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Geekdinner

Last night, I attended the GeekDinner, organised by Joe, and announced here.

My overall opinion was that it was a well-organised, well-attended event, with some good speakers, interesting topics, and a nice atmosphere. In a word, "mooi". The venue was a strange choice, being quite far South, and having the general reputation of being "not bad, I suppose". I enjoyed the food, although not everybody agreed with me. The wine was... well, it was free, which is good enough for me. Jonathan Endersby and I had to take it with a pinch of salt, but I wasn't complaining.

It was good to see the old faces again, and meet some new ones. I drove through from Stellenbosch with Tania, whom it was great to meet. I suspect that the way seating was organised is not very conducive to "networking" - I sat at a table with five people I knew, and two people who knew people I knew. I would've liked to meet some more people. I suppose if I was going with that express purpose, I would plonk myself down at a table of complete randoms and inflict my company on them. But the natural thing to do is to grab the nearest table with whoever is nearest to you - invariably the people you know - and with only eight people per table, this slices the attendees up into bite-sized cliques who already know each other.

The talks were, for the most part, interesting. Some of them may have been a little too long, and a little too special-interest (special-interest (adj) 1. boring) for the company, but they all sparked a bit of debate, and none were intolerable. I suspect that as things get going, we'll start getting a feel for what sort of areas we want to focus on. That's if we don't run out of people willing to talk, and topics they're willing to talk about, of course. It's a worry that having seven or eight people talk at a dinner will quickly deplete the pool of people who don't mind standing up in front of others. Time will tell.

As I've said, I wouldn't have chosen Barbarella's as the venue, but it turned out quite well at the end. Discussion for the next venue is happening on the wiki.

I must say here that I strongly disagree with what Jonathan Carter has to say about the geekdinner. The general perception was not that it was going to be a glamblogger get-together - I think most people went with very positive feelings, anticipating a good event. Jonathan's (happily inaccurate) preconceptions about it should not be considered representative of the attendees, and I think everybody who was there is looking forward to the next one.