Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Posts from the ‘London 2.0 Meet-Ups’ category

Update 1: OK, sorry for the change – but I’ve had to reschedule to Thursday 15th of March. Venue still tbc

Update 2: The venue is now confirmed as the Old Bank Of England

OK – I thought getting filmed by someone from Microsoft last year was as surreal an experience as I could expect from London 2.0, but I think a plug on Wired News which I came across in Gmail takes the biscuit:

Londoners’ calendars are once again full of networking events, parties and meetups.

The setting is traditionally a London pub and, in the case of events like Beers & Innovations, appropriate liquid lubrication is on tap.

No damn plug for the blog though – or me! I suppose at least one Sam (Sam Sethi) gets a sound bite – even if he does have nothing to do with the event 🙂

Anyway, after a not so brief hiatus, the next event will be on Wednesday March the 14th Thursday 15th of March. Details up as usual on the calendar, Upcoming and the official website. Venue tbc The venue will be at the Old Bank Of England, but please comment or update upcoming if you’re attending. QCon will be in town at the same time, so we may have a few gatecrashers…

I thought it was finally time that the London 2.0 meetings had their own website. will be the place to find out about the upcoming meetings, associated events and will allow us to look at how to help the community keep in touch in the virtual as well as physical world.

The site hasn’t been up for long, so please leave a note if anything seems amiss, or if you want to leave a suggestion.

To celebrate the London 2.0 meet-up’s first chirstmas, we’ll be freeloading off joining the BBC Backstage and other communities for a Cuban-themed evening. The event will be held at The Cuban near Moorgate on Saturday December the 9th. There are more details over at the BBC Backstage Blog. If yoyu want to come along, please make sure you sign up – there is a strict limit on places.

Thanks must go to Ian Forrester for organising everything, and the following sponsors:

  • TechCrunch UK
  • Skills Matter
  • Trusted Places
  • Chinwag
  • BBC
  • O’Reilly

Please note, it is highly likely we’ll be having our own event in December if people want it!

In an attempt to try and stick to the ‘first Monday of the month’ pattern for the London 2.0 meet-ups, our next meeting will be on Monday the sixth of November. As per usual, it’ll start from about 6.30pm, and will involve lots of people involved with (or just interested in) Web 2.0 technologies.

No fixed agenda, demos are welcome, as is beer.

Unless I get a better offer, we’ll be at the Olde Bank of England once again. If you fancy coming along, either leave a comment here or over at “upcoming”:

Thanks to everyone that attended this month’s meeting – I took some pretty ropey pictures, and they’ll up on Flickr soon. I have good chats with Simon W on OpenID, <a href=""Simon B on not blogging, and most other people there (which is a first) about lots of other things. I’m unable to make tonight’s Python meet-up, although both the Simons and Remi should be there, so go along if you fancy it.

Stay tuned for information on November’s meeting.

This month’s meeting will be on Monday the 2nd of October – I’m hoping to try and make the first Monday of each month the regular time for these little get togethers. As usual, it’s informal, no real agenda, however I’ll probably be talking about Database refactorings and Microformats.

After an interesting meeting earlier this month, where Jason provided us with a very cool Selenium demo, I’m once again hoping for people to bring along stuff to show off. This time around I’ll do my best to get a quieter space – hopefully one of the rooms at the Olde Bank of England. We have a room at the Olde Bank of England. Starting 7pm as usual, although I’ll probably be there from 6.30pm.

Please let me know if you’re going to attend – either by leaving a comment or mentioning it over at “Upcoming”: As always, the event is on the “London 2.0 iCal feed”: too.

I was asked again today of what my opinion was about Web 2.0 – what was it about all the buzzwords that was actually important? I probably end up anwsering this question a couple of times a week, and thought that todays response was as worth blogging as any of my previous anwsers.

Web 2.0, being a grab-bag of new technologies that emerged at the same time, can mean many things to many people. For myself, there are two primary trends which I think are important – the availability of cheap hardware and infrastructure software, and the ability to create compelling user interfaces on the web.

We’ve seen the emergence of a robust stack of free software on which Web 2.0 applications can be built. Where previously companies seed funding would be spent on buying Oracle and Application Servers, nowadays people are turning to cheap if not free alternatives such as the LAMP stack. Couple this with the low cost of hosting and bandwidth, and companies can focus their money on delivering what is most important – software that differentiates them from their competitors.

The fact that people are creating more impressive, more usable interfaces on the web, is due to one simple fact – the browsers got better. The lowest common denominator browsers have a good enough standard implementation of CSS, (X)HTML and JavaScript that we are freed from much of the work required to make our code cross-browser compatible. This has been followed by a number of third parties creating Web APIs (such as the Yahoo Toolkit) which further isolates ourselves from browser quirks, and help us concentrate on delivering valuable software.

If any of you are interested in Web 2.0 (or beer) and are in London (or want to travel for beer), then feel free to pop along to the next “London 2.0 meet-up( – Posts on London 2.0)”:

Colleague “Jason Huggins”: (“Selenium”: dev) is in town as he’s presenting at the “Google Automated Testing Conference”: , so I felt a meet up was in order. It’ll also serve as a nice warm-up for “d.construct”: later in the week – I’ve managed to snag a ticket so I’ll be going.

Format is the same as normal – laidback, beer, demos, geekery and quite a lot of gradient fills.

As always, the the “London 2.0 Archive”:, “Google iCal feed”: and “Upcoming”: will have all the details – -I’ll update everything once I have a venue confirmed, but as always it’ll be a pub/bar in London-. The venue is now confirmed as the “Old Bank of England”: – we’ll be on the far right of the pub. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to attend or would like to demo something.

p(update). The venue will be the “Olde Bank of England”: – we have the balcony reserved.

After a long hiatus, it’s back. I’d love to blame trips to China and Minneapolis, but in truth I’m just plain lazy. Format as before – a laidback drink/gossip with perhaps a few demos thrown in.

I’ll hopefully be arranging demos of “Selenium(Selenium – The opensource web testing tool)”: and “Buildix(Buildix – project in a box)”:, but as always feel free to bring along whatever projects you’re imvolved with that you’d like to demo.

Venue to be confirmed – stay tuned to “Upcoming”:, this blog post, the “London 2.0 Archive”: or the Google “ical feed(London 2.0 Events)”: (I’m SO Web 2.0) for updates. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know you’ll be coming along…

Amazon web evangalist Jeff Barr will be “giving a talk(Unixdaemon – Jeff Barr in London)”: on their webservice offerings at Westminster University on the 15th of May. Unfortunately I’ll be unable to attend – I’d of liked to pick Jeff’s brains about “S3”: off the back of my “recent post(magpiebrain – Is Amazon S3 the first tier 0 Internet service?)”: – but I’m sure it will be an interesting event.

If you want to attend make sure you contact organiser Dean Wilson (email: dwilson at so he can let you know of any changes. I’ve added the event to the London 2.0 calendar too.