More often than not, I'm doing that at #evfn, or East Valley Friday Nights. #evfn is shorter. And yes, dammit, you need the hashtag. And yes, dammit, it's lower-cased. Don't make me get all typographical on your ass.
The history of #evfn and the other #_fns here in Phoenix is well documented. I wanted to talk tonight about why I put forth the energy to organize it each and every week. And since I love the bullet points, let's go that route:
- It's a lot of fun. See the title of this website. Fun means a lot to me. And the people who make up #evfn are fun people. That's the one underlying factor -- if you're not fun, stay home. You won't like hanging out with us. Or you'll sit off in the corner and never come back. That sucks, because we're a damned inclusive group. So get out of the corner and introduce yourself to me. I'll do my damnedest to make sure you have fun and meet these cool people.
- It has no deeper meaning. I heard someone once call it a networking group. I almost coughed up my beer. Which really would have pissed me off, because I like good beer. Leave the business cards at home, please. Yeah, more than one person has met another person that wound up becoming a client or co-worker, but that's not what this is about. If you walk in with a stack of cards and start passing them out like fliers, you probably won't come back. Not because we'll call you out, but because you'll quickly get that our event and your goals aren't aligned. Oh, and we'll make fun of you after you leave. Early.
- I don't do it alone. Often times -- this week, for instance -- I put the word out for others to handle the organization. They do. Thanks, Derek. This isn't my event. I don't own it. Sure, I have a lot of say in where it happens and not everyone always agrees. Hi again, Derek. But that's OK. If you don't like where it is one week, don't go. Hell, there are only a few of us that go almost each and every time. That's completely OK. In fact, it's by design. And if you have a place you want us to go to, I'll happily give you the reigns for an evening.
- It gets me out. I work too hard. Or at least too much. You probably do, too. I come home from work and get on the lappy. So does Sheila. I work on the lappy most weekends. So does Sheila. If it weren't for #evfn, I'd become a true hermit. So in effect, you're all helping me say sane. And allowing me to pretend I'm really social in front of my wife.
So that's it. That's why I do this. This coming Friday, we're going to a new place in old town Chandler. After that, we're back at our normal Final Friday stomping grounds -- Whole Foods off Ray. And next month...? Lots of great places. Lots of great people. You should do something like this. Really, it's pretty easy.