Phoenix is Interesting; Meetup Tells Me So

If you think Phoenix is kinda white bread, you’ve never seen Meetup. Meetup is the grand-daddy of local group networking. The gist of it: if you’re new to an area (say, “Phoenix”), you can sign up for Meetup and see what’s happening in relation to your personal interests. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, drinking, or nudity, there’s a group for you! (I once saw one about nude fortune-telling. I’m serious.)

Mm. Brains. .... OOPS! I meant graaaaains! (Nivaldo Arruda on Flickr.)

Recently, the Ignite Phoenix After Hours crew was given an assignment. We had to think of new demographics to approach for IPAH #2. There was plenty of sex at IPAH #1, and damn, it was interesting. However, there are other edgy things out there that don’t have to do with sex. I decided to take a close look at Meetup, Phoenix-style, and here are some of the groups I found …

Vegan Zombie Beer Club. What do vegan zombies eat? Grains, of course.

Phoenix Red Sox Nation. If being a Boston fan isn’t edgy in Phoenix, I don’t know what is. (Go DIAMONDBACKS!)

West Phoenix Witches and Pagans. There are 130 members in this group! These chicks get together to prove that witches don’t wear pointy hats and ride flying broomsticks … although that’s pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.

Phoenix Tantra. I know when you think “tantra,” you think about Sting and 24-hour-long sex marathons. (Well, I do, at least.) But tantra is a lot more than sex. It’s a spiritual experience, dude …

Phoenix Dodgeball. We’re adults, and yet, it’s totally acceptable for us to play children’s games. Also, best line on their profile: “Meet people and hit them with balls.”

Save the Sweater-vest! With the resignation of Ohio State’s football coach, concerned Phoenicians are choosing to wear sweater-vests before the niche clothing industry goes into a tailspin. … Ha, kidding. I made that one up. (Go WOLVERINES!)

Anyway, there are several awesome, weird, and wild groups in Phoenix. There are several strong-willed individuals who do what they love—even if some people might think they’re “strange” (ah-hem, Red Sox fans).

Who else has enviable strangeness in the Valley of the Sun?
Who else should we know more about??
What about YOU?

Ignite Phoenix After Hours #2 is Gonna Be TWO Much

Among the many interesting things you heard last night at Ignite Phoenix 10, one of my favorites (I’m biased) was that Ignite Phoenix After Hours #2 is creeping closer. Yes, in case you hadn’t heard, we’re gettin’ crazy again, and it’s happening in Scottsdale, July 29, 2011.

If the world does not end tonight, you should submit an amazing presentation idea for IPAH #2. You have until Friday, July 1, to submit your presentation. If you miss the deadline, you’re outta luck. You’ll have to wait until IPAH #3. But why wait? After all, the world might end after Friday, July 29th, and as you float through limbo, you’ll always be sad you didn’t get a chance to present at an After Hours event.

Submissions are over on the SPEAK page. There’s a possibility that at After Hours #2, you could find out if you’re a pit bull or an antelope. You could learn a bit about Satan. <Wince. Jesus, if you are coming back soon, don’t fault us for that one!!!> OR you might learn how to ruin a relationship in four days. (I imagine it’s easier than you think.)

So there are a few of the submissions we’ve received so far. Where do you fit into all this? Do you have a topic you would never share with your coworkers? What about an obsession you’d never share with your mother? Or you might just have an unconventional opinion that conventionalists wouldn’t want to hear. PERFECT! Get that presentation together and submit. And remember: we do allow you to use a pseudonym, so you’re out of excuses.

If you have someone in the Valley community you’d like to hear from, tell them about IPAH. If there’s an interesting organization in the Valley, tell them about IPAH. If you have a wacky friend who spouts off about politics, ninjas, or delivery pizza, tell him about IPAH! And don’t forget: submissions close July 1, 2011.