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The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels has always been one of my favourite museums. At the moment, it is hosting the exposition ‘Survivors of the X-treme’, showing how animals survive in the hottest, darkest, coldest, in other words the most extreme environments. Last weekend, we went there with our nephews of 3 and 8 years old.

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What does it feel like to rediscover two loves in one day? I can tell you: great. And it didn’t stop there…

Those two loves?

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Apart from the Belgian TechCrunch meet-up that was sold out in no time, there is a lot going on the next weeks for bloggers and geeks.

-9/11: Blogboat 1.0 in Ghent. With citizen journalism expert Dan Gillmor. Registration via this wiki.

-12/11: BrusselsGirlGeekDinner in Hasselt. Subscriptions via this wiki.
Topic: Music and technology featuring Audiocubes demo by Percussa.com’s Bert Schiettecatte.

-17/11: Mobile Monday in Brussels. Subscriptions via this website.

Program:

18.30 Welcome – Wim De Waele (IBBT) http://www.ibbt.be/team#wim

18.40 Mobile Advertising what can we expect in Belgium- Fabian Tilmant (Cleverwood) http://www.cleverwood.be/blog/

19.00 Start-up case – Jean-Paul de Ville (Pumbby) http://about.pumbby.com/

19.20 Debrief of MobileMonday Stockholm session – Tanguy De Lestré

19.30 Drinks and networking

And the really nice part? The three events are for free! They cost nada, nothing, rien du tout!

A few things:

1.

On Monday I went to the first Mobile Monday in Brussels. A small and informal event with players from the Belgian mobile phone market. Which is still very far away from the big Mobile Monday events in Amsterdam, but it’s a start. And a good start it was. I had some interesting conversations with people from VRT, IBBT and MobileWeb. But most importantly: I finally got to see (a tip of) what’s going on in the Belgian mobile sphere. Who is doing what? Which companies are asking for which solutions? It’s a great way to bring professionals together I think, so I’m happy to be part of this.
The next Mobile Monday takes place at the 17th of November. The location hasn’t been decided upon yet. The former location, the bar of the Bemanos hotel was impressing at any case.

2.

Tomorrow, I’m heading to Amsterdam for the PicNic event. Last year I met some great people there that I’m still in touch with, like Kerim Satirli and Paul Bradshaw. Hope it will be as amazing as last year. The people there convinced me to start this blog because they wanted to find out more about my projects, yet I couldn’t send them anywhere on the web to find out. So this blog celebrates its one year anniversary 🙂 .

3.

On the 8th of October, the developers community I’m working with will officially ‘come out of the box’. At the Hasselt Student Take-Off, they present some applications they made. I’m curious how they will react and how the students will react (to them). Will be a kind of ‘boy meets world’ experience I think.

Hmmm, much too long ago since I’ve written an entry. Which is my fault. Completely. And which makes me realise there’s quite a lot I haven’t been talking about on this blog.

So, back to the past.

1. Yesterday. Girl Geek Dinner number 5 already. I’m a geek not a freak. Out of the 5 Brussels Girl Geek Dinners, I have attended 4 till now. Luckily I missed out one, otherwise I couldn’t defend myself anymore when people call me a freak 😉 . Anyway, it was great to see some ‘usuals’ back like Clo and Smetty ànd to meet new people like Pimpajoentje. Moreover, we got ‘speculoospasta‘ in the goodie bag. I’m staring at it right now with hungry eyes 😉 but I am patiently waiting for the right moment to try it out.

2. The 6th and 7th of May. A friend of mine organised quite an interesting event for people who are involved in arts and culture. During this so called ‘hybrid spaces’ event, the participants were challenged to think, talk and work around four thematic issues:

  • local/global,
  • private/public,
  • narrative/creative
  • visible/invisible.

Those ‘borders’ can be looked at in many ways since the coming of ‘new media’. More information on the Spacecowboys website.

