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.