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Jozi 27Dinner (July 2008) Feedback

So Monday night was another 27Dinner.

I was a minute or so late, so I just ran in and grabbed the first available seat. It was only then that I noticed I had not only gatecrashed the Cerebra table (again), but also stole the seat intended for Craig Nicholson. He got revenge by immortalizing my nose hair.

The evening was very busy. A lot more people attended this time, and we were a bit limited for time, having three speakers instead of the promised two. (How dare you exceed our expectations, Mike?) The waiters couldn’t keep up - One person at our table never received his first order, his second order was messed up, but his third order was on the house to make up for it. (I’m still waiting for my mango juice, but the complimentary wine from Stormhoek made up for it. Thank you Stormhoek!)

Speaking of the wine, I was astonished to notice the hacker emblem on one of their wine bottles. They even know what it means! Simon Tzu later stole that bottle, but that’s OK, since he not only recognized the emblem, but also knew how it got to be on the wine bottle. He also got the fabulous Pippa Tshabalala (presenter of PlayR on Channel Go, and 3D lecturer at Wits) to attend.

I also managed to meet Danie Roux, a programmer and extreme programming advocate. I’m still finding it hard to believe that there really are local companies (DevStream, Lautus, FINWorks) using extreme programming practices, but I hope it becomes popular. Once again thanks to the (still) incomparable Simone Puterman, who dropped by straight after the Loeries, just in time to introduce me to Danie.

As for the speakers, first up we had Kate Elphick, who attempted to tell us about 10 business models for Web 2.0. (Ironically her blog doesn’t have an RSS feed.) It was fascinating stuff, and I wish she could have taken a bit more time, and elaborated more. Unfortunately the talk was periodically interrupted by a boisterous party upstairs who only quieted down after all the speakers were finished. Darn youse random rowdy partygoers! Gustav shakes his fist

We also had Jason Hobbs speak about user experience design, a field I’d personally like to get into. It’s bleeding edge - as he admitted, you can’t go to university to learn this, because it’s still too new. This of course leaves aspiring information architects in a chicken and egg situation. His suggestion is to join the SA User Experience and Design Forum.

Finally we listened to Charl Norman who told us all about the local social networks (like www.blueworld.co.za, www.zoopedup.com and others) that he built. It’s gratifying to see that someone around here understands online communities, and is actually making money off it. There’s hope for SA yet.

A quick thanks to Roy Blumenthal who entertained us during the talks with his scribbles visual facilitation. Who said business can’t be fun?

You can still blame the event on Mike Stopforth.

Any accuracies, informations and outright correctnesses are entirely not my fault, and although I will illegitimately imply that they are due to creative license at first, I will eventually incorrect them if you let me know.

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