December 09, 2011
I spent yesterday and today setting up and announcing a new meetup we are getting off the ground called BashoChats. The purpose of BashoChats is to help build out the distributed systems and large-scale computing community in and around they Bay Area. Basho is deeply invested in the future of distributed systems in practice, and, along with companies like Boundary, (who, admittedly, gave me the idea to start BashoChats), I have to say the future is looking bright for bringing what has been, to date, a largely academic pursuit into the lives of more developers.
When I was setting up the group’s meetup page something stuck out to me that I had missed in my previous interactions with the Group Creation Page. Check this out:
Right before you sign off on creating your new group, Meetup.com prompts you to check a box that confirms you intend to “create real, face-to-face community.” This is a small feature, and I’m sure a lot of people who check this box don’t think twice about it. (Up until yesterday this group included me.) But, having seen it, I think it’s worthy of highlighting. Is it “corny”? Sure, a bit, but who cares? In my opinion some of the most-valuable community building blocks can be categorized as such. (For example, I’ve heard this talk from Chris Williams called corny on more than one occasion, to which I always respond: “Sure, but watch it again and tell me you don’t feel just a tiny bit motivated about building positive communities.”)
This small check box certainly had an impact on me. Coming from a person who spends most of their time thinking about how to get people more committed and passionate about the idea “community”, I thought this was, well, a nice touch.