Only Connect

I took a job at Meetup in New York, a service designed to help people meet in real life. Real life! Look up from your screen and imagine that. Knitters, bloggers, blow-ins, Wes Clark supporters, chihuahua owners, and Buffy buffs: they’ve all found kindred flesh through Meetup.

I took a job at Meetup in New York, a service designed to help people meet in real life. Real life! Look up from your screen and imagine that. Knitters, bloggers, blow-ins, Wes Clark supporters, chihuahua owners, and Buffy buffs: they’ve all found kindred flesh through Meetup. Famously, Howard Dean’s handlers used it as a new and deadly fundraising tool for his Democratic nomination campaign, and it helped him come from nowhere to lead the race. Just about all the Dean coverage I’ve read has mentioned Meetup, and the name seems to have passed into the language. This toddler of a company has already attracted the interest of some very bright people, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Encouraging people to meet in real life seems a decent, useful goal in this disconnected world. We’re beginning to realise that we’ve lost something by choosing to live on our backsides, alone with TV, broadband, or an SUV. The hunger for human contact is growing. Meetup is of its time, not too early or too late, and I can’t wait to learn more about how people are using it and what they need next.

17 thoughts on “Only Connect”

  1. Woohoo! Congratulations. Meetup is a very cool company, and they’re damned lucky to have you.

    Hope to get a chance to…um…meetup with you soon. πŸ™‚

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  2. Way to go, Dervala! Does this mean we may actually get to, well, meet up sometime? I’m going to be in New York for a week this summer, teaching at NYU. If you’re going to be there, we should definitely hit a pub (or three). πŸ™‚

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  3. Congratulations Dervala – looking forward to hearing more about Meetup – is it based on location and restricted to NY I wonder … will have to peruse the website.

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  4. Dervala… Congrats on announcing the news. I was wondering how long it would take you to ‘fess up that you’ve had a job offer for a few days now.

    As one of those “very bright people” (I can only ASSUME you meant me) who’s already working at Meetup, we can’t wait for you to get here. We’ve got a lot to do and need your help.

    Wendy, 1) Meetup coordinates meetings on 2,700+ topics in 604 cities around the world, not just NYC. Take a look, I’m sure we offering something or another in your neck of the woods, and 2) Ranger Tim finds plenty of nature here in NYC. As a co-worker of his, he was endlessly trying to convince me to kayak around Manhattan with him… and I do mean AROUND Manhattan… all in one fell swoop.

    -Peter S.

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  5. Fabulous news! Gus, the sweet and skeevy guy at Tom’s restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, hasn’t been the same since you blew town. I’m almost afraid to tell him you’re returning, he’ll be so happy.

    -Michael

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  6. congratulations! i LOVE meetup! i am the host of the very successful (in my opinion anyway) newark-jersey city, nj knitting meetup. i have made good friends and am now personally organizing a second night for us to meet. so much better than vegetating in front of the tv.

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  7. Yay! Meetup – congratulations! I’ve used Meetup for knitting-related connections – how dorky/old-lady is that?

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  8. Cool! I’ve used sewing.meetup.com and think it’s very well done. And the last technical support issue I reported was handled quickly and intelligently.

    Maybe I’ll sign up for the “plus” version now, since I’ll know whose snacks I’ll be paying for…

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  9. Wow! Knitting, knitting, and sewing. I knew a lot of people liked Meetup but who knew there was such an overlap between Dervala’s fans and our craft-oriented Meetups?

    India, while I encourage you to purchase the “plus” version of Meetup, do so out of your love for Meetup… not for Dervala’s snacks (maybe so we can afford to give her a raise though).

    As one of Dervala’s future co-workers I can assure you that sadly, we spend next to nothing on “snacks”… we’re a new breed of dot.com… no snacks and no massages, but also few long hours and a well-planned product.

    Stay tuned as Meetup evolves into a MUCH better tool and community (with Dervala’s help of course).

    -Peter S.

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  10. Congratulations on the new job, Dervala! I met my local blogger friends through Meetup, so I am grateful to the service (even though we’ve migrated away from Meetup when it turned from a helpful tool into a hindrance). Looking forward to see it expand and evolve.

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  11. Justin… you ask about Aeron chairs… well, for a long time, we all sat on the chairs that came with the subletted space we use.

    They’re your basic cheap office chairs… made worse by the fact that we sublet 1/2 a floor from a company… they kept all the best chairs and gave us the worst. Some have only 1 arm. Some have none. Some have arms but don’t adjust vertically.

    Recently a few of us moved to another floor as we’ve outgrown our original space. I have to admit, for this new space we bought our own chairs. We bought them used of course, I believe for $100 each, but they are pretty good chairs. Far from Aerons, but adjustable and attractive… no more carpal tunnel syndrome here I tell ya.

    -Peter S.

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  12. Elke… glad you enjoyed Meetup at first, so sorry it turned into a hindrance. All the changes we have in plan are specifically aimed at all the current inflexibilities that make the site annoying to more “mature” Meetups. Stay tuned.

    -Peter S.

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