Enjoying last nights London Girl Geek Dinner

Geek Dinner

How would I describe the girl geekdinner> The right people in a fun friendly atmosphere. Shaking off the need to go huge Sarah Blow's London girl geekdinner is a great place for women geeks together and not feel the intense pressure of being the only women in a busy room with no one they know. Thursday's 3rd girl geekdinner was a sit down affair around a very long table but people moved around before and after the dinner which made it possible to talk to anyone. The amount of men at the dinner has seemed to have increased quite a bit since the last one (including myself of course). But talking to Sarah Blow she takes this as a positive sign that men are convincing there partners and friends that they should go along and also invite them. Which is a good thing because we all know geekdinners are a nice place to be and not scary at all. The hope is that maybe some of the women will feel the urge to try out other geekdinners, mobile mondays, London events, etc and girl geekdinner will be less needed in the future. Sheila suggested that she will be 93 before there is a balance of genders at events like a geekdinner, and I kind of agree but things are getting better everytime. Looking at the sign up list for the next geekdinner which is now only 4 days off, I'm seeing double figures for women geeks signing up. Maybe in a few months we can get closer to 20 percent? Who knows. Anyhow back to the dinner…

By the time I got there (say 1945) the main table was already pretty much full. We had to drag more tables to add towards the end of the main table, which gives you a idea of how many people turned up for the dinner. Right from the start there seemed to be quite a few guys which was suprising after browsing through the pictures of the last event. Sheila invited me along which I'm very thankful for when Sarah could not make it. So I for one certainly stuck to the rules. Not that I'm suggesting others didn't of course. Before long I noticed Ben and Sofia had also turned up which Ben never mentioned he was planning, and before you know its the end of the table was away. I can not even remember everyone who I spoke to but I know Imp must have slipped off into the night before I could catch her after dinner. Sorry getting ahead of myself again. So before you know it was time for dinner and honestly it was better that the scoble dinners. The texas embassy serves lets say not the greatest food I've tasted generally. But I was there for the conversation and people so was not disappointed. Just after dinner came the open mic section. I was interested in how this would work because I'm considering doing the same thing for months when I can not get a good guest for the geekdinners. You most of the time the most interesting people in the room are not the guests, no dis-respect to any of my guests but you know what I mean? and I will stop digging my hole now.

The open mic started with a bit of a lecture and moved to Bill Thompson who was OK and short. But the highlights were Sarah Blow and Jen Dixon. Jen Dixon I've been tracking recently after her comment asking if there would be a food which a vegetarian could eat at my geekdinner? I've still not got a solid answer but I'm hoping to speak to the chef today and get a final answer. Anyhow Jen is really interesting because her story is almost a match for Sarah's story. Its so weird because even Jen is from the same area in America. She met her husband whos from Wales (near Bristol) online via a webcam technology. And there's more which I'm sure to find out on Monday.

So generally, the london girl geekdinner was a great night and I would highly recommend it as any women's first steps into getting into the London geek scene. I know theres been a bit of talk about the different geekdinners but honestly I'm with Sarah on this one. I will keep the geekdinners I do small enough so you can talk to everyone in a relaxed setting. Its about the quality not the quantity of people. I'm also happy to help Sarah out with the girl geekdinners if shes ever stuck and I'm sure she would do the same.

I've uploaded my pictures in the usual place on Flickr, I'm sure others will do the same soon, till then here's a search which will get to the right photos

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Weird seeing my name in NTK still

NTK now

This months Event queue in NTK has this block of text

…Negotiations are afoot to snag one or more of them for another London GEEK DINNER, though in the meantime Ian Forrester is trying out a slightly more upmarket venue for January’s soiree with DAVE “CSS Zen Garden” SHEA (7pm, Mon 2006-01-23, The Crown and Anchor, 22 Neal St, London WC2H 9PS, UKP6 for buffet). And for anyone who considers an evening discussing web standards “not quite geeky enough”…

Its still kind of weird although its happened a couple of times now. Cheers Dave for the heads up. I must have missed it because NTK does not do full text RSS still. Yeah I know some of the reasons why, but come on… come on make it happen.

