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October: Meetup

Come one, come all... and bring 3 friends! It's MEETUP time again.

Note that this time around, we are NOT following the recommendation of meetup.com and will be going our own way.

Opal Divine's Freehouse
700 W 6th St, Austin, TX
on Wednesday, Oct 15th @ 7:00PM

Email or call me, davidnunez, your ever-so-gracious host with any questions: david@davidnunez.com / 512.796.9545

Meetup Venues for the remainder of the year:
November - Flightpath Coffeehouse
December - Texspresso on Anderson Lane

Chip says, "Meetups are independent of any organization (except meetup.com). So, they aren't an "official Austin-Bloggers happening" (whatever that means). Nonetheless, there is sure to be huge overlap between our group and the Meetup attendees."

I've been to all but one of these, and it's been a great way to say "Hi" to fellow Central Texas bloggers (I can't say "Austin" bloggers, really, because they've come from all over the surrounding area). There seems to be a revolving cast of attendees with some folks that remain consistent. In my opinion they get better and better every time. The conversation really has been pretty diverse (sometimes techie, sometimes social, and sometimes political), but all-in-all, it's just about getting together with like-minded people who do this online self-publishing thing.

The groups have tended to be anywhere from 6-12 people...

Some tips and random thoughts for newcomers (because I know it can be intimidating):

* Don't be worried about having trouble finding the group once you
are at the venue. I usually come early and put up an obvious sign for
our meeting spot.

* Feeling awkward or shy about a group of strangers? Please, please
understand that these folks are very welcoming and are actually very
eager to meet new people. It's really very easy to "break into" the

* If you find yourself not understanding something, by all means stop
and ask questions. This is as much about learning as it is about

* I'm not going to lie to you: sometimes the conversation gets geeky.
While that's perfectly ok, if you're not interested, politely say so -
or bring up a new topic, and the coversation will change. This group
is interested in a lot of things!

* Bring your camera, take a picture, and BLOG about the event,
naturally. Sometimes the best conversations happen AFTER the event...
on comments on each others' entries.

* Bring a pad of paper to jot down any thoughts that cross your mind... there are some good ideas that fly around.

* Some folks bring "swag" or promotional/business cards for their
blog. I love getting those. Just a way to get out your URL (instead of
having people try to copy it down)... a real opportunity for
creativity, actually.

* Nobody has done this yet, so here's your chance to be a pioneer: Bring your laptop and wireless network card (almost all the venues provide access) and BLOG THE EVENT IN REAL TIME!

* Bring a friend!

* Come even if you don't have a blog... it's a chance to learn a little bit about what the whole thing is about.

* Bring a couple of bucks to buy something from the venue (a cup of
coffee, a beer, food, whatever)... they're not getting anything from
hosting us, and it's a small way to help out local, Austin

* Be ready to talk about "What you do in real life and why do you
blog?" My observation is that's a question that tends to come up as
icebreakers for newcomers; it helps everyone understand where you're
coming from.

* Do some "research": The meetup page usually has several URLs for
people attending... go read their blogs- it's quite impressive and wins
you karma points if you show you're reading what other people write...
not to mention that you'll have a better feel for who's who.

* Subscribe to the austinbloggers mailing list to read what people
are posting, to start recognizing names of the more active/outspoken
members, and maybe use the list to introduce yourself and let us know
you're coming.

I'm looking forward to meeting and seeing you there!