On the eve of my 26th Go Urban San Diego Meetup, and the recent 10th anniversary of 9/11, I thought it would be nice to reflect on what the Meetup community is and how/why it got started. Meetup is a 9/11 baby.
Scott Heiferman, founder of Meetup, was living a couple of miles from the Twin Towers, and was the kind of person who thought local community didn’t matter much as long as internet and tv are nearby. When the towers fell, he found himself talking to people he would normally ignore and noticed other people were meeting up with each other and being neighborly.
A lot of people including Scott were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. Not knowing exactly what it would look like, a small team came together and Meetup was launched 9 months after 9/11. Today, 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it’s working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen- a wild variety of 100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common – except one thing. Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to neighbors. And what often happens next is amazing stuff. They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and motivate each other, they babysit each other’s kids and find other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace together. They make friends and form powerful community. It’s powerful stuff.
It’s a wonderful revolution in local community, and it’s thanks to everyone who shows up. We hope you show up Thursday!