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The concept and relevance of social meetups in Vancouver May 8, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, food for thought, friends, personal life, random thoughts, Third Tuesday, Vancouver, Vancouver Blogger Meetup.

I have lived in Vancouver for over 12 years, and yet it’s only been since about 2006 (two years ago) that I have started to participate in local social gatherings. Let me explain. When I did my Masters degree, I made a lot of friends from school, who then went on to get jobs in the Vancouver area. The same happened to me, I got a job, moved away from Canada, came back, moved away again. However, after a couple of years, I pretty much had my circle of friends well established.

In one of my first relocations to Canada (I’ve moved countries more than I care to remember), I noticed a clear trend in my behavior: I wasn’t hanging out with many other people. I lived in residential graduate colleges and therefore, I didn’t need to make new friendships. My newer friends came from the places where I lived. The same thing happened, degrees were completed, people moved but the friendships stayed there.

However, in my last relocation to Vancouver (2006), I clearly noticed that I was meeting many more people. Not because I was making an active effort to meet people either for friendships or potential relationships (I haven’t really seriously dated anyone since about 2004), but simply because my friends had other friends, and we introduced each other to our own social networks.

With my recent (I’d say November 2007) foray into the world of social media (that is, actually MEETING in person all those people that I’ve read for months/years) I have begun participating in local meet-ups, something I had NEVER done before. Not because I didn’t want to, but it just simply didn’t even enter my mind.

Now that I’m participating in NetTuesday and Third Tuesday, Green Drinks Vancouver and other social gatherings (and having entered the Twitter world, with impromptu Tweetups), it has just dawned on me just how long I’ve been in this city without making real attempts to make new friends and/or engage in dating activities.

I consider myself very, very, very lucky in that I have a large number of good friends. I’m also lucky because I have managed somehow to keep my connections with the majority of them (some, of course, have drifted away). And that’s not my fault, I don’t think. I am, like everybody else, just a human being, with my foibles and strengths. There’s only so much I can do to be a friend and only so many hours in the day.

Were I to start over again in a different city/country, I probably would feel compelled to begin attending those organized socialization events (thank you Meetup.com, Upcoming.org and Facebook for making the task much easier!). Now the question is to you, my readers… what do YOU think of those meet-ups? Do you prefer to use Meetup.com or are just happy to organize an “Event” on Facebook?



1. TylerIngram - May 8, 2008

I’ve created events via Facebook but then they tend to be more personal and among my friends. Recently it’s been a camping trip for the May long weekend in Tofino. I’m excited about that actually because I’ve never been lol!

I’ve noticed other meetup sort of events via Facebook too. Most people are on it so I guess that’s a good place to create an event.I’ve seen them for Facebook developers (like the Vancouver one), the recent WordPress camp Vancouver, various night club things, weddings, even ‘just cause’.

2. Gus - May 8, 2008

Yeah I’ve started to attend more Social Media events. Granted I have 2 reasons for this, but mainly it is for my own personal reasons that I attend.

I’m learning alot more about the community and definately see the benefits of having my social media pals. You are all talented people and I’m glad I can use your talent from to time to time to help make my life easier and I hope I can do the same for others.

I actually don’t see much of a difference between the two. Granted I probably get more benefit out of Meetup.com since I don’t have alot of my social media pals on Facebook, at least not just yet.

3. MJ Ankenman - May 8, 2008

As far as Meetup vs Facebook, anyone can join Meetup and search for events or activities that they are interested in. Meetup is a way for people with the same interests who would not know each other to well to … meetup! When I first moved to Vancouver I searched for a Scrapbooking group and a Photography group to meet with. Facebook on the other hand is more closed, someone has to invite you or you can find a group or event because you see it on someones profile. I subscribe to Upcoming.org but don’t find it as useful, especially since Facebook came on the scene.

4. The Vancouver Bloggers Meetup for end of May 2008 « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - May 26, 2008

[…] always lovely Isabella Mori has invited me to be Assistant Organizer for Vancouver Bloggers Meetup. I have previously praised the concept of meetups in Vancouver as I had found that this city was frequently referred to as rather “aloof” or […]

5. Online dating… the discussion continues « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - August 26, 2008

[…] some point revolved around meeting someone NOT online but hanging out at specific social circles (like the Meetups I often attend). While I recognize that we are immersed in a “New Normal” where we meet potential […]

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