Move to San Francisco. Now.
Since this seems to be the advice that I've been giving to pretty much all of the geek + activisty folks that I know, I figured it bears repeating here: Move to San Francisco. Now. There have been really great conferences like An Event Apart and CompostModern, green socialite stuff and Green Fest, a great cycling scene, gorgeous coastline, sustainable agriculture galore, municipal freaking composting, local beer/coffee/chocolate/veggies/everything, the legendary queer scene, the legendary political art scene, an awesome, active AIGA chapter, killer public transport, a hilarious mix of psychedelic and high-tech history... It's all been even more incredible than I'd hoped. This city is just completely alive and thriving with all kinds of brilliant geeky people doing Good Things. ... You should come, really. I got here sometime in the summer for a new job doing design/programming/research at this fantastic little UX shop. It was completely serendipitous how I got the job, but that's a better story told in a bar than a blog. I've got a little studio off of 24th Street in the Mission, which is about as wonderful as city living can be, if you ask me. Best of all, when I moved I got rid of my damned phone and car, two of my least favorite things in the world. :) For the last month I've been working intensely on a complete rewrite of a research tool called Ethnio. Ethnio is intended to make online user experience research cheaper and easier, and I'm pretty damn happy with the progress that we've made. I'll post a link as soon as we're out of private beta. I've been spending most of my day's working with a few geniuses at Pivotal Labs down on Market Street (including rails expert josh susser.) I love being around people that are much smarter than I am; it makes learning impossible to avoid. And this happens positively all the time in SF. Seriously, I'm in a Valencia street coffeshop now and I could probably ask the guy sitting next to me for help with the code I'm working on. I'll be posting some more technical things here soon from my Ruby on Rails adventures, as well as some of the incredible graphic design stuff that I've been stumbling onto lately. I'm hoping to get back into blogging more now that things have calmed down with the move and with the beta release of Ethnio. But regardless, really, you should do yourself a favor and figure out how to uproot yourself for California. Come by get a beer and a burrito sometime, won't you?