Some of you may have already heard of the phenomenon of Meetups where people go online to find groups of people with shared interests, plan meetings, and form whatever offline ventures in their own communities. Its not surprising that New Yorkâ€” where a ride on the subway or a trip to the cleaners might just as easily turn into a meetup with a homeless person, a frienemy, or a stranger whose book you would like to readâ€”should have close to 6,000 such groups.
I’m putting the spotlight on the second most popular group after the 9/12 Project, the NY Tech Meetup. Its over 10,000 members include entrepreneurs, engineers, and developers who are not only taking advantage of social media to unite, but sharing ideas and developing new web-based technologies together. Think of Foursquare, a location based social networking site where users update friends on their location, started by a 27-year-old who wanted to make New York City more fun for his friends. These are the people bucking the trends in a place traditionally governed by the Big Four, the top law firms, and the (remaining) (investment) banks, and building a new Silicone Valley (read: hope), just a couple miles away from the bonanza in the Financial District. If New York City wasn’t a major player in first Internet boom, its sure making a strong effort now, and its dense population is going to be a major weapon.
The NY Tech Meetup occurs the first Tuesday of every month. Register for $10 to watch 5-7 people demo a cool technology or see if you can demo your own if you have one. I mention NY Tech Meetup in particular because it has harnessed a huge amount of entrepreneurial spirit in this City and it really has the potential to provide a strong enough network to gain employment in an exploding field or an opportunity to be part of a start up that will become profitable. The annual job fair has since passed, but the next meeting is at FIT on May 4th and you can RSVP here.
Now, go out there, meet people, and build me something so I can track you down online!