19 October 2010

Social Media Events in London

Just copy and pasting what I saw in this Mashable article this AM. Wanted to have all of London in one place.

November 11, 2010, London, UK: The first London Social Gaming Summit is a one day event focused on the intersection of games and the social web. The event focuses on helping social games developers build, monetize, and grow their social games. We’re bringing together the leaders in free-to-play games, social networking, and payments infrastructure for a full day of panels and talks.

November 12, 2010, London, UK: The first London Virtual Goods Summit is a one day event focused on the emerging market opportunity for virtual goods and economies. Once restricted to the world of online gaming, virtual goods and currencies are beginning to influence the development of social networks, community sites, and many other new and exciting markets. The market for virtual goods continues to grow – join us for engaging talks and panels designed to highlight important trends in this fast growing market. This is a must-attend event for those in the games, social media, and entertainment markets. Register now with the promo code MASHABLE010 for 15% off!

November 15–18, 2010, London, UK: Europe’s definitive customer strategy experience. Focusing on the strategy behind the concept of loyalty, Loyalty World will provide you with the insight and tools to develop the ultimate loyalty initiative to support your business goals and add measurable value to your bottom line. Loyalty World will examine the relationship between your brand and your customers, look at what drives consumer behaviour, and help you understand how you can identify and harness new trends and tools to really drive engagement. Loyalty World attracts participants from some of the world’s most reputable brands. With speakers from retail, financial services, travel, leisure, utilities and telecoms, you will gain cross-transferable loyalty insights and experiences that will help rejuvenate your loyalty strategy, attract, engage and retain customers, and strengthen your market. Register here and SAVE 10%.

November 15, 2010, London, UK: The Social Technology Not for Profit Summit ’10 caters specifically for those that work in or on behalf of charities and not-for-profit organizations. We’re bringing you answers to the big questions across the industry, discussing how to make the most of little or no budget, and how to utilize social media to turn supporters into advocates. This event will bring you practical advice with a human perspective and tangible takeaways that you can implement seamlessly into your not for profit organization. Register and use the promo code mash80 for an additional 20% off the ticket price.

November 15, 2010, London, UK: The virtual goods model is the revenue-generating sensation that is taking the world by storm, from games publishers to media companies, from social-networking sites to consumer brands. The Virtual Goods World Europe 2010 promises to be the next step for your business! Major brands will come together to discuss the opportunities presented by the rise of virtual goods. Social networking sites will participate, to learn more from the brands and create business models for the future. Games publishers and developers will learn best practice customer acquisition strategies. All participants will learn new opportunities presented by advances in alternative payment systems. Register now with the promo code VGWMASH and save 10%!

November 17-18, 2010, London, UK: The Corporate Social Media Summit is a two-day conference focused exclusively on how big businesses can use social media to enhance their marketing/comms strategy. The conference is tailored exclusively to a corporate – not a social media – audience. It features 20+ senior executives from European corporations speaking – including Vodafone, Honda, Nokia, Cadbury, PepsiCo and more. 14 in-depth, interactive workshops deliver best practice examples and practical next steps from companies that have already experienced marketing/comms success using social media. For our brochure, click here. Register and use the promo code MSH200 to save £200 off the ticket price .

November 24, 2010, London, UK: The New Brand Rules: Capitalising On The Online & Social Media Space – Following the success of our inaugural social media event in July, we will explore the issues of control, measurement and understanding of your brand’s reputation online that will drive ROI and business success. This event offers marketers an unrivalled opportunity to come face-to-face with experts from a variety of brands at various points of their social media and online strategies to thrash out these and other pressing questions. Please click here for more information.

November 25, 2010, London, UK: BrightLemon Drupal Training – Introducing Drupal (London): This Drupal course quickly gets you up to speed with building dynamic database-driven websites with Drupal (). It begins with a basic introduction into the main concepts behind Content Management Systems (CMS) and the types of websites they are meant to help create. We then map these concepts onto Drupal as a CMS and take you through installation to creations of a series of websites – each one adding an additional layer of functionality. Buy tickets here.

November 25, 2010, London, UK: The media and marketing industry’s Global GREEN Awards 2010 recognise and reward creative work that communicates the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainable development and ethical best practice in any sector and across any marketing discipline. Now in its fifth year the GREEN AWARDS™ are going Global, this year for the first time, all the categories are opened for entry from all over the world. The Awards illustrate the crucial role that needs to be played by green marketing and sustainability communications in informing people about green issues, products and lifestyle choices, and showcase examples of excellence and best practice in communicating sustainability and green issues. The Awards are now open for entry. For more information about the 16 categories and entry process, please visit http://www.greenawards.co.uk.

