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London Twestival February 20, 2009

Filed under: Geeky technology,Other — amyrunner @ 10:25 pm

Over a week later and I have finally got my act together to write about my take on my Twestival experience.

I started off feeling pretty nervous about going as my impression was that it would be full of geeky people stood around staring at their mobiles tweeting all night! How wrong was it!  I got there about 9pm as was running late, after a tour of the Shoreditch area and wandering around in the sleet lost for a few minutes the entrance was located! I was glad to find out that by getting there late I had inadvertently avoided a long queue freezing outside, I knew going to dinner late was a good move 🙂

Anyway, going in I was greeted with people taking my ticket (thanks @luke) and stamping my hand then handing me tickets for free drinks and good, awesome! First stop was the cloakroom where there seemed to be a bit of mayhem with not enough space for all the coats.  I assured the attendants I didn’t mind mine being slung at the back and it was in!  Made a couple of friends in the cloakroom including @PBizzle who I randomly bumped into getting my coat later (which was a bit chaotic to say the least!)

To the bar was my next though and with glass of wine in hand I headed to make myself a twitter bird (see pic).  She needs a name so any ideas are appreciated! Anyway, enjoyed making my bird a lot, got chatting to @MattBrawn whose bird was much hotter than mine and I am informed he is now called Bert and is living in Kew Gardens.  I appreciated Matt’s help with making mine and I escaped with only minor glue gun burns, ok for what can be described as a drunk textiles class!

Having trouble threading that needle?

Having trouble threading that needle? Courtesy of @ParkyLondon

My twitter bird

My twitter bird

Now I was thinking to myself that it didn’t seem that busy and it didn’t look like there were 600 people there, only to discover that there was in fact another room called the main room, doh! Here there was music and beer and lots more drunk people! This is where I started eyeing some twitter celebs.  First spot was @mashable who I sadly became a bit star struck over seeing and was too scared to talk to him :S I am not proud of this! Anyway, got chatting to a few other random people in here and was entertained when someone asked me if I was a film runner! This gives a good insight into the people at Twitter, met lots of techy people which I found quite cool asit  was good to mix in different circles to normal.

After locating @amanda who was busy selling raffle tickets I got mine then went off for more drinks which I was impressed to find were only £2.50, bargain! Anyway, after that some raffle prizes were anounced (no win for me, boo hoo) then the night seemed end quite abruptly with a crowed heading towards the cloakroom.  This was quite chaotic as there were so many coats that locating them with the tickets wasn’t going too well and people started wading in to look for their coats! Quite funny, after a few minutes describing mine I saw it slung at the back and after much waving and pointing I was reunited! After loitering for a bit and asking about an after party to which I clearly was not going to be invited I disappeared off into the night with my bird…

Overall I thought Twestival was great and a real success, can’t wait for the next one 🙂

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Geeky computer stuff February 3, 2009

Filed under: Geeky technology,Rants — amyrunner @ 12:12 am

Hello! Thought it was about time for another blog.  This time I thought I’d write a bit about the new and older programmes I have been using lately.  These include Facebook, Twitter, Dopplr, and to name a few.  All these seem to have pro’s and cons and I would like to share my opinions from the perspective of someone who is fairly new to all this geeky business and a bit skeptical of it’s value!

Anyway, let start with good old Facebook.  I along with many people am a member of this ‘social’ network. However I have come to question its true value as a social tool.  Weirdly had it not been for Facebook I probably wouldn’t have ended up going out with my most recent ex boyfriend, however I’m sure it also contributed in some part to our parting.  Trust issues were not helped by the ‘big brother’ nature of this networking tool.  Also having lots of interlinked friends at university meant that sometimes it was easier to have a look at a wall to wall conversation rather than ask a person how they are having already gathered the answer…thus reducing social interaction.  I have toyed with the idea of deleting it altogether but there is something that keeps me hanging on.  I think it is the voyeur in me that likes looking at drunken pictures and seeing what is going on in other people’s lives and the nagging feeling that if I didn’t have Facebook  I would become a social outcast. This lent I will probably give it up like last year and maybe after 40 days and 40 nights I might go all the way.

Next up… Twitter! It took me a while to get into it but now I am quite enjoying it and have even met up with a couple of people from it! It’s been great for finding fellow runners and has really helped with the motivation.  Also following people like Lance Armstrong and other top cyclists is quite cool and it’s interesting to hear about their racing and Tour preparation.  The downside is it can be quite addictive and time consuming! Since becoming single the tweeting has drastically increased, more than doubling, which is somewhat sad but oh well, I have encountered loads of interesting people so got to be a good thing! I also now have Tweetdeck so I can keep track of all the interesting people I follow. Argh, I must stop transforming into a geek!

Now to Dopplr. It’s great being able to track all my trips as can look back on it in future.  I love the little features on your profile which tracks your speed and map your trips too.  I am currently the speed of a giant tortoise, slow and steady wins the race and all that! Planning some BIG trips in the future though, might even be as quick as a duck soon 😀 You can add friends on there and share trips and tips about places you have visited, making it social and informative.

Finally this is something I have signed up to recently and it’s a great way of listening to music as you can put in a bands name and it brings up lots of their songs. Also there is an option to listen to a bands ‘radio’ which is music by that band and of other bands which are of the same genre.  It’s a great way of exploring music and discovering bands you may not have listened to before. It is social as you can add friends on their and view their favourite and recently listened to music.  However I will soon be giving Spotify a go to see what all the hype is about and whether it can compete with!

Anyway, many of you probably know this information but thought I’d give my take on the basics! Will be exploring the depths of what the internet has to offer in due course! Overall I think technology is a good thing but it has a tendency to take over if left unchecked. I’m happy with what I’m using at the moment, think much more and there definitely wouldn’t be enough hours in the day! Still unsure about FB but have just created a running society group on there so it does have it’s uses for marketing groups and events, which I like and hence I stick with it! Right, thats enough rambling for one post! Next one will definitely be about running…

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