Mike Bland

My Idea of Social Networking

Nobody "un-likes" the Bastille! Nobody "un-friends" the Bastille! Nobody "un-follows" the Bastille!

- Newport News, VA
Tags: Meetup, social networking

At the last NYC Hacks and Hackers Meetup, the CEO of Meetup.com gave a presentation describing the mission of the company and its history so far. At one point, Scott H. had a set of slides that gave a nod to the fact that the meetup was happening on Bastille Day, and related that historical moment to the mission of Meetup.com.

The first slide was “Storm the Bastille!” or something like that, the point being that Meetup.com’s mission is to give people a forum to meet in person, form an identity around a genuine shared interest or cause, and take real action. It’s about meeting real people, making real friends, and doing something meaningful away from the computer. By contrast, Scott pointed out that in order to start a revolution, you don’t “un-like” the Bastille; you don’t “un-friend” the Bastille; you don’t “un-follow” the Bastille. You have to get together for real and physically storm the Bastille. That analogy articulated my disinterest in other social networking applications perfectly.

As a side note, when Scott was flipping through “other meetups happening right now” at the beginning of his presentation, the last one he landed on was the Newport News Writers Meetup. I was tickled.