When nerds congregate

I am writing this (using my little Asus, which actually fits in a large coat pocket) from Ignite Boston 5, a meetup of techies of various stripes in the Boston area at a bar on Union Street close to Faneuil Hall, arranged by O’Reilly. The format is pretty simple: Get 250 geeks together (with another 250 waiting to get in) in a large bar, have Google buy everyone a free beer, and subject them to presentations on various subjects by volunteers that have been more or less carefully vetted. The result is a sort of geek stand-up-and-shout, with Powerpoint presentations. Right now a guy writing a book about open government and sharing of data – “democratizing data” – is giving the (rather good) keynote presentation, with 12 more, shorter presentations to follow. I suppose this is what Second Tuesday should have been if it hadn’t become all corporatish..

All in all, it is quite interesting to find an environment where being a geek is not only accepted, but kind of cool. Nevertheless, I am the only person with an open computer in this crowd, which is either an indication that I am an über-nerd or that everyone else is Twittering or blogging by iPhone. Oh well.

At least it gets me out of the office for a few hours. Much to be said for that.

I have been here for almost two hours, have seen the list of presenters – and though they are sincere, I think that’s it. For this time. Not that I didn’t like this thing, but there is something to be said for consuming new things in measured doses….