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A few quiet yarns

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Sep-2012 11:13

For months Ryan Ashton (LinkedIn login required) has invited me to attend "A few quiet yarns" in Auckland. For months I politely declined seeing I am based in Wellington. Then I was attending the Microsoft TechEd 2012 and the September event was happening just that week, so I went along with Paul Spain.

Ryan describes the event as

"A few quiet yarns" is a distinctly Kiwi styled event where the emphasis is on meeting people in a social sense to find out who they are and what their story is, forming a relationship that sets the scene for business engagement or introduction to a relevant contact of your own.

Everyone gets introduced to every one by Ryan Ashton, event organiser the recent maximum test was 135 attendees - this makes it a very personal event where the barriers to engagement are reduced.

No "hard selling" is allowed and typically, "no fees, no speeches, no sponsors" is the catch phrase, however, sometimes there might be short guest speakers or debates under the name "Town Hall Session" - an extension of the distinctly kiwi style where important matters were discussed by everyone who attends.

I first met Ryan while he was working at ICONZ, now working for Fronde and had no idea of how capable he's of connecting people. Seriously, at the start of the evening he took the stage and recited everyone's name and occupation before telling people to go on and introduce themselves to each other. Incredible memory skills there!

Join the group here to get invites to the next evenings:

Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012: Call for mentors

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 31-Oct-2011 18:45

I just got word the top 25 New Zealand teams have been selected for Microsoft NZ Imagine Cup 2012. More importantly, Microsoft is looking for industry mentors, who will work with team to guide them and share their industry experience.

The Microsoft Imagine Cup is a global student technology competition that encourages students to tackle the toughest problems facing the world today while applying the latest technologies and networking with the IT industry. More than 350,000 university students from 100 countries competed in 2011, and we are recruiting for New Zealand teams for the 2012 competition!

Once again, we are looking for Industry Mentors to work with student teams by guiding them and sharing valuable industry experience. In return, as a Mentor, you get to identify and work with the best young and up-and-coming IT talent in NZ. Industry Mentors also benefit from gaining positive exposure with their contribution to students, IT industry and wider community.


Industry Mentors Positions Available











If you are interested, please contact by 10th November 2011. For more information, please read the Mentor Overview.

Case Study Challenge (ecentre Massey University)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Oct-2011 16:41

As part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), ecentre is holding a Case Study Challenge on the 15th November and a Business Idea Workshop on the 18th November. Details below:

IT Rockstar 2011 is on - register now...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Nov-2010 18:27

For the third year I am a judge at IT Rockstar, a crazy competition to find the top New Zealand IT professional.

Judges are:

Josh (IT Rockstar 2010)
Mauricio (Geekzone BDFL)
Rhoda (Greenstone CEO)

This year the team at 920 are accepting individual and team nomination.

Below is a video of the IT Rockstar 2010 final - skip to the 33 second mark to see me and fellow judge Brett Roberts (another Brett):

Companies fail to deal with technology: telephone numbers and voicemail

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Jul-2009 17:28

I just had a laugh now when I read Ari's tweet about his experience with Post Haste, a New Zealand courier company:

Yes, I just called their local offices on a Sunday evening to listen myself and their voicemail recorded greeting say "You called us outside our office hours. To book an emergency courier call 025 ...".

For those who don't keep pace with this moving world of telecommunications, 025 is the non-geographical prefix used by Telecom New Zealand for their old TDMA network. This means there used to be a mobile network in New Zealand that used the 025 prefix.

Telecom shutdown the 025 network 31 March 2007 6pm. This was more than two years ago.

Like Ari I wonder how many emergency courier jobs Post Haste missed in those two and a half years of voice mail redirecting their customers to a non-existant number. I also wonder if no one in the company ever thought of looking for a reason in dropped jobs at weekends and week nights...

But they are not alone. I see lots of vans driving around town with old 025 numbers still printer on the sides. Those people who need jobs now more than ever are losing for not updating something as simple as a number on the side panel of their van...

This is how low tech people can be.

Ffunnell on TV3

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Jun-2009 08:43

Some of you have known about Ffunnell, an advertising network comprising New Zealand's largest independent publishers - Geekzone, Kiwiblog, PublicAddress, Pundit, Scoop, Throng...

Scoop's Alastair Thompson was on TV3 yesterday explaining a bit of Ffunnell. Click the image to see the video on Scoop.

Want to attend the I.T. Rockstar finale? Read on

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-May-2009 14:26

The I.T. Rockstar finale is here i Wellington, Thursday 4th June at The Loaded Hog Waterfront.If you want an invite to attend the big party, contact for your FREE ticket!

I will be there as one of the judges, wearing my black I.T. Rockstart t-shirt:

Party on!

Ivy Worldwide logo contest: US$2500, HP Mini, Wacom tablet

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-May-2009 09:03

A couple of friends in America run a marketing agency and have just renamed the company Ivy Worldwide. They are running a logo contest with some good prizes: US$ 2,500 cash, HP Mini laptop, Wacom tablet for the top three designs.

Ivy Worldwide runs some great programs bringing bloggers and tech writers together with some big companies - it was through them that I got to engage with brand names such as HP, AMD, AT&T and others.

To get going visit Ivy Worldwide to check the contest rules, and work on a cool logo design for them...

Think Small and solve problems

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Feb-2009 08:20

What about pausing a bit from complaining and helping find a solution for those small problems? That's what ThinkSmall seems to allow people to do, through a web-based crowd solution finder platform (yes, these are made up words to describe it).

It comes from Tim Norton and the crowd behind Made From New Zealand - if you are registered with Made From New Zealand then you can use the same login at ThinkSmall.

Key Strategies for Successful Online Communities

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Oct-2008 17:05

If you are involved in building communities - social networks, events, intranets, blogs, microblogging, etc... You might be interested in this event being promoted by Intergen:

Key Strategies for Successful Online Communities
How to create, develop and evolve a social media presence to increase collaboration, drive awareness and improve customer loyalty

Social networking and online communities have received significant attention in the past 12 months, as services such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn attract and connect communities of people. For organisations wanting to truly bring their marketing and customer service strategies into the 21st century, creating and fostering an online community can be the most powerful –not to mention the most cost effective – marketing tool available.

For marketers and communicators social media is proving effective at reinforcing an organisation’s brand, understanding and capturing customer feedback, and creating and sharing information across communities of interest. Organisations can take advantage of similar technologies to create their own custom community experiences.

Recognising the importance of this trend, Intergen has invited Andreas Stjernström from Swedish enterprise software company EPiServer to New Zealand. He will highlight the reasons why developing a community is important, and give real world examples of organisations that have successfully created and maximised the benefits of online communities.

Intended as an introduction to online community development, these free events are targeted at:
- Organisations that are currently creating or are looking to create or sponsor an online community.
- Agencies who want to offer your customers options for taking advantage of social media.
- Marketers and communicators who are looking for new mediums to communicate your organisation’s value proposition.

Events are scheduled on the following dates:
Wellington Wednesday 5 November, Level 7, 126 Lambton Quay – 4.30pm-6pm
Christchurch Thursday 6 November, Level 2, 158 Hereford Street, 8am – 9.30am
Auckland Friday 7 November, Level 2, 15 Huron Street, Takapuna – 12.30pm – 2pm

To register for these free events, email .

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

Find more about Business Transformation | Enterprise Content Management | Customer Relationship Management

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