November 25, 2010, London, UK: The Digital Brand Strategy Summit is designed to create a unique showcase from leading brands and industry experts on how to create, launch and implement an effective Digital Marketing Strategy for your brand. During this one day event delegates will be presented with strategic information, case studies and hot tips enabling delegates to walk away with a clear understanding of the digital concept and the knowledge and tools necessary to deliver an effective strategy.

November 30, 2010 – Dec. 2, 2010, London, UK: Online Information is the largest UK event dedicated to the information industry. Taking place in the Grand Hall at London’s Olympia, the exhibition attracts more than 9,000 visitors each year from around the world. This unique, free to attend event consists of an exhibition with more than 200 international exhibitors alongside an extensive seminar programme. Online Information covers 6 core segments: Content Resources, ePublishing Solutions, Library Management, Content Management, Search Solutions and Social Media, providing an annual meeting place for this global industry. Mashable readers may register to attend here.

November 30-December 1, 2010, London, UK: Apps World aims to address the entire app ecosystem and the challenge of delivery, development and design of apps across multiple platforms. The event will bring together leading operators and app stores worldwide, and draw in parallels between the mobile & TV app platforms. Register now to receive the early-bird discount.

November 30, 2010, London, UK: Social Recruiting Conference will gather together leading employers and recruitment industry professionals, to passionately discuss and practically demonstrate the power of Social Recruiting. The conference will be unlike any other Social Media Recruiting conferences you have attended. Our aim is to take the talk from theory to practice; and shift conversations from hype and hope to reality and results. #SRCONF will focus on Social Recruiting case studies, with measurable ROIs. Save 10% when you register with the code MASH10 at http://www.srconf.com.

November 30, 2010, London, UK: Hear how 21 heavyweight brands, including Facebook, Sainsbury’s, Google-YouTube, COI, King of Shaves, Motorola, JustGiving, BBC, Volvo, M&S, FT, Jaguar, Eurostar and Santander are demonstrating real results from social media at the Social Media Results For PR & Comms Conference. Tried and tested strategies to genuinely engage audiences, fully embed and integrate social media practices and clearly demonstrate real results. Mashable readers receive a £150 discount with the promo code MASHABLE if you book before August 19. Click here to download the conference brochure.

December 1, 2010, London, UK: The Mobile Cloud Computing Forum will provide a full perspective of mobile cloud computing and SaaS from business value through integration and implementation and to the emergent trends in the industry. Meet some of the best known mobile cloud computing and SaaS professionals in person and exchange your experiences. Register with promo code MCMASH20 and save 20%!

Anyone interested in going to any of them?

17 October 2010

Asian Persuasion

Hands down, next to all the fantastic people I've met through life and travel, meeting their cuisine is the next best part.  Over the past year, I shared a kitchen with 2 Japanese, 2 Cubans, 1 Chinese, 1 Greek and 1 Ukrainian - their cooking styles will stay with me for years to come.  I like to take bits and pieces of different recipes that I like and put them in one dish as I did tonight.  This dish was practically done in a hobo style, that is, I just took random things I had and threw it together - but some of the greatest meals started that way, no?

One of my all time favourite dishes is chicken adobo, a Filipino dish that was cooked for me while I was living in Australia.  I wasn't going to go all out on the adobo, but I still had those drumsticks from before.  I really have a thing for vinegar for some reason, but that's one of the most familiar flavours/smells of this dish.  So I whipped out my white vinegar, and soy sauce, turned a frying pan on high heat with some vegetable oil and threw in the drumsticks.  A bit of salt and pepper, naturally, for taste.  When the drumsticks were nearly done I poured out the excess oil and covered them in the vinegar and put it back on the heat.  But wait, I need rice! 

Here are a few cool tips learned from my former kitchen mates: Put extra cooked rice in the freezer, and when you need it later, use it.  More importantly, if you're making a dish that requires fried rice old rice is better than freshly cooked rice!  So, when I ordered a Chinese takeout earlier last week and I didn't finish my white rice, I popped that in the freezer.  Zapped that in the microwave today for about 2 minutes and then added it to my vinegar chicken fry-up situation.  Now I've got fried rice, which I added about 2 or 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in the pan to get those fried rice characteristics.

One thing that the English grocery stores do well is help with pre-selected, single-serving veggies.  I feel a bit bad buying a bag of mixed vegetables when I could just as easily buy each of the ingredients and mix it together myself, for probably cheaper (if you think in bulk).  But in reality, a lot of people do house/flat shares here - I don't have all the space in the world in my fridge.  So I picked up a bag of what was considered "Mushroom stir-fry vegetables" including cabbage, carrots, mung beans, red onions and mushrooms and threw that in to the pan as well.  

