Jill Sybesma does not look like your typical geek. No pocket protector, tape on her glasses, or glasses, period. But she is among a group of innovators and artists being celebrated for their contributions to the city.
On Friday, Philadelphia tech blog Geekadelphia and the Academy of Natural Sciences are teaming up to present Philly’s first-ever Geek Awards. With more than 50 nominees in 14 different categories, the awards range from local podcasts to comics.
“It’s a chance to show off our geeky collections here at the Academy and become the place to go for geeky events,” explained Sybesma, the Adult Programs Coordinator of the Academy.
Eric Smith, founder of Geekadelphia, first came up with the awards with co-founder Tim Quirino, as a way to acknowledge and honor local achievements that were not recognized on a large scale.
The categories for awards were chosen due to the blog’s expertise. Founded in 2006, Geekadelphia started their website as a way to blog their “geeky misadventures.” What started with filming themselves dressed up as storm troopers turned into a channel for Philadelphia tech news, with over 3,000 visits a day.
“There are a ton of communities here in Philly that embrace the geeks” Smith said. “I’m proud to run an outlet that supports people doing cool things.”
Organizers are taking the night seriously, too. “Think of it as the local Daytime Emmy of the Webby Awards” the event’s website informs.