Unwinding after the GeekDinner

Sorry Andy, another post about the GeekDinner, well kinda.

At about 17:30 today I figured I needed to get off my Herman Miller cushioned bum and unwind while summer is still here. I walked up Lions Head listening to Amplitude 10 and back down with some Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust ending up on Glen Beach just after sunset. Spectacular sunset. “Cape Town in the summertime and the livin’ is easy”.

Had a four bean salad while reading the new GQ. Very nice illustration work in GQ by the same people who created the FrogPirate Dog.

The usual photos of hot woman, but no hot woman in datacentres. *grin*
Maybe we can write to them about that.

So.. I had some time to think about the GeekDinner since last night.

Mike phoned me this afternoon asking how the GeekDinner went and for some reason he was still a bit unsure if we had completely made peace after our little online food fight. He’s had a bit of a bad innings with criticism of the 27 Dinner and the Blog Awards recently.

Mike.. peace. Keep up the good work. You’ve done a super human amount of good work for the ZA blogging community.

This is a very long build-up to my point.. which is, I think I’ve experienced a bit of negative and lukewarm feedback today.. a path Mike has already walked. There was also plenty of good feedback.. so I figure the people who really like something and the people who really don’t like something will speak up, for the rest it’s just business as usual.

I guess the yapper dogs in the peanut gallery can change the world and start their own revolution or get involved in the movement and shape it. You can’t please everybody and the important lesson is that you should not expect to.

I think the essence of social media is community. You can give the ball the initial momentum but you have no way to control where it goes. Social media seems self perpetuating in some ways. Distributed effort, rough consensus and running code. A very interesting and dynamic system of how ideas rise and fall to feed conversation and inspire action.

The GeekDinner Wiki is now getting a life of it’s own. The GeekDinner planet is active and I think the idea to have a point of aggregation is working well.

Jump in and lets see what evolves out of this. The next GeekDinner should be at the end of May. See you at the 27 Dinner CPT in April.

I wanted the GeekDinner to be Inclusive and Interactive. Based on these very simple goals, I think it was a success. Thanks for showing up.

ps. My pics are here.

6 thoughts on “Unwinding after the GeekDinner

  1. It must be annoying to read negative posts about something you’ve spent a lot of time organising, but I think it is important to see that none of the criticism was leveled at you, or the organisation of the event. Even if you had planned the absolute perfect meeting, a single person could still ruin it.

    It’s easy for me to say that GD wasn’t what I expected, but that just indicates that I should’ve paid more attention during planning and got involved if I saw it becoming something I wasn’t interested in. Hopefully we can all work on and attend a good event in May!

  2. Yeah… that is the thing with FOS-type events >> even when there’s a central organiser, you’ve gotta let people take ownership, and from that the most unexpectedly cool stuff often emerges.
    I’ve learned to take the criticism as a sign that we’re still on track with something engaging and important enough for people to dedicate their energies to.

  3. Joe, thanks. This post meant a lot.

    I have taken huge strain over the last while with regards to the 27 / Blog Awards food fights, as you so aptly put it, because I am a defensive monkey and although I doubt this is ever the case, tend to feel like criticism leveled at the effort I put into these rather altruistic and goodwill-driven efforts is criticism leveled at me. This is just a bit of immaturity shining through and the learnings from these experiences have been invaluable.

    That said, I think you’re also touching on this whiny dynamic I think South Africans exhibit so well. And I say South Africans cos we’re like that with our sports teams too. We are phenomenally good at highlighting negatives but seem to lack the ability to think positively and support pioneers of change.

    Finally, thanks for your support and kind words. I look forward to 27-4 and many more glasses of wine.

  4. Mike,
    I agree it is a South African culture thing. We can be very stubborn and critical of others.

    I was at a dinner party last week where the topic of culture was raised and WSE mentioned the “kaalvoet oor die Drakensberge” story.

  5. Joe, let me use this to comment on GeekDinner without sullying my blog with flash-in-the pan comments :-)

    I enjoyed it, thanks to Vhata and Outsider for getting me there, and good job on the nametags .. Regarding seating, I sat down with a table of people of whom I only knew one, and made a point of moving around. Maybe we need a table change for every course .. or maybe a different table for each menu item. All the vegetarians sit together ..

    Great job on the free wine – good lubrication :-) if we get a speaker from Blank Bottle, make sure they keep it short ..

    Re: presentation length – we had (from Uninet and Webafrica) some that got a little long, but they were saved by good content. If nbm went over time, that was because of questions (a good thing). I say – keep the talks technical.

    Invite more Windows people, and try to keep the talks cross-platform (as they all were this time).

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