Join Maria Langer for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding how Meetup works, part of Up and Running with Meetup.
Meetup.com is a social networking website. You create an account that includes your name, location and some other information about yourself. You then list the things that interest you. Then you're ready to search for meetup groups in your area, with people who share your interests. For example, I enjoy doing things outdoors hiking, paddling, bicycling, things like that. When I joined Meetup, I found groups of people in my area who do these things on a regular basis.
You might like knitting or martial arts or gardening, you'll find groups catering to all interests on Meetup. Each Meetup group schedules activities or meetups, that are open to members. You can read about upcoming and past meetups on a group's pages on Meetup.com, to learn more about them and what the members who attended thought about them. To attend a future meetup, you RSVP to it. If you have questions or comments, you can post them on the Meetup page and get responses from the Meetup host and other group members.
When the day and time of the meetup arrives, join other group members to enjoy the scheduled activity. Afterwards, you can go back online at Meetup.com to post comments, share photos and rate the meetup. Although Meetup is free to join, some groups do charge a nominal fee for membership. This is usually to cover the cost of using Meetup to manage a group. In addition some Meetups have a cost. For example, you might need to pay a parking pass to park at a trailhead or you might have to pay for tickets to attend a sports event or a concert with the group.
The vast majority of meetups are free though. You'll find that the quality of the gatherings vary from group to group. Meetup is a great way to use the power of the internet to meet and enjoy activities with people that share your interests. With a well-designed interface and lots of friendly outgoing people, it takes social networking to the next level.