Thursday, November 27, 2003

I Think It's A Good Idea

How about in person blogging? Here we all are, posting our thoughts and perspectives on the internet, being occasionally chided by Savonarolas about our failure to have "real" lives and live in a "real" world, and probably wishing we could meet one another. I know I'd like to smoke a cigar with Jeff Culbreath and I. Shawn McElhinney, and I can tell you from personal experience that Mark Shea is one of the most charming and amiable fellows you could hope to seat at your dinner table. Wouldn't it be interesting, and just plain fun to get together into small informal meetings over beer or coffee and shoot the breeze?

Well, there's a nifty little internet organization called Meetup.Com. You can find it here. What they do, is allow people interested in just about anything to schedule informal social get-togethers at local venues. The process looks simple and convenient. You sign up and propose a meeting in your area. (You can also define your own "area" if you don't like the one assigned to your zip code). People who are interested in meeting then vote about scheduling and location (the proprietors have a preselected list of meeting places like taverns, restaurants, etc., organized by zip code). The voting closes a few days before the event, and then everybody gets an email about the time and location. People can RSVP, and if fewer than 5 say they're coming, the meeting is off. This is all done with email reminders. So basically you can be sure that if you're going to a meeting, there are at least 4 other people who said they were going to go.

So how about it? Will the Mark Shea fan club "meetup" in Seattle? Or Phoenix? Or New Jersey? How about the Knights of the Immaculata? Or how about just meeting to talk about prayer, the Rosary, who will be the next Pope, or how to keep your kids Catholic? Myself, I'd like a Sigrid Undset "meetup" to discuss her novels, or a Tolkien "meetup" to discuss LOTR -- I don't get anything from LOTR, and I'm convinced I'm wrong about that, but need someone to explain it all to me. How about a Catholic dinner and movie group? It sounds like a good way to evangelize too -- anyone can "meetup," so you might find yourself talking to a curious Protestant about why we don't worship Mary. Did I mention this would be a way for existing groups of people to schedule their own meetings? I'd really like to see someone try this (preferably the Mark Shea Fan Club) and find out how well it works. Why not start it myself? Well, the good reason is that I live in a rural area, but maybe it's because I don't have a real life, being enmeshed in electronic ephemera and all . . .

No comments: