[meeting new people the internet way]
I don't know how people used to do this before the Internet. Did they go to the local Y1 and look at a bulletin board? Did they just all know to join the local Kiwanis? Did people actually talk to each other in public, like while hanging out on stoops or whatever? I have no idea. But in my world, any social crisis is best solved through the magic of technology.
And so I have joined a whole bunch of Meetups for people interested in everything from Korean language partners to swing dancing to Scrabble to simply having lunch2.
Last night, after much hesitation during which I considered ditching the whole idea and going to a Marijuana Anonymous meeting3 instead, I finally decided to follow my original plan, which involved visiting the Won Buddhist temple for some very helpful yoga and mind clearing, then heading down to the Luca Lounge, way out on Avenue B and 13th Street, for the NY Bloggers Meetup.
At a table in the back garden, I joined about seven other bloggers and would-be bloggers for a freewheeling chat about digital media, concepts for blogs, how to draw comments and God (that last one was a tangent). Our illustrious hostess, Alejandra, does something complicated involving the coordination of international editions of Cosmopolitan and publishes the charming Sent from My Dell Desktop. I also had fun chatting with Paull Young (not the singer), an Aussie new to New York who publishes Young PR, works in new media strategic management, and needs to be taken to his first baseball game.
Far across the table was Carolyn, whose blog, Becoming a Woman of Purpose, has apparently begun to draw a community of women who are looking to gain from Carolyn's insights as a life coach and just generally grow as people. With a rather different approach to women, another member of our group was planning a website devoted to teaching men how to pick up women, and I ended up in a long conversation about possibly editing some of the pickup scripts that will then be published in PDF format and sent to paying clients. This is not exactly my area of expertise — or interest — but I will edit for guvment scrip, and unlike, say, writing people's college entrance essays, there was nothing about this particular activity that seemed outright unethical.
I know there were more blogs mentioned, and Alejandra graciously collected a list of them4, which she has promised to post to the Meetup group. I'm grateful to Alejandra for getting us all together, and just glad to be reminded that there are lots of interesting ways to meet new people.
Update: Alejandra, our fearless leader, just sent out a list of links to Meetup members' blogs, and here they are:
1. "As everybody knows my name at the recreation center."
2. Who doesn't like lunch?
3. For those who may be new here, I'm a recovering addict with 85 days of sobriety, which may explain some of the need to rebuild my social life.
4. On good ol' paper.