Top Ten Sexy Geeks: 2011

Jane McGonigal by Joi Ito

It’s been a year of outstanding sexiness, and a time when geeks come in a dazzling, pulse-quickening array of flavors. As more and more people are hip to online life, the world of sexy geeks expands – with authentic sexy geeks, and those of us who think they’re the tastiest flavor in the world. Thanks to the many, many people who contributed to this list. You knew what you liked, and you told me, and I have to say, you’ve got great taste. Geeks – real geeks and nerds – know the difference between the real sexy geeks and the fake. It’s why you can’t have a Buffy movie without Joss Whedon, and you can’t name Mark Zuckerberg Man of the Year and expect us to go along with that stupidity.

Basically, if a nominee’s resume looked to me like a 2.0 con man rap sheet, they are not on this list.

Kurt Collins Sexy GeekPrevious years around here included Brady Forrest, Zadi Diaz, Crystal Williams, Kurt Collins, Paul Carr, Cyan Bannister, Jeri Ellsworth, Alex Sotirov, Tim Ferriss, Jennifer Granick, Ze Frank, Jiz Lee, Kevin Rose, Veronica Belmont… and many more.

Thanks to everyone for nominations on all channels. Here are the runners-up:

* Made of fabulous, that is Sarah Dopp, founder, web strategist, builder. Expect to see her on these pages again.
* Aubrey Anderson, founder and CTO of Particle Programmatic. Hot.
* Bradford Stephens, of Drawn to Scale. Meow.
* Cali Lewis – Geek Beat TV’s sexy brainy star.
* Gorgeous! Brilliant! Sarah Wulfeck. Read why in her post Dear Mom and Dad: Thanks for Teaching Me Unix
* Danielle Sipple, AKA Fierce Kitty. She’s atomic, she’s a *hardcore* geek, she runs Femmerati. Cute as a button, fierce as a kitten.
* Tantek Çelik – a very, very sexy geek who literally wrote the book this year on HTML5.

Top Ten Sexy Geeks 2011

10. Chris Nickerson

Chris Nickerson

Photo of Chris Nickerson by Chris Nickerson.

A Denver-based security consultant with a very long and interesting Linkedin page, Nickerson was a discovery through nomination. A conference presenter and security nerd, Nickerson co-organizes Security B-Sides, and was on a “reality” TV show you might have missed about a crack hacker security team that were hired to infiltrate corporations, investigate and expose security weaknesses – Tiger Team TV. He, erm, grew up nicely. Investigate him.

9. Camille Crimson (@camillecrimson)

Sexy Geek Camille Crimson

Photo of Camille Crimson by Camille Crimson.

The nominations for Camille Crimson were many (I ignored the comment spamming; her fans are rabid). But, Crimson is a true indie adult webmaster (and performer), a Mac evangelist, she has built her own empire of websites, she codes and designs, is a photo/video editing geek, is an incredibly articulate pundit about women in online adult business and feminism, a nimble social media user, and a serious gamer.

8. Mick Johnson (@mickjohnson)

Sexy Geek Mick Johnson

Photo of Mick Johnson by Mick Johnson.

Mick Johnson appeared on our radar as the CEO of Stalqer, a very creepy app that makes the most of all the data about you being pushed out into the world by your online networks, though he’s much more than that. Smartly, he said back in 2009, “all social networks will become mobile social networks and that location reporting must be a big part of their feature sets.” A tall Australian geolocation nerd with a passion for apps and luxurious eyebrows, his latest project is Whereoscope. He speaks Japanese and is a Valley entrepreneur who looks like he’s worth stalking – in a nice, not-creepy way.

7. Rana June Sobhany (@ranajune)

Rana June Sexy Geek

Photo of Rana June iPad DJing during WWDC 2010 by Steve Han (

Hot female Valley entrepreneurs? Yes: enter Rana June, co-founder of Medialets and all-around brainy beauty. She’s most famous for being the world’s first and foremost iPad DJ – a concept she came up with while in line waiting for her iPad. Robert Scoble interviewed her about her DJing here, and she also makes really amazing music videos with custom built iPad masks and iPhone rigs. Her book about mobile apps “Mobilize” is coming out any minute now, which is good because she’ll be signing it at SXSW in 2011. Oh, and did I mention that she’s drop-dead gorgeous?

6. Alexis Ohanian (@kn0thing)

Sexy Geek Alexis Ohanian

Photo of Alexis Ohanian by Alexis Ohanian (PR bio pic).

Alexis Ohanian is really cute, but what’s hot about him is that he co-founded Reddit – then he made Breadpig, where pigs fly with wings made of delicious, delicious bread. “Breadpig, Inc., an uncorporation that’s responsible for bringing geeky things into the world like LOLmagnetz and xkcd: volume 0 — and donating all the profits (over $150,000 given away so far!).” Ohanian is also a TED speaker on social media and Mister Splashypants, and when not doing boring investor voodoo he teases us with his extremely sessy facial hair.

