so, shall we meet for a beer?

It’s been suggested a few times in the last month that all of us blog-reading Ypsi folks get together for a beer. I haven’t organized one in a while, but, back in the day, we used to do something called Beer with Bloggers. The idea, when I first proposed it, was that local blog readers would come out, meet their favorite bloggers, and buy them beers. The bloggers would then in turn become inebriated and fight. At least that was my plan. We did it twice. Lots of people showed up. There were no fights, but, I have a painfully vivid memory of two local bloggers locking lips in a corner… Both of these events were held at Frenchie’s. There was no agenda for either one. People just ate, drank, talked and mingled. Linda French was nice enough to offer us happy hour pricing on drinks and discounted burgers… One alternative would be to simply do that again. We could book a few hours either at Frenchie’s, or at the Brewery, and we could keep it completely informal. As there wouldn’t be an agenda, there wouldn’t be a lot of work to be done other than promoting the event.

There is, of course, a different model, one in which content is presented and people work together toward some goal. We’ve done that a few times in the past too, through the YpsiVotes group. In those instances we had space donated by EMU, the drinking of alcohol was discouraged, and our focus was on initiating substantive, action-oriented group dialogue. We made presentations, had speakers, etc. These events have been well attended and successful, but they take considerably more work.

Ideally, we could pull off something that would be equal parts of both – there could be mingling over drinks, and there could also be thoughtful, solution-oriented group conversation. I’m not sure, however, that we could pull something like that off in the short-term. So, what I’m going to suggest is that we do the following… We get together for drinks and we throw around ideas. Let’s say we do it on a Thursday evening from 7:00 to 9:00. Either Frenchie’s or the Brewery would work. Hopefully one will come through with discounted beers for the occasion. We won’t have an agenda, but we’ll put big sheets of paper around the room. People who want to, can write their ideas down concerning a larger community meeting, who should be invited, and what should be covered. Several ideas have already surfaced, but I’m sure there are more.

Some of the things I’ve heard from people thus far concerning what they would like to discuss:

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11 Comments

  1. Posted January 21, 2008 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. I encourage everyone to take some time and think about Dr. King’s message, the progress we’ve all made, where we still need to go, and how we can get there.

    Someday is today, always.

  2. Posted January 21, 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I really like the idea of blog readers buying bloggers beers, but somehow I sense that may not be entirely realistic. I’ll be sure and bring my wallet. Could be that if we want others to show, we may have to buy them beers . . .

    Count me in on the beer part, and my vote goes to model number one.

  3. Posted January 21, 2008 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    How about you have a sort of cage match? That way those lazy inebriated bloggers would have to fight eh?
    Having belonged to a loose affiliation of friends that dedicated themselves to gathering once a week and sharing news, ideas and brews, I can say that it proved at least as revitalizing as any church service I’ve been to, and I do believe more consistently attended.
    incidentally, that particular group which used to meet in A2 now meets at the sidetrack, not as many people, but still chuggin away.
    And Yea! for MLK! I’m happy to hear my to sons (8&10)talking about him and expressing actual knowledge about him.

  4. Posted January 21, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I’m in! I think I owe an earlier post a summary of topics, but you covered it quite well here.

    1) Please don’t do it this Thursday; I’m out of town. (Selfish? Maybe. But I hate to miss a good fight.)

    2) My personal opinion is that this type of event would be served by either a) no agenda and paper on the walls like you outlined (people are very creative when left to their own devices) or b) a single item upon which we could focus.

    I’m willing to help out (set-up, post-meeting documentation, A/V, etc.). Like everybody else, my calendar is pretty full. But I can always squeeze in some time for a good cause.

    Just today, there is an article on mlive about area policing (http://www.mlive.com/news/annarbornews/index.ssf?/base/news-26/1200930032194280.xml&coll=2). There is almost no end to good topics.

  5. egpenet
    Posted January 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    No agenda is the best!

  6. Andy C
    Posted January 21, 2008 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Frenchie’s. I like the Corner Brewery but it’s really hard to talk and hear pass the person directly next to you. Even on the quieter evenings.

  7. mark
    Posted January 21, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Cool. It sounds like Frenchie’s some Thursday night in early February. No agenda. Let me see what I can do.

  8. Melissa
    Posted January 22, 2008 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Aww man, i want to meet all your bloggin’ fools, but Thursdays are always out for me. :(

  9. John on Forest
    Posted January 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Andy, I agree with you on the acoustics in the CB.

    Most Thursdays work for me just fine; but I can also do a weekend afternoon. My Monday’s have been recently spoken for now, so they are out for me.

    The sooner a specific date is set the better so we can get it on our calendars, Mark.

    But Thursday, Feb 14 I won’t be meeting with any bloggers except my wife. I vote for the 7th because I’m too impatient to wait for the 21st.

  10. Bonnie
    Posted January 23, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Man, not Thursdays. :( I’m busy pretending to be a responsible citizen, then.

  11. mark
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    OK, let me ask Linda French if she has a Friday evening in February free at Frenchie’s.

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