I don't spend a lot of time hanging around with geeks in the real world. I spend a lot of time hanging around with them in virtual spaces and some of the people I have met there are my closest friends. Offline meets are ... quite different. Lots of geeks are quite shy, for starters. Some are quite egotistical, like the guy I met last year at the pre-conference social for phplondon and was horrified to hear that I create PHP using vim instead of a "proper IDE" and said how happy I was that I had made the effort to reach out to the conference and that he was sure I would learn a lot - the implication being that anyone who writes code with a keyboard is clearly a n00b. I'm hoping to avoid a repeat of that experience. I know I don't look like a PHP developer but the friends I meet online can't see that and I kind of forget ... until an offline meet.
Perhaps experiences like these put me off doing the real-life thing but I am honestly so excited about PHPLondon tonight and tomorrow that I can't imagine staying away. I'll be promoting phpwomen at the main conference and I'm really excited about that too - look out for flocks of girls in bright purple t-shirts!
(OK, maybe not flocks...)