I went a fine girl geekdinner tonight. This time hosted by Google at their UK headquarters in Victoria. Took some time to get there but arrived in time for some Google style dinner. Can I just say how great a idea it is having free dinner between the hours of 6pm-8pm, if the BBC did that I'd be there till 10pm every night I wasn't going out. Anyway, the dinner was good and treats even better. I also enjoyed the speeches from Google and Foundem (A Search Platform). It was a great venue and great to see Google once again getting more involved in the local community. Kudos to Sarah Blow and Nicola for once again another great girl geekdinner.
Good night last night at the Girl Geekdinner. I got talking to a woman from Amnesity International and shared some stories about working at the BBC World Service and how it makes you much more aware of the freedoms and restrictions we live with everyday online. Anyway she was very interesting and Sheila had a good chat too. The speakers for the night were varied, Mary Sharpe started badly putting most of the girls to sleep or getting peoples backs up but then she started to get it together again. She was a interesting speaker which I filmed and stuck on Blip.tv. I wish I'd got a chance to ask her some more questions one on one but left soon after the speeches. Nicolas was the 2nd speaker and was very nervous, and it ended up being like a product pitch for 10mins. So I ended up deleting that video. The 3rd and last was Maryam Scoble (yes Robert Scoble's partner) who kept it nice and sweet. Good speaker and her speech was well recieved by the crowd as you can see by the video. Most of the questions were also aimed at Maryam afterwards but Mary also got a few. So all in all, good night and happy birthday Sarah Blow.
One thing is bugging me, is Mary Sharpe also the same person here and here? I don't think so, but you can never tell. I get very skeptical when people run these self improvement and mentoring type services.
Sarah Blow beat me to this exclusive, so I'll just quote her.
The London Girl Geek Dinner short film has just been released. Here is an exclusive first look at it prior to it going on FourDocs. It was filmed about a month ago by Angela Saini of ITN who was just fantastic at both directing the video and setting everything up. I hope you enjoy the video and feel free to let anyone else know about it!
I hope to see other short video's and films from the girls over at BlogHer after the conference.
The next London Girl Geek Dinner is to be announced at a later date… it is looking like some time around the end of August/ First week of September. If you want to get updates of our next event feel free to join the mailing list on www.londongirlgeekdinners.co.uk or syndicate with the rss feed on the site!
PS: Many thanks to Angela for doing the film for us and for her support and also to Ian Forrester of www.geekdinners.co.uk for his ever constant support for the girly geek dinners!
Thanks Sarah! I've been sitting on this documentary from Angela for quite some time now. I think its a fantastic documentary and well worth everyone's time to watch. I'm now interested to see what conversation develops following the documentary. You can also now watch get the documentary in Windows Media and Quicktime formats here.
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.