Monday, June 15, 2009
Get Out. Find Others. Meet Up.
There are over 1.5 million people in Manhattan and almost 19 million people in the greater NY-NJ-CT metro area (that's almost two-thirds of Canada's entire population, folks!) With this many people, chances are there are others out there in the city who share your same interests, passions and hobbies . . . whatever they may be. It's just a matter of finding them. Enter Meetup.com.
Though not NYC specific (you can use Meetup in any U.S. city), Meetup.com is a great way to find people or groups that share your interests. And with so many New Yorkers, it is especially easy to locate groups or clubs dedicated to every odd hobby or field. From proffesional associations to music groups, sports clubs, discussion groups, foreign language groups, activist organizations, support groups, volunteers, collectors, enthusiasts, etc. chances are you will find a specific group through Meetup, find out how often and where they meet and join the group yourself. This is not simply an online meetup forum, it is area specific and the goal is to get people together, to meetup face to face.
For the past three years I have been a member of the NYC Web Design Meetup group and one of the Bellydance groups. The Web Design group meets usually once a month downtown and we spend a couple hours discussing new web innovations and design issues, as well as sharing our own work with others in the group. It is a chance to meet with others, ask questions and learn and contribute. The Bellydance group meets to dance, watch bellydance shows and listen to Middle Eastern music. Each meetup group is different and shaped by what the members want.
And if you can't find the type of group for your oddball interest - say a pigeon watching club - then you can start your own through Meetup and begin uniting all the other fellow urban bird watchers out there.