We have the nicest and best commenters on the internet, so it stands to reason that we’d be pretty cool to hang out with, too. Anyone can decide to host a gathering. You don’t need to check with me or get input from anyone else.
What I suggest:
- Pick a day and time that works for you.
- Pick a location that is public, easily to reach, and not too elaborate or expensive or requiring of reservations. Boston met at an ice cream shop and hung out there and outside on nearby benches. Chicago is about to do a similar jam. Seattle is putting together a happy hour.
- Do a little research on accessibility – Are there bathrooms? Is it wheelchair friendly? Will there be places to sit?
- Is there a way people can contact you – blog address, email, Twitter handle or hashtag – and a way people will be able to identify the group once they get there?
- Send me an email with the announcement and I’ll post it. That post will be the thread for everyone who wants to talk about the meetup and hash out details and figure out how to stay in touch afterward.
- Don’t fall prey to the Geek Social Fallacy that everything must work for everyone or stress yourself out with elaborate schemes. Herding a bunch of strangers together is hard, so do what works for you. Other people can plan stuff that works for them next time.
- Have a good time and let me know how it went!
- NO CREEPING.
If the whole thing gets ungainly at some point and we have to buy a Meetup membership, that will be a good problem. For now this should work.
Special note for Chicago people: Sweet Machine, Commander Logic and I live here. Which is lucky, because we get to meet local folks! But you don’t have to ask our permission or wait for us to do “official” things or even find out when we’re free. Please feel free to throw something together if you want to, and as stated above, do what works for you.
Eventually my secret evil plan is to throw some kind of larger weekend-long Awkward Con, with tables for people who want to play board games or just color quietly together, karaoke, readings of awkward tales, music, pitches of creative projects for possible collaboration, a film and/or story festival, maybe sessions with self-defense or assertiveness training or other guest speakers, speed-friending, etc. In my mind’s eye I see a kissing booth to take care of all the Never-Been-Kissed folks, a Peanuts-style advice booth, and also two circles drawn on the floor where people can stand and give each other Jedi Hugs and compliments from a few feet away. I need to think on it more, and it definitely won’t happen before 2013. We need a wealthy benefactor, obviously!