Madam Geek…

Finding the geek in every woman

Take Up Space June 15, 2020

Filed under: Conference,Reblog,RLabs,Women — Madam Geek @ 7:00 am
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I wanted to reblog a post I wrote on another website last month. It is a self hosted site but unfortunately, technology failed me and it would not allow me to reblog it directly from the website. Of course I am going to blame technology and not my actual skills or lack thereof. If there are any WordPress bloggers out there that know how to do this, please leave a comment in this post for my future reference. I do thank you in advance. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts “Making a Comeback” that one of the organisations I represent is called RLabs  and two of favourite projects I am currently leading with an amazing team of women is called RLabs Women and Junk.Fund .

The title of this post is Take Up Space and please read the post below to see just how it is possible to take up space and actually own the space. Watch our Date Night Welcome video and Thank You Poem. Happy reading…

RLabs Women Virtual Date Night – 27 May 2020

Good afternoon to the RLabs Women Team and to all those that attended our Virtual Date Night last night. We have spent many weeks and late nights in preparation to host our first ever Virtual Date Night. We had many surprises planned for the women with great entertainment lined up and the announcement of our Junk.Fund May 2020 Winners. Video Date Night Pitching Video

The theme we chose was  #TakeUpSpace  #YourDigitalSpace and our esteemed Guest Speaker and Panelists were specifically invited to share with us how they are taking up space. As RLabs Women, our mission is to “Unleash the greatness in women and girls to fearlessly dominate the entrepreneurship and technology domains”. One of the ways how we do this is by hosting a networking event every quarter called: Startup Women Date Night. We bring together women of all ages who are entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and women who are on the ground being Change Makers. These events allow the women to make new connections and form new friendships while being: inspired, empowered, reminded to continue dreaming, aspiring for greatness in all they do by continuing to change their realities and to fearlessly dominate the technology and entrepreneurship domains.

Last night the women showed tenacity, bravery and were true examples of shaking off the dust and rising up. Our Zoom call was hacked half through our first Virtual Date Night with explicit images and language popping up on everyone’s screen. After the shock wore off and we realized that it was a hack and not just one of participants mic that was accidentally unmuted and sharing their screen, the RLabs Women and Media team tried to block and mute the hackers.

Unfortunately by this time, we were exposed to the explicit images and we decided to shut the call down. We immediately thought “do we just end Date Night”? Of course, the RLabs Women and Media teams are made of tougher stuff than this. Many of us have faced far greater enemies than hackers and we were not going to let all that was prepared for the women go to waste. We started another call on Google Meet and tried to share the new link as swiftly as possible to get as many women back online with us. We do apologize to those women who we might have missed and to those who were watching on Facebook Live since we had to terminate the Livestream. We started our Date Night #2 and had about 70% of the participants re-join us. We kicked it off with some music and got straight into an inspiring panel discussion by Kristiina from Finland and Candy from DRC. These women moved us at our core and when we share of ourselves with each other it makes someone else’s struggles lighter. As entrepreneurs, we needed to be reminded to not give up and not to be afraid to reinvent ourselves when we need to. We ended the night with our pitching competition and had 4 amazing May 2020 winners who received cash Cheques on the night.

Through this experience, it reminded me that women are not safe! It’s not safe for us to be outside, it is not safe in our homes, at our places of work, at our places of study, school, when we are online and even when we want to encourage and empower each other. Women all around the world face these challenges daily and many movements and groups are fighting this abuse and wanting it to be safer for women not just to have a chance to live, breath, create, explore and exist but to rise up, shake off the dust and be a contagious woman! We refuse to be trampled on by anyone.

The comments and encouragement from the women were streaming in and were extremely overwhelming for us. We thank you for showing us that as women, we are stronger together and that we will not stop talking, sharing, existing and taking up our place.

To quote a line from our previous Date Night #BOSSUp theme song:

“You can only BossUp if you shake it off, Rise Up Rise Up! Where my ladies at? ….”

Who knew that we will be doing exactly that on our first Virtual Date Night.

Sending you all lots of love ❤️ Rene Parker

#TakeUpSpace #MakingHOPEContagious #IAmFearless #YesToDominate #YearOfRise

RLabs Women Team – Tougher than Nails

WhatsApp Image 2020-05-28 at 09.40.43


Making a Comeback …. June 7, 2020

Filed under: Madam Geek,RLabs,Social Media,Women — Madam Geek @ 12:29 pm
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What a blast from the past? I came across a blog post on Madam Geek (my personal blog) that was posted in 2010. 11 years ago I started this blog and only blogged on it for 3 years. It captures so many of my early encounters and my very personal journey with technology and my love for certain products and tools that allowed me to access the world wide web. I feel that I was definitely an early adopter when it came to social media tools and various technologies. This was influenced by the community (virtual and real) I found myself immersed in just over 10 years ago.

RLabs was just a dream at the time. We were a group of people that thought we could change our realities when we change our minds and that we wanted everyone we came into contact with, to go on this journey with us. We were relentless in our pursuit for a better future and were not afraid to have people tell us we were crazy or what we were wanting to achieve was unrealistic. We became a Social Revolution! Fast forward 11 years RLabs is still around and we changed our tagline to “Making HOPE Contagious”. You are free to read more about RLabs on our website.

RLabs Overview (March2019)KPIs (1)

I was truly privileged to have been part of the amazing journey of growing and learning together with this community. We have all grown and evolved over the years and now I get to innovate in different areas (mostly still technology) but added some entrepreneurship and investment to the mix. A few of the new projects I have embarked on are: RLabs Women and Junk.Fund.

