Arranging a meetup?
June 15, 2002 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Arranging a meetup? This new tool may be just the thing for helping to organize it. With involvement from some familiar names, it's looking pretty good. This might be helpful to set up your next Metafilter Gathering...[via]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As they say on the front page :

1. Because nobody ever died of having too many friends.
2. Because the Internet was made to connect people.
3. Because you spend too much time in front of a screen.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:09 PM on June 15, 2002

Good idea! Still, Portugal is still off the list(though Estonia, inexplicably, is in) so I guess my lonely heart will have to go on pining, before all this universal cyber-soldier shit kicks in and I can finally meet my newly-found loved ones. But thanks anyway, stavrosthewonderchicken(you'll get no "starvos" from me)... Living in South Korea as you do; you'll appreciate the irony. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:21 PM on June 15, 2002

This would be neat if there was anybody in my immediate vicinity who I wanted any contact with that I have not already met.
And if that were the case,Monsieur poulet de merveille, i would not be spending my evenings staring at this screen.Besides I searched my zip code and came up goose eggs on anything interesting, but that don't surprise me none.

Otherwise, cool link, man.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 PM on June 15, 2002

Needless to say, Seoul's not on the list yet, either. Still, the site's only one day old, so we shall see...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:40 PM on June 15, 2002

Very cool link. Thanks. I was struck by two things.
What a simple and beautiful concept it is.
The lengthy credits page behind the implementation of it.
posted by keithl at 8:45 PM on June 15, 2002

This is a very cool idea, and I say that from experience because I started a company in 1999 that tried to do the exact same thing. Where I see warning signs is that this is a for-profit business. Big mistake. I made it too.

We plan on two main ways: (1) We'll get paid by retailers that have good MEETUP spots (eg. cafes, bookstores, big pet stores, restaurants, videogame retailers) to "slot them in" to Venue Voting. Like any business, these companies will pay to increase traffic and sales.

We had this as our revenue model, too. Some advice: ditch it, quick. Retailers may pay you the first time someone has a meetup at their place. As soon as the pool of people in the neighborhood who participate in meet-ups knows about the venue, the retailer won't pay you anymore. At first the hub through which interaction is made possible may the the website, but after a while, natural community interaction will take over and the venue will be the hub. There will be no reason to pay a website 3000 miles away.

Sorry for the long post; just wanted to share a similar experience. Nothing against the concept - I believe in that wholeheartedly. It just needs to be a grassroots effort. Sort of like Metafilter.
posted by laz-e-boy at 9:25 PM on June 15, 2002

Ouch. Well, there are still a few hiccups: I searched on my suburban zip code before I signed up, but wasn't asked to choose one and now I'm permanently assigned there. I couldn't find a way to change to the OTHER meeting using the downtown zip code. Or am I missing the point by thinking too broadly? Nevertheless, people may have similar experiences based on working one place and living another, and perhaps wanting to switch between the two. So, I see a process funnel here that I don't like, now that I'm in it.
posted by dhartung at 9:57 PM on June 15, 2002

I agree that it will be tough to make money with this project. I really like the design of the site and it seems easy to use. It's only a few hours old so it's no surprise that there are no events in Portugal, Miguel, but you can always start one.
posted by MaddCutty at 10:00 PM on June 15, 2002

Oh, yeah - I know of 3 other companies (aside from mine) that tried this business model and failed. Just so y'all didn't think I was a uniquely inept businessman.
posted by laz-e-boy at 10:02 PM on June 15, 2002

Oh, yeah - I know of 3 other companies (aside from mine) that tried this business model and failed. Just so y'all didn't think I was a uniquely inept businessman.
posted by laz-e-boy at 10:03 PM on June 15, 2002

Seems to be a cool concept. A little more flexibility would be nice. e.g. I would want in on a San Francisco meet up too. But that option doesn't seem to be there, once I sign up for a zip code. So far I seem to be the only one for a San Jose mefi meet....
posted by justlooking at 10:14 PM on June 15, 2002

It doesn't work consistently on IE5 for Mac. But I'm just glad to know that international metafilter meetup day is 51 days away!. Shucks, and I'm arranging my stamp collection that night.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:45 PM on June 15, 2002

Well, I'm signed up for a Tokyo meet, which is a bit like living in Vancouver and signing up for LA. Ah well, I guess we're beta-testing.