3. Way back in time, at the 29th of March. Barcamp Ghent and Girl Geek Dinner number 4. Apart from meeting lots of interesting people in Ghent, I was very proud that I had been able to pursuade some colleagues at City Live to join me there. And very relieved that they enjoyed the event and came back with new contacts and great ideas as well 🙂 . Furthermore, I discovered the wii. Which wasn’t only very funny, but which brought me into contact with two great people: Ywein and Filip. Ywein was my opponent, Filip the one taking pictures while we made a fool of ourselves 🙂 .

After the Barcamp in Ghent, the fourth Girl Geek Dinner took place at the offices of Netlash. Not only again a nice place to meet interesting people (at or in between the cocktails and French fries I met Britt and also Bart), but also the place at which I won…YES, I won…a microsoft webcam. Thank you!

sshot-1.jpg

The second Girl Geek Dinner. Unlike the first edition there were no television cameras in the neighbourhood and I must admit it made me feel more at ease. Like that I could chat with the other girls without caring too much about my hair (does it still look good) or my expressions (oh no, the camera went by and I was just yawning) 😉

So now the serious stuff. I enjoyed myself at the second girl geek dinner. Not in the least because of the topics we discussed. Sexuality and the internet, being the only girl on the work floor and how to cope,… And as a matter of fact, there were French, Flemish and English speaking people and we all connected. Maybe the political divide in Belgium brings people even more together (?) Well, let’s hope.

Two ladies I especially remember are Ann and Marina. Ann is a very dedicated dentist and mother and she blogs about things in her life. I really love it that not only marketeers, it’ers, web designers or journalists have a blog. Marina is actually French, but has been living in Belgium for quite a while. Four years ago (!) she decided to start with corporate web writing, in other words writing content for the websites of companies. Now, lots op companies work with people like Marina, but four years ago Marina must have been one of the first with an idea like that (?)

Pictures on the Girl Geek Dinner can be found via this Flickr-link. Thanks to Emich, one of the male participants. What boys can be good for 😉

Tonight I am going to the second Girl Geek Dinner in Brussels. I’m stuck with a nasty cold, but it won’t stop me from going.

For several reasons:

1. I promised to bring a beamer. So without me, no beamer and thus no presentation. Waw, am I important 😉

2. The presentation will be about sexuality and the internet. Quite interesting, don’t you think?

 3. A lot of the attendants are ‘new’, which means they weren’t at the first Girl Geek Dinner. New girls and in other words new conversation topics and insights. Will be interesting, I think.

By the way, thanks to my company we can also add a gift to the goodies bag. Each girl will receive a cute picnic blanket from us. Too bad it’s almost winter. But since friends of mine recently put up their tent in the living room (they really did), I can imagine that a Christmas picnic at the fireside isn’t that far fetched. Anyway I hope everybody will enjoy 🙂

sshot-73.jpg           The whole article:  geek-girls.pdf

So I went to the first Brussels Girl Geek Dinner on the 17th of October. Curious about who was there, and who wasn’t? Consult the Flickr-pictures then.

To be honest, I was very excited about the event. And I didn’t want to get over-excited 😉 because then things never turn out the way you want them to turn out.

But as a matter of fact, I had a great time. I finally saw or met some people with whom I had already corresponded, but who I never saw in real life. One of them is Ine Dehandschutter, an independent photographer ánd blogger. She managed a project in Israel a few years ago to bring Palestinian and Jewish school children together via the internet. Like that, there was more understanding and the children could see that they didn’t differ that much from each other. That’s how we started corresponding some time ago. 

We also had a speaker: graphic designer Veerle Pieters, CEO of Duoh!. Her blog has 17.000 readers each day. 17.000!!!She provides tips and tricks about design matters on it. She also talked about a new project of hers, called Geeky Chix.

I can go on like that. But I’ll finish this entry by mentioning that there was above all a very good atmoshpere and that it was really interesting and fun to speak with the geeky girls. Since the attendees list was full in no time, there is a second edition coming up. And since it’s not all about ‘new media’, the newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen was there as well and made us shiny and hot, see article above : -)

By the way: my good deed of the evening was to bring blogger Maarten in. Boys could only get in accompanied by a girl. He had a great time, he told me. So I was happy too 😉

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