. She has over a decade of experience working with entrepreneurs and early stage technology startups.
  •     Harry McCracken, @harrymccracken, is a 2+ decade influencer in the tech community, writing and analyzing technology, hardware and software, of all sorts. He spent years at IDG, including leading PC World editorial content. For the past few years, he's been building the well regarded Technologizer brand, now a partner of and contributor to Time Magazine.
  •     Nan Palmero, @nanpalmero, is a contributing writer for the San Antonio Express-News, the BlackBerry Power User on BlackBerryCool and Chief Inspiration Officer at Salesby5. He spends his holidays being a nerd-to-English translator and fixing gadgets that aren’t really broken for friends and family.

The challenges these four, and two others to be revealed, will be put through are designed to be technology-related activities, things a “geek” would ideally know how to do and do well. For the 2011 Das IronGeek, competitions include:

  •     Newly announced, Triviatise, a brand new technology solution launching at SXSW that enables brands to interact with and educate their audiences through a fun set of trivia questions. For Das IronGeek, Triviatise will create a custom set of SXSW themed trivia questions.
  •      A typing contest from Das Keyboard, creator of innovative technology products, including a world-renowned line of keyboards. Das Keyboard is also the presenting sponsor of Das IronGeek.
  •     MapQuest, Inc., which provides maps, directions and discovery through clean, simple and intuitive experiences, has a super-secret activity that will bring out the inner-child in all participants.
  •     A smartphone use-case challenge from Houston-based Seidio, manufacturer of premium smartphone accessories.
  •     A build-a-server competition from SoftLayer, a leader in on-demand web hosting and data center services.

All companies can be followed at their own twitter handles: @MapQuestTech, @daskeyboard, @SoftLayer (Formerly @ThePlanet), @seidioseidio, @triviatise or @dasirongeek.

Das IronGeek will be held at 3 pm central time Tuesday, March 15, 2011, with the champion crowned at the SXSW tradeshow. Press interested in covering please contact Laura Beck. Details on Das IronGeek can be followed through out at @dasirongeek and #irongeek.

About Triviatise
Triviatise is located in beautiful Austin, TX. It is a trivia based advertising platform that increases brand engagement by using giveaways of an advertiser’s products as an incentive for consumers to learn about a company’s services or products and to answer questions that reinforce the learning. Trivia based advertising is a way to drive traffic to your site, keep visitors to your site reading longer, get them to the see the information you want them to remember and improve retention of the information.

About Das Keyboard
Das Keyboard is a sub-division of Metadot Corporation, a privately held technology company headquartered in Austin, TX dedicated to delivering innovative technology products to increase productivity and lower costs. Developed in 2005, Das Keyboard has been praised by major media outlets, techie magazines, geeks and regular people who use a keyboard for the entire workday. For more information, please visit or

About MapQuest
MapQuest provides Internet, mobile, and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people research and discover: where is it, how I get there and what’s nearby. MapQuest is one of the leading mapping brands online, offering maps and directions, and reaching more than 42.5 million users in December 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix. MapQuest’s mobile solutions are compatible with a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone and BlackBerry devices. MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc, is based in Denver, Colo.

About Seidio
Seidio started in 2002 in the bustling metropolitan city of Houston, Texas. As technology and devices have evolved, Seidio has maintained its philosophy of creating premium products infused with innovation and quality. Seidio provides an array of products including screen guards, extended life batteries, three levels of protective cases, charging docks, car kits, and more. Its accessories work together to provide a whole array of smartphone solutions. For more information on the Seidio entire product line, please go to

About SoftLayer Technologies
Headquartered in Dallas, SoftLayer is the innovation leader in on-demand web hosting and data center services. As the largest hosting company in the world, SoftLayer lets customers create dedicated, cloud, or seamless hybrid computing environments, leveraging the company’s world-class data center facilities in Dallas, Houston, Seattle, and Washington D.C., and network Points of Presence nationwide. SoftLayer integrates and automates all elements of its platform, empowering enterprises of any size with complete control, security, scalability, and ease-of-management via a leading Customer Portal and Open API. For more information, please visit or call 866.398.7638.

About Das IronGeek
Started at SXSW 2010, Das IronGeek was created by Das Keyboard to offer technology influencers, journalists and bloggers a fun opportunity to compete over a set of “geeky” challenges at events and tradeshows. Das IronGeek encompasses a set of different competitions, testing different “strength areas” for competing influencers. Whether a typing speed contest or accuracy in building a server, Das IronGeek helps determine which influencers are truly geekiest. For more information, see, follow us on twitter @dasirongeek, and track activity with #irongeek.


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Laura Beck
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