I must sing praises to Meetup.com, a site that hosts groups on just about any socially-acceptable topic.
In many ways, Meetup has been a godsend for me. I’ve met more friends, including other single parents, enjoyed camping trips, went to some great parties and dinners, and made a few very useful business connections. All came courtesy Meetup groups for single parents, families that go camping, and WordPress enthusiasts.
The last one is the focus of two Meetups I currently attend once a month. If you look at the footer on my homepage, you’ll see language about WordPress, the software I use for this website and the others I’ve created. I can’t say enough great things about WordPress, starting with it’s easy to learn the basics.
One of the Meetup groups I attend is for WordPress developers. These are people who work on websites much fancier than this one. One of the group’s founders, a guy I used to work with, is a WordPress Rock Star. Even his license plate has something about WordPress on it.
I admit some of what they discuss at this Meetup is over my head, but I’m able to follow most of it. It’s hard for me to turn down an opportunity to learn something new that I might possibly use, maybe on Jeopardy one day:
Me: “I’ll take WordPress for four hundred, Alex.”
Alex: “The answer is: ‘These small apps perform specific functions, often in the sidebar.”
Me: “What is a widget?”
Alex: “Correct! And you are now in the lead. Go ahead and choose.”
Me: “How about obscure Scottish history for 600?”
This developers’ meeting is also very close to where I live, just a short ride up 101 from my home on in East Scottsdale, which is a real place although people in South Scottsdale disagree.
I also go to a WordPress Meetup for writers, which unfortunately is all the way out in the Northwest Valley. The people who organize it used to travel as far as Chandler to get their Meetup fix so who can blame them? This Meetup is more for people like me, as they talk about stuff that content writers obsess about like Hummingbird and email marketing. Plus, they are now meeting at a coffee shop with a strong wifi connection and even have a sponsor, which is pretty impressive in my book.
So–if you’re looking for a social group to practice your Russian language skills, or you’re a lonely single parent, or you want to talk and network with people in your field, go to Meetup.com. Because the groups are so specific, it’s easy to talk to people who go to their events. You don’t have to worry about sitting by yourself or what to talk about because everyone is there for the same reason. I’m not exactly shy but I don’t do particularly well in large gatherings, even if I know someone there. But Meetups are smaller and much more conducive to actual networking or friend-making.
Visit the Arizona WordPress Group on Meetup. You’ll see a list of Meetup groups plus resources. I highly recommend checking out both. Notes, including presentations, from past Meetups are on the Pages tab, and more resources are under the “More” tab.
An independent Arizona WordPress Group site features tons of information including tutorials, business listings, WordCamp, surveys, and best practices. Yes, there is such a thing as WordCamp and it’s fun.