Building community in Santa Cruz

So I drove down to Santa Cruz and spent the day talking with some of the Web 2.0 tech and product folks there, including Margaret Rosas, Sol Lipman and friend and Yahoo! co-conspirator David Beach

In some ways,Santa Cruz strikes me as being like Shangri-La–it’s beautiful, but isolated and somewhat remote, with the big hill being truly hard to get past sometimes in winter, when the rains hit. Recently, folks there have put an increasing focus on building ties to a Web 2.0 tech community–there have been geek dinners, talk about meet-ups and incubators, and a desire to make tech and web development perhaps a cornerstone of the economic development focus for the coming years.

There was lots of great talk–I learned that while the SC area has a pool of people who’ve been doing tech and web development for a while(no surprises there), there hasn’t been much of an accessible community; folks have either left their work in the office, “over the hill,” or they’ve kept to themselves (or both).  Margaret, Sol, Beach and others have made efforts, recently, to get more people out and connected–through planning a co-working space, doing informal co-working days, geek dinners, and so on.

There’s alot of good activity happerning in Santa Cruz, many good geeky people, and I will be back.