Meetup Spotlight: Memphis Shy Guys

Jennifer is anything but socially awkward. The Meetup she organizes is jam packed with awesome activities—even outgoing locals would call it one of the most active and fun loving groups in Memphis. You’d never guess that Jennifer heads up the Memphis Shy Guys Meetup— A Group for the Shy and Socially Awkward.

Memphis Shy Guys

While Meetup might seem like a strange destination for those with social anxiety—face to face interactions with strangers?!— it works wonders for members, and Jennifer’s Shy Guys are proof. Her members come out in droves for Meetups like ‘Trivia Night’ and ‘Salsa Dancing’—not exactly activities for the faint of heart. There are over 600 Social Anxiety Meetups, and over 400 Shyness Meetups worldwide. Some of them are public, some of them are private, but all of them are designed to support members through a fear of social situations.

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President Obama joins Meetup in the fight for net neutrality

Yesterday marked a big win in the battle for the internet—President Obama issued a statement publicly supporting net neutrality. Not only did the President come out in support of net neutrality, he came out in support of the strongest possible version, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The President urged the FCC to reclassify consumer broadband services as telecommunications services under Title II of the Communications Act. This reclassification would arm the FCC with the strongest possible tools to protect an open and free internet, allowing them to prevent the blocking and throttling of internet traffic, as well as fast lanes and paid prioritization.

Over the past several months hundreds of technology companies and investors have been advocating for strong protections for a open and free internet, and we’ve been proud to count ourselves among them. We met with the FCC, submitted comments in support of net neutrality, and participated in the Internet Slowdown to make our voices heard. The Meetup community rallied with us, contacting their lawmakers and submitting comments of their own. Now the White House has joined our ranks.

This is a big step towards defending net neutrality, and we’re grateful for the President’s leadership on this critical issue. But the fight’s not over yet. As an independent agency, the FCC will ultimately have the final word, issuing a ruling of their own. Having the President’s support is huge, but we need the FCC to listen. Now more than ever it’s important to take a stand, and speak out for what we believe. Share and celebrate the President’s statement, join the conversation on social media, and stand up for what we know is right. Help us keep the internet open and free—we’re getting close.

 

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Organizer Spotlight: Women Veterans of San Antonio

When Robin Harder moved to San Antonio, Texas, she joined several running Meetups. In 2013, when three foot surgeries over the course of a year forced her to take a running hiatus, Robin decided to look for a different kind of group—this time, one for veterans. Sergeant First Class Harder is an active duty soldier—she’s served in the Army for almost 20 years.

Robin’s search for veterans’ Meetups in San Antonio turned up empty. “There weren’t any,” she recalls, “so I thought, ‘why don’t I start one?’” On May 7, 2013, Robin founded the Women Veterans of San Antonio Meetup. A year and a half later, she’s found over 70 women veterans with a shared vision. That vision, she explains, is to create a place for women veterans to socialize and enjoy themselves. There are lots of veteran support groups, Robin says, but she’s setting out to create something different. “We don’t want to just commiserate, or dwell on bad memories—we want to get out and do fun things together.” Her group gets together every month for coffee, and recent Meetups have included a winery tour, and a trip to see the San Antonio Stars—the Spurs’ sister team—play.  “I just really wanted to meet with other military women to share experiences, and have some fun while we do it,” Robin says. “We don’t really dwell on our military experience, but its the common bond that brings us all together.”

When Robin created the Meetup, her choice to limit the group to women was intentional. My husband is a retiree too,” Robin says. “He served 20 years, and when we’re out together people automatically identify him as military, and come right up to him. He always says, ‘you know, my wife has been in for almost 20 years too, and she was deployed to Afghanistan,’ and they don’t know what to do, or how to talk to me or anything. They never think about women being in the military too.” The Meetup’s slogan, plastered across the hot pink t-shirts Robin ordered for the group, reads: “Women are veterans too.” “There really aren’t groups out there that are exclusively female,” Robin explains. “There are big conferences and things, but there isn’t anything that’s just like, ‘let’s go grab coffee.’ Being part of a Meetup has allowed that to happen, and it wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”

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Planned Meetup downtime

Meetup’s site and apps will be down for about an hour beginning Sunday, November 9th, at 7am EST. We wanted to give you a heads up so you can plan accordingly. We’re doing some routine maintenance work that requires taking Meetup offline briefly—we do this from time to time to ensure Meetup is as up-to-date and speedy as we all want it to be. Thanks for your understanding!

Making it easier for everyone to help out

Great Meetups are made of great members who care about their communities. These members know that organizing a Meetup takes work, and in addition to the planning, scheduling, and coordinating, it also takes money. Whether it’s jerseys for game days, craft supplies for projects, rental fees for equipment, or even just snacks, we know that sometimes it takes stuff—in addition to awesome members—to make awesome Meetups happen.

We want to make it easy for supportive members to chip in on costs and help make Meetup groups even better. That’s why, as of today, we’re adding a “Chip in” button on group and event pages, allowing members to contribute, no matter what device they use to access Meetup.

Chipping in is a great way to help cover costs and strengthen the Meetups you love. Stronger Meetups mean stronger communities, and it’s up to us to make it happen.

Jesse, the Organizer behind the Central Park Sketching & Art Meetup Group, reports, “Contributions have been working great. I’m using the money to pay for the name tags and markers I use for the group, for park and museum reservations, and to pay for myself to scout out new locations.”

Contributions are also an easy way to cover Meetup fees. Andrew, the Organizer of the Garden State Kayakers Meetup, says, “all contributions go straight into paying the dues for the group.”

Timothy from the Central Kentucky Photography Group agrees. “The money we collect goes towards Meetup activities and website fees. It’s easy to set up, easy to use, and it works.”

Currently, chipping in is only available for our US-based friends. Stay tuned for international chip in options—coming soon!

Have questions about Contributions? Head over to our Help Center.