Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to date a geek girl (my #barcampevn11 presentation)

This is the presentation and slide notes for my BarCamp EVN'11 talk.

A certain person, who considers himself as ‘definitely not a geek’, inspired me to start writing a blog post about this, which was never finalized and published before this… but while i was trying to chose a presentation topic for this barcamp, and had two serious topics in mind, well… 2 days ago i had this “tadaaa” moment and that was it :) i’m here.
So .. well.. i have to say.. I’m a geek. A tech-savvy, gadgets dependent, spending tremendous amount of time being connected. There’s also a term – wired.

So i’ll be telling some insights on this topic from my own experience… a little bit spiced, however ;)
Just one thing before i start – you have to promise not to use any of these tips against me, okay?

These tips might be particularly useful for non-geeks as they give some perspective from an actual geek girl.
They will particularly work if the girl has some initial interest in you, or at least nothing against.

1. Subscribe and Follow
Geek girls, probably not everyone, but of the type i’m gonna tell you about, are quite accessible. Meaning, they are easily reachable via some social networks, have quite a noticeable online presence. Like if you google their name, you’ll get at least couple of pages of results for her profiles, blog posts, comments etc.
One of the first things you should do is - if she has a blog – definitely subscribe to it. Find her on social networks, get on to the messenger she’s using and start friending.. but not in all places at once. Note: if you’re not on any of those popular networks, you should seriously consider signing up for them, that will significantly ease the job ;)
Start exploring her online personality.. her likes and dislikes.. chances are, you’ll get pretty much informed on how she spends her days, what does she do in life, etc.. 
If you’re still interested in her after discovering her online personality… then you should start... interacting.

2. Interact
Write comments. Carefully pick when and where to comment so that you don’t annoy. Learn the netiquette and some basic ethics of online communicaton in those networks.. that’s why it’s important to observe a little bit before you act. .. so my advice here is.. don’t like or comment her every post :) or write messages like these:

3. Find her
Ok third.. find her. I mean find out where she hangs out. If you’re lucky enough to be mutually friended with her in Foursquare, then you’ll know when she hangs out in the evenings, her favorite spots.. you’ll find the good time to join her. If you’re lucky to be authorised to see her location any moment via google latitude.. that means wow.. she must really like you. You get bonus points for that :)
So basically, she'll appreciate a msg like- "r u still in Segafredo? can i join you? of course if i won't disturb".
And again here, you have to know the limits.. you’ll learn them from her reaction actually.

..and by the way, couple of words about privacy. If you find out that she has started being online for you in Facebook chat, that must be that she added you to her some kind of “online for chat” friends list. By the things that are accessible for you in her profile, you can guess how much she trusts you.. if she’s a real geek, she has to have multiple friends lists with custom privacy settings, so if you see all pictures she’s tagged in, all her wall posts, profile info.. you have pretty good chances ;)

4. Be nice
Find things that you can do that make her happy. Geek girls are not that kind of ones you can achieve by sending the standard flowers, inviting for a classic café dates.. if you notice that she’s very picky for details.. try not to do spelling mistakes when typing. That can annoy her :)
You can send her offline messages by the way.. and long emails are still trendy :)
Just don’t be too sticky.

5. Don't be always on
While you might be refreshing her wall once in every hour, checking her tweets and statuses in messengers, don’t show that you’re constantly dying to get a message from her. Make her miss you and she’ll be contacting you herself. But don’t also make her feel so it’s just her that always writes first :)

6. Be informed
Try to discuss the latest tech news with her.. like facebook’s new feature, or google… but try not to argue much :)

If you know that she’s an Android-er.. chances are that she hates everything about the “fruit” company and iPhones. Don’t bring that neverending “Android vs. iPhone” topic up :) 

If you made a gadget/app choice because of her advice – let her know about it. You’ll get your plus points :)

7. Don't play too much
You know what games i mean :) don’t leave her uncertain about your feelings and intentons for a long while. She might get pissed and take some steps. Like writing a kinda pissedoff letter, then publishing it in her blog :)

I know this list is not comprehensive and there’s still a lot to say and a geek girls can be very different… so in the end i want to give some bonus advices in case things don’t work with her after all :) or maybe you weren't meant to be together actually.

So “how to remove someone from your (digital) life” (without burning bridges, going brutal like unfriending) 

  1. Limit the accesses - -put her in limited profile friends list, so that they don’t see your activities etc, and also hide them from your newsfeed as well. The less you get reminded of the failure, the faster you get over it.
  2. Untag from the pics that had you once connected..
  3. Disable notifications for checkins in Foursquare
  4. Hide/remove/block from messengers
  5. Filter the emails (so they are marked as read and archived)
  6. Delete her number from quick contacts, or just remove from contact lists at all, in case you get drunk and want to text..
  7. … if all this doesn't work – simply do the inevitable:
  • Delete all old emails and get rid of their email address (clear it from the "autofill" in your email)
  • Delete their number out of your phone
  • Unfriend them on all social networking sites
  • Block/Delete them on your messengers
Good luck! :)

Here's the presentation file:
p.s. a tip from @netcrash - buy her a domain name if she doesn't have one already :)

if you have comments or more tips, write here in the comments, i'll update the post with them :)

update 1: Lusine Barseghyan has translated my post into Russian, thanks, Lusine! :)
update 2: My presentation went viral and became top presentation of the day/week and most tweeted on Slideshare! THANKS everyone! :)))


The Blackmer Family said...

About #3...the privacy note... I would add, be sure she does indeed want you to see all your pics, wall posts, etc. because there are plenty of airheaded, definitely non-geeky girls (and guys) who don't know how to control privacy settings, so everything is public.

Which reminds me...what category of geeks has no digital footprint and is NOT searchable on Google?

Thomas said...

Ok I think I'm on a good track here. I didn't send a moronic message to become your friend. I am an "occassional" visitor and interractor with you on facebook. I think the geographical limitations are the only obstacle here.
I enjoyed reading it. I would've commented more, but I have loads of work. Maybe you should've went for "5 easy steps to dating a geek".
Anyway Loved it!!

Jonathan Fox said...

@Jarred being unconnected is the new cool! After 17 years on the net it is quite a challenge to stay under the radar