Obviate, n., to render unnecessary. Meetup.com is a social networking site for arranging face-to-face meetings; if it works well enough, people don't need it anymore. They meet new people automatically.
My use of meetup.com goes back to the first days of this blog. I started a blog because I wanted to write, and then I went looking for other bloggers nearby, you know, geographically. Oddly, Google and blogger.com were not much help, but when I found one particular blog--I could swear it was Brewed Fresh Daily--there was a link there to the Cleveland Weblogger Meetup Group. I joined. And it snowballed.
Alice and I moved to Cleveland in late 2006 knowing almost no one. Meeting people wasn't easy either. But two groups on meetup.com made a huge difference. The webloggers meetup is frankly an intellectual riot; I come home jazzed every time. It's become the core of one of my social networks. The wine meetup is well-hosted and enthusiastic, and introduced us to several people who have become friends. And we've become friends with their friends.
That's how it happens. A seed is planted, and it branches out. Roots get put down. Honestly I didn't feel like I had roots here at the end of 2007, but now I do.