What if we could get Wil Wheaton to show up for Open Source Bridge?

Every so often, we’re struck by some interesting serendipity here in Portland. It’s part of what makes this town so amazing. Now, I’m wondering if we can take advantage of some of that serendipity—yet again.

You see, this week we’re experiencing a little happenstance with Open Source Bridge geekiness and Wil Wheaton geekiness all happening at the same time.

What if…? What if we could combine the two?

Open Source Bridge—the entirely volunteer run open source conference launching this week—is drawing some extremely impressive speakers into town.

Like who? Like Rasmus Lerdorf, without whom we may have never had PHP, the code that runs Facebook, this blog, and millions of other Web sites. Like Brian Aker who has been critical to MySQL development—another open source project that makes much of today’s Web possible. And of course, like hometown favorite Ward Cunningham, father of the Wiki. And that’s just a smattering. There are tons of others like them descending upon Portland for OSBridge.

Meanwhile, actor Wil Wheaton—himself, the worthy recipient of a great deal of geek cred thanks to his books and, of course, his work on Star Trek: The Next Generationhappens to be in Portland this week, as well, filming a part for Leverage.

It’s rare to have this many techie rock stars in town all on one occasion. What are the chances? Better yet, what are the chances that we could mix all of that geeky goodness together by convincing Wil to make an appearance at Open Source Bridge?

Is it possible? Who knows?

I do, however, know this: Portland loves open source. And Portland loves Wil Wheaton. And that sort of Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate kind of moment can’t be ignored.

We’re trying to see if we can convince him to show up on our favorite news show, KGW The Square. And if that happens, it seems like an Open Source Bridge appearance is possible. Doesn’t it? I mean, can you imagine how cool it would be to have Wil Wheaton at OSBridge being interviewed by Strange Love Live? What kind of techie Portland moment would that be?

One thing is for sure: Portland folks always seem to make the most improbable things happen—and this could be yet another one of those opportunities to prove it. I bet we could do it if we put a little energy into it. Don’t you?

How do we do it? I don’t know. Maybe drop @wilw a tweet with a polite and not-too-crazy fanboi or fangrrl invitation? Maybe write a blog post or two? Maybe see if the Leverage folks—like our favorite casting director Lana Veenker—can work a little magic?

You’re creative. I’m sure you’ll come up with something.

I mean, if you can make #seriously trend on Twitter, you can do anything, right? I mean, right?

So, go get ’em tiger! I’m confident you’ll make it happen. And I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for Wil at Open Source Bridge.

Stranger things have happened.

(Image courtesy tararebeka. Used under Creative Commons.)


  1. He’s just this guy, you know?

    And sadly, he can’t come:

  2. I’m not trying to squash anyone’s plan – but I recently started following @wilw and found a blog post he wrote about how he’s not too fond of being referred to by and/or approached b/c of his past acting roles. I’m only sharing this b/c I would be the first to scream “Gordy!!! OMG Gordy!” if I saw him, but that’s cuz I’m a complete and utter tool. I want my fellow Portlanders to avoid this embarrassment – not that I’m implying that any of you are tools. Exactly the opposite, in fact. Perhaps we could create an event about how excited we are to have “Leverage” filming in Portland. What’s his favorite beer? Maybe we need to have a “whatever his favorite beer is”-only tweetup and try to bribe him out to see us?…I don’t know, just throwing out ideas here. I totally think Portland can make it happen.

  3. Perhaps it’d be kind to do something for him while he’s in town. What creative thing could we do that pays tribute to the great Wil Wheaton?

    For example, we could:
    – Interview attendees via video camera about their favorite tech moments of Wil: his thoughts on Linux in Just a Geek, his blogging about DRM, etc.
    – A mashup of one of his performances on Star Trek with some song.
    – ?
    – ?

  4. Thanks, Randal! That was incredibly kind of you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’ve dropped him a link to this article. I’m apparently not friends enough with him that he had even dropped a note that he’d be in town, sadly. ๐Ÿ™ But sometimes, my email gets through.

  6. As of several years ago, Wil Wheaton was friends with Randal Schwartz (@merlyn), Portlander, Perl expert and host of FLOSS Weekly. I think it’s the single L first name that brought them together.

  7. I’m too tired to make a “Stand By Me”/lure-@wilw-with-the-promise-of-seeing-a-dead-body comment that doesn’t come across as just plain creepy. They’re all funny in my head, though.

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