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Sun, April 21

Meetup groups thrive in digital age

Trib Photo/Briana Lonas<BR>
Key Matsuda takes a break to meditate at a self-guided meditation Meetup.

Trib Photo/Briana Lonas<BR> Key Matsuda takes a break to meditate at a self-guided meditation Meetup.

The popularity of Meetup groups has exploded during the past ten years as thousands of people take advantage of the rising star of social interests: Meetup.com.

Meetup groups thrive in big cities and large communities, growing member bases almost daily.

Hope Matsuda owns Serenity Wellness in Prescott Valley and hosts a guided meditation Meetup group and the 26 members make a small donation in exchange for using part of her yoga studio.

She admits she was not aware that these types of groups existed until recently.

Years ago, she belonged to a women's group in Los Angeles where members shared a connection with nature and a yearning to connect spiritually.

Indeed, the digital age has changed the way individuals meet. While friendships still happen at the grocery store or neighborhood barbecues, the Internet makes fun encounters possible with a click of the mouse.

If you're thinking of starting a group, Meetup.com offers many helpful tips including the following:

• Line up two great photos to include within your Meetup description when posting to the site.

• Think of at least fifteen topics that suit your Meetup Group.

• Include a brief description.

• Talk about the basic details of your first Meetup.

The description is very important, as this information helps draw in a potential member who may be hunting and clicking for the perfect niche for his or her interests.

Be sure to explain what your group is about, who should join, and what members can expect of the group.

According to its Website, it's important to list a first Meetup right away. More members will join your Meetup Group and go to the Meetup if it's listed right at the beginning. Think about the following:

• Choose a date and time for your first Meetup. Aim for about three weeks from the day you create your Meetup Group. This allows plenty of time to promote your Meetup Group and for new members to join.

• Choose a location. For a first Meetup, a public, well-lit place is the best option.

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