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Current Events Meetups Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events list (Week of Monday, January 29, 2024)

Here’s the “official unofficial” list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events for Tampa Bay and surrounding areas for Monday, January 29 through Sunday, February 4, 2024!

Banner ad: CIVO, the cloud native service provider. Blazing fast Kubernetes cluster launch times in under 90s. Simplify development and reduce infrastructure costs. From just $5 a month, with $250 free credit to get started.
Civo doesn’t just throw amazing conferences here in Tampa Bay,
they’re also a great, developer-friendly cloud-native service provider!
Find out more.

Monday, January 29

Event name and localeGroupTime
Social Media Management Beginner Boot Camp Certification, Live Virtual ClassroomTampa Social Media Enthusiasts10:00AM – Monday, Jan. 29
In person at Fords Garage St PeteYoung Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!11:00AM – Monday, Jan. 29
Networking at Ford’s GarageTampa Bay Networking and Events11:00AM – Monday, Jan. 29
Downtown St Pete Business Professionals LunchTampa / St Pete Business Connections11:00AM – Monday, Jan. 29
Networking at Cafe’ DelanieTampa Bay Networking and Events11:30AM – Monday, Jan. 29
Start the Week with more connections MONDAYS at Romi’s Tacos All Welcome!Young Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!11:30AM – Monday, Jan. 29
Business Networking MeetingChristian Professionals Network Tampa Bay11:30AM – Monday, Jan. 29
In PERSON Networking Lunch East Brandon Reserve your seatProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:30AM – Monday, Jan. 29
Monday Business Introductions at Romi’s Taco’sTampa Bay Business Networking Meetings & Mixers11:30AM – Monday, Jan. 29
Getting Started with Jira – Free Online CourseTampa Cybersecurity Training6:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Monday Feast & Game NightTampa Bay Tabletoppers6:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Speakeasy Toastmasters #4698Toastmasters District 486:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
ROOKIES SPORTS BAR – SPRING HILL – LIVE TEAM TRIVIA !!!America’s TriviAddiction6:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Blood Rage w/Promo MonstersSarasota Strategy Board Game League6:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
MTG: Commander NightCritical Hit Games6:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Monday Weekly Board Game Night! (Lazy Moon Colonial Location)Board Game Meetup: Board Game Boxcar6:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
January Viewing PartySarasota “Doctor Who” Fan Meetup6:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
North Port Toastmasters Meets Online!!Toastmasters District 486:30PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Monday Night One-Shot RPG: Tiny Living DeadSt Pete and Pinellas Tabletop RPG Group6:30PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Three Bridges Brewing Trivia Night with the Smartphone Trivia Game ShowGame Night Meetup for Trivia in Tampa, Sarasota, Venice6:30PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Board Game Night at Armada GamesTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!7:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Thomas Paine’s Annual Birthdate CelebrationTampa Bay Coalition of Reason – dissolved7:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Babylon RevisitedComics, Animation and etc.7:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Stirling Toastmasters Club #7461614Toastmasters District 487:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Members as far back as 2008 can access their photosSchool is closed- Light Study PRO – A Photography Workshop7:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
ONLINE: Stoic Poetry SlamOrlando Stoics7:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Online Event: Shut Up & Write!® Your Life Story (on Zoom)Shut Up & Write!® St. Petersburg7:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
DigiMondaysSunshine Games7:30PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Weekly MeetupBeginning Web Development8:00PM – Monday, Jan. 29
Return to the top of the list

