Do you have trouble meeting people, like I do? I recently discovered a great new site that many of you have probably already heard of called Meetup. (Many thanks to an author and incredibly nice woman I met at V-Con last year and who I talk to on Twitter a bit, Sandra Wickham, for pointing me to this site). No, it's not a site for clandestine rendezvous or anything like that. Basically, it's a site where groups of people can find others with similar interests and get together socially. It can be for activities, or just discussing common things.
(Thanks to Egreog's Place)
Sandra pointed me to the site because there is a Dr. Who group on there she thought I might like (my Twitter handle is whovian223, so she figured I was a Who fan). However, given the writing class I just finished, I decided to look and see if I could find a writers group too. As I mentioned the other day, I did find a group called the Vancouver Independent Writers Group, and I've had a blast at the last two meetups.
Funnily enough, both of them have been at coffee houses (though one served beer, thankfully). I'm looking forward to many more great conversations with my fellow writers. It looks like we typically meet every two weeks. One time for something purely social (the karaoke nights apparently haven't been that successful) and the next for just a sit-down discussion where we're also welcome to read some of our work if we want to.
The best thing about Meetup is that it's worldwide, but it always takes into account where you are, though you can find meetups elsewhere by just typing in a new location when you're searching. When I type in something, it will only show local things unless I tell it otherwise. If you live in the heart of Texas, you will find things local for you. It's genius!
How does Meetup work?
Just go to the site and type in something that you're interested in. Are you into knitting? I just typed "Knitting" into the search engine and found a bunch of different groups in Vancouver. Joss Whedon fan? I know there's at least one group in Vancouver, and I think there are more.
Find a group that looks interesting and join it (after creating your Meetup account, of course)! Some groups may have to approve members first, but others are open. They may request a bio so that they can be sure that your interests meet the groups (the Vancouver writers group asked things like "what do you write?" and "favourite author?")
The group organizer (members can suggest meetups) can organize a meetup and post it to the group. Maybe you want to organize a meet up at the local pub to have some beers and talk about your dating life (if you're in a dating group). Set it up! Members will RSVP officially on the site, so you'll know how many people are planning to attend. Of course, you may get people who don't RSVP but just show up, or something might come up and somebody who did respond may not come. The good thing is that you have an idea of who you're going to be seeing when you show up.
I haven't attended a meetup with the Dr. Who group, though I'm looking forward to seeing everybody there. I'm really enjoying the writing group, though.
You can even just see what's trending locally to see if there might be something that you didn't even realize you might be interested in.
As an example (though it's not an example I'm interested in, obviously), currently trending in Vancouver is the Vancouver Women's Newcomers Social Club, a group for women new to Vancouver to meet some people here. I can see how this would be a valuable group for a woman who's new to the city and doesn't have many (or even any) friends here.
It's a great site if you like to socialize but you're having trouble finding people to do it with!