In honor of Geek Pride Day, today's Internet Holiday Du Jour, I'm here to tell you about a real life opportunity for Louisville Geeks to meet and mingle in person.
Like Shakespeare, clean subways, and beans on toast, Geek Dinners first took off in London. So many people in close proximity communicated daily via social media. Gosh, wouldn't it be nice if the twitterati could actually meet face to face?
You can now find regular Geek Dinners in Seattle, Toronto, Sydney, and, thanks to Ben and Erika Thomas, right here in Louisville.
Before you rush out there in your Battlestar Galactica "toaster" t-shirt, let me warn you this gathering is for a very narrow spectrum of self defined Geeks - computer people very into social media. The term once only applied to carnies who bit the heads off live chickens. Now, the word "Geek" has been proudly adopted by people who work in IT, science fiction fans, theater and costuming enthusiasts, historical recreationists - basically, anyone who has an obsessive hobby or interest ever so slightly outside the mainstream. I've met plenty of self defined history geeks who hate computers or movie geeks who hate video games. No matter how you define your area of geekitude, there isn't always a whole lot of room for overlap with other geek interests.
The Louisville Geek Dinner is no exception. They define Geek as, "a person who is interested in technology, especially computing and new media." In order to sign up, you must know how to edit a wiki.
This is the place to be if you're in the local social media scene. If you're not on Twitter, you're going to feel left out. Every time I attend, there's one lonely table of science fiction fans who don't understand why all these clean cut people in suits are in the middle of conducting business deals. Oh, yes - business gets done. Local internet startups have been founded over cocktails at the Geek Dinner. They had to shout to do it. The last one had well over 200 people crammed into the St. Matthews Bluegrass Brewing Company.
This time, they're taking over the shiny new downtown Patrick O'Sheas. Geek dinners are always crazily crowded, so for your own protection I suggest travelling in packs. Talk half a dozen of your twitter friends into staking out a table with you half an hour before it's supposed to start and enjoy the show. Normally I'd recommend ladies check out such a testosterone-o-riffic crowd, but in bucking stereotypes, the vast majority of these tech guys are not only well dressed, but also happily married. The vastly outnumbered women end up mostly talking amongst themselves. This is secretly a great thing, as women who are into tech rarely get to have in depth conversations with one another.
If you're going to The Geek Dinner for the first time, remember, this is a niche community. There are a few rules you should know first. It's fine to talk about your blog as long as you've monetized it. If you're just passionate about an esoteric subject, expect to get snubbed by anyone who isn't as into it as you are and stalked all night by anyone who is. You can resuscitate any lagging conversation by asking someone's opinion of Android versus iPhone. If you're feeling persnickety, you can start turf wars over versions of Linux (but you better know why you prefer Ubuntu to Red Hat.) Whatever you do, don't admit you like using facebook.
To learn all the details about time and place, sign up via the Geek Dinner's Wiki.