I spent about 16 hours driving in the past few days and I got into that road groove. With a stack of new CDs and plenty of gas and food, time started slipping away, I'd blink and fifty miles would go by. And that's when I pictured it all, clear as day.
The MetaFilter summer tour.
I've barely seen much of the world beyond the western US states and I'd love to just jump in my car and start driving. Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas, the Midwest, Great Lakes area, the Rust Belt, New York, New England, back down the Eastern seaboard, across the South and through the Southwest. I'd drive from one state to the next, announcing my plans in advance and lining up new people to meet with each day. It'd be a grand couch-tour of the country, going from one MeFi member to another's hometown, selling MetaFilter t-shirts for gas money, giving standing-room-only talks at universities along the way. I'd show up a little late to talks, hear the site's name being chanted from outside the building, and I'd do the best damn Q-and-A afterwards you've ever heard. There'd be a MetaFilter face to face gathering each night at the neighborhood tavern. It'd bridge the gap from the online world to the real world, solidifying the userbase, and showing everyone what a community could be. Bigger than you, bigger than me, as big as all of us put together. I could pop over to Europe for some dinners in London, Amsterdam, and Rome with dozens of MeFi users and friends, and repeat the US tour's success. I could almost hear it now "Meee, Fiiiiii, Meeeee, Fiiiii...."
dub dub dub dub dub dub dub dub dub
The noise from driving on the reflectors brought me back to reality. Couch tour? Packed audience? And then the zip code map popped into my head, barely enough people to attract more than a few in most major cities.
Who knows? Maybe in a few years it'll be possible...