“This is a great way to get out hiking with others … We want people to feel like they are part of the group, even if they are new to the club.”—Organizer Rhonda Bulman of the Chattanooga Hiking Meetup - via Nooga.com
“Boasting more than 200 members, Sturman formed the Meetup last year as part of an ongoing quest to spread awareness on what can be done with farming on a small scale.”—Carina Woudenberg on the San Jose Urban Farming Meetup Group - via edible Silicon Valley
Dispatch is a startup that’s reinventing group email communication.
It all started two years ago when cousins Nick Stamas and Jesse Lamb met Alex Godin at the NY Tech Meetup. Together they formed Dispatch and set out to build the best way for groups to communicate.
Then, this summer, Alex met Scott Heiferman (Meetup CEO) in an elevator at the Personal Democracy Forum, and Scott invited Alex to demo Dispatch to the team at Meetup HQ.
We loved it, we really liked them, and it clicked: What if Meetup and Dispatch joined forces to solve one of the biggest opportunities facing Meetup Groups: How can we spark even stronger communities by making group communication much better?
At Meetup, we believe that a community isn’t a community if people don’t talk offline. That’s why we use the internet to get people off the internet. But we also believe that a community can be much stronger if people talk online too.
So, Nick, Jesse, and Alex will bring their passion and experience to Meetup and continue on their mission by reinventing group communication for millions of members of local Meetup Groups around the world. Stay tuned for the beginning of their impact on Meetup communities in 2014.
“‘They saved me and I saved others,’ she said, meaning that there are times in life when you need to be part of a social group for companionship and support.”—Organizer Fena D’Ottavio of "Friends First" FUN Friends Group - via Journal Online
For the last several years, Meetup has given a few graduate and undergrad students the opportunity to spend their summers working in the tech world as interns at Meetup HQ. They sit with the rest of the dev team, work on the code base, make improvements, fix bugs, and generally have the same opportunities and responsibilities of any other programmer here (and, yes, we pay them). This summer, our interns were Kathleen Lister, a rising senior at Brown University, and Jillian Munson, a graduate student at Stony Brook University.
In addition to a variety of smaller projects that Kathleen and Jillian finished this summer, they took it upon themselves to build an entirely new area of the site, which they call MeetupQuest. We’re pretty excited about it, and we’re going to let them walk you through the details.
If you’re in Montana and want to get a taste of what the Treasure State really has to offer, be sure to hook up with The Bozeman Adventure Club. The Meetup organizes a great variety of hikes around the Bozeman area, very close to Gallatin National Forest and northern Yellowstone National Park.
The group is run by Jordan and Alison Udall, awesome Organizers who do a great job of letting hikers know what they’re getting into with their detailed event descriptions. Check out their recent Windy Pass/Gallatin Crest hike, for instance. Jordan and Alison work hard to plan mind blowing trips and to secure nearly impossible-to-get backcountry permits so their members can experience the Montana wilderness with them.
They’re also traveler friendly, so if you don’t live in Montana be sure to look the Bozeman Adventure Club up on your next trip!
If you’re just getting started with your new chicks, the Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Meetup Group might have what you’re looking for. They’re 1,300 Members strong, and recently hosted a Teach-in/Pot luck Meetup to introduce newbies to the joys of keeping chickens as companions and “gardening soul mates”.
Do you ever find yourself flipping through food magazines, drooling over recipes that you want to try but might not have the time, occasion, or motivation to make? We’ve all been there.
Marina Young Women’s Cooking Club confronts food lust head on and fork first. Every month, members take a taste of what’s hot off the press and prepare different recipes from a food magazine. Then they come together to share them at a potluck! Dishing up a sampler platter of food, friendship and, of course, fun, this structure provides Meetup members with a way to try a range of different magazines and recipes while meeting new friends.
We can’t wait to see what recipes this group chooses, and chows down on, next month!
Liana is hungry to get a taste of all the delicious food and drink Meetups!
Taking the plunge to start your own business can be a nerve-racking experience. It doesn’t have to be lonely, though! Thousands of people embark upon this journey every month in the US. So, if you are a part of the startup community and you live near Atlanta, GA, head on over to the Atlanta Startup Village Meetup Group.
These guys and gals are eager to help you refine that elevator pitch while having a good old fashioned conversation about best practices for a fledgling startup. Don’t be shy — get out there and network!
Mario covers everything from networking events to startup Meetups as Meetup’s Business and Career specialist.
How do you decide which books your group will read each month?
We take suggestions for both books and future themes at the end of our Meetups. We use these suggestions to start online discussions and to finalize a shortlist for a Poll which the whole group gets a chance to vote on. Much more democratic, and if we have a tie, I take the deciding vote. This also gives us time to go away and check if the book suggestions are in print, affordable, and in paperback — and that they’re not too similar to other books the group has read recently. I try to take the suggestions and arrange themes and Polls so that we get a variety of genres and a balance between contemporary and classic books.
