While we have two official HubCamps coming up (one in Boston, the other in London), Hubbers all over the place are organizing awesome HubPages Social Meetups (aka HubMeets) of their own.
One such Hubber is Glenn Stok. He hosted his first HubMeet this March and has another planned for July 9th in Long Island, NY. If you have any questions about the event, check out Glenn’s forum thread, and if you can make it, don’t forget to RSVP on Meetup by clicking the “I’m Going” button 🙂
Even if you don’t live near Long Island, you ought to check out the interview below. Glenn was kind enough to share a bit more about his experience with HubPages Social Meetups, and he shares some great insights that might help you launch a HubMeet of your own!
HubPages: What inspired you to start a HubPages Social Meetup?
Glenn Stok: Several things inspired me. When I first read about it in the forum I immediately recognized meetup.com since I’ve been using it for eight years. I once organized a meetup group myself, so I know how they work. But now I’m also in a few groups that other organizers handle very well…A hiking group, a dinner social group, and a museum lovers group.
I have a tendency to like to organize things. Even as a teenager I organized a group of friends to help the local police and ambulance service by relaying emergency requests that we picked up on CB radio. CB stood for Citizen’s Band and was used in the 60’s and 70’s, long before cell phones.
When I read Robin’s post in the forum about HubPages using the Meetup platform for local HubMeets, I thought it would be a great way to meet other Hubbers who live near me. So, knowing about meetup, enjoying organizing events, and the desire to get local Hubbers together in a productive way, all led me to jump in and give it a try.
How did the first one go?
Well, the platform meetup created for this is new and still has some bugs. It’s called “Meetup Everywhere” and there are other organizations beta testing it, not only HubPages. When I tried to create the local group it was forced into a different geographic location. I noticed some other Hubbers have had the same problem. But Robin was very helpful with reporting these problems and meetup made a quick fix to allow us to edit the name of the location. That didn’t stop it from created invalid groups, but at least it let us correct an active one. So I was on my way.
I decided to plan the date far ahead to give it time for the news to spread. The “Meetup Everywhere” platform is not tied in with the rest of meetup.com, so people who had meetup accounts were having trouble signing up. I also noticed I can’t see my HubPages groups under my list of groups. So I have to use a direct link to the HubPages Community under meetup. I think this has caused us to lose some people who may have tried to sign up.
I’m not saying this to complain. I’m mentioning this because I realize it’s a new platform and it needs to get through its growing pains. For that reason I feel the first meetup was a great success even though we only had four out of six people. The way I look at it…it’s a start. Two other Hubbers who signed up but didn’t attend really missed a fun evening. I hope they come to the next one.
We all had a tremendous amount of energy so the conversation just kept flowing. Each one of us shared individual thoughts on writing.
I talked about what I had learned in my 18 months of studying the forums and from reading other Hubbers Hubs. I also tried to make it clear how important I felt it was to keep up with the news and discussions in the forums and with other Hubbers who are known to provide tons of useful information.
Everyone else was full of energy and gave a lot of helpful ideas. One fellow had a unique way of firing off constant questions for the purpose of giving us ideas to write about. It was like rapid-fire brainstorming! We all kept notes so we’d have something to elaborate on later for a possible future Hub. A lot of useful stuff was coming up!
Did you learn anything from other Hubbers at the Meetup that helped you improve your online writing?
You bet! Bob was giving a lengthy explanation about something. Then I said, “You just wrote a Hub! You must have spoken about 1000 words and well organized too. Now if you only had typed it you could publish it without any further effort.” Rich came up with a solution. He told us about his idea of using a voice recorder while talking so you have something to transcribe later. It’s a lot easier than trying to come up with all those thoughts again while in front of the keyboard.
So what I learned was that we find it easier to explain things verbally than to type it up. Sometimes when one explains things, it comes out perfect and needs little modification.
Why not leave a voice recorder on while talking on the phone? Some of my Hubs come from conversations I’ve had when I help a friend on the phone. Then I later write about it. Recording, even just my side of the conversation, can be quite useful. So many times I feel I said it better the first time around. Then when I sit down at the computer I wonder, ‘Now what was that what I said?’ I feel like I’ve got to create it from scratch again.
So I think a voice recorder can be a useful tool for a writer. Great idea I had learned at this HubMeet.
Could you tell us a bit about the next one you have planned?
I feel that since six people signed up and four of them came to the first meeting, we had a good start. It needs to be given a chance to grow. Hopefully all six will come next time. Maybe even some new ones.
A lot has happened since our first HubMeet that we can discuss at the next one. I have an agenda planed but of course I’ll welcome input from everyone.
My plan is to review the Panda Update and how things changed. I want to discuss what we were doing wrong and what we did right. I also want to examine what Google is looking for to give better search results. I think it will make for good conversation at the next HubMeet and maybe give us some ideas for new things to write about.
. . .
Glenn Stok’s next HubMeet is definitely going to be interesting and a great opportunity for all attending to up their game- and have a good time, too! Be sure to check out Glenn’s review of his first meeting, and here’s hoping you can make it to the second one!
If you’d like to start a HubMeet of your own, check out the HubMeets forum and drop Robin Edmondson a line.