Over the weekend while in Milwaukee, I got an email from Meetup, which is a website that basically helps you arrange meetups with people in your area based around things that interest you; like knitting? Join a meetup with other knitters. Want to hang with people who share you love for cooking? Meetup just might be able to help you. I'm not trying to sell the site here, just trying to give you an idea of what it's about. You get the idea. Well, as I was flipping through my email this weekend, I stopped to read this as I don't subscribe to emails from them. I had no idea that meetup was a product of 9/11... I thought this was a neat little fact worth sharing, here is the email:
I don't write to our whole community often, but this week isspecial because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and manypeople don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.
Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple milesfrom the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thoughtlocal community doesn't matter much if we've got the internetand tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when Ihoped they wouldn't bother me.
When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighborsin the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello toneighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normallyignore. People were looking after each other, helping eachother, and meeting up with each other. You know, beingneighborly.
A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bringpeople together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup wasborn: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- andgrow local communities?
We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was acrazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to makepeople distrust one another.
A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 monthsafter 9/11.
Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it'sworking. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except onething.
Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello toneighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.They grow businesses and bands together, they teach andmotivate each other, they babysit each other's kids and findother ways to work together. They have fun and find solacetogether. They make friends and form powerful community. It'spowerful stuff.
It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanksto everyone who shows up.
Meetups aren't about 9/11, but they may not be happening if itweren't for 9/11.
9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk tostrangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart. No, we're building newcommunity together!!!!
The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting startedwith these Meetups.
Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)Co-Founder & CEO, MeetupNew York CitySeptember 2011
Interesting, right? I think it just kind of helps us take a step back and maybe say hello to someone today that you might not otherwise have noticed. Just think about it.
Again, I'm not here to sell the site to you or promote it or anything, nor have I been asked to post this - I just thought it was a good story and thought maybe someone could walk away after reading this with a new/better outlook.
God Bless America!