Finding Web Nerds in Northern California and Oregon?
August 1, 2011 5:00 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to explore the local web/tech nerd and geek scene in small cities and towns between San Francisco and Portland. How and where do I find the right folks?

We're embarking on a roadtrip of sorts, driving north on I-5 from San Francisco to Portland. Along the way, we're stopping in a bunch of small cities and towns, trying to get a sense for what kinds of geek communities spring up in smaller cities and towns.



In a big city, I'd usually hunt around for coffee shops, coworking spaces, internet cafes, specialty bookstores, and various nerd-adjacent events.

Outside of Portland, doesn't seem to have a ton of activity. Suggestions on other sites to look? Insider tips? Your favorite wifi cafe in Chico?
posted by polexa to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was going to suggest 2600 meetings but there aren't any between the bay and Portland. You could check out the OSU robotic club in Corvallis. You could also throw some posts up on various craigslist sites.
posted by pwb503 at 5:48 PM on August 1, 2011

Not precisely a Web nerd org, but Eugene-based Geeks Without Borders is doing some interesting nonprofit work. Might be a way to make some contacts.
posted by treblemaker at 5:56 PM on August 1, 2011

I was gonna suggest but their map shows pretty much nothing between SF and Portland. Hmm.

O'Reilly Media is in Sebastapol - that should be a center of nerdity in Northern California.
posted by moonmilk at 6:21 PM on August 1, 2011

I'm confused why you picked Woodland. At least in reference to that, you might have better luck in Davis, the college town about 15 minutes south on 113. Davis Wiki might be worth some time poking around.
posted by shinyshiny at 7:25 PM on August 1, 2011

Check out hackerspaces. You can find them here:
List of Hackerspaces.
posted by smcameron at 8:18 PM on August 1, 2011

Er, hmm. moonmilk beat me to it, and noticed it wasn't much help. Oh well.
posted by smcameron at 8:20 PM on August 1, 2011

Redding is a nerd wasteland. Though you could stop at The Fly Shop and see how fly fishermen geek out.
posted by drwelby at 11:02 PM on August 1, 2011

O'Reilly Media is in Sebastapol - that should be a center of nerdity in Northern California.

Would that it were. *sigh*

Sebastopol is way off the highway 5 route the OP is describing. It'd also disappoint anyone looking for off-hours nerdy socializing. O'Reilly notwithstanding, there isn't much identifiably tech nerd community in the north bay.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:13 PM on August 1, 2011

I'd love to stand corrected, but as someone who grew up in Salem--admittedly I've not lived there in 10 years--I'd be surprised to learn there's any kind of web/tech geek meetups or general hangouts between Portland and Eugene/Corvallis. There used to be nEXGeN for video gamers, but...
posted by asciident at 1:44 PM on August 2, 2011

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