I agree, justlooking, it would be nice to be able to signup for multiple geographical locales.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:03 PM on June 15, 2002

This is going to be one succesful company! Oops, I forgot, .com's need to make money now. Sorry, guys, I don't think so...
posted by dagny at 11:40 PM on June 15, 2002

No Ottawa *cries*

Still, a fine idea. I love it.
posted by Succa at 12:03 AM on June 16, 2002

it won't work. why should i go to the trouble of attending a meet up if i am extremely limited to the choice of venue? it also seems to limit people geographically.

i also am on the lonely planet bbs and we have regular meetings, usually the group decide, or someone offers to host. i'm hosting one in august and people will be coming from the uk, france, belgium, holland, germany, finland, estonia, switzerland, canada and the us.
posted by quarsan at 1:33 AM on June 16, 2002

Just out of interest, who are the supposedly "familiar names"?
posted by salmacis at 3:07 AM on June 16, 2002

To me?

Eric Costello, Jason Fried & Scott Upton, Esther Dyson, Jason Kottke, Douglas Rushkoff, Clay Shirky (and the Cluetrainers, of course, although it looks like they fall mostly in the inspirational sphere).

And probably some others I missed. I'm crappy with names.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:38 AM on June 16, 2002

The People that Contributed by Writing Someting

Oops! How about "The People That Contributed By Spellchecking The Credits?!"
posted by davidmsc at 5:28 AM on June 16, 2002

Hmmm. I'd love to know how they determined the cities of relevance for each state. Annapolis isn't listed as a meeting point in Maryland, but it's an area that is chock-full of meeting spot activites.
posted by keli at 7:37 AM on June 16, 2002


nice that melbourne is there, although i have a feeling we all know each other already!

i'm a big fan of the 'names' involved, but i also feel a bit awkward that this is a commercial project
posted by sawks at 8:01 AM on June 16, 2002

I'm kind of wondering why there are Expatriate American meetings in every US city I checked.
posted by GersonK at 8:48 AM on June 16, 2002

Well, there are two MeFiers signed up in Seattle [who I already know], and there's no meetup locale within an hour of me in Vermont [but I expected that]. I don't think I would use this web page, primarily because -- after being partial co-ordinator for many MeFi meetings -- the venue information isn't in-depth enough. Democratic voting is a really nifty idea, but if you have five people attending an event and three people vote on a bar and the other two are under 21... then you have a "democratic" decision to go someplace the other two can't go. Suck. On the other hand, maybe the voting is one of those complicated new fangled models that allows for veto's an runners-up.....

My advice for a revenue model would be to tie in with CitySearch somehow. You'd get much better information on meeting places, many more to choose from, and much more in the way of directions/maps/prices/buslines, etc. As it stands the good old mailing list seems to be the way to go for ocassional events and regular events [i.e. the Seattle Scrabble club] don't really need many of the features meetup offers.
posted by jessamyn at 10:03 AM on June 16, 2002

the "familiar name" that stood out for me was brian sroub. after the horrible job he did with's marketing (and yes, i'm biased), i can't imagine that him contributing "a ton" can be a good thing for the company's business plan.
posted by brig at 10:42 AM on June 16, 2002

I'd love to know how they determined the cities of relevance for each state.

in their own words:

Why does MEETUP define cities the way that it does?
In the U.S., we wanted to make MEETUPs reasonably convenient and available to EVERYONE. With that in mind, we divided the country into over 500 distinct areas by hand. The areas were defined by population and driving distance for outlying areas. We've covered every inch of the U.S. with MEETUP, from NYC to Williston, North Dakota. In most cases your local MEETUP is a short drive away. We want you to not only have a short drive, to a great venue, but we also want there to be a good number of people who share your interest at the MEETUP. We also selected 31 cities outside the U.S. for our launch. These were primarily chosen based on three criteria: 1) Population, 2) Internet access, and 3) presence of a large population of English speakers ( is currently only available in English). We expect to add many cities and countries in the future, but we had to start somewhere with limited time and resources.
posted by chrisege at 12:32 PM on June 16, 2002

Sounds just a little like a less-rigorous version of Cafe Utne and the Neighborhood Salon Association, too. My impression, reinforced by an article I'd read long before web archiving, was that the salon movement had a boffo start but that many of them didn't last very long, there was a decline, and with a refocus the NSA has managed to bubble along at a manageable pace. But having been in a local service & social organization, I know that these things do not last without the right motivational structure and strong leadership.
posted by dhartung at 2:29 PM on June 16, 2002

I'm down with the next LA meetup but dammit, let's see some more participation you slack LA bastards!

My idea for the next gathering: Bocce competition in the park. With beer.

No, seriously.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:24 PM on June 16, 2002

Potentially interesting idea, of providing a place for people to meet others with similar interests, but it was implemented pretty poorly. The site isn't organized very well and the whole concept is never really explained very clearly. Why didn't they allow people to create whatever topics they want, in whatever locales they want? As it is, I don't see why anyone would use this site, considering how restricted it is to begin with.
posted by valerie at 1:08 PM on June 17, 2002

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