Of course I have a few passion projects that I am involved in. But I will leave those for another day/blog post. I really just wanted to revive this blog and not lose all the nuggets and experiences shared in the early days. I am so glad I chose to keep my blog on and not move it to a self-hosted domain (here it would have died a lonely death as I would not have chosen to renew the domain year after year).


Are you a…? January 24, 2013

Filed under: RLabs,She's the Geek,Women — Madam Geek @ 10:07 pm
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So I haven’t blogged on here in almost a year. I figured that before I celebrate the 1 year anniversary of not blogging on MadamGeek, I better put something on here.

I must confess that I have been inspired by a very special group of young people. We call them the GROW Recruits. Two weeks ago my colleague Monique from the famous She’s the Geek did a training session with these GROW Recruits. The topic was a bit confusing to them as we titled it: Are you a…?

During this session we asked them to discuss 4 points. As females I do think being controversial and eccentric helps the male species stay on their toes. So the controversial question we posed to these recruits was: “Are men better web designers than females?”

Of course the recruits were polite at first. But once the conversation started their opinions were expressed in various forms. But for the record: no objects were thrown about the room or at anyone in particular, except for words. I have my own opinion on this and had to bite my tongue each time one of the young men said: “Of course men are better, just look at the history of web designers!” But the girls really made us proud by answering or sharing their opinion in a civilized and lady like manner.

After the 6 Phase GROW Bootcamp it became quite evident that the female male ratio in numbers and active participation is leaning quite favorably to the female participants in the GROW Bootcamp. Well done ladies! You have stayed strong and committed.



Finding the Geek in every woman November 27, 2011

Filed under: RLabs,She's the Geek — Madam Geek @ 9:24 pm
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They say ‘all good things must come to an end’! Saturday past was the last class for Geeky Moms and Mom 4.0 at the RLabs Academy. The morning was filled with laughter and many tears. 2011 was the first year RLabs ran training under the Academy. As both Monique (co-founder of She’s the Geek) and I are very passionate about empowering women and technology equally, that it made absolute sense for us to facilitate the Saturday morning sessions with the women at the RLabsRLabs Academy. It has been an interesting and most fulfilling journey we have embarked on yet. My favorite part of this year has been watching the women find their inner geek! So finding the geek in every woman is most definitely possible.






Geeky Moms October 29, 2011

Filed under: RLabs — Madam Geek @ 9:41 am
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Geeky Moms

Ladies having some fun


GROW Bootcamp with the Geeks June 29, 2011

Filed under: RLabs — Madam Geek @ 2:27 pm
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This has been an exciting week thus far. We are all out in Khayelitsha with the GROW Academy at the Bootcamp. The ‘recruits’ as they are called are quite excited and very interested in what they are being taught this week.

Today we have the experts from Woothemes showing the recruits how to get signed up onto WordPress. I have never seen so many smiley faces (actual smiles on faces) when the recruits realised that they were being taught by the best in the business of Web Design and Development.

Tomorrow we have SEO as the topic of the day!


Lock up or Lock Down? December 9, 2010

Filed under: RLabs,Videos — Madam Geek @ 3:28 pm
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Marlon Parker (founder of RLabs) has embarked on a very challenging task.

Read more on RLabs and Marlon Parker websites.


Accidental Billionaire… October 26, 2010

Filed under: Madam Geek,RLabs,Social Media — Madam Geek @ 2:24 pm
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Last night we had an opportunity to watch The Social Network at Ster Kinekor in Cavendish Square, Claremont. There has been many opinions and comments about this movie since the trailer was released earlier this year. As part of our daily work at RLabs is to tell people about Social Media and introduce them to various social networks, thus it was good to get the background and history of Facebook. Most of the people we train proclaim that Facebook is their favourite social network. We hope that all our trainees will set aside 2hours of their time to go and watch the movie.


Skype for the MOMS!! October 21, 2010

Filed under: RLabs,She's the Geek,Women — Madam Geek @ 3:12 pm
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The latest class for the Mom3.0 Cafe Session covered Skype. The women as usual came expectant and were ready to learn something new.

Monique Ross, our very own She’s the Geek did the presentation and took the women through the history of Skype, its benefits and a step-by-step guide how to sign up to Skype.

All the women signed up to Skype and updated their profiles with pictures. Thereafter, they invited friends and searched for other friends and family on Skype. Jackie Biggs (one of the moms) was brave enough to do a presentation to the rest of the class on how to sign up to Skype. She did a good job of explaining and showing the rest of the class how to sign up. She was so good that she even won a prize!

It’s very exciting to watch how the women are growing more confident with social media and within themselves. Next week we having an international Guest Speaker chatting to the women via Skype. This will be the first time this medium is used for the Mom3.0 Cafe Session to have a guest speaker. Happy calling ladies!!

Source: RLabs


Power the Crowd “Evlydotcom”

Filed under: Conference,RLabs,She's the Geek — Madam Geek @ 11:07 am
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This week the WTF Media Conference one of the speakers, Eran Eyal a co-founder of Springleap spoke about the Power of the Crowd: Crowdsourcing. And he introduced us to Evlydotcom, which is the first crowdsourcing social network of its kind that allows you to connect with a global community to solve anything! Now this was an interesting talk and we are quite excited with its possibilities!

“Evly websites function much like the group or fan-pages on other social media websites, however evly provides users with their own unique website and the ability to grow a network based around their particular interest or need. In addition, evly will provide advanced crowdsourcing and social networking features which will enable website owners to easily manage and grow their own community.” Read more on the Evly Press Release.