Anyway I wanted to also say before going to bed early tonight (3am) do get your name on geekdinner.co.uk or Eventful. I’m actually wondering if we will break the maximum capacity of 70 people with this geekdinner. I have the option of moving the venue to the polar bear near Leicester Square if we do go over 70 people. Oh and one more thing, if your around in London and not doing much before the geekdinner, be sure to check out Dave Shea’s plans to go around the Tate modern with a few geeks. I would go myself, but I have to work till after 5pm, before hot trotting it to the Geekdinner to put up signs and sort out name badges. Yep name badges are back, be afraid…no..be very afraid… *smile*

I’ve been thinking, I should share some of the so called secrets to the geekdinners and events I’ve done so far. I’m not one of those people seeking to be a A-class blogger and am more of a sharer than holder

So first things, about a year ago I was going to events which honestly I felt could be done better. So I did. How do I get the guests which I do? Well in my own experience its friends of friends and keeping an eye on guests blogs. See if you see someones in town for a short period, its a good idea to write them a nice email asking if they would be interested in taking part in your event. I always see these emails as the start of a conversation and maybe a way to plan something next time around. Hey and theres nothing wrong with a good conversation with a good person. Oh yeah and its worth pointing out that I’m quite picky with the guests. I’m tending to lean towards people who are geeky but are interesting. Molly was the perfect guest, but Dave could be better still.

How do I sort out the money? Well I tend to have events during the week which means you can get a venue for almost free, but you need to pay for the food. Most places do buffet type food and charge anything between 1 pound and 30 pounds a head. I tend to prefer the lower end of the scale because to be honest, you can get a ok resturant meal in London for 15 pounds per head. So why would you pay so much for a buffet? I also only charge as much as the buffet costs and wait as long as possible before giving a exact figure for people eating. How do I know how many people there will be? Well I usually count how many unique comments the geekdinner blog gets, then take away about 15 people for people who may not turn up. I also check out other Eventful, Upcoming and Delicious to see how many people have added it or suggested they will be going. Then obviously I look around Google, Technorati and Blogdiggers Blog searchs to see if there is buzz for the geekdinner and see if I’ve missed anyone, A combination of these things usually works for me. This also means the money I get on the door goes straight back on the food and venue. Worst comes to worst I will only loose about a bit of money.

Whats the deal with other geekdinners? Well I dont own geekdinner.co.uk, actually Lee Wilkins does and he still does geekdinners but has taken a break for a while. Hugh Macleod does other ones in London like the large Robert Scoble ones and there maybe others but there not very public and happen on a adhoc base. There are geekdinners outsides of London for example Tom Simcox is planning one for Newcastle or somewhere in the North East of England. And finally there is nothing stopping you from setting up your own and doing a better job that I am doing right now. If that happens, expect to see me there sipping Redbull and Hot Sauce (my new drink of choice).

But I will keep evolving geekdinner as much as I can, talking of which dont forget to check out my two pledges which take Geekdinner in a different direction. Geekdinner nye2006 and Geekcamp

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London Geekdinner with Dave Shea on the 23rd Jan

Early in the evening

Yep the first geekdinner of this year is with the wildly influential Web designer Dave Shea.

Dave Shea is the cultivator of css Zen Garden.com, a long running member of the web standards project, and runs the very successful Bright Creative. A graphic designer by trade, he writes about all things web for his daily weblog, mezzoblue.com

For more information about Dave check out his information page.

The details you need for this geek dinner is has follows…

When: Monday 23rd January 2006

Where: The Crown and Anchor, Covent Garden – 22, Neal St, London, WC2H 9PS

Nearest Underground: Covert Garden Tube

Time: 19:00 – 23:00

Special Guest: Dave Shea

Cost: £6 for buffet food [payable on the door]

Regulars geeks will noticed the change of venue from the Hogs Head to the Crown and Anchor. I've also had to up the price because the food is going to be better and the venue much quieter and more intimate. I've already posted the event to Eventful and in turn Upcoming now they have that interop working (time is not quite right however, its my own mistake). Expect a posting on the official Geekdinner.co.uk site really soon There is post on geekdinner.co.uk. And dont forget to check out my pledges for newyears and a geekcamp.

