Being a Tech Drifter

Digital nomads, laptop bohemians, tech drifters, call them what you will, but Scott Annan wants them to form a stronger community.

Thus the Mercury Grove CEO launched Tech Drifters to bring together workers who haul their laptops to coffee shops rather than sit in a cubicle.

"People who work in different locations lack the water cooler," said Annan, presenting the site and idea last night.

The Tech Drifters web site provides a location-based social network to help independent technology-based workers find and interact with each other, as well as find and rate the quality of remote working sites like coffee shops and co-working locations.

Oh, and there are maps.

Maps to see where fellow drifters are working around the world and maps to find those locations that have been rated.

There is also a chat feature to bring in "digital watercooler" functionality and well, another map, that shows folks posting to Twitter with the #techdrifter hash-tag.

"We're not trying to take over the world," said Annan of the site's niche network. "We're keeping it focused on location-based community."

However, beyond the site, there's also the idea of being a "Tech Drifter."

After the presentation, Annan handed out laptop stickers for Tech Drifters to identify each other.

The idea is that having the sticker on your laptop means "I'm working on something cool, come talk to me about it."

This was inspired by a road trip Annan and SWIX CEO Scott Lake took last year, visiting a variety of co-working locations and saw a similar program.

The web site is still very much in an alpha release state but Annan said he hopes to improve it as the community grows. And hopefully find a cost-effective way of distributing the Tech Drifters stickers.

Membership is free at

Mercury Grove
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

We believe in providing a better technology experience through great software and exceptional support. Mercury Grove develops software and provides professional consulting for medium and large businesses in the US and Canada. We currently have offices in Lexington, Kentucky, and Ottawa, Canada and a distributed team across North America and Asia. We opened our doors in 2005 as a small... more

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Robert Janelle

Robert Janelle

Robert Janelle is a freelance technology journalist living in the National Capital Region. He's spent time covering the Ottawa start-up scene as a columnist and feature writer with his work in National Capital Scan, The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Sun, Kingston Whig-Standard and The Escapist. He also suffers from a mild addiction to video games. more

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