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San Diego HN meetup is tonight 7:30pm-9:30pm Broadway Coffee in Kearny Mesa (ucsd.edu)
37 points by jayliew 2732 days ago | hide | past | web | 32 comments | favorite

Would it be useful if I added features to HN to support meetups? If so, what features?

Yes. Please, yes.

I run Hackers and Founders, Silicon Valley and SF. http://hackersandfounders.com. We've been going for around 2 years and have around 900 members. About half come from HN, the other half through word of mouth, or Meetup.com. I don't make any money off this, I just enjoy having a beer, and geeking out with startup geeks every 2 weeks.

I also try to contact other people that post meetup listings on HN, and try and help them get off the ground if I can. I've been in contact with meetups in NY, Chicago, Indianapolis, Tel Aviv, and Wellington, NZ.

The churn on the front page is so great that unless you're in a major metropolitan area, you're not going to get enough upvotes to have a meetup posted. So, it would be helpful to those in non metropolitan areas to have a venue to post their events in a place where it wouldn't fall off the front page in 8 hours at best.

Honestly, just a simple "events" tag at the top of HN would be great, and allow people a self-referencing post Ala "Ask HN:..." I think there's a big demand from HN readers for something like this.

For instance, we just hosted a meetup for 6 guys coming in to SV from the UK for a week to check the area out. The only reason that they knew about Hackers and Founders was because our first event 2 years ago was a meetup before startup school, and the organizer of the group came to the meetup before startup school. The guys that came in were really cool, and I picked up a lot of great ideas for my startup from them.

I try not to announce hackers and founders meetups here anymore much, because I really don't want to pollute the front page with event listings. We have events every 2-3 weeks, and I think it would be a pain in the ass for HN readers to read event announcements from us every 2-3 weeks.

I'm pretty sure that Brennan that runs the Indianapolis meetup and Dave that runs the NY meetup don't post here that often either. Brennan uses Meetup.com and Dave uses a twitter feed + Anyvite. The Chicago meetup uses a Google group.

Agreed regarding an "events" tab at the top of the page or even a way to call out events on HN more so. There's certainly a lot of churn regarding news stories, so I've typically used our own Twitter handle (http://twitter.com/hackersfounders) to post updates from those who attend and if we change the location (depending if it's rainy outside, we'll go somewhere else other than Shake Shack). I'm also a HUGE fan of Anyvite to organize all the invites.

+1 On the event board idea. With some supportive upvotes we got the first HN in TelAviv to around 40+ members.

Afterwards we weren't as lucky with timely upvotes (being a rather small community) so I am relying on our existing 90 user Facebook page. Which results in the exclusion of new members.

1) Would be nice if there was a place to post in advance and have it stick

2) Some way for events that were upvoted on that page to appear on the bottom (or any other visible but not too prominent area) of the main HN page for 24-48 hours so all members can see.

3) Still keep some control, so people don't just post events and then change their minds.

I organize Hackers and Founders Indianapolis. Our most recent meetup had 40 people.

Like @iamelgringo said, I don't post our meetups to Hacker News because the post falls off the page immediately. I know there is a community of Hacker News people in Indiana who aren't connected but would be if there was a way on Hacker News to see when others are gathering for a meetup in their area. i.e. an events listing.

Other than that, meetup.com really serves all of our other meetup organizing needs.

+1 It would definitely be; the grass-roots self-organizing meet up here in San Diego has been gaining real traction (market's pulling for this! at least a small niche community). Our most recent 4th meet up saw 16-17 people, with about 40% of new faces who heard about it on HN the very same day - and I suspect we would have a higher turnout if the SD HN meet up announcement wasn't only on the front page for a few seconds. If the regulars showed up this previous time, we would have easily had ~25 people.

Knowing that there is a meet up in your location is the #1 problem; so it's a problem of discovery. If you can help with discoverability, then everything else becomes less of an issue. Adding each other on Facebook/Twitter, using a Google groups email list, setting up a basic page for the meet up etc. is a non-issue.

At least, "physical" issues HN can't solve ;) Like, our group now hangs out from 7+pm all the way until midnight, and many business owners prefer we don't hog their space on a Friday since it's a busy time for them.