Semi-chicken adobo, fried rice and mushroom stir-fry vegetables in the pan and sizzling away.  To me, no dish is complete without garlic.  Literally, I could eat a whole clove, I love garlic that much.  I didn't this time, I finely chopped some garlic and sat it to the side.  One root that has grown on me is ginger, which one of my housemates used a lot for her dishes.  To be honest, ginger practically made this dish, and almost gave it a Thai taste with the tangy-ness from the vinegar. I chopped it, zested it, diced it - there was a lot of 'it' in there.  Also I had some spring onions left over from many many dishes ago (I made a mexican layered chili dip - which unfortunately I haven't documented on here as of yet) and I chopped those and added it to the mix. 

Last but not least - an egg.  In my opinion any asian dish is made awesome-er when an egg is involved. I made an open spot on the pan, cracked an egg there, and scrambled it in the same spot before stirring it into the other ingredients.

At the end I threw in a quick dash of this "Chinese 5 spice" BS that I've never heard of before.  My current housemates had some in the drawer, but I have a bit of a hate for store-bought and packaged spices that are a mix of spices that you can put together yourself. Italian seasoning, Emeril's Essence, even All-spice, I have all those things lying around anyhow, I'm not gonna buy a specific container that you so conveniently mixed for me! Argh!  Anyhow, this 5 spice really overpowers with the anise, so I didn't want much of it - but if you like liquorice scents, add more.

So there we go, left over rice, left over onions, some drumsticks, garlic, ginger, and pre-packaged stir-fry veggies.  Quick cook, cost about a fiver, and delicious.

Soul Food a la Europe

I think the biggest qualm I've had since moving to London, is that I miss American food.  I miss the taste, I miss the smell, I miss the convenience, but most of all I think I miss the diversity.  I'm sure some Brits could argue that the UK is a hub of diverse food, but in my opinion 15 curry shops and twice as many kebab stands isn't my idea of diverse.  It breaks my heart when I go to the shop, ready to make some sweet Mexican food and the only "Mexican" flavours they have come from Old El Paso (Oh how I miss the days of Goya) and to be quite frank, when asked if I want peppers on my burrito I want to punch someone in the face. If I wanted a fajita I would've asked for one damnit - get those peppers outta here!  Recently I've been craving what I consider to be the tastiest food ever - soul food.

To be honest, this post is a bit of a disgrace to soul food, as what I actually made is far too healthy to be listed in this category.  Nonetheless I was determined to get some form of collard greens, cornbread, fried chicken and/or pork in my belly.  Being in London, I was a bit limited, so I settled for a bag of mixed veggies, some drumsticks and I made cornbread...sorta.

I'm quite used to seeing the happy Quaker guy on my box of corn meal so I'm weary of anything outside of that.  I had to make due with whatever was eventually found at the shop, but it seemed to be ground a lot finer than the typical corn meal.  I used the standard recipe sans the Pam cooking spray since I haven't seen any of that here either.  Also I forgot to pay attention to the recipe whilst shopping and didn't have any milk!!! Luckily I made some buttermilk pancakes the day before and had leftover buttermilk and yogurt.  I took the last of my buttermilk (about an ounce) and filled a measuring cup to about 3/4 with that and the yogurt.  Poured that in to the cornbread recipe and added about 1 cup of water and had my milk substitute! It actually worked quite well!!

For the chicken, I decided to bake it rather than fry.  I love baking chicken because you don't have to add anything to it for it to taste great. EVOO, salt, pepper, high heat, 20 mins, done. The second day I made this I added rosemary and diced potatoes and had a mini English roast.  I made gravy the English way as well.  Granules + boiling water. I've never seen anything like that before. I still like the natural way (juices from the meat your cooking + flour + stock etc) but this was quick and worked just fine.  And of course, I can't do just what a recipe says, so I added some sauteed mushrooms and onions to the mix. Good choice!

The veg was a pre-selected assortment from Sainsbury's; broccoli, carrots and green beans and 'courgette' (aka zucchini).  I couldn't find any greens that I trusted to taste the way I wanted.  But let me tell you, when mom makes baked mac n cheese, collard greens with vinegar and ham hock, and cornbread I mix it all together it put it directly in my face. Words can not describe the deliciousness that comes from these dishes, but I shall try.  Everyone loves butter, everyone loves cheese, and how can you not like pork?! If you like them all, your mouth will be happy having them all at once.  But I digress, I didn't make this, I just steamed the veg and went for the healthiest half-assed 'soul food' meal I've ever made.  Someone's rolling in their grave right now.

Swimming with this Mermaid