Update on Meetups

I think people are sick of hearing about my meetup adventures. So I blog about it instead.

It’s kind of like a part time job. The project got started when I figured I could use some leadership experience. It’s been a good way to be a leader with a little L.

Languages. Icelandic attracts intense, intelligent people on a mission. Swedish attracts everyone, but they’re too cool to be obsessive about learning it. Norwegian attracts people who have relatives in Norway, but are more into the food and ski-ing than the language. 100+ people and events with 2 to 9 people almost every other day.

Problem groups. The Mongolian group is going to take off…any day now, but it hasn’t yet. The constructed language group couldn’t get off the ground and I ended it. There is something wrong with the category “constructed language” as a special interest group. In retrospect I think it was a poorly chosen category– too narrow, no natural event formats that follow.

Up and coming I posted a literary Science Fiction book club on meetup and bam! In two days I’m up to about 9 people. I hope to fix some of the organizational issues that I saw in the past book club groups I’ve been to. Lemme list them:

1- It takes a long time to get the book. If the book is chosen a week before the event, I won’t be able to find the book.
2- It takes time to read the book. Odds of finishing = time / (boringness + pages + seriousness)
3- People who propose a book– sometimes don’t show at the book club
4- Books are chosen hastily
5- If you don’t like the choice, your recourse is to find another book club
6- People like to read a narrow sort of books. While it is nice to get kicked out of your normal genre occasionally, it gets tiresome to always be reading a book that was specifically written to appeal to someone else.

Solution
1- Pick the books far in advance
2- The book group should be based on a set of similar books, i.e. books are chosen from a particular pool, eg. historical fiction
3- Let readers pick one of two.
4- Set the a minimum pages read and set it at about 200 pages
5- Be geographically stable, i.e. always at the same metro stop, same house, same restaurant or bar
6- The organizer should make sure there is some discussion of the book, even if it only holds up for five minutes

My solution will work for a meetup book club because a meetup is all self selected people. I don’t think my proposed solutions would help an affinity book club, like say one based on church membership.

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