Tuesday, January 30

Event name and localeGroupTime
Venice Area Toastmasters Club #5486Toastmasters District 487:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
v-Lean CoffeeTampa Bay Agile7:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
NPI St. Pete Business Builders Chapter – Exchange Qualified Business ReferralsNetwork Professionals Inc. of South Pinellas (NPI)7:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Becoming an Empowered AI WorkerCareer Success Academy10:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Becoming an Empowered AI WorkerTech Success Network10:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Becoming an Empowered AI WorkerFront End Creatives10:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Becoming an Empowered AI WorkerTampa Cybersecurity Training10:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Brunch at The Wooden RoosterSt Petersburg Age 55 Plus Meet & Eat Women’s Group10:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Westchase Business Networking Lunch ~ All Welcome JOIN us and connect!Tampa / St Pete Business Connections11:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Tuesday Westchase Business Networking Lunch at Sea Glass TavernBusiness Professionals of Pinellas, Pasco & Hillsborough11:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Westchase Professional Business Networking Lunch ~ All WelcomeYoung Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!11:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Westchase Networking Lunch -Grand Hacienda~ Meet your next referralTampa Bay Business Networking Meetings & Mixers11:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Networking at SeaGlass Tavern~ All Welcome, join us!!!Tampa Bay Networking and Events11:00AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Westchase Professionals Business Networking Lunch -Grand Hacienda 11955 SheldonProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Professional Business Networking Lunch Glory Day’s New TampaPasco County Young Entrepreneurs/Business Owners All Welcome11:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
New Tampa Networking Lunch at Glory Day’s Grill New TampaWesley Chapel, Trinity, New Tampa, Business Professionals11:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Networking at Glory Days GrillTampa Bay Networking and Events11:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
New Tampa RGA Chapter ~ Glory Days Meet your next referral partner!Professional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Networking at AppleBee’s St. PeteTampa Bay Networking and Events11:30AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
The Business Alliance ClubThe Business Alliance11:45AM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Build Hyperledger Fabric Chaincode Better and Faster with the CC-Tools LabHyperledger Tampa12:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
The Business Networking Midday Power Hour by Simply Referrals on Zoom!!Simply Referrals Tampa Business Networking12:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Six Figure BlueprintNetwork After Work Tampa – Networking Events3:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
AI Walks into an XR Bar…Tampa XR5:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Dr. Tim Rayner Presents the Aviation Security CheckpointScience & Technology Society – Suncoast Region5:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Startup Funding in Tampa, featuring Big Sky Capital VC & SeedfundersTampa Startup Founder 1016:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Getting Started with Jira – Free Online CourseTech Success Network6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Weekly Open Make NightTampa Hackerspace6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Magic: The Gathering Night at FelicitousTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Getting Started with Jira – Free Online CourseCareer Success Academy6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Getting Started with Jira – Free Online CourseFront End Creatives6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Tuesday Chess MeetupCasselberry Kid-Friendly Chess Meetup6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Disney Lorcana: Rise of the Floodborn League Round 2Critical Hit Games6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Authors Anonymous – Writing GroupAuthors Anonymous – Writing Group6:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Loner Seekers Euchre – TampaLoner Seekers Euchre – Tampa6:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Rug making class!Makerspaces Pinellas Meetup Group6:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Orlando ServiceNow Developer Meetup – Meet and Greet, 30th Jan, 06:30 – 8:30 PMOrlando ServiceNow Developer Meetup6:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Weekly Group Meetings – All Writers Welcome!Pinellas Writers Group6:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
D&D Adventurers League at Armada GamesTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Yu-Gi-Oh Evening TournamentSunshine Games7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Music Bingo @ The Green Iguana Westshore► Tampa Bay Young Professionals Group7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Michael FikarisComics, Animation and etc.7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Dunedin Toastmasters – Guests Welcome 👍🐛Dunedin Toastmasters 21667:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Trivia Night – Moose Lodge 2117 Smartphone Trivia Game ShowGame Night Meetup for Trivia in Tampa, Sarasota, Venice7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Trivia Night with Trivia NationTrivia Night at Irish 31 Seminole7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
St. Pete Beers ‘n Board Games Meetup for Young AdultsSt. Pete Beers ‘n Board Games for Young Adults7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
AMA – Ask Me Anything Related to Photography, Computers and SoftwareFlorida Center for Creative Photography7:00PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
The IncalComics, Animation and etc.7:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Let’s play chess at 54th Ave Kava House!TB Chess – Tampa Bay – St. Petersburg Chess Meetup Group7:30PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Online Event: Shut Up & Write on ZoomShut Up & Write!® Tampa7:45PM – Tuesday, Jan. 30
Return to the top of the list