What advice would you give to a new Organizer starting a Literature & Writing Meetup?
Give everyone a voice. I always feel better afterwards if everyone has participated in the discussion and some people need a little extra encouragement. You have to set the tone for this, as left to their own devices, the confident voices end up taking over and dominating the discussion. Sometimes this means going around the table to hear from everyone in turn, but sometimes it’s just enough to notice who has not spoken and invite them to respond to some of the ideas. For many of our members English is their second or third language, and people need to show enough respect to listen well.
Also, don’t select a book that is difficult or expensive to get hold of, or that is not yet out in paperback. Some of our regular members prefer a Kindle/ebook version which surprised me at first but now I try to keep this in mind.
What kind of role, if any, has Meetup played in your life and community?
I’ve made several friends from running the Meetup, plus as I work from home as a freelance most of the time, I appreciate regular social activity like this that gets me out and about. It’s opened my eyes to the constant stream of people coming and going in the city from all over. I find it reassuring to have the group and the responsibility of running it; it makes me feel more settled in Amsterdam and more involved in the life of the city.
Grey makes sure that everyone is on the right page as Meetup’s Literature and Writing Specialist. She’s also a certifiable bibliophile.
So, you’ve been living in the city for a couple of years now. You probably have a good sense of your neighborhood; you know the best ways to get from point A to point B, and you’ve got a favorite park or two. But how much time have you actually spent studying your urban landscape?
The Austin Urban Sketchers Meetup Group recently hosted a World Wide Sketch Crawl #40 Meetup. Members got to travel around Austin, take a closer look at the city, and sketch and sketch and sketch to their hearts’ content. Getting to know your city just got way more fun!
Laura can’t wait to see the wonderful quirks and works of art your city has to offer!
The Triangle Bipolar Support Group has been making a difference in members’ lives since 2009. Support Meetups come in all shapes and sizes, but any group can benefit from letting members know what to expect from the experience.
Amy stepped up as Organizer in 2012, and has packed her Pages with tons of helpful information. She’s created a database of resource links, inspirational essays, guidelines for the Meetup Group, and a clear description of the role she has created for herself as Organizer:
Well said, Amy! Telling your Members what to expect from you as the Organizer goes a long way towards making members feel comfortable joining your support-focused Meetup.
If you’re looking for great ways to provide extra resources for your Meetup Group, check out their Pages section here for inspiration!
New projects can be daunting. Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or embarking on a new career, facing uncharted waters alone is intimidating — not to mention lonely! Sometimes the support of a friendly Meetup is the difference between ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ when it comes to tackling something new.
Two years ago my granddaughter, Heather, came to visit us in Los Altos, CA during Christmas break and told me about a beautiful sweater a classmate in Plano, TX had knit. She wondered if I could teach her to knit one like it. Her friend sent us the name of the pattern for the sweater and we found it online. I realized that it would be a challenge for me, and I have been knitting for years.
For those fascinated by bumps in the night, we spoke with Adrienne, the Organizer of the Bay Area Ghost Hunters Meetup Group.
What sparked your interest in ghost hunting?
I have always been intrigued by true ghost stories, ever since I was a child. I’ve also had a tendency to feel the spooky vibes when ghosts were around.
What do you enjoy about ghost hunting?
The stories, actually. I’m much more interested in hearing people’s personal experiences with ghost encounters and digging into the history to figure out why it happens and how. The most provocative encounters always come when they’re least expected.
What sort of equipment does your Group use?
Cameras, tape recorders, EMF readers, psychics and anything else that comes our way.
What was your favorite Meetup and why?
I believe I still enjoy the Meet & Greets we do at haunted restaurants and hotels. It gives me the chance to meet more BAGH members and hear their experiences. When our sensitives come and give us their impressions of the place, it becomes even more intriguing. My most memorable Meetup had to be the one at the Brookdale Lodge, which I had arranged shortly after I took over BAGH.
Tell us a spooky story!
My mother owns an old house in the Willow Glen district of San Jose and has been renting it to the same family for over 40 years. When my father died and my mom had to move into assisted living, I went over there to assess the situation. When the tenants started talking about the ghosts there, they confirmed my previous suspicions. Apparently, they’d seen the shadow of a little girl wandering around the place, and sensed a man who was making noise in the house.
I contacted Irma Slage, a psychic medium I had met through BAGH, to come clear the house. Apparently, the noisy male was a Native American who occupied that land before the European settlers arrived, and still claims that it belongs to him. The little girl was among the first to die in an epidemic during the early 19th century. A third woman, who was once the lady of the house, was also lingering about keeping an eye on things. Irma said the house has always been haunted.
My mother’s family had lived there for over 40 years and it never occurred to them. They always gave the noises they heard rational explanations. Irma successfully cleared the house for the tenants, but my mother and I plan on restoring it, so once the work starts, I expect they’ll be back.
Liz searches for Paranormal Meetup Groups to explain the unexplained.