Posts Tagged ‘geeks’

Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Check out my latest interview at Eden Fantasys, where I discuss writing, blogging, Mitzi TV, erotica, my new book In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales, the publishing business and, of course, being a social media maven! There’s even some advice for aspiring writers.

Mitzi Szereto is best known for writing which mixes classical elements with current trends. How does combining the past with the present inspire Mitzi’s creative process? How does she see the erotic genre evolving in the future?”

Click here for full text of the interview.

Mitzi Chats About All Things Mitzi TV

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Yours truly (that’s me!) recently took some time out to chat with journalist Michael Casey at a local Essex watering hole about my new entrepreneurial Internet television venture Mitzi TV – its origins, its direction, and its future, as well as the business of books, blogging, and social media.

Yet Another BBC Radio Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
In The Big Smoke

Mitzi Szereto on a Mitzi TV shoot in London

A chat about my grand passion the internet, along with email etiquette, social networking, geekdom, and all things Mitzi TV; (broadcast on 4 August 2009, the Dave Monk programme, BBC Radio Essex).

Click to listen:

“Everybody Dance Now!” – the new video from Mitzi TV

Monday, July 13th, 2009
Mitzi TV

Mitzi Szereto at Mitzi TV Morris Dancing video shoot

Mitzi TV ventures into Central London to meet up with the Westminster Morris Men, a team of Morris dancers who do a lot more than shake their booty as they keep alive this wonderfully rhythmic English folk dance!

Visit the official Mitzi TV website at:

East End Geek Dinners (or The Unofficial Official Kebab Meetup Group)

Friday, May 1st, 2009
East End Geek Dinners

Mitzi Szereto hanging wiv some geeks

Random nights out in The Big Smoke…

Right, I know exactly what you’re thinking: drugs, booze, wild parties, The Old Bill, riot gear… Bet you can hear the sirens wailing already as a police van carts me off into the sooty London night. Booked, fingerprinted, tossed in the nick. Oh, the shame of it!

Well, think again.

How about a Turkish kebab with a bunch of tech geeks? Scary stuff, huh? And it gets better. How about a Turkish kebab with a bunch of tech geeks in a Turkish restaurant located across the road from a mosque? You guessed it, Habib – no booze! But what the hey, the meat was Halal and there was little chance of catching swine flu from anything on the menu!

You might well ask how our charming group of geek-kebabites hooked up in the first place. It was random destiny, my dears – “random” being the operative word here. It could be that we were all foreigners to some extent, therefore not confined to the Britishness of needing to have downed pints at the local with someone for a zillion years before venturing out for a curry together. See, I belong to a ton of groups – Facebook groups, Meetup groups – you name it, I belong to it. Ergo this whole mad kebab caper kicked off with a mass email via one of my Meetup groups inquiring if anyone was going to the TechCrunch party in London. I replied that I was, and that kicked off still more mass emails with others RSVP-ing that they were going too.

Anyway, I forgot all about it till the night of the party, when one of the mass messagers recognised me and came over to introduce himself and his mate. Riveting stuff so far, eh? Well, give me a chance! Three nights later I was at some geek networking event in Brick Lane and there they were again, along with some other guy who recognised me from the party – and soon we were all hanging out with our drinks and chatting about cloud computing (yes, I’m serious.). Then yet another character from this geek play entered our arena, and the next thing I knew we were chasing down the street after the elected Pied Piper of our party as he endeavoured via the GPS on his phone to lead us to an Indian kebab house that was so good everyone back in Delhi was raving about it.

As we ventured further and further away from the relative safety of Brick Lane and I became hungrier and hungrier, I began to wonder if the place truly existed. Had I stumbled upon (no pun intended) the geek version of the Manson Family? Was I going to be murdered and dismembered in a Muslim neighbourhood near Aldgate? If so, I could only hope it would be done under strict Halal guidelines. Suddenly I recalled a conversation I’d had earlier that evening with someone who stated that these people (as in tech geeks) shouldn’t be let out on their own. Indeed, the words rang ominously in my ears…

When at last we reached the holy grail, I breathed a sigh of relief. Aside from the fact that I would live to see another day (not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse), it had already gone past 10pm; I’d have eaten pretty much anything by then. Alas, the divine scent of our Mecca was so packed with people waiting for tables that we were told it would be at least an hour’s wait. I stared desperately at the sweets counter, having an hour earlier embarked upon a mad dash to my favourite (past tense) Bengali sweet shop on Brick Lane, only to find the shutters closed. I was NOT happy. It was clear we would have to take our patronage elsewhere.

And that’s how we ended up at the Turkish kebab place across the road from the mosque.

Was it worth it? Yes. However, I think the excitement of being in the company of so many geeks proved too overwhelming for me (I don’t get out much), because I got a bit carried away when, halfway through my ground lamb kebab, I took a bite of an innocuous-looking object on my plate, which turned out to be a chili. The nice young gentleman seated beside me appeared to be on the verge of ringing the fire brigade, but I persevered and downed a hearty gulp of my yogurt drink, attempting to put out the flames. I tell you, I never realised those Turks could be so sneaky!