Wednesday, January 31

Event name and localeGroupTime
2024 Virtual Photo Challenge 1. In the year, 2023Florida Center for Creative Photography12:00AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
St Pete Networking Breakfast at the Hangar Meet St Pete’s Top Pro’s All WeclcomeYoung Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!7:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Networking at The Hanger Restaurant & Flight Lounge!Tampa Bay Networking and Events7:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
NPI Profit Partners Chapter – Exchange Qualified Business ReferralsNetwork Professionals Inc. of South Pinellas (NPI)7:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Downtown St Pete Professionals Networking BreakfastProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net7:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Tampa Highrisers ToastmastersToastmasters District 487:45AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Quantum Series Part 1: Introduction to Quantum ComputingData, Cloud and AI in Tampa8:00AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
1 Million Cups – Orlando Weekly Meetup1 Million Cups – Orlando8:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Midjourney Prompt Help & Advanced FAQ with A.I. Creative Compass!Midjourney A.I. Art Meetup Group11:00AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Cyber threats to watch out for in 2024ManageEngine’s Cybersecurity Meetups11:00AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
In Person Networking BRANDON! Just Love Coffee Cafe – Brandon FLProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:15AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Carrollwood Networking Lunch! Join us and win!Tampa Bay Networking Meetings and Mixers11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Networking at Glory Days Grill!Tampa Bay Networking and Events11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Brandon Networking Professionals Networking LunchTampa Bay Business Networking Meetings & Mixers11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Carrollwood Professional Networking Lunch Wednesday All Welcome JOIN usProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Networking at Just Love Coffee!Tampa Bay Networking and Events11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Brandon Business Professionals Just Love CoffeeYoung Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Brandon Business Professionals IN Person!!!!Tampa / St Pete Business Connections11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Business Networking LunchBradenton/Sarasota Networking Meetings and Mixers11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Sarasota Business Networking Lunch All Welcome, Just purchase Lunch!Network & Social – Orlando Networking Events11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
National Association of Entrepreneurs Mastermind Group MeetingNational Association of Entrepreneurs Mastermind Group11:30AM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Lunch Hour MeetupSarasota Web Development Meetup Group12:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Startup Ideation: Finding a Problem That MattersTampa Startup Founder 1011:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
The Future of AI for Business Development, Sales & Marketing in 2024Network After Work Tampa – Networking Events1:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Online Event: Shut Up & Write!® Your Life Story (on Zoom)Shut Up & Write!® St. Petersburg1:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Inspiring Authors & Book Immersion MeetupLady Lake Memoir Writing Meetup Group2:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
The Ultimate 2024 Client Acquisition Marketing GuideNetwork After Work Tampa – Networking Events3:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Image ComicsComics, Animation and etc.4:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Playing Games in the AlleyThe Tampa Chapter of the Society for the Exploration of Play5:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Wednesday Night GamingBrandon Boardgamers5:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Bay pines toastmaster’s hybrid meetingBay Pines Toastmasters5:15PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Felicitous Game Night w/Heritage Dim SumTampa Game Nights5:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Wednesday Board Game NightTampa Gaming Guild5:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Felicitous Game Night w/Heritage Dim SumTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!5:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
StringerComics, Animation and etc.5:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Happy Hour – Luna Lounge at Bulla GastrobarSouth Asian Professional Women in Tampa Bay5:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Casual Commander WednesdaysSunshine Games6:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Hobby Night – Minis Painting Tips & Tricks at Armada GamesTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!6:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Board Game NightCritical Hit Games6:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Dungeons & Dragons One Shot WednesdaysClermont Nerd Games6:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Waterdeep Dragonheist: Session Zero (Tier 1, APL 1)Orlando Adventurer’s Guild6:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Wine Down Wednesday – Ladies Night at Meeple Movers Board Game CafeMeeple Movers Gaming Group6:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Board Game Night at Deadwords BrewingBrews N Board Games6:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Yoga in Midtown► Tampa Bay Young Professionals Group6:20PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Learn how to solder by working on an electronics projectMakerspaces Pinellas Meetup Group6:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Game Night!Drunk’n Meeples the Social Tabletop (Board) Gamers6:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss finalThe Weirder Things Book Club6:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Castaways Euchre ClubCastaways Euchre Club6:50PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Carrollwood Toastmasters Meetings meet In-Person and OnlineToastmasters District 487:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
MtG Modern Constructed at Armada GamesTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!7:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
MakerFX Monthly Membership MeetingMakerFX Makerspace7:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Workshop Wednesdays. Come Craft with Us.Unlucky Roll Cafe Board Game Meetup7:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Nerd Night: Board Games and Beer at Deadwords BrewingAdventures On Tap: TTRPGs and Board Games7:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
New Beginnings & Old RivalriesCentral Florida AD&D (1st ed.) Grognards Guild7:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
How to Express Yourself and Connect with PeopleProfessionals Meetup For Networking And Social Skillsets7:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Cardfight Vanguard!! OverDress WeeklySunshine Games7:30PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Movie Night: The Mitchells vs. The MachinesComics, Animation and etc.8:00PM – Wednesday, Jan. 31
Return to the top of the list
Banner ad: CIVO, the cloud native service provider. Blazing fast Kubernetes cluster launch times in under 90s. Simplify development and reduce infrastructure costs. From just $5 a month, with $250 free credit to get started.
Civo doesn’t just throw amazing conferences here in Tampa Bay,
they’re also a great, developer-friendly cloud-native service provider!
Find out more.

