Social Media Success Stories Needed for next PE 27Dinner

Apologies for the inconvenience with the 27Dinner being postponed from September to October. Everything has been confirmed and we’re going ahead full steam with regular 27Dinner events in Nelson Mandela Bay. We should do at least 4 during 2010, one every 3 months.

This month we’re hosting a very special 27Dinner event in Port Elizabeth. As usual it’ll take place at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, thanks for Alan Stratton from MyPE. The focus this month is discovering social media success stories from Nelson Mandela Bay. So if you have a story to share, a victory to celebrate from the Web 2.0 revolution, join us. Yusuf Moses, my awesome PA, will handle the MC duties to allow me a 10 minute speaking slot, discussing the growth of the 27Dinner movement, and mutual-aid between African bloggers. For those reading this for the first time, the 27Dinner events take place all across South Africa in major cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and soon Bloemfontein.

The purpose is to expose the masses to social media, introduce new concepts from Web 2.0 into the collective consciousness of Web users, Internet experts, graphic designers, PR executives, and all forms of decision makers from small to large enterprises. And we aim to distil the value of social media for everyone who’s serious about getting more from the online world. Past events in PE 27Dinners have covered topics as diverse as drug counselling using MXit, innovative social networking platforms like ZoopedUp and Blueworld, and other niche areas.

These events are FREE aka gratis, and you simply have to add you name on the 27Dinner website after completing a simply sign-up procedure. You can volunteer to sponsor these events with wine, desert, gadgets like cool new cellphones or gaming consoles – hint, hint I want a Nintendo WII or Microsoft Xbox, forget about Sony Playstations. Otherwise simply come along for good food and conversation.

We’re still looking for more speakers on the above mentioned topic. So if you know anyone who can elucidate our minds with a success story from the Port Elizabeth-East London-Uitenhage areas, feel free to email me their contact information and I’ll gladly make it happen.


27Dinner launches in Port Elizabeth

Ramon Thomas and friends27Dinner for the uninitiated are meetings arranged by and for bloggers or people interested in social media. They take the form of an informal dinner with a few speakers and have been a hit across South Africa. In Johannesburg and Cape Town these dinners have drawn sometimes as many as 100 people at a time. At least half the audience tends to be geeks or technically oriented people, while the others are a mixture of marketing, public relations, journalists or spectators. Last year I had the opportunity to speak at the 2nd 27Dinner in Durban, hosted by Marc Forrest and was excited once more to be a speaker because it’s may way of giving back to the community from which I have learned so much.

Now I’d like to give this some context because Port Elizabeth is often ignored by people running events, whether they be entertainment (music) or business related events. And I have taken it upon myself to find ways of bringing more important events like 27Dinner or Women4Women to this beautiful part of South Africa. After all I will be spending more time here from June 2008 while I take a mini sabbatical. The biggest thanks has to go to Alan Straton from MyPE for organising the venue, and doubly so for persuading the restaurant to open on a public holiday (27 April – Freedom Day). Greig Timkoe, my friend, and client did the introduction and delivered very short talk on handling workplace conflict created by email. This is a topic of tremendous importance that I would like to see expanded on in future talks or articles on his Peacemakers blogs.

Mark Bloomfield & wifeThe first speaker for the evening was Mark Bloomfield, South Africa’s only Adobe Community Expert. He gave an overview of the Adobe AIR platform which I have used to run the StomperNet Scrutinizer. The AIR platform sounds like a good idea in principle, especially if you are technically minded and understand things like bandwidth, processing power, database calls, etc. Most people don’t, not even people working in the broader technology sector. And therefore this has a limited market potential. Java is similar because it’s platform independent, however it’s different because it’s become more of a middleware application. Adobe AIR created beautiful application which run on your Desktop and reduced the dependence on bandwidth to some extent. Mark closed off with an introduction of a new development platform from Adobe who already owns Dreamweaver and Photoshop. There’s not much I can say about this software because it has not been launched yet. Now to go by the quality of Adobe’s other project this will be a boon for developers professional and amateur alike.My own presentation was an updated version of my Blog your way to becoming and Expert presentation.

Overall this was a smaller event with maybe 20 people attending. There were several who listed their names on the 27Dinner wiki page but didn’t show and that could be because of the week ahead filled with 3 public holidays and I know for a fact many people have chosen to go on holiday somewhere else.