#Canberra: Nerd City

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It should come as no surprise that our nation’s capital is nerd central.

With significant political events occurring left, right and centre, Canberra is positively oozing with wonk as bureaucrats, media types and party hacks get their geek on all over the shop.

No office, no pub, no restaurant, cafe, or lawn bowling green is free from speculative tipping and hushed murmur gossip about some pollie-policy-party.

I first realised the degree to which political nerdom had infiltrated my day to day life when recently in conversation with a regular person I was asked,

“Do you know that guy?”

“Yeah totally!” I said. Then I thought about it.

“I mean, I’ve never met him, but we talk all the time on the internet.”

The regular person met this comment with a suspicious stare, “What do you talk about?”

“Um… Kristina Keneally’s hair?”

The conversation that ensued from my innocent wonk admission was less open-minded dialogue and more high-school style berating, but the truth of the matter is I have a lot of friends on the internet that I’ve never met in real life. Mostly I don’t know what their real names are or what they do, but a lot of them live in Canberra and when I moved here some of them became my actual friends – in fact my house-mates were acquaintances I talked to on Facebook.

But while I wait till the latest iphone comes out in June to live tweet #ACTQT the ACT Budget will be a significant multimedia event for this little print publication – and I advise you all to await May 4th with breathless eager anticipation.

What may come as a surprise to those less tied to their iphones and laptops is the level to which Canberra’s political geek gets it on online – the internets here are not made of cats, they are made of #qt and #coagulation twitter hash-tags and Kristina Keneally’s photo-shopped hair.

Twitter is my major source of news from the hill, I’m trying to get the Assembly kids on board, but it’s a tough ride and I suspect they may have actual work to do.

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  1. Really? days can go past without me even thinking about what the pollies / parties or policies are. Tecnnology, now, there is something I can talk on twitter, blog on my blog, and engage with one of the 3oo odd contacts about.

    Canberra is a political city, true. But it is so much more. It is a city of the forum online – the RiotACT tells a lot of us the story behind the story, mainly as the "reporters" are everyday folk who see something, and tell the rest of us. It is a city with strong ties to ICT, there is so much more discussed about ICT here – Social media has broken down the barriers of the global community, and we are finding that there are people overseas who like to talk to us. The people you live next door to are also online, and they want to talk to you too.

    The interaction between canberrans and the pollies, well, that is for the most part limited. Why have members of the LA set up on twitter, only to make their profile private? I won’t follow a private profile – i have no idea what they are saying.

    CityNews is a paper magazine that i read religiously. I follow you on twitter, and between the two, I am kept informed. For my Technology news, though, I read IT News, CRN, PC Authority and ARN. Mostly online.
    I hope to see more tech type articles from you…

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