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Summary:

A few weeks ago we carried a piece called, the New Office Space – a round up of cafes in San Francisco where Baristas brew a mean cuppa joe, and WiFi is free. This heady mix results in great ideas and cool products. Ask Kevin Burton, […]

A few weeks ago we carried a piece called, the New Office Space – a round up of cafes in San Francisco where Baristas brew a mean cuppa joe, and WiFi is free. This heady mix results in great ideas and cool products. Ask Kevin Burton, who has whipped together Tail Rank on a beat-up Powerbook, and sitting in cafes. The post, set-up as sequence of posts across the world. So we are bringing it all together, in what is a global cafe society. If you can put all these cafes on a Google Map, and mash it up, let me know. We could make it a “featured post” here on GigaOM. But for now, take it away JW! — Om

By Jackson West

Who’s down for an old-fashioned San Francisco Wifi Bedouin Flash Mob?

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks and I’d like to say that the response to my post on working out of coffee shops was incredibly edifying.

So I’d like to take a moment to look at some of the feedback to the post (a mention from Dave Winer and a quip from Craig Newmark certainly didn’t hurt). I speak a smattering of Spanish, French, German and Russian, and can tell the difference between my Simplified and Traditional Chinese, not to mention Hiragana versus Katakana, but lord if I have any idea what language this is. How awesome is that?


First of all, the response from bloggers outside of San Francisco was just what I think Om and I were looking for. After all, who wouldn’t want to know a great place in Portland, Maine to check in while summering on the coast? Where do the hipster nerds congregate in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Bangalore, India and Makati in the Phillipines? How about a handy map of all the Panera bread and Chili’s locations if you get tired of the food and T-Mobile service at Starbucks?

San Francisco has always had a highly transient population, which I think served it well as an example for the piece. The bedouin analogy so perfectly fits the circumstances — WiFi is to the Internet economy as water is to camels. Here in The City, I try to collect an oasis in each neighborhood so that I’m never stranded. (Except at Reverie, which at least did once have Wifi if no longer)

Oh, and where will you find me? Well, since the Wifi’s down at Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store, it’ll be at Caffe Roma, where the plugs are plentiful, the baristas cute and the Telegraph Hill Dwellers talk high finance. Plus, they roast their own beans and serve porto. But I’ll definitely be checking all your recommendations out as the opportunity arises, starting with my dad’s tips for Seattle (dude, the Philly Fevre rocks).

Cool applications: Delocator, JWire

Starbucks alternates: It’s A Grind, Panera

Reflections on the culture:

Further coffee shop recommendations for:

  1. With Google help, I think it is Euskara (though I don’t speak it or Spanish). It is spoken in the Basque country (part of Spain and France)

  2. Yep, looks like Basque to me.

  3. Cem Sertoglu Friday, March 24, 2006

    I think the Neskafe blog is in Basque.

  4. Gregor J. Rothfuss Friday, March 24, 2006

    There is also a new project in Boston that might be of interest: http://coworking.pbwiki.com/CoworkingBoston

  5. Patrick Mullen Friday, March 24, 2006

    San Francisco Wifi Bedouin Flash Mob?

    I can just imagine someone from Alabama reading that and thinking “God is going to strike down those perverts on the west coast.”

  6. Jackson West Friday, March 24, 2006

    Euskara! That is awesome. It’s funny, but right across the street from my apartment is a wifi cafe called Eguna Basque — talk about synchronicity. Should have just run the post by them. :P

    And Patrick, that is abosolutely hilarious. Like San Francisco needs another reason to be struck down by a venfeful God!

  7. Tim Stephens Friday, March 24, 2006

    Just a quick post from the third coast; Corpus Christi, TX

    Downtown – Agua Java Coffee house – good food, coffee and music.

    Southside – Cafe Calypso (inside Half Priced Books – score on 2 counts!)

    Uptown – Knuckleheads Restaurant (BBQ) and Biker Bar.

  8. For Orlando, I’d like to nominate a new teahouse, Dandelion Communitea – they have free wireless, vegetarian food, and all sorts of good teas, for those of us who don’t care for coffee. http://dandelioncommunitea.com

  9. Hi!
    Would be a nice idea to make the coffee shops “Plazes” places…
    http://beta.plazes.com/home/
    Just my 2 (euro) cents
    Greetings from Berlin/Germany

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