Meetup.com, now a decade old, wasn't founded just for canines. But curiously, pugs played a role. According to techno-lore, the platform's founders concocted a made-up event, International Pug Lovers Meetup Day, to test market the site. Pug lovers (and pretend pug lovers) rallied to the cause, garnering press and visibility. Meetup.com gained a foothold in popular culture as the tool that propelled political candidate Howard Dean into the national arena in 2004, but pugs were never forgotten. Today some 40,996 people are subscribed to 190 Pug Meetup Groups in 163 cities in five countries around the world.
So what exactly is a Meetup? Think of it as a face-to-face activity that's planned online. Each Meetup group has a founder or organizer who takes care of online administrative matters. Most groups encourage members to initiate activities, too. Some groups require members to join and be vetted before participating in a scheduled activity, while others post their Meetup information online and take a "just show up" approach. To explore the canine-related possibilities in your area, go to Meetup.com, enter your zip code and type "dog" in the "Find a Meetup Group" search field.
Photo: "Pug Meetup" – Greenteach