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One thing I've noticed over the years is that real-world meetups increase the cameraderie in online communities. Have we got a mechanism for putting them together? (Is there any interest?)

I suppose specifically: is there any interest in a Toronto meetup? I know one user apart from me is from Hogtown, anyone else?

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One of the things to keep in mind is that SO will match efforts with funds in this area. Some sort of promotional meet-up, or encouraging everyone to attend the same event, might just be the ticket.

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  • I was thinking the same thing. I don't know what kind of conferences already exist in this field or what kind of people they attract, or if we'd be able to do something ourselves on a small scale to gain publicity, but it's worth trying to put our heads together, anyway.
    – Aaronut
    Sep 30 '10 at 13:28
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    Oh uh. I was thinking more like all head out to dinner together, or have a potluck...
    – daniel
    Sep 30 '10 at 18:32
  • @roux - I think that would be great as well, but if you really want to get the community together, some way to take advantage of the SO pot of funds available might be the ticket (and maybe grow our community in a really cool way, too)
    – justkt
    Sep 30 '10 at 18:41
  • @roux - and by community, I meant "whole." Maybe that wasn't the point of your original idea, though, in which case sorry to go off track!
    – justkt
    Sep 30 '10 at 19:19
  • I was thinking more local. Get some local groups hanging out together, plan to attend something like the Starchef congress next year or something.
    – daniel
    Sep 30 '10 at 21:53
  • @aaronut : I don't know about conferences, but there's lots of food related events -- foodreference.com/html/upcomingfoodevents.html
    – Joe
    Oct 1 '10 at 0:28
  • ... and mentioning conferences, I was personally disappointed when they canceled the "Gourmet Cooking" pre-conference workshop at ASIS&T 2008 : jennahartel.com/ASISTWorkshop2008/ASISTWorkshop2008.htm
    – Joe
    Oct 1 '10 at 0:36
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I'm outside Philadelphia, so Toronto's a bit far for an easy meetup for me - but I'm definitely interested in the general idea. If there were one near Philly, I'd be there.

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  • Philly? I'm jealous! Proper cheesesteaks! And Speck is there... have you been?
    – daniel
    Sep 30 '10 at 7:43
  • So on labor day weekend, I went down to southwest VA, near north carolina, to a huge flea market ... we get all of the "North Carlona BBQ", "Texas Ribs" and "Hawaiian Shave Ice" vendors at our local (DC area) festivals, so I thought it was funny that there were more "Philly Cheese Steak" vendors than anything else down there.
    – Joe
    Oct 1 '10 at 0:32
  • @roux - Haven't been to Speck yet, just getting out of wedding season (apparently everyone I know wanted to get married this year) and as soon as the last one passes (this weekend, actually) we're going to make a reservation for the Studio Kitchen. My birthday is at the end of November and there's still seats available then, so that seems perfect. Words can't describe how excited I am, Shola's blog blows me away. Oct 5 '10 at 3:19
  • @roux - just made reservations at Speck for my 30th in November! Oct 5 '10 at 15:06
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I think it's a great idea. I'm not sure we quite have the critical mass to do one very successfully yet, but in the future sure.

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    I don't think critical mass is important. Another website I know of had a meetup of two people. Granted, they were researchers in Antarctica, but still. (Not joking.)
    – daniel
    Sep 30 '10 at 7:44
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I can definitely attest to the social effects; there's a lot that doesn't come through in a text-only medium and knowing the source personally means less guessing. Although too much camaraderie on a Q&A site is not always a good thing (see Programmers.SE)... not that I'm suggesting it'd come to that here.

Like hobodave, I'd like to see more than 2 or 3 people even for an informal meetup; don't take that personally, but this ain't my first rodeo and speaking from the experience of several dozen meetups on other forums, they can get awkward without a crowd unless the people are extremely well-acquainted (which is hard to do on this type of site).

That said, if we can pull together at least 4 or 5, I'd certainly be interested.

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