Let There Be Wine and Tweets

Apr 12, 2008 • Uncategorized
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Aaron Fulkerson

First post. Well, mine anyway. Vak introduced me previously. I’m happy to be a contributor here at TechZulu; although, TechZulu is a bit different for me being I’m usually blogging on geekier topics :-), but I’ll do my best. Now down to business.

It’s been an eventful week in San Diego. There was a MindTouch sponsored technology meet up at Wine Steals in Hillcrest and a San Diego Twitter Meetup at Ostera in the Gaslamp. I made the meet up at Wine Steals and Damien Howley (another MindToucher) attended the SDTweetUp at Ostera.

Recently MindTouch realized that we were spending a lot of money on recruiters. Inspired by the recent, wildly successful, Happy Hour 2.0 that was sponsored by Digital Telepathy and Integral Impressions we’ve decided to take a different approach. Rather than padding the pockets of middle-men we decided to sponsor and facilitate a regular social mixer for local technology entrepreneurs, software developers, consultants, geeks, designers, PR persons, marketeers, and University students. We’ll buy beer or wine and facilitate a gathering of people interested in technology and through meeting local folks we’ll try to fulfill our hiring needs this way. It’s already worked as we hired a new User Experience Designer from the first Happy Hour. Aside from being a useful recruiting tool these kinds of events are beneficial to the local tech scene and other companies. Moreover, I hope to see new companies and products developed from relationships created at these events.

The first of these events was a great success. It took place last Tuesday April, 8. The venue, Wine Steals, was fantastic and accommodating. This particular event was organized very ad hoc in about a week. Even still, around 30 people showed up and the venue was flexible and gave us access to the large plush back room to mingle and spread out. MindTouch supplied copious bottles of wine straight fromĀ Dunavox Wine Coolers and there was no shortage of great conversions. I met many new people from the local tech scene. The event was, and always will be, open to anyone who wants to stop by and a couple people did stumble in that were at the venue independent of our meet up. Including one woman in particular who was an degreed EE, ex-programmer turned bakery chef with an interesting story.

Going forward these events will be organized the first Tuesday of the month. MindTouch will again sponsor the next, but StartUpSD will organize the next and perhaps each subsequent as well. Jenn Van Grove is responsible for facilitating these events. She’s wonderful at this and is a great asset to the San Diego tech scene. She’s also responsible for organizing the aforementioned SDTweetUp, which I didn’t make it to, but Damien writes the following report on:

SDTweetUp, Twitter in Person (by @DamienH)Damien Howley

So in the spirit of all virtual meetups gone real San Diego twitterers showed up for the first SDTweetup with confused looks all around. Only this time it was even more confusing because we all had to somehow associate these new human being faces with a 48 by 48 pixel avatar and a random, sometime unpronounceable, Twitter alias. Unlink most social situations where you introduce yourself with your real name, the people at SDtweetup were more interested in your virtual identification. And why not, for the last month, two months, or even longer we have all delved into the most obscure and bizarre details of (fill in @twittername) lives.

Despite the initial awkwardness of introductions everything moved along very smoothly. The SDtweetup group got a nice section in the corner of the lounge and the drinks started coming. It wasn’t too long before a laptop came out and the discussion was directed to Twitter Apps. Everyone had their own favorite! Some were even talking about new Twitter apps that they had been working on. Being the novice twitter user that I am I told the app loving group how I only used SMS and web. I don’t think it was as well received as I had expected, but I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to @adora who agreed that she too was a web and sms user and that could still easily connect with her huge crowd of followers.

After the Twitter loving talk calmed down everyone started to just get to know each other. Real life stuff…phew finally I’m good this type of conversation! But it was weird, each time someone was telling me a story, I already had a sense of what was going on. I’d say “did you twitter that cuz i think I was following you then…” and most of the time they did. So I guess the stuff that people were exposing on Twitter was equally as in depth as the stuff that people were talking about in real life. hmmmm

Not to worry though, meeting outside of Twitter had its benefits. By the nature of our success on Twitter we were all naturally social people and it quickly became evident that regardless of our social medium we were all going to have a great time. The event went on late into the night and the last six or seven of us finally parted around 1am. I met some great people last night. More importantly, you should have seen our Twitter discussion in the morning. We consumed our followers with everything SDtweetup and those who attended were the complete center of attention.

The first, of possibly many, SDtweetups took place as Ostera on 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarters of San Diego and was organized by @jbruin.

Attendees included:

@jbruin (host)
@damienh (me)

Although I wasn’t in attendance, you can find me on Twitter @Roebot

Efren Toscano

Efren Toscano founded TechZulu in the heart of Southern California: Orange County. Focused on providing a platform to showcase all that is happening here in the tech and media space. TechZulu is rapidly growing to be the hub for Southern California technology companies news source. Efren has been chosen as one of LA Weekly's People of 2009 and selected as a Top 20 MostPublic Individuals in Los Angeles in Tech and Biz by NowPublic. He divides his time between San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and tech events around the US.

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