Thursday, February 1

Event name and localeGroupTime
Business Over Breakfast ~ Happy Hangar IN PERSON JOIN US!Wesley Chapel, Trinity, New Tampa, Business Professionals7:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Happy Hangar Early Bird Professionals NetworkingPasco County Young Entrepreneurs/Business Owners All Welcome7:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Wesley Chapel/Lutz networking breakfastProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net7:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
LUTZ, FL – HAPPY HANGER CAFE THURSDAY NETWORKINGTampa Bay Networking and Events8:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Clearwater Professional Networking LunchBusiness Professionals of Pinellas, Pasco & Hillsborough11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
The Founders Meeting where it all Began! JOIN us! Bring a guest and get a giftYoung Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Pinellas County’s Largest Networking Lunch and your invited!Tampa Bay Networking and Events11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Clearwater/Central Pinellas Networking Lunch JOIN us and connect your businessTampa / St Pete Business Connections11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Lutz / Wesley Chapel Professional Networking Lunch at Bahama Breeze!Professional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Wesley Chapel Professional Networking LunchWesley Chapel, Trinity, New Tampa, Business Professionals11:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Leads Club MeetingSouth Shore Leads Club11:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Lutz / Wesley Chapel Professional Networking Lunch at Bahama Breeze!Pasco County Young Entrepreneurs/Business Owners All Welcome11:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Breakroom Bar & Grill 11:28 Doors open at 11:00am IN PersonProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
NPI Power Lunch – Exchange Qualified Business ReferralsNetwork Professionals Inc. of South Pinellas (NPI)11:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
The Business Networking Midday Power Hour by Simply Referrals on Zoom!!Simply Referrals Tampa Business Networking12:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Telecom Park Toastmasters #6745Toastmasters District 4812:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Sarasota Speakers Exchange ToastmastersToastmasters District 4812:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Commander Open Play Night at Armada GamesTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!1:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
RPG: Pathfinder Society at Meeple Movers Board Game CafeMeeple Movers Role-Playing Games (RPG) Group2:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Gulfport Scrabble and SocialGulfport Scrabblers and Social5:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Thursday Night GamingBrandon Boardgamers5:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Tomb of Annihilation (T2-APL7)Orlando Adventurer’s Guild5:30PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Pathfinder SocietyCritical Hit Games6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Central Florida Board Gaming at The CollectiveOrlando Board Gaming Weekly Meetup6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
BABOK IIBA Tampa Bay Study GroupIIBA Tampa Bay7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Operations Automation Office HoursTampa Robotic Process Automation Group7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
One Piece ThursdaysSunshine Games7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
FABulous ThursdaysSunshine Games7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Fingerboard MeetupIndica Cafe Events7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Palm Harbor Toastmasters Club #8248Toastmasters District 487:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Thursday chess at 54th Ave Kava House!TB Chess – Tampa Bay – St. Petersburg Chess Meetup Group7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Yu-Gi-Oh TournamentBalance Martial Arts and Gaming7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Smartphone Trivia Game Show at Wilders PizzaGame Night Meetup for Trivia in Tampa, Sarasota, Venice7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Dungeons and Dragons with DonavanUnlucky Roll Cafe Board Game Meetup7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Live streaming production and talentLive streaming production and talent7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Tackle it in Ten – Entrepreneur RoundtablesEntrepreneur Round Table8:30AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
2024 Career Goal Setting Workshop Series: The Power & Benefits of GoalsTech Success Network11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
2024 Career Goal Setting Workshop Series: The Power & Benefits of GoalsCareer Success Academy11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
2024 Career Goal Setting Workshop Series: The Power & Benefits of GoalsFront End Creatives11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
2024 Career Goal Setting Workshop Series: The Power & Benefits of GoalsTampa Cybersecurity Training11:00AM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Megacon Orlando 2024All For Nerds2:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Graphic Novel Discussion GroupComics, Animation and etc.3:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Quantum Series Part 1: Introduction to Quantum ComputingData, Cloud and AI in Tampa3:30PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
The Gang goes to MEGACON!Gaming.net4:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
FREE Live Class- NPC Founder Nic Stover on PhotoMaster LiveTampa Chapter of Nature Photography Classes5:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Java on ChatGPT: Building a Plugin From ScratchTampa Bay Generative AI Meetup5:30PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Java on ChatGPT: Building a Plugin From ScratchTampa Java User Group5:30PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
TBDEG – Clean CodeTampa Bay Data Engineering Group6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
1st Thursday Networking Mixer, Romi’s Tacos & RGANetwork.net $10 cash at doorTampa Bay Business Networking Meetings & Mixers6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Business Happy Hour ~ Cafe Delanie 1st Thursday Every Month 6pm to 8pmYoung Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Practical use of ChatGPTSt Pete AI6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
After Hours Mixer Romi’s Tacos! All Welcome $10 cashTampa Bay Networking Meetings and Mixers6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
After Hours Networking Happy Hour! Romi’s Tacos New LocationTampa Bay Business Networking Happy Hour/Meetings/Meet Up6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
BECMI CampaignBrandon and Seffner area AD&D and OSR Group6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
BotC night at Hourglass Brewery at the Hourglass DistrictSunshine Social Deduction Gaming6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Learn to Play Maple Valley at Meeple Movers Board Game CafeMeeple Movers Gaming Group6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Let’s Play Backgammon – Backgammon Casual GamesSanford Backgammon Group6:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Writing MeetupTampa Free Writing Group6:30PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Tampa Bay Drupal & Web Technologies Q&A. Everyone welcome!Tampa Bay Drupal User Group7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Shopbot Safety and Usage (Members Only)Tampa Hackerspace7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Cowboy Bebop Live!Gen Geek7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
New Year’s Book Club MeetingChan’s Book Club of Tampa Bay7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
How websites are made: an introduction to CSS for complete beginnersFlorida Software School7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
St. Pete Arthouse Cinema Club – “2023 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour”St. Pete Arthouse Cinema Club7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
February – The Crystal CaveBooks & Brews!7:00PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York – Elon GreenSt. Pete Booze and Book Club7:30PM – Thursday, Feb. 1
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Friday, February 2