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Geek events I’m planning

campsite at night

I've been thinking about geek events and geek culture recently quite a lot. I'm a self described geek enjoy being around other geeks. And it seems I'm not the only one. I was flicking through my tagged for reading later entries in Great news today and came across a entry by Molly where she was talking about geekcruises. I thought it was more a joke than anything, but I was wrong. I did a look around the site and even did a few pricings for myself and Sarah. The prices are well, lets say out of my price range for right now. 3000 dollars seems to be a rough medium. But someone must be paying it and actually really enjoying it, and that proves there is a market.
So anyway enough of the talk, now its time for me to put my time and effort where my mind is…

Pledge number 1 – geekdinner nye2006

I will setup and run a geekdinner on new years 2006/07 but only if 100 other self described geeks will help out and/or commit to going to the geekdinner.

Believe it or not but you can text pledge geeknye2006 to 60022 if you live in England or Wales.

Pledge number 2 – geekcamp

I will setup and help run a geekcamp somewhere in Europe but only if 30 other self described geeks will join me and/or help out.

And yes again, you can text pledge geekcamp to 60022 if you live in England or Wales.

Although, I'm certain one of the events will go down better than another one (will reveal some other time, if you couldnt guess). I'm really getting a good feeling that this is a good time to arrange such events. Some one asked Slashdot the question Have Geeks Gone Mainstream?

Recently, I've been seeing more and more news stories about how 'geek' has gone mainstream. There have been a slew of articles with titles like Geek Pride and Geek Chic, which discuss how movies like 'The 40-Year Old Virgin' and 'Napoleon Dynamite', as well as television shows like 'Beauty and the Geek' have made it cool to be a geek. Two pinup calendars of geeks have been released this year, taking advantage of the new mainstream interest in all things geeky. These include the Geek Gorgeous Calendar, which features women who work in the hi-tech industry, and the Girls of Geekdom Calendar, which includes geeks like 'Art Geek' and 'Movie Geek'. So if being a geek has really become cool, why has interest in CS as a major dropped among incoming freshmen and women are still a minority in computer and engineering fields? Is it cooler to pretend to be a geek (wear 'Save Pedro' shirts, etc.) than to really be one?

When anonymous asks about CS, he/she's refering to Computer Science which I think is a major mistake. Being a geek does not mean your from a Computer Science background. Like I always say, some of the most geeky people I know are designer, music makers, etc. But the point is taken about the mainstream aspect of it. Sarah uses the term Geek hag quite a bit and I can certainly see how it could be applied.

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Geekdinner with Scoble and Dotben

Ben and Scoble pause for a quick photo

So the first Geekdinner I've been to which was on a weekend was great fun. The conversations I had were fantastic through-out the night. I met some great new people and spent a lot with Sheila chatting away about life, XML and the universe. So odd meeting someone so on your level its actually pretty spooky.
The Geekdinner should have been renamed the Geekdinner with Ben Metcalfe and Robert Scoble, Z list meets A list but it works out ok this time.

Anyhow, so it was great catching up with Scoble again. He obviously didnt remember who I was at first but he actually did remember after a couple of seconds once I mentioned RSS and working for the BBC World Service. Can I also say did anyone get a picture of Scoble doing a flaming shot at that champagne bar we all went to afterwards?

The Sheila and Myself at Geekdinner

So this is how the night went. I got to the Texas Embassy about 6:30pm, after finding somewhere just around the corner to park. I was hoping to get my hair cut but it never quite happened due to Saturday football crowds through Charlton, I must remember that next time.
I was at the bar and heard a couple of guys talking about Google Books and it actually turned out to be one of the guys behind Searchengine Watch. I also got talking with a student of Computer Science from De montfort. I and he was concerned that his course was not teaching anything about webservices, internet conectivity or even modern developent methods. And actually I got speaking to another student who had the same problems. Geez no wonder a lot of computer science students have such closed minds to such things?
Moving on. I'll drop out the conversations I had for now, as I want to elaborate on quite a few of them.

So after dinner which was the usual Tex-Mex type thing, Robert and Hugh did a little speech and actually opened it up to the crowd of about 150. The rest of the time was spent talking and drinking. By the time we got thrown out of the Embassy, the plan was hatched to head up to a Champagne Bar in Soho and Microsoft paid for us all. Yeah expensive champagne for about 30+ people, cheers Microsoft. After about a hour or so, we were being kicked out again. So Me, Sheila and Shahid from google ended up at a coffee bar in Soho and geeked about XML and related technologies. Its so great talking out loud about this stuff. XML will rule the world…

The champange bar afterwards paid for my microsoft

There's a Flickr pool for fun photos from the night.

