A community is more than a place. It is a collection of people with a common interest. That interest might be anything from sports to religion to politics. It often amazes me how people who have the same interest have a way of finding each other in a crowd. But what about people who move to a new town and want to find others who share their same interests? It can be tome-consuming and difficult. Or what about people who want to start a community if people with a certain interest?
Fortunately, there is an excellent online tool to assist in creating communities. It’s called Meetup, and it describes itself as follows:
Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.
Meetup‘s mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.
Wow! That sounds rather ambitious and profound. But you know what? It is working. I entered my zip code on the meetup.com Web site and was pleasantly surprised to find that in my neck of the woods there is a lot going on, to wit: a women’s book lovers group, a real estate study hall, a gamers group, an Internet marketing club, an actors and filmmakers discussion group, and the list goes on.
I’ve been toying with the idea of forming a discussion group in the manner of Benjamin Franklin’s Junto group to discuss philosophy, current events, business affairs and politics, with the idea of implementing some of the discussed outcomes in the broader community. Meetup.com may just motivate me to put the idea out there to find out if there is anyone else who wants to engage in such an activity.
Check it out. It might be just the thing for you and your community.