The problem with Meetups

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

This is good:

Consider the meetup speaker. She’s had a topic in mind for while, and so when the request went out for speakers, she volunteered. But that was three months ago, and now the meetup’s only a few weeks away, and she hasn’t even begun. She starts to outline the talk, but can’t quite figure out where to start. She can explain all the details easily, but the order in which they should be introduced, the organizing structure of the talk, remains elusive. Giving a talk about a subject, it turns out, is not the same as having a conversation about it.

Consider the first-time meetup attendee. He’s been interested in the technology for a few months, but there doesn’t seem to be any guides that help him progress from the ubiquitous “hello world” or “distributed word count” examples to actual, effective production usage. Maybe, he thinks, there will be some people at the meetup who can guide him through this awkward adolescence. So after a long day at work, he wanders over to the meetup space, where everyone’s hanging around the open pizza boxes. A few are eyeing the kegerator in the corner, wondering if it’s off-limits. He stands next to them and eats his pizza, listening to their conversation, wondering if he should introduce himself or just wait for the talk to begin.