Post contributed by Courtney Vick -
Meetup Inc.'s website, meetup.com, may be the next big social network, by taking social media offline. It was created in 2001 and inspired by September 11, 2001, when New Yorkers came together to show their support and respect for their community. It is available worldwide and in many different languages. It offers the capability to connect with individuals across the globe who share common interests, and encourages users to "meet up" with existing clubs or organizations, or even individuals.
When people access the website, they can pick a city or type in their zip code of choice. They can either create a group to join and "meet up" with or join an existing club/organization. The business has three sources of revenue: gathering locations essentially advertise their location as a preferred spot, preferred members can choose which spot they meet at and pay for that service, and organizations like AARP and MTV have access to paying for advertising. Nevertheless, people do not have to pay to have a membership.
This idea is influential because it will be able to bring different cultures together and celebrate both common interests and expose the diverse nature of different subjects and people. People will become more educated on issues that they care about. Although it is set up similar to other social networks, this one is advanced because it acts as an event planning service and meeting website for those who would not otherwise have access to those luxuries.
Since it is a social networking site, it can be accessed online, and it has the advantage of people meeting after they've met on the site. It is not a dating website but rather a place for people to be able to meet others who they can relate to. This is perfect for lonely individuals and those who feel that they do not relate to others. This site has the capacity to make those people feel welcome and part of a unified group. It is my opinion that the need to connect others will save many lives. with its capacity for strangers to meet.
It is my opinion that they should open this website up to SKYPE or a
similar service in order to expand their outreach. This would make
them more valuable as a media company and be better able to serve their
customers/users. For those who are not able to find a group of their
interest and want to learn about people in another city with a shared
interest, this idea is difficult to beat. Not only does it have the
capability to connect individuals, but businesses and interest groups as
Sources and additional information - MeetUp's main site - http://www.meetup.com/. I
nterviews with co-founder, Scott Heiferman can be found here - http://www.meetup.com/organize/pages/Interview_with_Scott_Heiferman_-_Our_First_Event%21/.
BJB - Slightly edited for style