Group groping

I recently happened across a site called Meetup.com. The site may be old news to everyone but me, but as I’ve seen a lot of people in society’s withered but gamely flapping science and reason arm mention wanting to hook up with like-minded people in their physical communities, I figured I’d mention it.
The process is straightforward: After registering for free and–if you wish-creating a profile loaded with information about yourself, you can search for existing meetings by topic or even start new ones. So, someone of my bent might look for groups for writers, atheists, caustic misanthropes, and former competitive runners turned pitiful-looking joggers-with-retriever-dogs in southern New Hampshire. (Ideally I would find one meeting to address all of these as this would save lots of time, but I might be the only one attending.)
Obviously, larger metro areas offer both larger meetings and a wider range of topics, but that’s where the option of starting up your own meeting becomes handy. I don’t know anyone who has personally made use of this site, but overall it looks like a popular service, analogous to the singles sites but with the objects if interactivity being intellects and ideas rather than genitalia.

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  1. #1 by Trin Tragula on December 26, 2008 - 12:19 pm

    I have personally made use of this site. I attend atheist meetups.

  2. #2 by Trin Tragula on December 26, 2008 - 12:19 pm

    I have personally made use of this site. I attend atheist meetups.

  3. #3 by meatbrain on December 26, 2008 - 12:45 pm

    I’ve used Meetup, and currently attend a board games group in my area. It facilitates finding a group that focuses on what interests you, but as with all groups, the quality of the meeting is dependent largely on the organizer(s). The group I attend has a good mix of folks, and takes place in a congenial venue.

  4. #4 by The Science Pundit on December 26, 2008 - 2:03 pm

    I use Meetup. In fact, the Atheists Meetup is one of the member organizations of our local Coalition Of Reason.

  5. #5 by Gray Gaffer on December 26, 2008 - 5:50 pm

    Seems to do what it says. But does little to help me feel good about the general rigor of my fellow Seattleites: I searched for something simple – “Science” – near me, and out of 60 groups found (all presumably tagged with Science) only 2 were actually related to any kind of science at all (AI and IT); maybe three purported to have a ‘scientific’ approach to accumulating wealth, the rest were out and out woo, or things like mums-at-home support groups (why would they show up in a Science search?).
    So it seems good for social interests, not so for intellectual.

  6. #6 by Saint Gasoline on December 26, 2008 - 7:19 pm

    While it is true that these meetups are for intellect and ideas, but you’ll find that the genetalia work their way into the mix somehow. The genitals are inescapable, no matter where you go.
    (That is to say, a lot of the people at these meetups will “hook up”. Well, at least in the atheist/skeptic meetups. Maybe the knitting meetups are different.)

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