Event name and localeGroupTime
Improve your communication, listening, and leadership skillsWinter Park Toastmasters – Learn while having FUN!7:15AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Caffeine & Connections: Friday Fuel for Black ProfessionalsPinellas County Black Business Meetup Group8:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
A.C.T. Acquire Connections Today Morning Business Networking All Welcome!Entrepreneurs & Business Owners of Sarasota & Bradenton8:45AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Tampa Young Professionals Virtual Networking Friday Morning All WElCOMEYoung Professionals Networking JOIN in and Connect!8:45AM – Friday, Feb. 2
A.C.T. Acquire Connections Today Morning Virtual Business NetworkingNetwork & Social – Orlando Networking Events8:45AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Networking over breakfastTampa Bay Networking and Events9:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Business over Breakfast ClearwaterTampa Bay Networking Meetings and Mixers9:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
FBI ~ Friday Business Introductions at Largo Family RestaurantProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net9:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Online Networking with Brandon Biz ProsBrandon Biz Pros9:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Toastmasters – Improve Speaking Skills & Build ConfidenceChristian Professionals Network Tampa Bay9:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Ms. Biz Connectz- business leaders brainstorm togetherMs. Biz Connectz- business leaders brainstorming together10:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
International Networking at McAlisters Deli every FridayTampa Bay Business Networking Meetings & Mixers11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Friday International Business Introductions at McAlisters WestshoreProfessional Business Networking with RGAnetwork.net11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Westshore Business Networking Lunch at McAlisters Deli Every Friday All WelcomeTampa Bay Networking and Events11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
International Professionals Networking MeetingTampa / St Pete Business Connections11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Friday Business Introductions TampaTampa Bay Networking Meetings and Mixers11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
International Networking Westshore McAlisters DeliTampa Bay Business Networking Happy Hour/Meetings/Meet Up11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
International Networking at McAlisters Deli every FridayBusiness Professionals of Pinellas, Pasco & Hillsborough11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
International Professionals Networking MeetingTampa / St Pete Business Connections11:30AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Pokémon Tournament Battles for a Prize!Orlando Pokemon Tournament Meet up2:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
WEEKLY FRIDAY NIGHT GAMING AT GAMER’S COMMANDBrandon Boardgamers5:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Board Game Night!Clermont Nerd Games5:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Lets Play Pokemon!Lake Mary Pokemon Meetup Group Lets Play5:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Friday Board Game NightTampa Gaming Guild5:30PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Taps & Drafts | Casual EDH/MtG Social NightNerd Night Out6:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
GROWTH MINDSETSelf-Perfected Orlando6:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Taps & Drafts | EDH/MtG Night | Centro YborNerdbrew Events7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Modern FNMSunshine Games7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
PVP Boardgame ShowdownUnlucky Roll Cafe Board Game Meetup7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Friday Pokemon TournamentSunshine Games7:30PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Friday night game nightIndica Cafe Events9:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
International Networking at McAlisters Deli every FridayTampa Bay Business Networking Meetings & Mixers11:30PM – Friday, Feb. 2
First Friday WordPress Collaboration Meetup – February 2024West Orlando WordPress Meetup10:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
MEGACON Orlando 2024Asian Social Orlando10:00AM – Friday, Feb. 2
Apex Systems – Overcoming Common Big Boulders Panel Discussion, Part 2IIBA Tampa Bay1:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
RPG: D&D Village of the Goblin Chief at Meeple Movers Board Game CafeMeeple Movers Role-Playing Games (RPG) Group4:30PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Board Game Friday Night at Meeple Movers Board Game CafeMeeple Movers Gaming Group5:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Kabuki: DreamsComics, Animation and etc.5:30PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Murders At Karlov Manor | MtG Private Lounge Takeover!Nerdbrew Events6:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
First Friday social meetup!Defcon727 – Unleashing Cybersecurity6:30PM – Friday, Feb. 2
IN-PERSON: “Stoicism and the Art of Happiness” (Chapter 1)Tampa Stoics7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
MakerFX Makerspace Soft Arts GuildMakerFX Makerspace7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
MTG: Murders at Karlov Manor Prerelease #1Critical Hit Games7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Tabletop: Friday Board Game NightOviedo Middle Aged Gamers (OMAG)7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Soul Circus Cowboys at The Salty Shamrock (Southern Rock)Fun with Friends in Tampa Bay7:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
Mario Kart at Tampa Bay Grand Prix-ClearwaterGen Geek8:00PM – Friday, Feb. 2
James JoyceComics, Animation and etc.8:45PM – Friday, Feb. 2
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Saturday, February 3

Event name and localeGroupTime
Wake Up and Think Clearly Saturday morning share and discuss.Central Florida Philosophy Meetup7:00AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Street Photography – N Ashley Drive – 9am – 2 HoursTampa Photography Group9:00AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Monthly In Person Group Meeting – All Writers Welcome!Pinellas Writers Group9:00AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Saturday Chess at Wholefoods in Midtown, TampaChess Republic9:30AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
MEGACON Orlando 2024Gen Geek10:00AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
I SEE THE LIGHT… Introduction to cinematic lighting.Lights… Camera… TAMPA. Filmmaking Alliance10:15AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Coffee, Board Games, & ScrabbleUnlucky Roll Cafe Board Game Meetup10:00AM – Saturday, Jan. 27
Navigating Success: Customer Journey tools & techniques WorkshopEntrepreneur’s Guild: Growing Your Business11:00AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Campaign with Ray at Meeple Movers Board Game CafeMeeple Movers Role-Playing Games (RPG) Group12:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Winning The Week – 1st MeetWinning The Week12:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
FREE Fab Lab OrientationSuncoast Makers1:30PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Y Read: Book Read AloudLibrary Book Clubs – OCLS1:30PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Pokémon Tournament Battles for a Prize!Orlando Pokemon Tournament Meet up2:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Social climbing of Mount ChesseverestClimbers of Mount Chesseverest2:30PM – Saturday, Jan. 27
How To Get Paid To Review Amazon Products – Amazon Influencer ProgramTampa Amazon Seller Meetup Group1:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Laser Cutter Orientation (Members Only)Tampa Hackerspace2:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
In-Person Event: Free Robotics Workshop, Tampa, FL (7-12 Yrs)In person Robotics Meetup Group For Kids2:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Cloud Cuckoo Land – Book DiscussionTampa Bay Book Club2:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
MTG: Murders at Karlov Manor Prerelease #2Critical Hit Games2:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Outside the Binary Boardgame Meetup at Critical Hit GamesTampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!3:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Marvel Champions Campaign at Meeple Movers Board Game CafeMeeple Movers Gaming Group5:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Golf Group – Star Wars: Force & Destiny & One-ShotsOviedo Middle Aged Gamers (OMAG)5:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
IN-PERSON: The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Book 8)Orlando Stoics5:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Lets Play Pokemon!Lake Mary Pokemon Meetup Group Lets Play5:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Lost Mines of Phandelver: Session 5 – DM MikeOrlando Adventurer’s Guild5:30PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Sound Money Money SoiréeTampa Bay Bitcoin6:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Community Hang-out NightNerdbrew Events6:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Yu-Gi-Oh TournamentBalance Martial Arts and Gaming7:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
TB CHIPS Poker PartyTB Chips – Poker7:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Yu-Gi-Oh Evening TournamentSunshine Games7:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Tampa Nerd Online Hang-out & Game Night!Nerd Night Out7:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Movie Night: AkiraComics, Animation and etc.8:00PM – Saturday, Feb. 3
Speaker Series [UPDATE]Tampa Bay Bitcoin10:00AM – Saturday, Feb. 3
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Sunday, February 4

