Geekery, Trends, and Megaregions

I live in nerd central.  I'm in Silicon Valley.  I can WALK to the headquarters of important companies.  I've found myself in random conversations with famous people in gaming.  I have casual conversations with people about multi-million dollar deals.  Local news here is international news on an economic and cultural scale.

This is one of those areas that I've been talking about a lot lately – the Megaregion.  Those big economic/social/technical/industry clusters that seem to be the future of economic development.

When I talk to friends who are thinking of moving, we often talk Megaregions.  If they're the progeek type (and let's face it, these are my friends, so yes they are), it starts becoming very apparent that geek is where the megaregion is culturally and economically, and that's pretty limiting.

Conversations about places to live inevitably come down to a few areas: The SF Bay Area, LA, Chicago, New York, Boston, Baltimore-DC, Vancouver, and Toronto.  Sometimes Seattle and a few other places come into the discussion.  These are the places of tech, of publishing, of culture, of giant conventions, of pure nerdy.

There also just a small slice of North America and the world.  But for those geeks and progeeks in North America this is where we're going to want to be career wise.  This is where trends are pushing us.

So what happens as we migrate there, sleep on couches, and seek our fortunes in a limited area of the country and continent and culture?  Considering past migrations of people, in the future due to economic change, I can see a Geek Onslaught in the decade to come as people like, well, us migrate to these limited areas.

And then our culture, we fans and otaku and geeks, will be even more highly localized. 

And then we'll change the culture of these cities and megaregions even further.

So what happens to geek culture then?  Will it be even more widespread as we progeeks work the levers of power and media, or will it fade as we flock to the megaregions for jobs and camaraderie?

What happens to our events?  Will conventions and meetups shift to deal with these changes?  Will they migrate?  Will they grow?  In the area I live in we're convention crazy, and I understand Chicago is similar – what will happen as geeks consolidate?

So what's going to happen to we geeks as we cluster together – economically and culturally?

Steven Savage