Geekadelphia closes its doors

Eric Smith is the co-founder of Geekadelphia. | Hannah Siddiqui
Hannah Siddiqui

One of the staples in Philadelphia’s geek culture will be taking a much-deserved break at the end of 2017. After ten successful years, the Geekadelphia blog will be going on an indefinite hiatus starting January 1, 2018.

Since its first post on November 29, 2007, Geekadelphia has helped keep area geeks informed of the area’s geeky happenings, which of course only increased in quantity as “geekdom” increased in popularity. The blog promoted everything from special exhibits at the Franklin Institute and Academy of Natural Sciences to events such as nerd-themed comedy or burlesque performances. In addition, experts on all facets of the culture kept loyal readers thoroughly engaged with in-depth reviews of the latest comic book titles and movies.

Eric Smith and Tim Quirino were inspired to co-found Geekadelphia by, really, “Tim’s adventures running around the city in a Stormtrooper outfit.”

“I poured myself into Geekadelphia in the beginning because my day job was soul-crushing,” Quirino explains. “I was the only designer at a small retail company that had no idea what they were doing selling things online. Feeling depressed and isolated, Eric and I started documenting our adventures in costume around Philadelphia.”

From such a unique launchpad, something bigger was quickly produced.

“It quickly became an outlet for writing about stuff no one else was covering: local comic book artists, local game developers, quirky events and the like,” Smith says. “It ended up filling a niche that was missing coverage, and I’m glad we were able to do that.”

While geeks now had a voice for their interests through the blog, a humble Smith explains that he didn’t think Geekadelphia was responsible for shaping the landscape of geek culture in Philadelphia. “It’s always been there, doing its thing, being awesome and fun, but I am sure of how it brought people together,” Smith muses.

Mikey Ilagan, Geekadelphia’s current editor-in-chief, also agrees on the closeness of the community that Geekadelphia has helped to bring about. He began his career with the blog when he and Quirino were selected for the Ford Fiesta Movement, a social media marketing campaign with Ford. “I’ve met countless people through Geekadelphia and you could say it’s had a profound impact on my circle of friends and even the relationship with my now-wife, Allie,” Ilagan says.

Quirino agrees. “Geekadelphia became the interface by which we were able to plug into the groups and people that made Philadelphia’s tech/nerd scene what it is today,” he says. “We didn’t make it happen, we just helped bring everyone together through events, coverage, and ultimately through the awards. What everyone else did after that was purely out of mutual respect, fun and excitement.”

The “awards” that Quirino refers to are the annual Philly Geek Awards, perhaps Geekadelphia’s most visible endeavor. Since the kickoff ceremony in 2011, the black-tie event has recognized the top names in local geeky industries, ranging from scientists to video game developers to even bloggers and comic artists. In 2016, local geeky partners Technically Philly and Generocity joined Geekadelphia in sponsoring and managing the event. And while Geekadelphia may be going silent for the time being, Ilagan assures Philadelphia geeks that the Philly Geek Awards are here to stay and will return in 2018.

Through the remainder of 2017, loyal Geekadelphia readers can expect to see the site’s signature coverage and reviews of all things locally nerdy, with goodbye letters and retrospectives from its writers added into the mix. While no new content will be posted to Geekadelphia come 2018, the content that already exists on the blog will remain in place; the site will not be coming down or going offline in any way. Additionally, Geekadelphia’s various social media channels, including its Twitter and Facebook feeds, will remain active continuing to promote local geeky content and events.

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