Amazing launch party cake

Alfred App: 0.7 launch cake

It would be an understatement to say we’ve got great friends – they’re downright awesome! For our end-of-summer BBQ, which was also a bit of a deadline/launch party for the Alfred Powerpack, Lee made us an Alfred bowler hat shaped cake!

What better way to celebrate having been recluse shut-ins for months, working away, than by having a great day with friends? Even the rain stayed away for most of the day.

More photos coming soon, I’m sure, but I had to share this one!

[Photo credit: Michael Dales on Ember]

Five Years of Blogging: Giveaway Winners!

Earlier this month, I announced that I was giving away five fun gifts to celebrate my blog’s five years. Each of the gifts represents an aspect of my personality and what I’ve been blogging over the years; Geeky, funky, practical, foodie and artsy. (No, they’re not five of the Seven Dwarves, before you ask)

It’s taken me a bit longer than expected to pick winners. Who knew cats would be so adverse to making choices! (Seriously, they either fell asleep on the papers or tried to eat them…)

So with no further delays, here are the winners:

Geeky:
The ticket to the FOWA UK Tour was won by Kat of Safety Goat fame.

Funky:
The three sets of Spin Collective vinyl wall stickers were won by William, Neil and Terence.

Practical:
Eric and Dan won the two SpinVox voice-to-text voicemail accounts.

Foodie:
Adam won the opportunity to have a recipe of his choice immortalised by Niall Harbison on Look & Taste.

Artsy:
And finally, Angela has won the Blurb book gift certificate!

Congratulations to you all, I will be in touch soon to put you in contact with the provider of your goodie 🙂

SocialMediaCamp London 09: A Few Lessons Learned

New mothers apparently say that after they hold their newborn in their arms, they forget almost all the pain of the laborious process (literally!) that preceded. I think this week, I can see what they mean.

On Saturday, April 25th, the second SocialMediaCamp London was held at Wallacespace St Pancras after a long gestation period. The event itself is fairly simple; BarCamps are “unconferences” and therefore there are no speakers to book and manage. smcstart-1The venue is fabulous and the team there make my life incredibly easy by being such a well-oiled machine. The only pain was the sponsorship issues I encountered, which was resolved by making the event a single day instead of the original intended two days.

In general, the event was fantastic; there were some stellar presentations, on topics ranging from “What to do with a corporate Twitter account?” to “Porn & social media: A practical guide to working with ‘adult’ content” and a discussion on LARP to one on how to help PR agencies collaborate better with bloggers (“PR agencies want your soul”). The weirdness of presentations can pretty much be summed up in a single photo by Neil Crosby.

The day was topped off by what I hear was a comedy Scavenger Photo Hunt, organised by Kat Neville. “I hear” because by that point, my knees had turned to Jell-O and so had my brain, so I had to skip on the photohunt, as brilliant as it seemed.

A few days from the event now, and I’m still basking in the glow of a great day, filled with new and known faces, creative ideas & suggestions. I’ve pretty much forgotten about the faff of the weeks leading up to the event and am already thinking about doing it again.

As  far as the homepage of my blog is concerned, this is where the post ends. If you’re interested in a few contentious aspects of the event, then read on.

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Events Galore: SMCLondon & Cambridge Geek Nights

Since organising the first SocialMediaCamp London in October, I’ve been trying to convince myself that I don’t have the event planning bug. No no no, I don’t need to spend time organising events. Must focus on running my new business. Right?

Well… it’s not working, I’m finding myself daydreaming about hearing more people’s views on the weird and wonderful industry we spend our days (and nights, and weekends) immersed in. And somehow, I’ve found myself leading two upcoming events:

First, a second SocialMediaCamp London, which we’ll be holding at the same gorgeous Wallacespace St-Pancras venue as last time on 25-26th April. The first round of tickets went out on Thursday morning, disappearing in all of 9 minutes. I feel like a mother who has to choose between her children, being contacted left, right and centre by people who didn’t manage to get a ticket but want in! Thankfully, there’s another round of tickets on Monday. I simply can’t wait for our two-day event, as last time, not only were presentations great, but the people I met were also brilliant. The challenge is to survive two days!

The second event is only just beginning to take shape; Cambridge Geek Nights. There have been Geek Nights in Oxford for some years now, and replicating the evening gathering concept here in Cambridge seems to have some potential. No venue or date has been decided yet, but it will hopefully become an opportunity for geeks, entrepreneurs and freelancers to get together to exchange ideas, meet potential new connections and people to work with. I view it as an opportunity to get together, without suits or sales pitches. Plus it involves drinking beer. Geeks are always up for beer.

In fact, if you’re interested in CGN, leave a comment or @vero me and I’ll ensure we keep you updated when we pick a date for the first one!

I suppose it’s a bug I can’t fight – I love getting people together, whether it’s for dinner parties or social events, so hopefully you’ll join me at either of the above. But for now, I need some sleep!

Cute Red Ford Ka 07 Needs a New Home

My little red Ford Ka

Yep, you read right. I’m selling my gorgeous little red Ford Ka.

Wondering why? I’m just upgrading to something slightly bigger (a 5-door Fiesta) and rather than part-exchange it, I want to first try to find a new home for it. It’s still in absolutely pristine condition inside and out as I’ve taken great care of it so here’s the spec:

  • Ford Ka 1.3 Petrol, Zetec Climate model (with all the extras!)
  • April 07 registration so it’s not even 2 years old yet
  • 14,200 miles on the clock (driven by me, so it’s always been gently driven)
  • Bright Colorado red paint, unblemished paintwork – professionally detailed
  • Air conditioning
  • Heated front windscreen (brilliant when it’s frosty in the morning)
  • Electric windows
  • CD Player
  • Alloy wheels
  • Roof spoiler
  • over 1 year to go before it’s due its first MOT

As it’s under 2 years old, it still has over a year’s manufacturer warranty, which means that in the unlikely event of a crash, the exits can be located here, here and here any problems, they will be fixed for free by any Ford dealer.

It’s such a cheap car to insure, and it’s been absolutely faultless so I have no doubt it’ll be a great car for whoever buys it. Now, what you wanted to know… How much? Well, looking at the other Ka’s advertised, this one is better spec and newer than pretty much any on sale. However, I won’t price it any higher than the others, so I’m looking for £4990 for it.

I’m based near Cambridge so I hope to find a buyer who’s able to come pick it up from mine. Ideally, I’d be looking to hand it over at the end of March, since that’s when my Fiesta should arrive, but we can work something out if you need it sooner.

Drop me a line on vero@thatcanadiangirl.co.uk or give me a call on 07875 540 945 if you’re interested.