Love at First Sight
The first glance.
The first kiss (and then some...)
The adoring looks:
it's all here. Enjoy!
Where Love has its way. Think convertible, wind through the hair, not a care in the world. No traffic, no tolls, no wrong turns: velocity, in a word. Oh, and the scenery: spectacular! And yeah, there's a destination, but who really wants this joy ride to end?
I don't write to our whole community often, but this week is special because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many people don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.
Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn't matter much if we've got the internet and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I hoped they wouldn't bother me.
When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normally ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being neighborly.
A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- and grow local communities?
We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was a crazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to make people distrust one another. A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months after 9/11.
Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it's working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups, Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... 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 still amazing to me. 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....It's powerful stuff. It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks to everyone who shows up...
9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk to strangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart...The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting started...
Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ) Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup New York City September 2011
Wow, I did not know the connection. THANK you for telling the story, Scott. And a thousand times thank you for giving birth to this extraordinary resource. It DOES work: Meetup DOES get people out from behind their computers to be with real people in real places, enjoying and sharing common interests. I've loved every meetup I've ever attended, and that's quite a few over the last 8 or so years [it's been six, in fact]. And Meetup was there for me to help create instant community when I moved from Boston to Dublin, IE for a year. I am still connected to Dublin peeps and goings on thanks to Meetup.That's a lot of light to emerge from such darkness. And to think we're just getting started.
It was a brilliant idea with a brilliant result: providing oodles more ways to (in my language) "let Love have Its way"...
Bless you, and all who had a part in giving birth to Meetup,