So about those conversations.
Well he's a few I remember, this is good for my own memory as well as it might be of interest to others.

Talking to imp, she told me there was a problem with trackbacks on the BBC creative archive site and even on my own. I assured her that Trackbacks do work on cubicgarden (I get enough spam to know this for sure) but honestly I've never seen any from Haloscan.

I met Tim from dotnetsolutions, he's one of the guys from http://www.DHTMLcentral.com. It was quite late but from what I can gather there doing lots of Ajax type stuff now and leaning on there DHTML past to do creative and useable things. I've not really looked at that site for about 6/7 years but I do remember going there for scripts when Netscape 4.x just came out. That was also the days when I never use to think about cross-browser scripts and web standards. Gald things have changed for the better.

Trying to explain to Sheila what OPML was without any tools except handwaving while walking up a packed Saturday night charing cross road. Chris from Microsoft seemed to think it was a great standard, while I was trying to explain its not really a standard just happen to be the default way to share Blogrolls and subscriptions. I was going to mention XBEL and XOXO but never quite got around to it. I also noticed Uche has wrote a few XSL's to convert between OPML and XBEL and XOXO.

A brief talk and handshake with Dan Gillmor who of course wrote the hughly successful We the Media. I should have talked longer but I was just coming back from the toilet and caught him while he was making a move to leave it would seem. I know the Global voice's people were at the geekdinner but I didnt really get a chance to talk to anyone except Lucy Hoberman (BBC Creative R and D) before we went to the champagne bar and met Nicole. Nicole is a german woman who podcasts and blogs in German and English. We had a very interesting perspective talk about the differences and how your percived when writing and talking in another language online.

Spent quite a bit of time talking to Kosso and Dr Jo Twist about various things.

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Being a geek girl in a male dominated geek world?

Ok i'm late to the party, but its time to reclaim the word Geek! I mean have you looked at the Flickr Geek clusters recently? I'm sorry but all the people I've known who are self described geeks do not have terriable dress sense and are really passionate and interesting people. The killer thing is also that Geeks usually hold down a good job and earn quite good salarys.

So I can not work out for the life of me why all the geek girls I've met are single? And from talking to them its not because there not trying. Someone female and single who would rather be annoymous sent me a link to the Geek girls are sexy photo pool. Then compared it to the Geek boys are sexy group. Yeah she's right, the boys are letting down geek culture. Not good, even I'm not doing my part. But it gets worst… I was sent a link to Geek guys are sexy. Something needs to change…

Cafe Geek now thats a concept worth exploring…

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Last nights Geek Dinner with Molly, was fantastic…

Geek Dinner with Molly, Me and Jeremy

Thanks to everyone who turned up and made the Geek Dinner with Molly the best yet


Everything went so well I'm actually still up with a big smile on my face, but am speechless in what to write at this moment. I'll fill in the details tomorrow. Till then you can catch all my photos here on Flickr. And all public ones here and here. Interestly, I'd not seen the Tim O'reilly geek dinner photos till now.

Ok so some observerations from yesterday
No matter how early I get to the venue someone will beat you. Even a full 45mins before the start of the Geek dinner with Molly, there were about a group of 8 guys drinking and chatting. The group included Don from Amazon.
Name badges are a good idea. Some people liked the idea of the sticky badges, others didnt. But it was great for me as I can now look through the photos and remember everyone name (for example Elly). But it doesnt stop there, it helps me go and speak to everyone at least once.
I need to rotate round more. There were some people who I spent a bit of time with and then there was Sheila, who I swear I spent about half the night talking to. We had some quite amazing and open conversations about being geek, relationships and a ton of other stuff. Fantastic but not ideal when your the host. Next time Sheila, I'm going to have to pass on my contact details so we can chat over email or something.
Find a venue where you can control the noise level. It was hard work for Molly and Andy shouting over the hogs heads background noise. But next time, we will be in a different venue. Imp also offered me a mini PA system if I need it next time.

