leaving the virtual?


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a figment of your imagination
Has anyone taken a look at http://www.meetup.com/ and explored the opportunity to leave the virtual community to become a number of physical communities?

Not leave per se....obviously keep and grow the web presence but touch base on that other plane of existence on your side of the monitor as well.

I have been to a number of meetups with various organizations all of which have been very productive, enjoyable and fun.


-meet at a coffee shop for an hour to discuss a certain topic or thread...

-meet with a group of people to try to identify common ground in our various beliefs...

-meet to discuss the religious/spirtiual ramifications of some societal or politcal issue or norm

-what have you....the local (there can be more than one in any geographical area) organizer of any meetup, would find the location, post the topic and the time at meetup.com and/or on this calendar..

all and any of which could be brought back to this forum for further discussion around the world...yet locally promote personal interaction, attach faces to keystrokes, physicality to thought...

the same rules would apply to a meetup as do in the forum...and due to the fourms meetups that become/go not as planned would be identified easily...

I certainly think there's something for the future in terms of members of CR meeting up as a group - the big challenge is the geographic diversity, and how to provide a way to make it work without shunning entire continents.

I know a few people here have met or talked together, but I'd prefer to see the core membership to grow a little larger first before promoting anything "official", so that it would be possible to regional meetings (ie, US and UK) worthwhile.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with members meeting each other anyway if they wish to - I just personally think it would be a little premature to do anything above the fold yet. :)

Also - moved this to Feedback. :)
Hi Y'all-Peace to all here--

To me, a big part of the beauty of a virtual meeting is inherent in its form. In other words, the individual is able to employ as much or as little anonymity here as seems fitting. (Plus, one does not have to change out of one's dressing gown when some brilliant or profound or even silly idea occurs:).)

I must admit that the thought of meeting face-to-face with members of CR who live within a reasonable distance of me is sometimes intriguing. I happen to believe that there are at least a couple of members on this global website who practically live right around the corner from me--we could meet for coffee this afternoon! And maybe someday we will, but for now, I am content with the good thing I have found on the Internet. Somehow, I am just more free this way.

I'd love the idea of an interfaith meeting every so often, but only if it's close to my home. It just doesn't seem that nifty to me to go to a conference once a year, for example- it doesn't fit with how I interact with this forum.

I think the most challenging thing is finding members that are close enough to meet and then the great organization of all those schedules. As for me, one thing I love about "virtual" meetings is that: 1) as InLove said, I can meet in my PJs and 2) I can meet any time and don't have to work it into my crazy schedule.
This sounds great wil! Perhaps a national meet followed by an international one every five years or so.

A virtual café would also be nice – kinda like a visual chat room [webcam based], if it is possible to integrate such a thing into this site. [I wouldn’t want it to be exterior].

meetups.com allows one to just set up a local meeting w/o pretense

one registers, and then posts a coffee shop or place to get together...posts a topic to be discussed...and then in a laid back atmosphere face to face it happens...

I think it would lead to dialogue here...and here would lead to there....and in time a large venue conference would develop...

Can you imagine being in town on business and happen on a local meetup...or going to local ones monthly for a quick luncheon or confab in a park...
a world wide fellowship like that is tons of work. there would need to be a committee & at least 3 days open for that. some pics & video would be kind of cool for those open to it.

i just hope we dont have to talk about religion too much if we meet that way, except maybe which belief one represents would be kind of cool.

i nominate Path & InLove for the breakfast feast.:)
For the geographical difficulties, I have this to put out: Maybe each continent can have its own national meeting, and the countries, states, provences, etc within that continent can have its own wide-community meetings. Each meeting could be linked via a webcam that records the WHOLE group of a particular topic/thread and a group in another geogrphical area of world can do the same. That way were all connected by a large webcam meeting.

Or, in hypathetical terms, we could just wait until they invent the hologram projectors that they have on Star Wars. That would be cool.:D

Anyway, these are some ideas.

I see starting small...3-5 people get together to have coffee or meet in a park. A few who work in proximity meet for lunch. Some evening a group decides to visit a local monastary or cathedral and discuss their experience afterward.

Prior to the gathering a topic, or even a thread, is brought to the table, why does life have to have meaning, or what does G-d want for us, or.... a live discussion ensues...which yields a few more comments back on the boards about the experience.

No big plans, no pretense, just a gathering, a meeting a discussion...one person post a location, topic and time, a few respond...and it starts in various neigborhoods...countries...continents...

The bigger stuff takes effort, planning and volunteers that will naturally grow outta the little...and the the little reality meetups may attract more folks to the virtual...