How hard can it be to find geek friends?

I recognize that a large part of my depression stems from my frustration with not having any hardcore, ubergeek friends. How do you go about meeting them, though? In a bout of desperation–yes, I’ll try just about anything at this point–I posted this to the New Jersey “strictly platonic” area on Craigslist: Looking for more geek friends.

I’m just looking for more geek friends, trying to post in all different places to find ’em.

Are you into social software, blogging, web development, brand management, graphic design, publishing, writing, information technology, “Web 2.0” (gag, I can’t believe I just used that buzzword)? Into DIY tech stuff, hardware hacking, modding?

Looking for someone to geek out with, someone who actually “gets” what you’re talking about and finds it as exciting as you do? Tired of trying to explain stuff to your non-geek friends, only to be met with glazed eyes and head-nodding?

Lets be friends–especially if you’re in Northern NJ. There’s just not enough of us in the area.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Craigslist has much traffic in New Jersey. Maybe someone who’s like me is similarly searching and we’ll somehow find each other. Here’s to hoping, anyway.

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  1. Stephen Harris says

    The problem with “geekdom” is that there are so many wide ranging areas. I like to think I’m a geek (I think I only have 7 computers and 2 virtual machines set up at the moment; I’m trying to cut down) but a lot of the areas you mentioned aren’t areas I’m into. Web design and social software isn’t something I’ve really been tracking; 11 years ago I wrote the first Java applet sold commercially in the UK for the SciFi Channel (Star Interactive were doing the ad campaign… … I lost the source code…) but not really done much in that area since. Also not much of a hardware geek (I’m convinced that aliens invented soldering; you need three hands!)

    Could you be limitting yourself unnecessarily with the list of interests, or are you really looking for a specific type of geek?

  2. Stephen Harris says

    Talking of blogging… I’m trying to signin with OpenID “” but I get an error:
    The site you just came from seems to want to verify an identity that you, as sweh, cannot provide.

    Which is odd ‘cos says that I trust


  3. “Could you be limitting yourself unnecessarily with the list of interests, or are you really looking for a specific type of geek?”

    Stephen: I’m definitely looking for a specific type of geek, I guess. I’ve come to the conclusion that not being picky enough has lead me to meet some nice people (which is cool and all), but not the kind that really make me happy.

  4. re: LiveJournal OpenID, are you providing the URL as just “” or as “”? I should probably default to the http scheme if it’s not a well-formed URL (i.e., doesn’t explicitly include the scheme), but I don’t yet–so, you need to enter it in explicitly.

  5. Re openID: Yeah, looks like it needed http:// prefix. Not what the spec says :-)

    7.2. Normalization

    The end user’s input MUST be normalized into an Identifier, as follows:
    3. Otherwise, the input SHOULD be treated as an http URL; if it does not include a “http” or “https” scheme, the Identifier MUST be prefixed with the string “http://”.

  6. I’m definitely looking for a specific type of geek

    Yeah, that’s gonna make life harder. The whole nature of internet collaborative development means that you can discuss projects and topics with someone 3500 miles away… but not find anyone to go down the pub with. That’s tough.

    Good luck!

  7. Stephen: thanks–I’ve made a small change to try and normalize the URL as the spec. calls for. I’m glad that once the URL is normalized, that my OpenID consumer does actually work, though. :-)

    re: finding geeks, you’re definitely right, I’m making things a lot harder for myself. But, as I said, my previous lack of discrimination has yielded some good friends, but not what I … “emotionally” … need.

  8. Good luck finding your geek friends. I know it took me a while. Also, OpenID login did not work for me. I tried using by blog URL (which is set as a delegate) and that failed, and then tried using the real one at and that failed too.

  9. Pete: You mean, you’re using “” as your Identity URL and logged in successfully at and it wouldn’t treat you as authenticated in my blog comments?

    When you say “failed,” exactly what do you mean? Do you get an error message of some sort? What is it?

  10. Dossy, you’re a Tcl/Tkl programmer. And I hate to be the geek that has to tell you this, but… …in Geek circles that’s just not cool. I can be rockin out to a Devo album, reviewing my DVD collection of Star Trek the Next Generation Season IV, and reviewing an EverQuest strategy book on how to succeed past 4327 hours of play. But when I hear that someone still programs in Tcl, I get seriously ill.

  11. UberGeek: There’s a difference between geeks (those who do things because they can) vs. dorks (those people still living in their parents basement, wearing their Star Trek uniform, etc.).

    I’m not interested in dorks. I want to meet geeks. People who take things apart (and put them back together again, _correctly_) to learn how they work. People who modify stuff (including software) out of curiosity as well as to suit their own needs. People who enjoy doing something for the sake of “the hack” value.

    Whether I program in Tcl or not is largely irrelevant.

  12. Simple look for a Sci-Fi convention in your area. Geeks abound! A large proportion of fandom are programmers or net admins and many aren’t dorks either (although some are.)

  13. foo: Interesting suggestion, but in my experience, con-goers are largely just poseurs. Have you met any real skilled programmers at a sci-fi con?

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