Today, we had a meetup. It was me and a fellow from London enjoying a rare very warm afternoon at Crissy Field. I tried to pick his brain as much as possible about the London meetups-- hopefully it wasn't too annoying of me. Anyway, the London meets are what all meets aspire to be like. I think that I should just do what they do. Even though we're a different country, the current SF meetups don't seem to be working that well for anyone. So I'm going to make the meetups bimonthly (next one will be in October), in the same location each time (TBA) until someone protests. If people want to do something in between those meetups, they are more than welcome to schedule something, and I can't speak for anyone else, but I will show up with bells on. I can try to organize the most exciting activities possible, but if we can't get at least a few people to have an ongoing interest, then this is a doomed enterprise.
I just wish I had some idea why, despite everything you would think, meetups in San Francisco are so poorly attended. I briefly entertained the theory that it's because Californians are flaky. (Apparently, I'm not alone in this.) I hope no one takes offense at this-- after all, I've been a Californian myself for over 10 years. But flakiness is saying you'll do something and not showing. What we have at meetups is people doing neither. And I've long thought that it's because public transportation is so lacking here. But, it's still better here than in most American cities, and most local people seem to be mavens at using it. Perhaps it's a whole constellation of reasons; trying to figure it out is probably a waste of time. But it's hard to improve something if you don't know why it has problems. I'll probably always theorize about meetups, but I can at least try to take some of the stress out of planning them.
Also, thanks for all the comments on the Epicurus post! It's cool that something from ancient days could still actually be a valid option for lots of people...now I just need to figure out how to do it!