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SXSW Interactive Announces First Keynote Speaker

Humorist/crowdsource champ Matthew Inman of the Oatmeal

By Kimberley Jones, 12:36PM, Tue. Sep. 4, 2012

Matthew Inman
Matthew Inman

Even if the name Matthew Inman isn't on the tip of your tongue, we're betting you heard about his awesome campaign to restore Tesla's good name and home.

Inman founded the humor/comics website The Oatmeal in 2009, and he's since parlayed that success into a book, 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth (And Other Useful Guides). But what put Inman in the news last month was his ingenious Indiegogo campaign to raise money to purchase Wardenclyffe, the upstate New York laboratory of Nikola Tesla, futurist and so-called father of the Electric Age, aka "the greatest geek who ever lived." The campaign – Operation Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum – has already raised $1.2 million (and counting).

Earlier this year, Inman ran another successful campaign called Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad, a dual fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society sprung out Inman's hope that "philanthropy trumps douchebaggery and greed." (In short: When a rival site claimed Inman owed them $20,000 in damages for a post he wrote, he responded by instead raising the same amount of money – actually, he ended up with a lot more – for charity; read more of the fascinating backstory here.)

The Seattle-based author and comic artist will deliver one of the Interactive keynote speeches at SXSW 2013, which runs March 8-12.

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