Talking of Improbulus, I had a couple of interesting conversations with her about privicy and security online. I used my audioscrobbler experience as a example. When audioscrobbler first came online, I thought its cool but do I really want everyone knowing what I listen to? At the time it was a no. But I've come to realise that if you dont realese the information yourself with a little bit of control, someone other company will do it for you, and you will have even less control. Imp disagreed, which is fine and I like think shes right, but in my experience the opposite is true. Its just more amount of how much your willing to pay for your privacy and if its more than the next company. I remember quickly reading some advice to newbies online guff guide, and they were recommending that you do not let online sites store your card number because usually its store in a database with little or no security. Once again in my experience this has been true.

Imp's post also reminded me of a conversation which me, her and Shelia had about taxonomies and folksonmies. I couldnt go into details at the time because I really needed to circlate around and give out sticky labels for names badges. But trust me, Imp and Shelia were not done yet and I'm looking forward to talking about it more next time. Hey if you guys are up for it, we could do it at the scoble geek dinner?

Anyhow back to the geekdinner…

Ah you got to love geek dinner

Fatbusinessman has created a group photo pool for Molly's Geekdinner. Should have thought about doing the same myself, good call Fatbusinessman.

More observations.
I should pick less technical people to do the dinners for. I got a feeling Molly being a designer really opened up the geekdinner to a range of people who may not have gone if it was Tim O'Reilly. Nothing against Tim or Scoble, but I'm thinking its best if I leave Hugh to do that category of people and I should focus on people like Molly. I mean we had many developers as usual, but also quite a few designers and even a librarian and architect. Everyone was fully at ease to express there geeky nature. And there's nothing better than hearing another person express there passion for something which the mainstream of people would see as kind of weird. I wont go into my post about being a self described geek but its quite interesting and quite relavent.
I'm sure I've seen you before? I must have said that too many times yesterday, I'm going to have to think of someother way to say the same thing. But I did finally meet Rachel Clarke and I was actually right, I had meet her before but at a different Geekdinner. I also met Pixel Diva (love the site design by the way) again, its been such a long time that I forgot what she looked like, but I knew I had seen her before. I seem to never forget faces, just names. Once I heard her voice and that strong accent, it all came back.

Pixel Diva, long time no see

This was the last Geekdinner for this year by myself, but dont worry I'll be back in the new year with a new venue and more interesting guests. Don't forget Hugh's arranging the big christmas geek dinner with Robert Scoble which I'll be attending in the usual London tech lovey fashion. If your woman with a partner the girl geek dinner is well worth checking out.

If you are male and wish to attend this event you must bring a female with you or be brought by a female. NO FEMALE NO ENTRY!

Which I personally feel is fine because these events are usually over run with men and this is a good way to achive some balance. I have not quite convinced Sarah that we should go, but I'm working on it. If anyone of the beautiful woman I met yesterday have no partner to bring with them, please drop me a email.

I Only Have Eyes for You

I've just learned that there is also a Molly podcast which I guess the interview was about. Its titled the worst podcast ever because of some podcast disaster with a Sony Minidisc recorder. Interesting Hugh's comments about the BBC…

If this was the BBC, I would just cover my tracks, cut out a few seconds, and tell my boss that I grabbed a great clip of Molly. But in the spirit of podcasting, I let the tape run out in mid sentence.

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Project house moving almost complete but no ADSL

The project house moving is almost complete. Me and Sarah a little more decorating to do this week and next weekend and we should be pretty much done. However Demon or BT is not being very helpful about Broadband access. On the 15th November there was Broadband as Demon said there would be, then the next day it was gone! Now all I get is a ADSL sync error, indicating that there is no broadband at all. Yeah really sucky, and of course Demon blame BT and BT are not returning or answering any of my calls. So for a short period (hopefully) I have no Internet access at home.

However I just wanted to say, the Geekdinner this Thursday is still on. Nothing has changed, just because I dont reply to a email for a while does not mean I'm dead… Also my work place has started killing the process signtuare for GAIM, so I'm not on instant messenger much either right now. I have ways around it, but choose not to use them for now. Anyhow hope to see you all Thursday at the Hogs Head.

