Monday, December 12, 2005

43 Things Meetup

Interesting to see the overlap between virtual communities in 43 Things and real people getting together in real places: first ever 43T meet up: Atlanta rules!. And it's cool to be able to see how they set it up and followed through on getting together -- would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall: were they talking about their shared goals, discussing 43 Things in general, or just hanging out for fun?


Andy said...

I just wondered why you would rather be a fly on the wall than one of the people joining in and having fun. I've been to quite a few of these sort of meets and the topic of what's been going on in the online world is likely to be a popular one. 43 strikes me a looser kind of grouping though so it's interesting that the force towards organising meetups is still there - a few more are planned or may already have happened.

Jeremy said...

Well, since I don't live in Atlanta and wasn't going to travel there for it, I guess I meant that it would have been nice to listen in.
: )

On the site, we do get to "listen in" on goal discussions, but when the conversation goes offline, we're shut out of the network. Not that I'm complaining -- I think it's very cool that these networks can have in-person components.

There's something else about my choice of wording, though. I think these online social networks are havens for more introverted and shy people (like me) who find meeting strangers in real life terrifying (or at least awkward and uncomfortable). So even if I had been in Atlanta, I probably wouldn't have attended, truthfully preferring to be a fly on the wall.

re: "looser kind of grouping"
Agreed. Each goal forms a unique emergent network, which means that any individual user may be part of as many networks on the site as they have goals. Occasionally I've seen more than one of my goals on someone else's list, but it seems rare to have more overlap than that. So most of the people at the meetup probably had few goals in common with the other attendees, other than to attend the meetup. I clicked into some of their goal lists, and I didn't really see any Atlanta-specific goals to form the basis for that kind of they simply have geography and a love of 43 Things in common? Fascinating.

43 Things really needs a function to show you an ordered list of the people who share the most goals with you.