Event name and localeGroupTime
IHOP Restaurant CRITICAL THINKERS SUNDAY BRUNCH Suncoast Critical Thinking Discussion Group9:00AM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Animation Nights New York presents Program 90 Comics, Animation and etc.9:30AM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Speaker Series [UPDATE] Tampa Bay Bitcoin10:00AM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Megacon Orlando 2024 All For Nerds10:00AM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Open Fly @ Purveyor Tampa Bay Drone Club10:30AM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Warhammer 40K Clermont Nerd Games11:00AM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Board Games at Big Storm in Odessa Beyond Catan, A Group of Board Game Geeks12:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Venice Strategy Board Gamers Board Games and Card Games in Sarasota & Bradenton12:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Sunday Chess at Grassroots Kava House in Ybor Chess Republic2:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
D&D Adventurers League at Critical Hit Games Tampa Bay Gaming: RPG’s, Board Games & more!2:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Plotter CriCut vinyl cutting Makerspaces Pinellas Meetup Group12:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Sunday Gaming Tampa Gaming Guild1:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Introverts ‘Talk Slow’ O-Town Introverts1:30PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
In-Person Event: Free Robotics Workshop, Chapel, FL (7-12 Yrs) In person Robotics Meetup Group For Kids2:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
T-Shirts and Caps printing Makerspaces Pinellas Meetup Group2:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
MTG: Murders at Karlov Manor Prerelease #3 Critical Hit Games2:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Winter Park Chess Meetup Winter Park Social Chess Club2:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Pokémon Tournament Battles for a Prize! Orlando Pokemon Tournament Meet up2:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
St. Pete Arthouse Cinema Club – “Origin” – Feb 4, 2024, 03:00 PM St. Pete Arthouse Cinema Club3:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Adult Game Night at Conworlds Emporium Tarpon Springs Pop Culture & Gaming Meetup4:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Sunday Pokemon League Sunshine Games4:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Sunday Game Day Drunk’n Meeples West Pasco (Boardgames)4:30PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Lets Play Pokemon! Lake Mary Pokemon Meetup Group Lets Play5:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Lankhmar: City of Adventure Brandon and Seffner area AD&D and OSR Group5:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Continuing adventures in the setting of Symbaroum. St Pete and Pinellas Tabletop RPG Group5:15PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
IN-PERSON: A Walking Meditation – Causeway Trail Tampa Stoics5:15PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Sew Awesome! (Textile Arts & Crafts) Tampa Hackerspace5:30PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
February West Volusia Networking Social Volusia Young Professionals Group (covers East and West)6:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Open Game Night Unlucky Roll Cafe Board Game Meetup6:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Dinner at Deccan Spice Geekocracy!6:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
A Duck Presents NB Movie Night Nerd Night Out7:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
Hidden Gems Night, Presented by A Duck! Nerdbrew Events7:00PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
NerdBrew Karaoke @ MacDinton’s! Nerd Night Out9:30PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
NerdBrew Karaoke @ MacDinton’s! Nerdbrew Events9:30PM – Sunday, Feb. 4
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About this list

How do I put this list together? It’s largely automated. I have a collection of Python scripts in a Jupyter Notebook that scrapes Meetup and Eventbrite for events in categories that I consider to be “tech,” “entrepreneur,” and “nerd.” The result is a checklist that I review. I make judgment calls and uncheck any items that I don’t think fit on this list.

In addition to events that my scripts find, I also manually add events when their organizers contact me with their details.

What goes into this list? I prefer to cast a wide net, so the list includes events that would be of interest to techies, nerds, and entrepreneurs. It includes (but isn’t limited to) events that fall under any of these categories:

  • Programming, DevOps, systems administration, and testing
  • Tech project management / agile processes
  • Video, board, and role-playing games
  • Book, philosophy, and discussion clubs
  • Tech, business, and entrepreneur networking events
  • Toastmasters and other events related to improving your presentation and public speaking skills, because nerds really need to up their presentation game
  • Sci-fi, fantasy, and other genre fandoms
  • Self-improvement, especially of the sort that appeals to techies
  • Anything I deem geeky
Categories
Artificial Intelligence Meetups What I’m Up To

Scenes from an AI meetup in San Francisco

With a little time to kill in San Francisco last Monday evening before I had to help run demos at Okta’s annual conference, Oktane, I decided to look around for something to do. A quick web search for events later, I found myself en route to Cow Hollow to a meetup with the title Sharing our tricks and magic for pushing generative AI applications into production.