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Sunshine, wireless and holiday geeks camps

A long long time ago I went on a geeky holiday in Ibiza. It was my second time on the island and its was just after I finished my Interactive design BA at Ravensbourne, so I was in need for a break away after the years of stress. The holiday was simply a very last minute cheap package holiday costing 40 pounds a person for 2 weeks which included flights and 3 star hotel. Because I could not get someone else to come with me on such short notice (next day), I had to pay a single suppliment fee of 30 pounds. But 70 pounds for 2 weeks away in the hills of Ibiza wasnt bad at all.

Anyway, I took my laptop with me and spent most of the holiday working on cubicgarden.com (should have just setup a blog all that time ago) and learning more XML technologies like Xlink. And although it was very geeky, it was kinda of nice because some of the people in the same hotel were from the IT field and didnt really think of it being super strange me sitting at the outside hotel bar with my laptop drinking and messing with CSS.

I had thought about running a couple of holidays along this same type of idea, geek holidays or something. But never found the time. Well I'm starting to think its a idea maybe worth revisiting with all the BarCamp, FooCamp, etc Camp's going on. Yes I know most people go away to get away from it all but theres a small but long tail of people which dont see it holidays like that, me included. Geek Dinners is another one of those things which should not make much sense on paper but it does in reality. The key thing in all these things is getting like socially minded people in to a venue and providing aspects of the tradional experience and there lifestyle. So in the camps you still got tents, fields and nature. But you've also got electricity, wireless and computers.

This isnt that new however, there's a camp event which has been running for years which I keep wanting to go to but keep forgetting (need to actually add it to my calendar or todo list one day). Its called What the Hack? and involves people coming together for a hacker event in the middle of a grassy field. I always thought about what the hack, as the Burning man for geeks and hackers. I can imagine something just like what the hack? but for bloggers, geeks, techies, etc?

The question remains if I can convince Sarah to come to such a holiday? I mean she loves camping but I think this would not count as “real camping” for her. Our friends in Sweden already offered us a relaxing holiday in a place they have in Gotland? They said theres no electricity and no internet access at all. I thought they were winding me up, but no they were serious. Now I know some of you will say it sounds so nice, walks in the forest, no electricity, candle lights etc. And I would agree for a couple of days at most, but a week plus? It sounds as scary as going to Sarah's grandparents house in the middle of no where illinois and having no mobile phone signal of any kind.

A lot of you maybe shaking your heads, but I know a few of you are thinking this is a little consistant with what you see in a holiday too. Hey and don't forget theres already holidays and camps for clubbers, trekies, blues fans, etc. A geek one strikes me as a really good idea.

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Next Geek Dinner this time with Molly


Geek Dinner with Molly: November 24 at the Hogs Head, 11 Dering Street, Westminster, London

Thats right, this time our out of town guest is Molly from Molly.com. She's in London doing CSS workshops with Andy Clarke for Carson workshops. She's written some of the best web development books you've ever read. Molly has been coined “one of the greatest digerati” and deemed one of the most influential women on the Web, and is up there with Eric Meyer, Zeldman and Dave Shea when it comes to design and the web and trust me shes one of the most vibrant people around.

A little more information for those who dont know Molly, ripped from her about page.

An author, instructor, and Web designer, Molly E. Holzschlag has authored over 30 books related to Web design and development. She's been coined “one of the greatest digerati” and deemed one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women on the Web. There is little doubt that in the world of Web design and development, Molly is one of the most fun and vibrant Web characters around.

As a steering committee member for the Web Standards Project (WaSP), Molly works along with a group of other dedicated Web developers and designers to promote W3C recommendations. She also teaches Webmaster courses

Eventful calendar is here and a update on geekdinner.co.uk. Thanks Imp for highlighting the push to bring more women into geek dinners. This wont be an official girly geek dinner, but women from girly geek dinner are welcomed.

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Hosting Tim O’Reilly’s Geek Dinner

So first rule of hosting anything, dont turn up late. I broke that rule by about 15mins, but I have a good reason or a good way to shift the blame. Tim O'Reilly had talked in White City only a few hours before the Geek Dinner and spent sometime talking to people afterwards. So by the time I had left White City it was already 18:40 and I still had to ride into Central London with the crazy one way systems and find somewhere to park the scooter. Luckly Hanover square is full of parking and it was after 6 so finding a space wasnt so bad.

