Just to let you know…I started blogging on BlogHer.com. I’m a bit confused on where I want to blog. Bear with me. Or would that be bare with me…yes…that would be it…not the animal…lol…
Okay-to start off with their was no dinner-but there were appetisers. Last night I went to the Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #2: Sponsored by Facebook. It was held at Ettiquette Lounge in San Francisco. It was such a fun event! To start with I didn’t know if I was geeky enough to go. I mean I blog…I’m starting a website (The Smart Moms Network) but…I’m not the developer. I’ve taken beginning programming and networking but that was as far as I got. I realized it wasn’t my thing. I asked Retro Audrey, one of the event organizers if I would fit in and she said yes, come. I knew a lot of these women were hardcore programmers so I wasn’t sure, but I thought it would be a really interesting event and possibly a good networking opportunity.
I brought along Holly, who is even less geeky than I, but very fun to hang with. We met at the parking lot and walked over. I fell out of the parking lot area and skinned my knee. I had blood dripping down, but somehow my supersonic L’eggs pantyhose escaped without a tear, run or hole!?!
At Ettiquette we were greeted with a red carpet entrance! Upon entering we were given cool name badges and two drink tickets. I was rather impressed that the drink tickets were for anything we wanted, not just cheap beer or wine! Facebook rocks! I had a raspberry mojito and a pandora’s box. Both were excellent! The bartenders at Ettiquette rock, too!
It was a small venue with approximately 200 in attendance, I was told. The panel included:
» Ruchi Sanghvi (Principal Product Manager, Facebook)
» Julie Zhuo (Product Designer, Platform, Facebook)
» Alina Libova (Founder and Developer, Easter Eggs)
» Holly Liu (User Experience and Co-Founder, Watercooler)
» Annie Chang (Co-Founder, LOLapps)
Sandra Liu Huang (Program Manager, Facebook)
Cyan Banister (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Zivity)
All the women were amazing and accomplished. The sassy and scandalous Cyan Banister(http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/05/29/1938media-interview-with-zivity-cofounder-cyan-banister-guest-appearance-by-scoble-at-end/), co-founder and editor-in-chief at Zivity started us off with her introduction. I had to wonder why Facebook hasn’t hired Alina Libova, a UC Berkeley college student and the founder and developer of the Easter Eggs application? I snagged her email address in case I am in need of her skills someday for one of my websites! There were plenty of women headhunters from Facebook who seemed to be looking to hire. I would LOVE to work for Facebook, but Palo Alto is a bit too far of a drive for me.
The panel spoke about their accomplishments and the challenges and rewards of being a woman in a male dominated field. Listening to Ruchi gave us a taste of what it must have been like to be part of the beginning with Facebook. The women also spoke of the importance of user feedback and how immediate it can be on the internet. User feedback kept Annie Chang busy changing her apps to meet the users wants when she was heavily involved with LOLapps.
Right now I can only imagine how exciting it is to be on the ground floor as a website launches, and to get that user feedback and see your site grow. Soon I won’t have to imagine though, it will be my turn to be part of that as The Smart Moms Network launches, and I can’t wait!
After the panel talks and discussion we broke up for networking. It was a little difficult networking because no one seemed prepared for it. No one had business cards handy. The women speakers in the panel all kept saying that their business cards were in their backpacks in the back. (Apparently hardcore geek girls carry backpacks instead of purses.) Back to the bar for my second drink. Yes, we tipped the bartenders well! There was a spot for Geeky pictures with props, so Holly and I had some fun with some geek glasses. We also enjoyed the appetisers, the wasabi shrimp being my favs. A DJ was on hand through the night, though more for atmosphere than dancing. I recognized Retro Audrey right away from her Facebook photo, it was fun to say hello to her, she said she recognised me too!
To end the night we were presented with schwag!!! Did we get pocket protectors? No! Our schwag included a soft American Apparel lavender w/purple trim T-shirt with the Facebook Developer Garage – Geek Girl Dinner logo and a nifty wifi detector keychain! Retro Audrey was handing them out. After everyone had been through the line there were a few left over and she offered me an extra t-shirt for my daughter! She was a doll!
I can’t wait for their next event! Facebook and the Geek Girls did it high class all the way.
I love being a geek girl! Where’s my backpack!?!
P.S. I ALSO love blog comments! Leave one, please!
photo credits ~ Laura N Holly standing, Laura with another geek girl, Laura and Holly, geek panel from the back of the room photos by Icka Boo. Geek panel speaks, geek panel geeky, geek room, retro audrey, Etiquette, Ettiquette Inside by Vanessa Naylon.