Big Crazy Piece
Some of my friends are justifiably concerned about this piece on GigaOm, like I’m the restaurant critic who revealed a prize hole in the wall only to see it destroyed or perverted by sudden success.
I had faith Om’s audience was extra-local enough that it wouldn’t be much news to the us here in The City, and all the insightful comments didn’t disappoint — I now know where to find an oasis almost anywhere from the East Bay to New York City.
Of course, I didn’t give away my own most valuable secrets, like where to get Wifi at a bar in San Francisco — or, more importantly, where the closest wifi is to popular local bars. I have no idea if you can get wifi at any local strip clubs, but considering how much business takes place there… But that’s a bit too salacious for GigaOm.
What I’m interested in exploring is where local language-groups congregate for wifi, tech support, LAN parties, etc. I’ve seen storefronts around the bay that obviously catered to Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Russian and a whole rainbow of dialects like Punjabi, Mandarin, Farsi, Eritrean, Ukrainian — even Pashtun. Hopefully I can come up with a serviceable pidgin from techie specificities, a snatch of each swadish and generous hand gestures.