27 dinner Cape Town off to rocky start

I attended the 27 dinner last night, and have to say it was disappointing. Swimgeek and Jacques Marneweck Marnewreck can tell you just how disappointing they found it.

I have a sightly different perspective though. It wasn’t a geek dinner, and was never meant to be. The 27 dinner describes itself as a get-together for geeks, marketers, entrepreneurs, writers, media practitioners, speakers.

And that’s what makes it potentially interesting. The crossover between various disciplines. The Digital Citizens Indaba was a roaring success of an example, where media people, activists, technologists, marketers produced an interesting dynamic.

It didn’t work last night, as the focus was too strongly on marketing, what was said wasn’t particularly interesting, and the geeks were bored. I was sitting in the riotous geek corner that was probably most dissatisfied with the talks.

To give some credit, the venue and food were excellent. The only complaint about this, half-joking, was that it wasn’t dark enough, with no pizza and no wires everywhere – i.e. a ‘typical’ geek dinner. It was well-presented with the sound being clear, and rotating slides of all the attendees blogs being a nice touch. All the little details that so often let events like these down were taken care of.

My personal favourite presentation was iamverity, who showed passion and heart, which always grabs the attention.

Mike recognised the shortfalls, and that’s why next time has been designated a blogger-only event, and he’s attempted to press-gang a few more diverse speakers, including me 🙂 Let’s hope next time is more successful.

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  1. Eh, I can only imagine Jozi people to be friendlier, but Cape Town surely is so much more beautiful. If you don’t agree, you are blind. The thing is that Cape Town people fit in with their surroundings, which means we are extraordinarily beautiful and confident 😛 which is why we don’t mingle with you hillbilly looking jo-burg folk 🙂 Fat n Ugly people are always friendly 🙂

    That said, feel free to approach me and tell me how lovely I am at the next 27 🙂


  2. Hehehe… I think you described it well. I felt a bit guilty for sharing in some of these riotous sentiments (love your verbs and adjectives, BTW), because I regard Dave as a friend and a good guy. I read Henk’s article which extends the notion of geekness, but somehow I still don’t feel fulfilled.

    I can put it down to two related reasons. Ironically, I think the marketers misread some of the market. The 27Dinner grew out of geek-specific events, and Classic Geeks that were
    looking for the pizza and wires were disappointed. If the wiki hadn’t used the word geek in the beginning, and if everyone knew they were coming to a series of talks about online marketing given by marketers, they may have listened more attentively, knowing that this wasn’t going to be “for them” specifically but for a more general audience, and that they could possibly pick up a couple of pointers to broaden their frame of reference by shutting up.

    Secondly, Mike opened the evening by joking about a comment which someone had apparently made to him about how he was claiming the word geek as a brand (paraphrasing here, I don’t remember his exact words). The joke was funny, but it did not quell the sentiment. People do not feel happy when you change the meaning of words, particularly words which define their identity. I used to belong to a church which changed the meaning of the word ‘love’ and that was pretty frightening, because with ‘love’ having a new meaning, there was no other word left to describe this other thing that you felt. Changing the definition of ‘geek’ is not as serious as changing the meaning of ‘love’, but people are
    still not going to be happy if you mess around with language like that. 1984…

  3. Looking for help from a php geek – are there any of you left in Cape Town? I have a project that I urgently need to complete and am having difficulty communicating with the php geeks in India. If there is just one of you left in Cape Town please contact me john@during.co.za Many thanks.

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