If you want to “meetup” with someone, do you call them? Send an email? Text? A Facebook invite? A tweet? Carrier pigeon? In our digital world, social networks connect us across the globe, but tech mogul Scott Heiferman wondered whether virtual connections would eventually trump seeing people face-to-face.
“I think that in its sort of over-anonymous, over-industrialized culture you realize that local is important and face-to-face is important,” Heiferman told rdigitaLIFE host Ramona Pringle.
To encourage communities to meet outside of computer screens, Heiferman founded Meetup.com – a social networking site that facilitates real-world networks.
On social networks like Twitter, the people you connect with are not necessarily those you would meet (or have met) in “real life.” Meetup is founded on the idea of bringing local communities of people together based on like-minded interests.
Want to write a screenplay? There’s a Meetup for that. Want to connect with other moms in your neighbourhood? There’s a Meetup for that. Having trouble meeting that special someone? There’s a Meetup for that.
In fact, according to Meetup’s stats, there are more than 1,000 Meetups happening as I sit here and write this post.
Heiferman explains that his website – which has more than 13.6 million members spread across 196 different countries – is not just about connecting online vs. offline. It’s about returning to that sense of local community.
This leaves us to wonder: how social is social media? And how much more powerful can it be when you combine it with face-to-face interaction?
Consider our connection and check out Heiferman’s interview here.
By: Ishani Nath (@ishaninath) ish