One of the best networks I’ve connected with since moving to Hamilton is Silicon Halton. I found them through another meetup that I attend regularly and have been very happy with not only their meetings, but with the community itself.
This is a grass roots organization founded by Chris Herbert and Rick Stomphorst in 2009 dedicated to creating “a thriving community of people in technology that live and/or work in Halton region”. (Silicon Halton website) Couldn’t have stated it better myself.
Though they have a pretty sturdy rule about having their members live and work in Halton, they are extremely welcoming and do not let their friendly fence get in the way of making connections. In addition to their Peer-to-Peer groups, such as SEO, Big Data and CEO, they also have an open meetup every month which anyone can attend. The format is simple yet effective: One or two presentations, meet your member which are shorter presentations done by the members of Silicon Halton to let people know what they do, and then an open floor for anyone to tell the group about anything, including events or initiatives.
Last night, they had their inaugural Demo Night, so I’m sure we’ll see a post very soon to wrap that up. Their next monthly meeting is on September 11, 2012 and they are having a panel on “SMB Business Disaster Planning – What’s Realistic?” and I highly recommend attending. Silicon Halton has been very good to me and I know that there are more good things coming. You can find them on Twitter @SiliconHalton so follow along!
I have been to a few of these throughout Ontario, mostly in Toronto. Great times, good food and drink, though a little over priced. I was attending an event nearby and needed dinner after braving rush hour traffic out of Toronto. I had a choice between a Japanese Restaurant nearby and Fionn MacCool’s. I would have preferred Japanese food, (I’m a big fan of sushi), but today I really needed the wi-fi. There was a Starbucks nearby, so just in case it didn’t have it, I might be able to pick up a nearby signal.
I was greeted very politely and I asked about their wi-fi. They didn’t have it set up yet, but I figured I could at least get a few words down and then hop over to Starbucks if I was desperate. It turns out that their wifi is actually working, since I’m writing this. I decided what to order and then did my Foursquare check-in. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a special here! It read: “Today from 4-6 pm enjoy 2 for 1 drinks!” It did not specify a day, just that I had to check in to unlock it. So I did.
After waiting a short time and no one came to serve me, I asked a waitress nearby as to who my server would be. She offered to take my drink order and I showed her the special. When she said it was only available on Friday’s, I suggested that she might want to show it to her managers to double check. I’ve had a couple of servers not be aware of what specials are available or they are new. I’m okay with that. What surprised me that when she returned, she said that they weren’t going to honour it. What? What would it have cost you to do honour an error on your part? It’s not like there was a table full of us, it was just me. I ordered my meal anyway and resisted the temptation to get up and leave. Needless to say, I’m going to finish my meal (that the same waitress brought me), finish my single glass of wine and head over to Starbucks… and never come back. You’ve just made my mind up about you, Fionn. I’m done.
By the way, from a social media perspective, if they were smart, they would pay attention to this blog post and fix the problem with their check-in and make it right by me. It’s something small, but it didn’t have to be made into a big problem.
PS. I can’t even tell which Twitter handle to use to add them to this post.