Sunday, 18 October 2009


One of the 'new features' we've introduced to GeekFest, the offline social for online people, is 'GeekTalks'. It seemed like a good way to use uber-funky hangout The Shelter's smart private screening room, giving people the chance to share user feedback, information, innovation or other stuff of note.

Here's what we've got in mind for GeekFest 2.0, which takes place at The Shelter on the 22nd October 2009.

Catalin Marin
HDR photography, what it is and how to do it.

An often controversial technique, HDR, or High Dynamic Range, photography makes use of a number of images of a subject that are taken at varying exposures and combined to create often stunning images of startling depth and richness. Catalin, who's the man behind popular photoblog Momentary Awe, will be sharing how you can do it for yourself without having to spend gazillions on specialist software.

James Piecowye and Giorgio Ungania
TEDx Dubai Update. Now the dust has settled, a review of TEDx.
Dubai's TEDx confounded sceptics and delighted its audience by delivering a day of inspirational and challenging talks from people who had something special to share. James and co-organiser Giorgio invested an amazing amount of time and effort into the event and will be organising TEDx Dubai 2010 as well - they're going to share how they felt the day went, what they got right, what they got wrong and even an idea of where they're going to go with next year's event.

Narain Jashanmal
The Internet, social media and the future of publishing

Narain Jashanmal heads the Jashanmals magazine, book and periodical distribution business and he's been working on where the future leads for the industry - we're seeing thousands of journalists laid off around the US and Europe, magazines closing down and advertising revenue moving, along with readers' eyes, online. So what's Narain's view of what the future holds for publishing - and how is he preparing for doomsday?

Tom Gara
The National’s ‘Project X’

The last GeekTalker of the night will be the enigmatic Tom Gara, formerly technology editor at Abu Dhabi-based UAE newspaper The National and founder of its technology blog, BeepBeep. He's working in a laboratory fifteen hundred metres below sea level in a lead-lined complex containing myriad racks of impressive machinery - together with a team of white-coated scientists whom he will kill before emerging with 'Project x' under his arm and bringing it to GeekFest to share.

The GeekTalks will start at around 8.00pm and are planned to last no more than 15 minutes each. The speakers are responsible for starting on time and finishing on time and bringing their own audience - we're not herding anyone anywhere or putting anyone under pressure to attend. The speakers can co-ordinate things between themselves if they like because we're not getting involved in all that heartache.

This will either be a glorious triumph or a shambolic mess. Either way, it'll be worth coming along to GeekFest and seeing what's going down!

By the way, we had a silly Twitter thing going on the other day to find the name for GeekFest 3.0 (and we haven't even worked out when we're going to do that yet!) and we'll be voting for the winner at GeekFest. You can take a peek at the #GeekFestSequelTitles hashtag on Twitter if you're curious (and many of the participants were definitely curious).

If you want to get updates and stuff, you can follow @GeekFestDubai on Twitter and there's a GeekFest FaceBook group too, for no particularly good reason. You can also email either myself or Saadia Zahid at the addresses given on the GeekFest Twitter page.


Tim Burrowes said...

I think this is the first time I've found myself using this phrase... wish I could be in Dubai for that. It all sounds excellent.

(By the way your, Twitter link is to some Chicago geekfest...)



alexander... said...

Hey, Timbo!

Fixed the link. Keep screwing that up. Old age.

You should organise a GeekFest Sydney! The format's easy (we'll give you a CC license to use it). Just don't organise anything.

It's amazing how things come together when they're unorganised. I think this could be the new 'Free'... :)

Anonymous said...

...and not a word of credit for the one and only original GeekTalk !
But, despite you, this sounds truly a nice event


alexander... said...


Truly, my old friend, I hadn't made the connection, it just got called that 'cos of GeekFest. I used to have a column called GeekTalk in an old magazine I produced back in the '90s as well.

But I have to doff my hat to the original GeekTalk blog - and its bastard son! :)

Grumpy Goat said...

Silly question: Wednesday 21 as per 7DAYS 20 Oct, or Thursday 22 as per this blog post.

You will understand my interest in getting the day right...

alexander... said...

Totally understand, Monsignor Goat.

Thursday 22nd, 7pm The Shelter.

Confirmed. Absolute. We'll be there.

Mita said...

I will be at Geekfest anyway but the line up of geek talkers sound interesting.

Will Tom have to kill us all after sharing his secret? Did you ensure a written confirmation that he WON'T!

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