Methinks this GeekFest Dubai (7.30pm, Thursday 28th April at The Usual Old Shelter, Al Qouz) might be a busy one. PLEASE NOTE The Old Shelter is being abandoned, bit by bit, so the space won't be as hyper-funky as usual, the TV screens are out and so on and so on. We've brought back lots of tables, chairs and beanbags and tried to ramp up as much as possible, but there'll be a few cracks here and there and there's not a great deal we can do about that, so no complaining now - you've been warned.
Here's what is UNplanned...
TechnoCase from Shop and Ship
This isn't so much a Technology Showcase as a How To Get Your Technology Showcase. The nice chaps at Shop and Ship are the people who give their customers convenience addresses in Shanghai, London and New York so they can do the e-commerce thing and get their stuff delivered on time, under their control and at decent rates. Shop and Ship aren't just pitching up and previewing their mobile app as part of the mobile app showcase thing we decided to do, they're WAIVING their $35 lifetime signup fee for everyone at GeekFest. This is a good thing.
Mobile Applications Showcase
We've asked a few mobile app developers (let's face it, there still ARE only a few - but more than last year!) to roll up and demo the apps they love so well. I think there will be 4-5 in total - if you know of anyone that should be there but isn't, do let me know! If you're interested in buying application development services and the like, they'll likely want to chat to you as much as you want to chat to them!
The Nintendo DS and 3DS user group is convening at GeekFest. Watch out for people with unusually developed thumbs and drooling issues.
Talking of which, GameFest is also taking place once more, although the old gamer's table has gone so we're just going to have to improvise as best we can! I'm not sure whether the combination of GameFest and StreetPassDubai will result in conflict, critical mass or an outbreak of public bitings, but we can only see what happens...
The 45 GigaPixel Snap
We're showing the unique 20' by 4' printout of Gerald Donovan's Dubai panorama, which was the biggest digital image in the world last year (it has since been eclipsed by a 100 GigaPixel image of London). This print is the first of a once-only edition of ten and Gerald's auctioning it for charity - we want to know which charity, so do be ready to bring along your suggestions!
As previously advertised, the talks will be taking place in the cinema from 8-9pm. Unlike previous GeekFests, there will now be a hard end to talks at 15 minutes, to be provided by Mr. Rupert Bumfrey. Those of you that know Rupert will know that when I say 'hard end' it's more likely to be 'brutal end'. But what to do? Not one GeekTalk in almost two years of GeekFests has ended on time and people have started to point out that they'd honestly really rather be out socialising than getting caught in over-extended talks. We couldn't agree more - it's a ten minute talk with a five minute Q&A or it's a fifteen minute talk but we have now officially dispensed with the whole hippy idea that people can actually respect each other enough not to talk over their peers' slots without Law being applied. If you'd like to beg for mercy or something, Rupert's available at @rupertbu.
Talks shall include:
World Bloggers Day
What are we going to do about bloggers?
Ion Gonzaga is by passion and profession a web designer, as well as being a keen blogger and online socialite. He’s been tapped by World Bloggers Day to raise the word among the UAE’s bloggers. How do you want to mark World Bloggers Day? Any ideas? Ion’s looking for feedback and participation alike during this GeekTalk session! If you’re interested, you can check other countries' agendas at www.worldbloggersday.org. There’s already a page created at www.worldbloggersday.org/dubai!
Content aggregation = voices of the region together
Blog aggregator, voice of the region, the Arab Huffington post or an online newspaper? MidEastPosts represents probably the most diverse and vibrant reading from around the Middle East every day. Co-Founder James Mullan takes us through the voices of bloggers from around the region and how MidEast Posts plans to represent those voices.
A community to serve the community
Voila Dubai is a new initiative that plans to bring the city to life through reviews of its places to go and things to do – sharing consumer feedback within a community. Narain Jashanmal explains the idea behind the site – and takes a look at the development of the region’s new digital platforms and innovations.
Malaak, Angel of Peace
The Angel of Peace
Creating content, popularising content, funding content
Malaak, Angel of Peace, is a highly popular Lebanese cartoon strip created by Joumana Medlej, the prolific multimedia and digital artist and graphic designer. The strip has gone from strength to strength, growing in popularity as it has in scope – and is now in its fifth book. Joumana’s travelling from her native Beirut and will be be talking about the story behind Malaak as well as looking at the innovative online fund raising methods she’s now using to fund the new book of the Malaak story. If you'd like to take a look at Joumana's amazing work, you can do no better than go here.
Registration and stuff
As always, there is no registration, no formality, no requirement of you other than to turn up and even that's optional. Catering is from the wonderful folks at LimeTree Café. You can follow @GeekFestDubai on Twitter or find us on Facebook. If you've never been to The Shelter before, there's a map (as well as a funky GeekFest video) on the Shelter website here.
GeekFest will sort of start 7.30pm-ish on Thursday 28th April and will, as usual, end when everyone goes home.
Udate to the Update
At 7.45pm, there's to be a screening of Emirati film maker Ahmad Al Redha's 'Emirati Zombie Movie' in the cinema. So don't be late now! :)