Posts Tagged ‘bloggers Meetup’

Weekly Reading: This Time Featuring a Monkey!

Well, it’s been another busy week, but I got to see a lot of people. The Tuesday night blogger meetup was nice, and today I went to the Social Media Cafe/Tuttle Club, where there was a nice, big group to chat with over croissants and coffee. I got to catch up with Mike, Darika, James, Rob, Melinda, Toby, Lloyd, LJ, Josh and Steve, and I met a few new people, including Roger, Justin, Terence and Laura.

The best part of the event was that there was a nice little discussion group afterwards hosted by James and James of Spinvox about the “future of voice.” We talked about the difference between voice and text, where voice recording, storing, transcribing and translating technologies are going, and the implications of having a record of all the things you’ve said.

They also started by having us do a funny little drawing activity, where we added on to shapes, which was supposedly a psychological test that revealed what we thought about ourselves, how other people viewed us, our career, religion, home and love life. Mine were pretty funny, though I don’t know how accurate they were. I apparently see myself as a dinosaur/dragon with a fat tail and spikes, but I think other people see me as a flower… hmm… leave your psychological interpretations below.

personality test drawing

And what have I been writing this week?

There were the usual entertainment and fashion posts for Sugarscape, though the site was experiencing some pretty serious technical problems that slowed posting considerably, so it’s possible not all my stories made it up.

I got back on the wagon with writing for Hitched with a post about “Going Green This Summer.” Big thanks to Jamie from for helping me put some ideas together, and thanks, Luke, for connecting us.

I also managed to do a few posts on Londonist — a nice little piece about “New Cancer Centre Offers Free Support,” and what you’ve been waiting for… “Stupidly Cute Monkey Born at London Zoo.” Check out the video of the endangered little critter below. Sort of so ugly it’s cute, and then ridiculously so because of its fuzzy little head and skinny little limbs.
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Tuesday Night London Blogger Meetup

I finally made it to another one of Andy Bargery‘s blogger meetup — this time at the Coach & Horses — and had a nice evening catching up with Londonist folks, seeing some people I hadn’t seen in a while and meeting a few new ones, too. I worry that since I know some people at the events now, I don’t spend as much time mingling as I should. It’s always nice to catch up with people, but I need to find a balance between meeting new people and spending time with the people who I only really see at events like this.

The best moment of the night was when I was chatting with TikiChris, the food and drink editor for Londonist, and meeting a new Chris, who said, “I just emailed with someone from Londonist… Francine…”! Of course, I told him that it was me and introduced myself. He works for is doing some work for Lactofree, and had found my blog and emailed me about my Lactofree posts, and we’d been exchanging emails just a few days earlier. We had a good chat about lactose and food allergies, and he said some new Lactofree products are in the works.

I was happy to see M@, Dave and TikiChris from Londonist, Siany, Annie Mole, Tim, Peter, Andy Roberts, and Melinda. And it was nice to meet some new people like Chris, Tom and Jaz. I also met Malcolm, who blogs about breakfast, so I had to do a bit of ranting about how I haven’t actually found a very good breakfast here yet. He says Americans just don’t like British breakfasts (I could agree to that). I did get some good recommendations, though, and I’ll be trying some out — top of my list is the Wolesley.

Sorry if I forgot to mention anyone… it was quite a busy night!

Social Media Club and QR Codes qr codeToday I got myself out of the house for almost the entire day by going to the Social Media Club/Tuttle Club. Now a weekly event every Friday starting at 10 a.m. at Norman’s Coach and Horses on Greek Street in Soho, the group is a lively confluence of professional marketers, bloggers, developers and social media types.

Though I tend to be nervous walking into a room of strangers — or almost all strangers, since I did know a couple of people — I felt welcomed immediately and sat down to have a cup of tea and a croissant with some newfound friends. It was nice to chat about writing, blogging, marketing and to hear about people’s startups. And I ended up staying for the QR code lunch as well.

I only learned about QR codes a few weeks ago — they’re not really used in the U.S. yet — so I felt like I should learn a bit more. Basically, they’re square-shaped bar codes that sort of look like TV fuzz that can encode urls, text information, v-cards (virtual business cards) and more. These codes are then used as shortcuts for mobile phones — the user takes a photo scan of the code and it displays the encoded information or takes them to a specific website.

The QR pros today were from i-nigma and Squiggly Square, and they had some interesting uses of the tech to talk about — both ones that had been done and some theoretical applications. Basically, it gave me a good deal to think about, and I learned some new things.

And, of course, I had to create code that’ll get you to my portfolio site (above). If anyone checking this out has a bar code reader on their phone, let me know if it works.

More Writing News: My First Post on Londonist

puppyI had the good fortune of meeting some of the Londonist crew at the Blogger Meetup at the end of January, and I’ll be doing some posts on there while I’m in town. Today, I wrote my first item: “Fuzzy Friday News: Pups Are Musical Snobs.” I’m planning on doing some food writing too, as it’s become a near-obsession on this blog. Thanks Chris, Lindsey, Hazel and everyone else I met at the Meetup.

Image courtesy of It’s Greg’s Flickrstream.

London Bloggers Meetup

Last night I went to what sounds like the nerdiest event I’ve ever been to — the London Bloggers Meetup. I’d read about it on Londonist, but was a bit iffy about hanging out with a room full of blogger-strangers, but I found out I knew one person going (Mike), so decided to check it out.

The walk to the pub, the Camel & Artichoke, was rather scary — it involved walking through some underpasses and down dark, quiet streets and really made me wish I had some pepper spray just in case, or a better route to get there — but I made it there safely, met quite a few new people and had a few drinks courtesy of Qype. I even met some Canadians and Americans, including a guy who also went to USC and graduated 2 years after me.

It seemed like every other person I met was from Londonist, and thankfully they’re a really nice crew. I feel like I just went on and on about how much fun I’m having here and all the things that are totally foreign to me to anyone who would listen. My wildlife experiences in St. James Park got a few laughs, which was good. Though apparently last summer a pelican ate a pigeon right in front of everyone — now THAT would have been something for me to write about! I also finally figured out how to properly write my phone number (Thanks for the tutorial, Andy!).

I did a much better job getting back to the train station since I walked with a few people who knew the back way in. I had a bit of trouble finding my train, since the line wasn’t marked from the top of the escalator, but I ended up making it home just fine.