Maybe we could try to bum some free space from big businesses. Some of us who have corporate day jobs may try to get HR depts to approve the using of one of the business meeting rooms, etc. Corporations do this all the time for non-profits and techie events.

For SD HN, aside from the obvious, like somewhere not too noisy and can fit the size of the crowd, we prefer somewhere that at least provides wireless, electricity is a plus (so that people can show off their work, demo stuff and get feedback)

We've standardized on a Pool hall. It's large, it serves beer, it's a lot quieter than a bar and they're open late. The crappy wifi is an issue, but it's the best alternative we've been able to find.

The Chicago meetups have been really good. The more recent ones are getting slightly less turnout but are still a great way to spend an evening.

In terms of features/tools to help organize, there's a lot of multi-person messaging back and forth that goes into getting a meetup scheduled, something that helped the group settle on questions like time/date and venue would be useful. I'd be careful about going too far into automating the process, you risk loosing some of the engagement that gets people aware of the meetup. I could see extending the Hacker News' site's up-voting system to various choices for time/date/venue working well for this.

I wholly support this idea. Definitely allow upvoting and/or polling, which could be used for date/topic/location/etc.

As a side note, I am starting to think we need a set date/time for Chicago meetups (ie, last Wednesday of every month at 7pm).

Something that helped or encouraged people to get the word out about the meetup to interesting, useful, and active people would help. "tweet this" or "post to your Facebook wall" might do the trick.

I've been to the last two meetups and they've been a lot of fun! Great people and great conversation. Good mix of tech / biz / misc. If I remember correctly, the HN group (10-15 people) ended up staying there 3-4 hours both times (until the coffee shop owner wanted to close for the night!).

Please RSVP so that we get an accurate headcount: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108889155819372&in...

I'm not making it but if any SD hackers or biz-dev folks are looking for a start-up to join please give my thread a look -> http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1305342

It's a shame I'm feeling so shitty today, or I'd be going. I've been wanting to go to the SD HN meetups for a few months now. :(

Also, how can I get prior notice of when the meetups are? I always here about it day of, which is part of why I've never gone.

Also, how can I get prior notice of when the meetups are?

Sure, join the mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/sd-hackernews

They are usually the last Friday of every month. If we move it to another day, it will be mentioned on our mailing list.

maybe you should come, because you'd feel much better afterwards :)

This sounds pretty cool. I didn't realize San Diego had this many HN'ers. Count me in.

I moved to SF from SD in late 05 and there wasn't much of a startup scene outside of biology or wireless hardware. Has that changed much since? Any YC alum down there?

San Diego isn't too bad as far as general hacker stuff. We have a Ruby user group that meets at UCSD, an agile/extreme programming group, and a Django user group. Not too bad.

Sounds interesting from a technical perspective. What about Lean Startups and other entrepreneurial stuff?

This has a pretty comprehensive overview of the sort of events people are organizing here: http://www.sdtechscene.org/

For people in our field, the entrepreneurial stuff pales in comparison to the SF Bay Area.

Looks like there's at least one really cool coworking spot though:


I still miss the coffeeshops down there, especially the 24 hour ones like Lestat's:


I'd like to get a Scala users group added to this list. Any Scala users or enthusiasts in San Diego?

I'm possibly interested in a Scala users group.

(Translation: I'm thinking of moving back to SD, we'll see in a couple of weeks.)

I guess that means count me in as a "maybe", which might be good enough to kick things off.

I'm very interested in working on a Scala open source project this summer. But I'm still pretty new to the language.

SD is no SF, but I think you'll find the SD HN meetup to your liking if you're already hanging out here on HN. Come on by!

Thanks for the invite - I'm still up here in SF, just curious about what's going on in my hometown. Cruising through the member list, I only found one startup:


Everyone else looks like CS students or researchers, is that right?

There have been attendees from three other startups, at some phase in development (one just started, one company supports its founders, and one person sold a company and is working on their second).

It's somewhere around a 30/45/25% split of students/professionals/business owners.

And a good number of the first two groups are in the process of moving to the 3rd.

I'm a startup CEO and I attend the San Diego events. Couldn't make the last one, but I'm usually there.

oh awesome - I live in San Diego.

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