When I lost my job, one of my first forays into becoming the creative mind I always knew I could be was to join a few local Meet Ups. My thinking was that I could meet with people who had similar interests and desire to succeed in the specific genre. It was exciting. I joined four groups the first night and then another one the next day. I told Lisa all about it. It's not a dating site, I told her, and I was hoping that was true, especially since some of the tech groups had almost no women in them.
The first Meet Up I attended was a creative writing meeting. We would talk for several minutes, write for 40 minutes, talk, write, and then talk. Not a bad idea. The meeting went well. People were interested in each other. People wrote. I felt like I was getting creative with creative people. However, the location was a complaint, as half the people wanted to meet on the East Side. Also, it apparently costs money to run a Meet Up group, so that was a concern. By the end of my first meeting, I was going to have to relocate and ante up for the next one. I also got the impression that I was the only person with as many responsibilities at home, at least while I was still working. I haven't forgotten that group, and I may try it again.
The other groups I joined, however, have not been amazing: two tech groups that don't seem to meet for anything, probably because tech guys like to be awesome on their own, like me when I'm working on websites. The two other creative groups are typical of creative people: one has disbanded because the leader has called it quits (probably because of the cost), while the other has a singular purpose (project) that probably benefits the leaders more than others interested in the group.
The last Meet Up I joined was one for thriftily thriving. I got a free trial, and then nothing. Suddenly, there are lots of free things to do, none of which interested me enough, and then the notification that my free subscription was ending. My thought in joining the group was to save money, so I guess I will no longer be part of that group, and it also brings the question of cost for having the groups back into play. It also demonstrates why group leaders might have agendas if they're not charging other members to join.
I like the idea of meeting others interested in collaborating, but I suppose then I would have to start my own group with people I know want to work on something similar. While I do plan on delving back into the Meet Up world at least a few more times, it might not work perfectly for me, but I gave it a shot. I think that the right group might be out there for each of us, so I'd encourage you to sign up and try. Someone who is gifted at meeting new people probably benefit the most, but they can probably do it without Meet Up, anyhow.
THREE MONTH UPDATE
Two more less-than-amazing experiences have just about sealed the deal for Meetup for me. One involved me going to a meeting that was clearly over my head and targeted to about half the members of the group. People who are advanced members should probably let others know if that's going to be the case. The other meetup never officially happened. It was a writing meeting called the night before. One person besides original organizer joined. I joined. Other person pulled out. I went. Alone. Not much point in that, except I did finish an article.