It’s not just who you know, it’s how well you know them. And while the Internet has made it easier to join online groups of people who share your interests (independent film, fan fiction or Japanese pop), there’s a new service that also makes it easy to meet them in person. Meetup tries to bring groups of like-minded people together once each month at local restaurants and coffee shops — though the venues do seem mostly downscale. The site is simple to use, and the list of topics is impressive. In a large city where it’s hard to meet people, this seems like a great way to go beyond simple email exchanges and form the more permanent bonds that come from spilling a drink on someone. Plus, it’s great fun to put a face to the email addresses you know so well.
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