When I finally arrived at the Hogs Head (venue for the geekdinner) I was kinda of suprised by how people had already turned up. I would say at 20 people were already sitting around drinking and chatting. After a little talk with the bar man and some pre-printed signs up here and there, we were off. I actually believe Tim and Josette walked in and sat down around about this time, which was perfect timing. Before you knew it a few people had hovered around Tim and pinned him into a corner. I dont believe Tim really got a chance to walk around till the Questions and Answers point later.

I was doing my best to keep the room cool (air con was a little tempermental) and collect the one pound for the buffet later. Honestly going around the room was a joy and although my voice was starting to go, I kept going because everyone I met was interesting and a joy to talk to. Everyone was happy and remarked on how great it was that I was doing this geek dinner. I did many times say that I was helping Lee out while he was away, but people kept asking me if I was running the Scoble one too. More on that later.

The venue was quite warm if a little too hot sometimes due to the packed up Air con and at first it seemed a little small for 60 people but people were quite tightly grouped and there was more room by the toilets and staircase. The bar man, was a young guy and was actually really interested in what geek dinner was and why it existed. He did comment that although there were a high percentage of males in room, they didnt seem very geeky, just normal guys out drinking. I wasnt sure what to say to that, but it came across as a compliment not a insult. I had asked everyone to tell me what they felt about the venue and on a whole most people were quite happy with it, remarking it was so central and easy to get to from the tube. But the noise from upstairs was a little too much and made things a little difficult when Tim did the Questions and Answers session. I guess it didnt help having another party just up on the landing and the quite busy pub above us. The Buffet was actually not bad at all. It did all disappear by the end of the evening but honestly there was more than enough to go around plus there was something for everyone. I feel it was well worth the 1 pound per head cover charge, and I didnt find anyone who disagreed.

Tim's Question and Answer session came a little late in the evening and was difficult to hear with the noise I mentioned earlier. I dont believe anyone got it recorded correctly, the recording Nokia which I was holding for Improbulus didnt record anything and a guy with the video camera was not close enough to get the audio clearly. (Kosso where were you?) Which I'm sure Tim will be happy with because he revealled a new service from O'Reilly which there still working on. The question which sparked the disclosure was "what web 2.0 services does O'reilly have?"
Tim did talk about the good stuff they were doing with O'reilly Safari but then talked about this other project, which I cant remember right now.

47 (not including me) people attended this geek dinner. This is a exact figure because I collected the money from everyone.

I'm not the biggest fan of name dropping, but I have to say thanks and hi to everyone and here's some of the people I remember who were there and I talked to quite a bit or not enough. Suw Charman and Kevin Anderson (geez you guys are cute together, good one Kevin), Alan Wood, Improbulus, Dave from NTK, Richard Sanbrook, Euan, Lianite, Ryan Carson, Jeremy from HP and of course some work mates Sherwin, Henrik and Dharmesh.

Big thanks to everyone who helped and turned up…

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Geek Dinner with Tim O’Reilly – Thursday 13th October

Tim O'Reilly

Geek dinner with Tim O'Reilly: Thursday October 13, at the Hogs Head, 11 Dering Street, Westminster, London

Tim O'Reilly is stopping over in London for a few days before the Euro OSCON conference.

The venue is the quiet and chilled out Hogs Head 11 Dering Street, near Oxford Street. We have the whole lower floor which seats up to 60 people and there is a nice cover charge of one pound for the finger buffet, which is payable on the door.

We have the downstairs bar from 7pm till 11pm. Tim is expected to get to the venue about 7:30pm and is looking forward to meeting London geeks and bloggers.

Lee has now changed the geekdinner.co.uk blog. So leave a comment here or on the geekdinner blog, if your interested in going.

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Geek Dinner is back with a bang

So yeah I hear Robert Scoble is back for another Geek Dinner on the 10th December via Ben's Blog. But I've got an announcement to say that I'm currently arranging with Tim O'reilly a geekdinner for thursday 13th October. I'm sure Tim will say yes and hopefully by the time I blog this, he would have agreed already. Lee Wilkins is fully aware of this and is stand by waiting for the final go from myself (just sent him the email).

Obviously he will also be doing some presentations and interviews around the BBC before. So if your a BBC member of staff working on the 13th October, try and keep your calendar clear on that day, so you can either attend a session in White City or Bush House with Tim. If your interested but have never heard Tim talk before, please check out this recommended podcast by Paul

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