#evfn is a weekly social gathering organized primarily over Twitter.1 It stands for East Valley Friday Nights and has been going strong for several weeks now2, I think we might have reached critical mass of sorts last night.
It's an interesting off-shoot social media experiment, with roots in various Tweetups, meetups and the like. And it's a complete violation of the 80/20 rule. Social "friending" tends to not care much about the geography of connections. If I look at the friends list of any of my social network profiles, the vast majority of people aren't near me. Sure, there are plenty who prefer to keep connected to local people on line, but they (or perhaps you ) are the aberration.
Yet local events like #evfn work, even though most people in my circle (and the circles of others tweeting about the event) can't make it without hopping on a plane. Yet it prevails. Nifty.
Obviously, local groups have been meeting well before Twitter came along. They've even been using the webbernets to organize. But I don't think that something like #evfn could have arisen without a tool like Twitter. Why? Because Twitter is what #evfn attendees have in common, yet the gathering isn't focused around Twitter. I counted no less than four different and distinct "niches" of people last night. And yes, they by and large clustered together. But there was plenty of flow and interaction among groups. It didn't feel like there were four different parties taking place under the same roof. We were all quite obviously together. That's very different from knitting circles, play dates, book clubs, or fan gatherings. There the organizing principle is what you are there to talk about, do, support or watch. And more power to them.
I think we're to the point where I need to create a home base for #evfn. It's fun enough. :) Next week we'll meet at Whole Foods in Chandler. In the Tapas Bar. And if you think it's odd that a grocery store is the place we're meeting for an event that's largely about tossing back a few good beers, I direct your attention the "Tapas Bar" again. My grocery store can beat up your grocery store.
How are you using social media to generate a localized action of some kind?
1 - Best definition I've heard so far. Thanks to Charlie the Beer Guy for tweeting that out.
2 - Thanks to Tyson Crosbie for starting #pfn (Phoenix Friday Nights), which I went to once and enjoyed immensely. I took that inspiration and some Derek Neighbors-style "I'm just gonna do it myself" attitude to put this together. Kudos to both!