5. Heather Knight (@heatherknight)

Heather Knight Sexy Geek

Photo of Heather Knight by Kris Krug for Poptech 2010 (,

That Heather Knight is on this list is a total no-brainer – with the obvious joke being that Knight is all brains, as in, super-ultra-brainy. Hot roboticist alert! Knight is known for her work on social robots, notable the Marilyn Monroebot, and had spoken on social robots at Ignite, TED and Poptech (she created and ran a Rube Goldberg machine with Syyn Labs to kick off PopTech 2010’s opening day), to name a few. She’s done robotics and instrumentation at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and built the AMAZING Rube Goldberg machine for OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass.” Watch it, you won’t be sorry. It’s astounding.

4. Jof / Jonathan Lassoff (@Jof)

Jonathan Lassoff Sexy Geek

Photo of Jonathan Lassoff by zazenergy (

Jonathan Lassoff is a hacker (hardware and otherwise), a troublemaker, and one tall, sexy boy. Executive Director / President at Noisebridge, he works hard to keep the world’s most well-known hacker space running and does it with grace – with his modern sense of community and appreciation of sharing and joined work, you just won’t see Jof bragging to media about how Noisebridge is “his.” Instead in his spare time Lassoff obsessively works on geeky projects such as building out a HInternet (a fast and free internet) and a gingerbread house “love shack” which included a programmable LED heart “to adorn the house of debauchery.” He also was one of the famed Aqua Teen Hunger Force liberators.

3. Kate Craig-Wood (@Memset_Kate)

Sexy Geek Kate Craig Wood

Photo of Kate Craig-Wood via Kate Craig-Wood (

It’s tough to know where to begin with Kate Craig-Wood; she’s the leading role model for women in tech in the UK, an entrepreneur and Managing Director/founder of Memset (a highly successful company which bought, and her company is a driving force in green tech – hers is Britian’s first carbon neutral ISP. If that isn’t drop-dead sexy enough – and she is soooo easy on the eyes – she’s so passionate about getting girls interested in tech that in October she became the first woman to tandem-skydive past Mt. Everest, raising money for Intellect’s women in technology research. Craig-Wood is also an outspoken advocate for trans people, and is a trustee of GIRES (the Gender Identity Reserch and Education Society), and she works to improve medical care for transexual people in the UK, especially transsexual children. And damn, does she ever look hot on her Ducati.

2. Kris Krug (@KK)

Sexy Geek Kris Krug

Photo of Kris Krug by James Davidson (

If you haven’t come across the outstanding hotness that is Vancouver-based web strategist and photographer Kris Krug, then I bet you’ve seen his photos. He famously went into the heart of the Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill this year and fearlessly documented the tragedy – and the coverups, in both photos and real-time tweets. Occasional Nat Geo photographer Krug was part of the TEDx Oil Spill Expedition team. Aside from this, Krug attends tech conferences worldwide where he documents them in photos and speaks about about Internet tools, new media, and evolving copyright standards. He was the co-author of BitTorrent for Dummies and Killer Photos With Your iPhone. Tattooed, adorable, and a smile that lights up the room – he’s the top sexy guy geek of the year.

1. Jane McGonigal (@avantgame)

Jane McGonigal Sexy Geek

Photo of Jane McGonigal via Jane McGonigal.

It’s no doubt that gaming is shaping and changing the world, and that puts game designer, games researcher and gaming futurist Jane McGonigal at the forefront of the revolution. This beautiful girl is considered by MIT to be one of the top innovators changing the world through technology, and she’s spoken on the topic everywhere from SXSW to TED and beyond. Much loved for her quickfire talk Saving The World Through Game Design, many of us are eager to get our hands on her book “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Happy and How They Can Help Us Change the World” (due January 2011) where she explains why gaming is so not a waste of time. In sexy geek terms, technically she’s “off the market” but that doesn’t mean we can’t make her our number one sexy geek crush of 2011.

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  1. Years ago, when I ran, I was all about the teen angst and digital narcissism. I am now happy to report that it took me 2 weeks to realize that this article happened. Does that mean that I’m allowed to turn my Google Alert “namecheck” back on? :)

    Seriously, thanks, VioletBlue! xoxo. I’m redonkulously flattered.

  2. found this link via Cindy Gallop…..stunning line up here….yes I probably use words like stunning in a different way than most people, but it IS sincere! that’s what you get from a performing arts still wannabe that switched gears as a 19 yr old and got a science degree…anyway, simple all smiles delightful list of folks to look at and read the synopses on!!

  3. Holy crap…. good think someones glasses are dirty. Otherwise I doubt I would have a shot! Best xmas prez evar! Thanks for lowering the standards to have me with all the gorgeous folk on the list!!!! Now… who do I owe drinks to??


  4. Wow.. hmm… didn’t see this coming. Thanks, violet blue!

    I just showed my dad (he does get 1/2 the credit, right?) and he said: “What? Wow! That’s great. That’s good, Alexis. Good for you.”

    I like making him happy, so thanks for that, too!

  5. Ha! Right on – Cindy, a calendar would be fun. It would have to have some kind of cool digital format, of course :D And as per your comment of equal division – I’m THRILLED to have the first transsexual person on the list this year! Not intentional, either. Equality happens.

    Todd, I’m so glad you like it. When people say they like the list, it’s all suddenly worth it.

    Rhacodactylus – thank you. I’m gathering prospectives for next year already, of course!

    * Comment edited for spelling and accuracy.

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