- When evaluating the suitability of a domain name, make sure it can be heard in a loud bar. I heard a lot of “What was that?” “Is that plural?”
- You can collect participants’ contact info using co-host Paul Graham’s method of passing around a laptop with an Outlook email already open for attendees to type in their name, email address and site(s). I would’ve been inclined to use a text file for easier backing up along the way, but with the Outlook approach the URLs are automatically hyperlinked and the message is ready to go to the group. And since Paul knows his way around demos from LaunchBoxDigital, I’ll defer to him. (The Washington Post covered LaunchBox a week after the Meetup so coming to the Meetup keeps you ahead of the mainstream media.) Paul also has a great Twitter ID, @1p, which is almost as good as Rex Hammock’s @r who you should follow, by the way.
- Wherever you are in your career, you’ll fit in at these Meetups. Attendees included a mix of noobs, professionals, job seekers and those hiring (including HyperOffice.com, which I learned is Sharepoint plus Microsoft Exchange ).
- It’s possible to get separate checks in DC. The Meetup’s venue, James Hoban’s, seated us in an airy, separate section downstairs. The staff graciously handled individual separate checks for everyone – a rare sight that’s so appreciated at these types of events. A few orders were missed in the confusion, but the staff worked it out.
- It’s easier to score an alpha invite face to face. Saw a demo of Diditz.com, as mentioned previously, a social networking around events without the hassle of having to join a group or pre-agree on tags. It’s definitely worth checking out.
- Meet people from cool companies, such as navteq.com, supplier of data for Google Maps and others. Hmm…maybe I can get my church’s location corrected. (Yes, I’ve used the hand editing option–which someone else made a further adjustment to–but I’d like to get to the source.)
- Gotta throw out a link for our co-host Miles from UrbanAlarm.com…even if he’s not totally convinced by my suggestion to use leading caps to avoid an UrbAnalArm.com misinterpretation. (Do’s and don’ts of URL names.)
- Don’t chicken out about leaving contact info. Someone noted “for email, see Meetup” when the sign-up list went around, which goes against the “optimization” and “social” themes of the night.
- Blog with passion and enthusiasm. Who do you want to write about “the Northern Virginia Real Estate market focusing on the Dulles areas of Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties”? How about Dean Megginson, who blogs at novahomeguy.com backed by his years of experience as an appraiser, real estate consultant, land-use expert and Fairfax government worker. His enthusiasm for real estate shines through in person and in his writing.
- Learn an interesting way to solicit Diggs for your best content. Check out Phil Weslow’s FeedbackSecrets.com for online business strategies for eBay and beyond.
- It’s a small world. The week before I took out some advertising on EdWeek.org at work. Who do I run into at the Meetup? Paul Hyland, the executive producer of the educators news site who also blogs at Paul’s Web Space 2.1.
- Some people are happy when gas jumps over four bucks. Well, at least one person was. That would be Steve, who owns hypermiling.com, the site dedicated to extending your gas mileage that just happens to have some very relevant ads running on it.
Bonus tip: Read DCist. On the way home, I walked by the scene of a recent DCist Photo of the Day, and was able to provide details about the street musicians at Dupont Circle as a group of us headed back to Metro.
The evening worked so well that we’re going to do another combined session in September. Hope you can join us.