London becomes the centre of web 2.0

Well for a few days at least, London seemed to be the focus of those interested in the future of web apps.

After a weekend of barcamp london, the aptly named “Future of Web Apps” conference lured into London many of the “poster folks” of the current tech wave.

This prompted a flurry of social events with some of those folks as headliners. Last night there were 3 of the popular regular events.

I managed to get to two of them – Geek Dinner, which was headlined by Tara Hunt, & London Geek Girl Dinner. The third was Wiki Wednesday, where I’d hoped to catch up with Dennis Howlett, but there simply wasn’t enough time.

I’d expected the numbers would be reduced because of the clash. Instead there were even bigger attendances, swelled by the conference attendees and new faces.

I caught up with lots of folks at Geek Dinner who’d been at Barcamp including the organiser of both Ian Forrestor, Tom Morris, Andy Mitchell, Carlo Nicora and Sheila. The venue was packed to hear a very disappointing talk from Tara Hunt & her partner Chris. Much of it centred on how great barcamp is & how they’d travelled to lots of them. Thereafter they gushed about how empower we all are thanks to the web and the power of online communities. Oh yes, and how entrepreneurs don’t need VCs anymore. Note to all VCs: if Tara Hunt walks in your office asking for cash or is aiding a venture you fund, maybe you should ask her about “selling out”!

Bored by her drivel, I grabbed a cab over to London Geek Girl Dinner (LGGD)in the company of Sokratis Papafloratos, co-founder of TrustedPlaces.com.

Sokratis reminded me that one of their recent initiatives has been to provide users of their site with a discount card for venues (bars, restaurants), which is designed to both reward users as well as recruit them.

So LGGD had suffered from a few speaker substitutions but still played to a full house. I’d been invited along by Shivaun Raff of Foundem.com, specialist search site. Unfortunately the last speaker was just finishing up when we arrived. However the fun was just beginning.

I enjoyed a bottle of claret with a good mate, Hugh Macloud of gapingvoid.com, fresh back from his nationwide promotional tour of Stormhoek wine in Tesco stores. It provided a massive sales boost to Stormhoek & drew great praise from tesco. The tour was filmed by some of the participants from the Hallum Foe movie and the daily journal is on Hugh’s site.

Also joining in with a glass was Steve Clayton of Microsoft (a fellow alumni of Loughborough Uni), Katie Ledger (bbc click) and some bloke called Mike Arrington of Techcrunch.

I also had some great chats with
– Sarah Blow (LGGD organiser)
– Nicole Simon, who recently featured on Podtech with Robert Scoble, and who is a well known blogger from Germany as well as a barcamper from the weekend
– Dr Bernhard Berger and his colleague from Excite, Amanda Lorenzani, both barcampers
– Nicole, who is working with me on launching Webdash (online social meetup to have a wander round cool stuff in a web conference setting)

There were many others I spoke to during the evening and it ranked as an excellent night out. It proved London is a great place to be if you’ve an interest in developments on the web and in meeting the people making it happen.

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