Posts Tagged ‘Tuttle Club’

More Than a Year Later, Tuttle LA Is Still Going Strong

Francine at Tuttle LA

Me at Tuttle LA at Toorak Coffee with Jeb and Vaughan in the background. Photo by Ms. Jen Hanen

Remember back when I started posting about Tuttle LA? Well, we started trying to recreate the magic of the Tuttle Club social media cafe that I was involved with in London over here in LA last February. It’s always been a loosely organized group of freelancers, web workers and geeky folks, and through this small but dedicated group, I’ve made new friends, discussed a lot of interesting ideas, worked on a few projects and learned a lot.

When we started, we were meeting at The Library, a quirky coffee shop in Long Beach with an always-changing space. It was cozy and we enjoyed meeting there for nearly the entire first year, but we soon felt like we were outgrowing the changing space we liked to call ours. The tables were getting smaller, the Wi-Fi wasn’t getting any better, the place wasn’t getting any closer to the freeway, and we were constantly surprised by what we found in our meeting room, from a clothing store to a performance space (seriously, check out the older photos from our Flickr group).

We decided to change venues over to a newer coffee shop, Toorak Coffee, also in Long Beach, and we’ve found a happy home. The staff knows us, there’s lots of room for us to stretch out, we never feel like we’re being too rowdy during our heated discussions, and the Wi-Fi is quick and reliable. We only wish there were more outlets for our laptops. It’s also easy to get to since it’s just minutes off the 405.

I’m proud that we’re still meeting every other week like clockwork, and we’re currently discussing adding post-Tuttle educational programs. We’ve also had a number of special guests, including many Tuttle friends from London.

Just this past Friday a group of about 7 of us were discussing how valuable Tuttle has been to us. Since just about all of us work from home, Tuttle has provided an important outlet for meeting new people and adding a social component to our workweek. Because of it, we’ve gotten feedback on new projects, collaborated on work and gotten inspiration to try new solutions or conquer new tasks.

When we started out, I didn’t know if anyone would even show up. Now, our group isn’t huge, but we regularly have 6 to 10 people, and sometimes even a few more. Though I originally hoped we’d have a large, thriving group, I am happy with our steady pack of regulars who are committed to coming and helping each other out.

So Jeb, Jen, Vaughan, Al, Matt, David, Geoff, Kelly, Luke, and everyone else who stops by, thank you for being a part of Tuttle LA. It’s meant a lot to me, and I’m happy to hear that it’s meant a lot to most of you. You’ve helped inspire me creatively and professionally and you’ve introduced me to many great ideas, apps and tools.

Want to learn more about Tuttle LA and when we’re meeting next? Visit TuttleLA.com.

Event Catchup: BarCamp, MGoLA, Tuttle, VIP and Weenie Roast

It’s been a busy two weeks over here, with lots of work to do and events to go to. I’ve met some great people and learned some interesting things in the process — and I also got to hear some great music. The event rundown:

BarCamp LA

I finally went to my first BarCamp, a tech unconference of sorts where all the attendees are presenters (if they want to be) and the loosely structured gathering can yield talks on everything from WordPress tricks to whiskey tasting. I spent most of the day hanging out with Jason, who gave a hilarious talk on digital “tent removal” and introduced us to such flowery terms as “scrotoscoping” and had everyone cracking up about the lengths films go to to keep actors’ bodies looking the way they want them. I also went to talks on hacking relationships, Twitter games, the evolutionary theory of memes and steam-powered cars.

My doodle of the steam-powered "Likamobile"

My doodle of the steam-powered "Likamobile"

Mobile Geeks of LA

Though I wouldn’t exactly classify myself as a mobile geek, I have grown very attached to my iPhone — and I knew the people throwing this event (Jeb Brilliant, Matt Singley and James Whatley) at the Cat and Fiddle on Sunset. Plus, James and Vikki were in town from London, so I wanted to see them. Though there was some talk about phones, it was mostly just a meet and greet with some great people, including Tuttle regulars like Geoff and Jen. Someone also brought along a Motorola Cellular One, which was so large I thought it was a giant walkie talkie from the back.

Jeb on the Motorola Cellular One at Tuttle LA

Jeb on the Motorola Cellular One at Tuttle LA

Tuttle LA

The day after Mobile Geeks, we had another Tuttle LA, with James and Vikki as our special guests. We had a group of about 10 people, including new faces Steve, Vaughan, Karen and Al. We were all interviewed about our mobile phone choices for The Really Mobile Project, Vikki actually tested out one of the massage chairs, and we had a fun morning talking tech, playing with phones and meeting some new people.

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Vikki and James filming for the Really Mobile Project at Tuttle LA

Velvet Interactive Playground/VIP Lounge

This past Thursday, some friends I had met at BarCamp, Demi and Travis, were throwing a tech/music/art event at a club in Studio City, so I went along to see what it was all about. There was some good music and cool video exhibits, but my favorite part of the night was seeing Zombies Without Borders perform their dance/comedy show, which full of randomness, including zombie bananas performing Peanut Butter Jelly time and a fanatastic Michael Jackson-Gwen Stefani song mashup.

KROQ Weenie Roast

Of all my years living in Southern California, I’d never been to a KROQ concert. Yesterday I finally made it to my first one, the annual Weenie Roast at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine. It was a last-minute, unexpected invitation, and I jumped at the chance to go, and I got to see the Silversun Pickups, Weezer, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jimmy Eat World, Kings of Leon and Rancid. Weezer was my favorite, but everyone else was great, though we didn’t enjoy the impromptu mosh pits springing up on the lawn during Rancid, and after Guiselle got completely bowled over on the dark, steep hill, we decided to leave. It was a great day spent drinking beer, eating festival food, being out in the sun and enjoying good music.