In this article, you’ll find my photos and notes from that event.

Neon and the Secret Garden

​Back around the time of the dot-com bubble, I was working in a Toronto consultancy made up of me and my friend Adam. We often worked at home, but when we were feeling stir-crazy, we took our laptops to a couple of local cafés and worked from there.

Since then, I’ve kept my eye out for my dream working café. There’s a pretty nice one in my neck of the woods — The Corner Club — and I take meetings and work from there every now and again.

But I have to admit it: Neon — the venue for the meetup — is my dream café / coworking space. It has more open places to hang out up front of the building, quieter working stalls in the back, and behind the building is the Secret Garden, an outdoor patio space. That’s where they served the food for the meetup: a combo of steak and veggie burritos, along with chips, guac and salsa.

The meetup was free, but also marked as “sold out” with a “join waitlist” button. That didn’t deter me because I knew the Great Unwritten Truth of Free Events:

Half the people who register for a free event never actually show up.

As I expected, no one was at the door to check attendees against a registration list. Besides, I had the accordion with me, and the “I’m with the entertainment” line often works.

The crowd at this meetup were pretty hardcore. I’d say about half of them either worked in an AI-related position at a more established company or at a scrappy AI startup, while the other half worked at a tech company and had an interest in AI. I suppose I fall into the latter category.

I struck up a conversation with someone who specialized in virtual memory who wanted to work on some memory virtualization techniques for use in large AI systems. We then walked out the back entrance to Neon’s “Secret Garden…”

…where they were serving food. I got into a conversation with someone who worked at Stability.ai, where we were joined by someone who wanted to make the leap from marketing to development.

When the Stability.ai developer was momentarily pulled away from the conversation, the marketer whispered “That name — Stability.ai — that’s familiar. What do they do?”

“Stable Diffusion,” I whispered back, and that was a name the marketer recognized. “Come to think of it, I don’t recognize any of this meetup’s speaker’s companies.”

Presentation 1: Build bulletproof generative AI applications with Weaviate and LLMs

This was the abstract for this presentation:

​Building AI applications for production is challenging, your users don’t like to wait, and delivering the right results in milliseconds instead of seconds will win their hearts. We’ll show you how to build caching, fact-checking, and RAG: Retrieval Augmented Generation pipelines with real-world examples, live demos, and ready-to-run GitHub projects using Weaviate, your favorite open-source vector database.

Philip Vollet, Head of Developer Growth at Weaviate, gave this presentation. Weaviate makes a vector database, where the data is stored as vectors — think of them as really long tuples — a format that’s particularly useful for AI purposes.

I’m going to spend some time this weekend going through my hastily-scribbled notes and comparing them to my full-resolution versions of my photos of the presentations to see what I can glean from them.

I’ve included my photos here so that you can get a feel for what was shown at the event, and hey — you might find them useful.

Presentation 2: Customizing LLM Applications with Haystack

Here’s the abstract for the presentation:

​Every LLM application comes with a unique set of requirements, use cases and restrictions. Let’s see how we can make use of open-source tools and frameworks to design around our custom needs.

The second presentation was by Tuana Celik, Developer Advocate at deepset, who make Haystack, a natural language processing (NLP) framework, and a cloud-based SaaS framework for machine learning and NLP.

Presentation 3: Context Matters: Boosting LLM Accuracy with Unstructured.io Metadata

This was the abstract for this presentation:

​Retrieval Augmented Generations (RAGs), limited by plain text representation and token size restrictions, often struggle to capture specific, factual information from reliable source documents. Discover how to use metadata and vector search to enhance the ability of LLMs to accurately retrieve specific knowledge and facts from a vast array of documents.

The final presenter was Ronny Hoesada, Developer Relations Engineer at Unstructured, who make a product that converts unstructured enterprise data into formats that can be fed into vector databases and large language models.

Aftermath and observations

Observation : RAG is a hot topic in this crowd. The big topic of the evening and a common thread through all three presentations was RAG — retrieval-augmented generation. This is a process that enhances the results produced by large language models by retrieving additional facts or information from an external knowledge source. If you’ve ever added to a discussion by looking something up on your phone, you’ve performed a simple version of RAG.

Observation : Many SF tech meetups start later than Tampa Bay ones. I arrived in San Francisco Monday morning, and spent most of the day in my hotel room working on this article for Okta’s main blog and this article for the Auth0 by Okta developer blog. That process took the better part of the day, and by the time I’d finished the final edits at 6:30 p.m., I thought it would be too late to go to a meetup — but I was wrong. When I perused Meetup.com, it turned out that lot of in-person meetups in the San Francisco Bay area start at 7:00 p.m., including this one. I’ve been to Tampa Bay meetups that wrap up at that time!

