How to meet people, for geeks

I’ve been going once and a while to Cafe Coupa in Palo Alto, to drink coffee and read stuff, and I observed an interesting phenomenon. Silicon Valley geeks aren’t particularly known for their social skills and meeting new people is never easy for them. However, a novel catalyst enabling expansion of the geek’s socal circle seems to be: free WiFi (forget social network software). Because the cafe offers free WiFi, it attracts crowds of folks with laptops and notebooks, who are studying, coding, writing or web browsing after hours – geeks. Along a sidewall of the place is a row of power outlets, and the laptop people sooner or later all hook up their adaptors there. After a while, the power chords get entangled and when people want to move or leave, they out of necessity have to interact with each other – and so many a conversation seems to get started.

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