Geek dinner with Paul Boag

Paul Boag and Marcus from Boagworld

Another successful and great Geekdinner, this time with Paul Boag from the Boagworld design podcast. This time around I decided to try a local designer doing good stuff for the community. PaulBoag fitted the bill perfectly since I've been listening to his podcast for a while now. Around 30 people showed up and enjoyed the evening with Paul. Now this may seem small compared to the 70 of Dave Shea but its not far off Tim O'Reilly and Molly type attendance. What I found interesting is the percentage of new faces and regulars. It always seems to stay around the same percentage no matter what guest. I've not worked out if this is good or bad yet but we'll see at the next one I guess. Something else which did change this time was the percentage of women. It went down this time which is a shame but I know quite a few women who simply couldn't make it this time.

So as usual people turned up before even I got there which is always a suprise. Paul and Marcus turned up just after myself which was about 18:30 ish. Between 19:20 and 19:45 the bulk of the people came which is usual. And before you knew it the food was being handed out. This was great because usually people ask me when the foods coming and I usually have to say soon, honestly soon. But this time it was so early that it even took me by suprise. I had not even collected the money and given out sticky name tags yet. So I'm glad to say that the Polar Bear will be come the home of Geekdinner unless they have it booked for other events (they have June booked out for the World Cup or something). Its big enough for 100 people and we have complete control over music, noise and the lighting. There's a complete DJ and Mic setup so its possible to record talks and even finally broadcast the speakers talking to the whole room without the speaker shouting out loud and loosing there voice.

But back to the night, by the time everyone had a chance to get there food and digested I had introduced Paul and we were away. Paul's talk was mainly a public reply to Molly's post How to sniff out a Rotten Standardista. I won't recite much of what Paul said but it was pretty funny in parts and it was recorded by Marcus and another person (can't remember your name sorry). I know the Boagworld is planning a special podcast with the recordings they made, so I'm hoping to be linking to the podcast soon enoughPodcast. But after talking about Molly's post and the fact that we look inside of the design community too much, Paul started on Web 2.0. He was convinced its all smells too much like a bubble. Before long Paul was being beaten to death with questions and comments. In the end, Paul had to give in and make it clear that something like Digg.com smells like a Bubble type site while Flickr before it was bought was not because they at least had a business plan. Honestly Paul was great, he really took it all on the chin and was glad to admit he might have changed his mind a little. Paul also gave a nice talk about how we and the pros are actually making it up as they go along. If we were more honest about this things might actually be better overall. So without spilling any more tasty beans, I got to say Paul was fantastic and Marcus was great too (i can't believe his arm never fell asleep. holding the mic for almost a hour I believe?) I actually closed my eyes at one point and seriously it sounded like the batter of a usual Boagworld podcast. Great stuff and thanks again to Paul and Marcus for making the trip up to London and taking part in a great Geekdinner.

For those who don't know there was a special competition which included a trip to Austin Texas to the South by South East interactive conference (SXSW). Not only did the jammy winner get tickets to the conference but he also got his hotel paid for and flights paid for by the little bit of sponsership which sits on Geekdinner.co.uk now. The names were pulled out of my grey hat by Paul Boag and Simon won, much to the disappointment of everyone else who entered. Kinda of wish I could have entered myself really too. Simon's already offered to fly the London Geekdinner flag for us and plans to meetup with a couple of people who have already booked there tickets to go. Good luck Simon, have a great time!

I spoke to so many people during the rest of the evening but I would like to say thanks to everyone for coming and making it a great geekdinner. It was less people but it was nice and friendly and there was plenty of food to go around for all. Oh by the way Jen and other vegatarians, the polar bear serves food on single plates so the meat is easily avoidable. Tom asked me if it was ok for a Vegan and I couldn't honestly say yes, but I believe even he was able to find something good and safe to eat. Another reason to stay at the polar bear I guess? Whatever it is, there is a flickr group I set up here and my own photos tagged geekdinnerwithboag here. Can't wait to arrange the next one now.

Oh by the way Simon that lucky guy and Rachel have a good review of the evening too.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.