Observation : Some attendees came a long way to catch this meetup, and many of them didn’t have a car. If you check the discussion on the Meetup page for this event, you’ll see it’s all about getting rides to the venue:

Observation : People were seriously ready to work the room. More than half the attendees stuck around when the presentations ended. Some stayed for the beer, some stayed to mingle or hustle for their next job, and some stayed specifically to talk to the presenters.

I showed up wearing my travel clothes (see the photo above, taken at TPA earlier that morning), which were a sport jacket, dress shirt, jeans, and dress shoes, and as a result, a number of people at the event approached me and asked what company I was starting up. They saw chatty guy in a blazer and the neural networks in their heads pattern-matched it as founder.

Jared from Silicon Valley, patron saint of the Patagonia fleece vest.

I had conversations with founders or people who reported directly to a founder earlier that evening, so I did some introductions. They were easy to spot — it was a chilly night (10° C / 50° F) and a good breeze was coming in from the Bay, and they’d showed up in fleece vests, as is the custom there.

Observation : A lot of people here really know their stuff. The conversational topics were pretty hardcore, from discussions of cosine similarity and the finer points of tokenization (with a sidebar conversation about handling out-of-vocabulary cases) to how much of Hugging Face’s ever-growing set of models people have tried. “I’m a dabbler,” I admitted, “no more than a handful — a couple of the conversational ones, and a text-to-image and text-to-audio model.”

I also got deep into a chat about the Mojo programming language, during which I glibly introduced myself to someone as “Markov Cheney,” and to my complete lack of surprise, they got the joke.

I’m still mulling over my experience at this meetup and thinking about some meetup organization and presentation tricks to borrow.

Categories
Business Current Events Editorial

There is no plan at Twitter/X. There are only pants and paved cowpaths.

A sloppy rebranding

As I write this — 11:10 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, July 25, 2023 — more than a day since Twitter ditched the bird icon and name for X. The problem is that the rebranding wasn’t terribly thorough.

Consider this screenshot from my Twitter/X home page:

Also, if you click on the links at the bottom right of the home page, the pages they lead to still bear the Twitter bird and name:

The newly-renamed corporation had a crew to remove the old Twitter sign from its San Francisco headquarters, but the police were called in and stopped it since the company never contacted the building owners about it, nor did they get a permit to set up the sign removal equipment on the street:

At last report, the sign on Twitter HQ looks like this:

These are the kinds of mistakes that a marketing or brand manager would never make, because they know that rebranding is something that requires a plan.

But there is no plan. There’s a goal — ditching the Twitter name and replacing it with Musk’s beloved brand, X — and there’s PANTS.

Pantsing and paving the cowpath

“Planner” and “pantser” are terms that many novel writers use to describe two very different writing styles:

  • Planners have their novel outlined and planned out before they start writing it. They’ve got clear ideas of the story they’re trying to tell, and their characters and settings are fleshed out.
  • Pansters — the term comes from the expression “by the seta of one’s pants,” which means by instinct and without much planning — might have a vague idea of what they want to write about and are simply making it up as they write.

Both are legitimate ways of creating things, although a planner will tell you that planning is better, and a pantster will do the same for pantsing.

As an organization, Twitter has been a pantser from its inception. Most of the features that we consider to be part of the platform didn’t originate with them; they were things that the users did that Twitter “featurized.”

Consider the hashtag — that’s not a Twitter creation, but the invention of Chris Messina, whom I happen to know from my days as a techie in Toronto and the early days of BarCamp:

Retweets? The term and the concept were invented by users. We used to put “RT” at the start of any tweet of someone else that we were re-posting to indicate that we were quoting another user. Twitter saw this behavior and turned it into. feature.

The same goes for threads (not the app, but conversational threads). To get around the original 144-character limit, users would make posts that spanned many tweets, using conventions like “/n” where n was a “page number.” Twitter productized this.

All these features were a good application of “pantsing” — being observant of user behavior and improvising around it. This approach is sometimes called “paving the cowpath.”

If you do a web search using the term paving the cowpath ux (where UX means user experience), the results tend to be articles that say it’s a good idea, because you’ll often find that users will find ways around your design if it doesn’t suit their needs, as shown in the photo above.

However, if you do a search using the term paving the cowpath business, the articles take a decidedly negative slant and recommend that you don’t do that. User behavior and business processes are pretty different domains, and business processes do benefit from having a plan. As a business, Twitter had no plan, which is why they’ve always been in financial trouble despite being wildly successful in terms of user base and popularity.

To paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg’s observation about Twitter, it’s a clown car that somehow drove into a gold mine.

Pantsing as a process

Since Elon Musk’s takeover, Twitter has been pantsing at never-before-seen levels, largely based on Musk’s whims. We’ve seen:

And the company’s been losing developers for reasons that started with cost-cutting, but soon, people were losing their jobs for contradicting the boss. Working for Musk is like working for Marvel Comics supervillain Dr. Doom:

More on Musk

If you’d like to hear more about Twitter and Musk, including three theories on why Musk has descended into madness — I’m particularly intrigued by theories (ketamine, a.k.a “Special K,”, a.k.a. horse tranquilizers) and (simulation theory) — check out the latest episode of the Search Engine podcast, hosted by Reply All’s former host PJ Vogt, What’s Going on with Elon Musk?