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Fwd: Starting a regular meetup

From: Steve J.
Sent on: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 1:52 PM
Hi all,

I've just posted a few thoughts on the Meetup's discussion board about
possible ideas for setting up more regular meetings for our group. I've
duplicated it here because I realise that not many people visit the
discussion boards regularly.

I think any discussion should happen on the board, so I'd suggest not
replying to this email, but I'll include what I wrote there below.


Following on from the meetup at the Wheatsheaf last night (I'll write
more on my thoughts about the specific event shortly), and a few
discussions afterwards with fellow Long Now members, I was trying to
think of ways that we could get some more activity going in our group.

It seems to me that the best way to achieve some sort of momentum would
be to have a regular meeting, so people can gain an idea of the group as
a fixed, regular entity instead of a nebulous and disparate group. The
Big Ideas people, who ran last night's event, seem to have achieved this
by getting a speaker to visit once a month, and have maintained that
schedule for three years. It's this consistency that's allowed their
group to thrive in its small way.

We always seem to be waiting for an external event to be the catalyst
for us getting together, and I think we need to take a more proactive
approach. I suggest that the monthly meeting is a great way to achieve
the same thing for us, and we have a huge advantage in that we already
have a great line-up of speakers chosen for us by the Long Now folks
with the SALT seminars. We could run a regular meeting, say two weeks
after each seminar, to discuss the talk and surrounding issues. There
would be two ways to do this - either ask people to listen to the
seminar beforehand (not so good for occasional visitors, but someone
could give a brief overview before we begin), or to run a showing of the
video and then discuss it afterwards (could make for a long evening). In
the latter case, I'm sure we could persuade the Long Now Foundation to
give us access to a proper video instead of trying to stream it over the

There will be occasional seminars that may not be of interest to the
group (e.g. the Lost Landscapes of San Francisco series), but these
could always be filled by revisiting past seminars, or simply getting
together for an ad hoc chat on the general subject.

I'd be interested to know peoples' thoughts on this idea.


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