The Weenie Roast stage from the Lawn

The Weenie Roast stage from the Lawn

Introducing: The Tuttle LA Blog

tuttlela blog

Today, we finally launched the Tuttle LA blog. It was meant to be a super easy and quick installation, but took longer than expected, mostly due to technical problems with the host we were going to use.

I kept it nice and simple, but added some neat plugins that I hadn’t used before, including Event Calendar, so you can see our upcoming meetings, and Twitter Tracker, which I wish had a few more top-level options, but is a nice way to pull a Twitter search into your sidebar and is easy to style.

tuttletwitter

With the launch of the blog, we also announced our next meeting, this Friday, April 10, 2009, at The Library Coffee House in Long Beach. We’re meeting at 10:30 a.m. again, and anyone who’d like to come is welcome. Hope to see you there!

Tuttle LA #3 Friday, March 27

library

Sorry for the lack of advance notice on this post, but it’s been a hectic week! Tuttle Club LA #3 will be happening Friday, March 27 at 10:30 a.m. at The Library Coffee House in Long Beach.

So far, it sounds like there will be a nice crowd, including some new people. We’ll probably be in the strange T-shirt shop/massage chair/free magazine room on the right because it’ll be a bigger group and it’ll probably get pretty loud. Maybe we’ll take some more videos, too.

We’ll be setting up the Tuttle LA blog soon, but for now, leave a comment to let us know you’ll be showing up to share some coffee, conversation and social media talk, and we’ll look out for you.

The Basics

When: Friday, March 27, 2009, 10:30 a.m.

Where: The Library Coffee House
3412 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 433-2393

Tuttle #2 – This Time With Video, and No, We Weren’t in a T-Shirt Shop


What is Tuttle LA? from Francine Kizner on Vimeo.

Tuttle #2 was even better than Tuttle #1. We met again at the Library, and started by meeting in the cozy room on the left that has lots of couches, but we had a special surprise — a video Skype chat with Lloyd Davis (aka the Tuttle mothership, as Geoff said), who is at SXSW this weekend. We were a bit loud when on the call, so one of the annoyed Library patrons suggested we head to the bizarre extra room off to the right, which was empty.

With talked about Austin, Tuttle, London and more (check out the video above).

Our new spot in the side room provided us more seating space and let us talk and move around more, but it was a really bizarre space. There were a few yellow walls, some mismatched paintings, a rack of T-shirts and hoodies (all in primary colors), a massage chair ($1 for 5 minutes) and some paper lanterns.

In addition to all the talk about tech, phones, Twitter, WordPress and SXSW, we also did some video interviews. Geoff’s phone died, so we took all the video on my Macbook Pro.


Tuttle LA: Interview with Mark Davidson from Francine Kizner on Vimeo.


Tuttle LA Interview with Amir Motlagh from Francine Kizner on Vimeo.

This week’s attendees: Me (@kizziefk), Geoff Hickman (@geoffsays), Jeb Brilliant (@jebbrilliant), Mark Davidson (@markdavidson), Amir Motlagh (@amirmotlagh, Vimeo), Christine (@christyxcore), Caroline (@thevixy)

Tuttle #2

Tomorrow will be the second-ever meeting of the LA Tuttle Club. We’ll be meeting again at the Library in Long Beach at 10:30 a.m. for coffee and discussion about work, social media, marketing, music… whatever it is that you’re into. The first meeting was great fun — we all met some new people and learned about some new technology and music.

Geoff, Jeb and I will definitely be showing up, and anyone else who’d like to drop by is welcome. Leave a note in the comments, email, or send me a message on Twitter if you’d like to learn more or let me know to look for you.

We’ll be in the second room (so don’t worry if you don’t see us right when you walk in the door), and we’ll try to grab enough couch and chair space for anyone who’ll be coming. And don’t worry about coming a bit late — we’re not on any schedule — this is what you make of it.

The basics:

Where: The Library Coffee House
3412 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 433-2393

When: Friday, March 13, 2009, 10:30 a.m.

The First-Ever LA Tuttle Club


The first Tuttle LA group: Amir, Caroline, Mark, Geoff, Jeb, Me and David

Today we had the first-ever meeting of Tuttle LA. Maybe it should be called Tuttle LB, as we were actually in Long Beach. In any case, Geoff and I had been planning for this for a few weeks, but weren’t really sure if anyone was going to show up. Thankfully, we didn’t have much to worry about — we had a nice small group of 7.

The Library was a cool place. It felt a bit like someone’s living room, with couches and coffee tables and walls painted different colors. The coffee was good, too.

We talked about mobile phones, as Jeb had recently returned from Mobile World in Barcelona and had quite a few Nokias for people to play with. We also talked a lot about music, since Geoff manages a band and Amir is a musician, as is David, who joined us after listening in on some of our music conversation.


Jeb and Geoff

We also talked film (Amir is also a filmmaker), Twitter, and of course social networking strategy. Mark also told us a bit about some new social networking tools and concepts, and we discussed how social networks can create ambient awareness as well as AI technologies for social networks — as in, do you want a social networking app to be able to predict your behavior on a certain day or time since it’s been tracking what you’ve been doing, or is that creepy?

We of course talked a lot about our inspiration for meeting up — the London Tuttle Club. We made a Qik video and said hello to Lloyd, we decided that Jeb was the new Whatleydude as he was letting everyone try out his various mobile phones, and we talked a lot about Solobasssteve, since he was the one who convinced us to start something up here in the first place.

And just like in London, the gathering went long — we started at 10:30 and hung around until just after 2. And though I had good intentions of getting some work done and brought my laptop with me, it stayed in my backpack. There’s never really any time for solo work at Tuttle.

We’re having our second meeting two weeks from today, on March 13, so mark your calendars if you’d like to come — and let me know if you want to carpool from LA.