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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meetups and Tweetups: Building Community

Meetups and Tweetups: Building Community - Coverings 2010
Have you taken part in a Meetup or a Tweetup - aka a Meetup organized via Twitter using a specific hashtag? I recommend that you do. Both are powerful means for building community.

Particularly if you've started engaging with others via social media, Tweetups and Meetups allow you to meet in person people with whom you may only have been interacting with virtually to that point. That's where the magic happens!

I've noticed it time and time again - at my first NYC Blogger Meetup: Night of the Iguana in 2007; at the ultimate blogger Meetup in April 2008: Blogger Social which I describe in Back From Blogger Social 2008 - NYC - interacting with people online by reading their blogs or tweets and exchanging ideas makes for intense in-person meetings where you 'know' the person despite never having met them. You already have the basis for conversation established and your next exchanges can go far beyond superficial cocktail party chatter.

Since those early days, Meetups have become more formalized and tend to refer to regularly occurring meetings and conversations. In fact, you can search for ones of interest in your geographic area by searching through Meetup.com.

[In this post, I describe NJ Open Coffee, MontClair, Thursdays 11am-12:30pm which has just been extended to Morristown on Wednesdays.]

Tweetups, on the other hand, retain an impromptu, one-off quality which can take a variety of forms.  You learn about them by following a specific hashtag [#] associated with an event taking place. Note from the following examples not only the range of formats, but also interaction.

I hope you'll be on the lookout for upcoming Tweetups at the next trade show or conference you attend. You'll be amazed at how they help build community.

Will you let know your experience?
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