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January 25, 2010

O'Reilly Media Alert: Global Ignite Week Reaches Over 70 Cities; At Least 12,000 Expected to Attend: New Bing Map Displays Ignite Venues Around the World

Sebastopol, CA—The first annual Global Ignite Week, coming March 1-5, 2010, is gaining steam. At least 12,000 knowledge-seekers around the planet will be attending Ignite events in cities spanning six continents. Driven by the desire to share their passions and interests, volunteers are organizing Ignites in cities including Cape Town, Warsaw, Casablanca, Anchorage, São Paulo, New York City, Seattle, Sydney, and Bangalore. While the event originally was slated to extend across four nights, it's been expanded to five to accommodate all of the cities that want to participate.

"We've been blown away by the response to Global Ignite Week," said Ignite co-founder and O'Reilly Media Technical Evangelist Brady Forrest. "We were hoping for events in 40 cities, and now have commitments from volunteer organizers in 72 cities on every continent except Antarctica. And now that the space station has an Internet connection, we're thinking about Ignite ISS."

So what's the essence of Ignite? The New York Times recently described one Ignite NYC this way: "This new type of party mashes together Silicon Alley 1.0's camaraderie and optimism, meetup.com's spontaneity and informality, Burning Man's home-brewed creativity, and a technology conference's devotion to unveiling ideas."

During Global Ignite Week (@ignite), impassioned speakers from all walks of life—entrepreneurs, technologists, DIYers, artists, farmers, and creative professionals—will present innovative ideas and solutions in pubs and theaters before an enthusiastic, often standing-room-only hometown crowd. In exactly five minutes, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, they'll aim to live up to the Ignite motto: "Enlighten us, but make it quick." Ignite topics range from developing iPhone apps to the future of news to the secrets of great designers (spoiler: they steal) to the virtues of beekeeping.

Bing has stepped up as the first Global Ignite Week Founding Sponsor. "At Bing, we share the passion of wallowing in the wonder of community-generated 100% awesomeness that is Global Ignite Week," said Aya Zook, Bing Product Manager. "Much like our mission to unearth the best, most relevant content quickly across the web, Ignite is the physical gateway for discovering cool ideas and new heroes we might not encounter otherwise. Fast, fun insights told locally, shared globally. To be part of the broadening of this phenomenon is exciting for us. And beer. Beer is cool too."

A new online map, built with Bing Maps, displays where Global Ignite events are taking place around the world: http://oreilly.com/go/global-ignite-map. In a perfect demonstration of the Ignite spirit, the map was created as a labor of love by Ignite volunteer Michael "Van" Riper.

Global Ignite Week is both an in-person and online event. Local Ignites plan to stream live video during the event, and video of their talks will be archived afterwards. Some 500 five-minute session videos will be available on the new Ignite video site, to be launched in conjunction with the event. For a sampling of the best Ignite videos to date, see the current Ignite Show channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ignite.

To find more information on how to lead an event in your city, see: http://ignite.oreilly.com/faq/how-to.html

For more information about Global Ignite Week and to see if there is an event in your area, see: http://www.globaligniteweek.com

To view the Global Ignite Week map, see: http://oreilly.com/go/global-ignite-map

PR on Ignites around the world to date: http://delicious.com/idmat/ignitepr

Find more information on Twitter and Facebook or follow the hashtag #GIW for up-to-the-minute information.

For information about sponsoring Global Ignite Week, contact Sara Winge at sara@oreilly.com.

About Ignite
Ignite got its start in Seattle in December, 2006, as a personal project of O'Reilly's Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. They dreamed up an event where people could share their ideas over beer, and sent word out through their network. On December 7, two hundred Seattle geeks looking for "a fun night of geekery and networking" squeezed into a bar on Capitol Hill. They found beer, but so much more. First up, a friendly but intense competition to build the sturdiest popsicle-stick bridge. Then 25 intrepid locals took a turn on the stage for their five-minute Ignite talks. The consensus was that it was a blast. Word got out, and other communities wanted Ignite in their cities. Brady and Bre turned the event over to O'Reilly, and nearly 200 Ignites have been held, about half of them in the past year. As Ignite enters its fourth year, O'Reilly is launching Global Ignite Week to both celebrate and amplify the Ignite phenomenon.

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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