We’re now planning to make this a regular gig. Furthermore, we might even allow newcomers to join our ranks, providing they can prove their worthiness. It’s been suggested that an initiation ceremony involving the chili should be used to separate the men from the boys. Hmm…. I wonder what Amnesty International would have to say about that?

Tweeting in Soho (And No, It Isn’t Illegal!)

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

I guess it’s safe to say I’m now officially a social media tart. I’m on everything: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, and probably some places I’ve completely forgotten about or would prefer not to remember. I even linked up my Facebook status updates to appear as my Twitter updates. Okay, I’m lazy, so sue me.

I recently joined Flickr and it’s been a right larf. I’m now being stalked on there by some Cossack who plays the balalaika (no I am NOT kidding). I’m telling you, he’s way out there, Russian Orthodox and single (oy vey). He looks like he could be straight out of Dr. Zhivago. (Ironically, I’ve a copy of that very tome given to me as a special gift on my bedside table – and I’m seriously considering setting fire to it.) It’s a shame the Cossack doesn’t float my boat, or else I’d be viewing dachas with Russian estate agents as we speak. There’s also a really hot Hungarian guy on my Flickr. And don’t ask me how, but even Robert Scoble got on there. And no, he’s definitely NOT hot. Well, except perhaps to Mrs. Scoble. (Sorry, Bobby! Kiss kiss!!)

Which brings me back to Twitter. I already had a very severe case of laryngitis (that has now developed into bronchitis) before I arrived well armed with Moo cards at their London networking event on Monday evening which was, by a curious twist of fate, called “Twinterval” (it’s got the word “winter” in it, get it?). So trying to shout above the impenetrable din at The Match Bar in Oxford Circus was a major challenge, as was the pushing and shoving by too many people crammed into too small a space. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) I was plied with mango Bellinis courtesy of a free drinks coupon and courtesy of some social media guy from Toronto. So rather than squawking like bird roadkill, I squawked like an injured hawk that hadn’t yet become roadkill. Mind you, the evening was only just beginning.

I ran into a few familiar faces from other networking events I’ve attended recently, including a blogger from France who remembered that I’d been about to take my “Life in the UK” test the last time he saw me. In fact, I’d forgotten all about it until he asked how I did. (If you read my blog post “How Many Chavs Does It Take To Screw In a Lightbulb” you’ll know that I passed.) A number of other people came up to me too, recognising me from Facebook and other sites, which was kind of cool in a rather friendly stalkerish way. There’s no anonymity on the internet; you’re out there naked for the entire world to see!

When it became clear that my oral communication skills were severely hampered and weren’t likely to improve, I set off trying to locate what was left of the free munchies (I have my priorities right). I tell you, that crowd chowed down nearly everything in the place, leaving only the tables, chairs and couches behind. I ended up parking myself at a table full of people I didn’t know or speak to just so I could eat the hummus and pita bread they weren’t remotely interested in but had somehow been fortunate enough to have ended up with. Talk about eat and run.

Now I realise that I tend to fluctuate between being a social star on one end and being a hermit on the other, but I find it rather curious that what was supposed to be a networking event consisted of several “networkers” sitting solo at tables typing into their laptops. Am I missing something about this social networking gig or what? Or were these people trying to demonstrate their geekiness by disengaging from the entire process of face-to-face networking and interaction with other human beings? I’d be willing to bet they were continually updating their Twitter status too – and updating it with snappy little tweets that made it sound as if they were really living the high life. (Sounds a bit like Facebook, eh?)

I don’t know if this is coincidence or not, but suddenly a slew of people are now following me on Twitter. I have no idea where they’re coming from or how they found me, but hey, if they want to follow me, so be it. I won’t complain. Isn’t that the entire point of this exercise? Unless there is no point, and I’m missing the point.

I suppose no evening out in London – or at least an evening out involving me – would be complete without its fair share of science fiction. Just as I was leaving the event, I was given a little gift bag, which thankfully I didn’t open on the underground, or worse yet, on the train back home to Oi Oi Essex. Mind you, I could have made some really good friends very quickly had I removed the contents of my goodie bag. What was in said bag, you ask? Well, try this on for size (ahem): condoms, massage melts, a “love ring” (yeah, there’s a ruder name for this and you damn well know what it is!), and something called a “Curlywurly”. (For some reason this makes me think of scissors and the importance of personal grooming.) I don’t even understand why this stuff was handed out. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the nature of the event, and as far as I know, the sponsors for the evening included the likes of Sun Startup Essentials and Openwave, not the Jiggy-Jiggy Sex Emporium. Unless I was the only one who received these treasures and everyone else was given a more respectable bag of Lotto scratch cards and cards for free international phone calls and packets of Maynards Wine Gums.

Hmm… I wonder if my dishy Hungarian might have had a hand in this? 😉