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One of my favorite things about Instagram is the fact that this little application has grown into such a big global community. I think that is really so cool that people are actually organizing meetups around this application and their love of photography. These meetups are called InstaMeets and it's a great way to get together with like-minded people to share ideas and photo tips as well. If you go to blog.instagram.com/ instameets, you'll find all of the information that Instagram provides on this and it tells you that you can Meet Instagrammers Near You by joining one of these InstaMeets.
It's all filtered through something called meetup.com, and I'll get to that in just a moment. So on meetup.com/instagram, you can actually find an InstaMeet near you, and you can participate in that. And so these things are basically like photo walks, but they're all centered around Instagram. So nobody brings any professional camera gear or anything like that, people just show up with their phones, with their Android or iPhone, and you go out, and you start taking pictures of whatever it is that might be around you. So, you might organize this around the park, around some sort of monument, or maybe it's just at a bar, just depends on where you want to go.
In the city that you live, you get a bunch of people together, you start doing a photo walk, and taking pictures of interesting things. Then, as you go, you want to make sure that you have a hashtag set up for the event before you get started, so that as you go through and start taking pictures, people can tag the photos with that hashtag. So, for instance, if we were to create a meetup for lynda.com, I would create a hashtag called lyndameet. And that way, everybody that's doing the photo walk can tag their photos with lyndameet and making it easier for everybody to go out later and find that hashtag either online or on their mobile device, and then they can relive the experience of the meetup.
Now that gives you ideas for meetups here, like meeting up at certain places, doing a photo walk. But, one of the more interesting ideas I think that I came across on this site was the scavenger hunt. And so the scavenger hunt, basically you develop a list of things that people need to find, and take pictures of while they're out on this photo walk. So, they say here that they did one in New York City where over 50 people participated, and they had to find things like someone eating a hotdog or five or more strangers in a conga line. And so, someone eating a hotdog, not that much of a stretch in New York City, but five or more strangers doing a conga line, that might be a little harder to find.
But again, this is just a great way for you to get out, socialize with people in an environment centered around the Instagram application. I think it's really cool. They tell you here different ways to spread the word, hashtags of course, make an announcement, ask others to share, find Instagrammers in your city, and there you go! Now, when you go to meetup.com/instagram, you'll be brought to this page here where it tells you about all of the different Instagram meetups that are happening. Right now, they say there's 9,489 Instagrammers in 1,334 cities.
And they give you information about this, and they show you a big map which is very cluttered. And right now, you can see all of the different Instagram communities that are around you at any given time. So right now, we've got like Santa Barbara, Ventura, Carpinteria, Camarillo, Simi Valley, and now, these are all the places that are around me at any given time. You've also got a list of all the largest ones. So, you can see all of the ones in different cities, so if you happen to be traveling, you could see, "Oh! There's an Instagram meetup in this place." So, if you're traveling by yourself, you might want to go. That way, you can meet up with some people, talk Instagram, talk about photography.
It's a really interesting way to just get to know new people and also share your love for Instagram as well. If you don't see a community listed here, it's very easy to start your own. You can just start a new community by clicking here. You type the name of your community right there, so I could type out like lynda.com Community. And when you click Create, it creates a brand-new meetup community around that particular place or that particular city that you might be living in. So, once you do that, it's going to take you to a page like this, which is going to detail your first meeting.
You can set up the when, you can set up the where, you can set up information about it. So, in this case for this photo meetup here, we've got "#lyndameet is the hashtag for this event. Come and enjoy a day of photos and fun here at lynda.com HQ." And so, you can set up all of this information, and then once you do, you make sure you RSVP to the event so that people know you're coming, and then also you can help publicize this event on Facebook and Twitter, and also make sure that you tag your photos and videos and tweets with InstaMeet and of course the hashtag for your event as well to help spread the word about this particular community that you've created.
Once you have held your event, the good thing to do is to go back either on the Web using something like Webstagram, or Statigram, or something like that, or even using your mobile device, and doing a search for the hashtag. So in this case we had a photo walk here with the tag lyndameet, and so these are all of the photos that were tagged with lyndameet. So, you can see we've got lots of great shots, stuff from our Pixel Cafe, shots of the mountains and the beach, some sunset photos. We've also got some flowers, phone booths, all types of interesting things that people saw while they were out on the photo walk that we had here at lynda.com.
So, you can browse all of the photos after the event is over, and it makes it a great way for you to go back and relive the fun that you had at the meet up. You might also tag things with your hashtag, and in the description, type information about what type of filter you used, and why, what type of technique you used to take the picture and why. It's a really, really great way to share information and ideas and meet new people. So, as you continue to explore the community that surrounds the Instagram ecosystem, I really encourage you to get involved with these InstaMeetups, go to the Instagram blog that's blogged at instagram.com/instameet, that's this site right over here.
And once you go to that site, read all the information, see if there's an Instagram city on the list that you can participate in. If not, go over to meetup.com/instagram and create your own community, and start sharing photos, ideas, and having a lot of fun with a bunch of new people.
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