I just set up a group for The Trinity Business Association on Meetup.com and was fascinated how this medium helps bridge the gap from the internet social environment to the real world. You start by entering your information for your profile then based on your needs or desires you can search “meetup” groups in your area that mesh with what you are looking for. There are groups for networking, helping others and everything else that individuals may have the desire to meet other like minded people.
The challenge: how do you filter. Browsing through some of the meetups, I wonder who is going to be selling me what. With so many people looking for additional forms of income, how many of these are people looking for a chance to add to their “down line”. While searching for meetups in my area, I have found some that appear to be local, but then find they have their meetings where no one from the local area would travel for a “local meeting”.
The positive: if you can navigate your way through and filter out the “trash” I believe this is a great way to find people of common interest in your area and get together with them. You may find groups that you never imagined would exist in your area like free Business networking, fantasy football groups, or even the Trinity Business Association which is a non-profit group for local businesses to meet other local business leaders and form relationships where everyone shares and benefits without ulterior motives.