interview

2012年3月 8日 (木)

The summary of interview to Alison Murdock (The organizer of "Silicon Valley ROCKS")

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Silicon Valley ROCKS is very unusual event. It is music gig, but also like meetup. Many audiences are always having chatting while the band performance time on the stage. And all members of the bands that joined the event are "TECH PEOPLE". They are working for Facebook, Google, Adobe, Dropbox...etc. And most of the audiences are tech people, too. They work for tech company, startups, and VCs.

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Alison Murdock is the organizer of the "gig style meetup". She started to organize this event 4 years ago, and continue organizing. The event is held once a year in December. She organizes the event as volunteer.

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She thought up the idea of "Music gig by tech people" when she re-started play the bass. “I found many musicians in Silicon Valley, and made up my mind to hold the event! I want network not only  in tech community, but also communiy for my hobby.”

She decided to hold event as fund raiser event. She gives profit of the event to fund for the music education. She believes to raise music education leads to better music culture. Around 20 volunteer staffs are working for the event. They are sharing her will for raising better music culture. And sponsors of the event are sharing her idea, too. The event raise about $30,000/event and all of the profit is applied to fund for music education.

400 people joined the event in 2012. Audiences got an information for the event from DM, Plancast, Eventbrite, Facebook, and Twitter. Surely WOM(Words of mouse) is important factor for the promotion.

8 bands joined the event.(The Barricades,100%,Allen Mask, Ingar Brown & the Future Funk, Coverflow, feedbomb, Open Source Band, Fox Picnic). For example,  Allen Mask is a hip-hop unit by the staff of Google. Open Source Band is special band for SVR 2012. And the vocalist of  freebomb is the sister of Mark Zuckerberg!!

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Allan Mask

Young people and elder people are mixed at the event. Alison is booking not only young band, but also band by elder people. As a result, she can get many people together, and make good atmosphere for networking. She told me “Our goal is to make a space where can relax, and have networking time easily. ”

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"I have no profit by the event, but have many benefit by organizing. I can meet Hi-profile people by event organizing, like musicians, or famous people who has musical hobby. Playing music is very useful for networking!"

"I am very happy because I can help music culture by organizing the event!" She told me proudly.

(AZ Kawahara/TOKYO CULTURE CULTURE)

2011年12月27日 (火)

The summary of interview to Scott Heiferman(CEO of MEETUP)

I met and made interview Scott Heiferman- CEO of Meetup in Dec 6th. He was very busy, but very polite and kind to Japanese stranger. I talked with him for 50 minutes about the importance of real commnunity, the differences between meetup and event, and what should we do to make the movement of meetup communication.

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Scott Heiferman

He started the service “meetup.com” in 2002. The big opportunity he decided to start this service was “9.11”.

“I started to talk with my neighbors. Before 9.11, I’ve never seen the situation that my neighbors are  talking each other.” he said.

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Logo of Meetup.


Meetup.com is the community site. The organizer of communities can make community group in the site, and users can join the group. The organizers can inform about their real event (meetup) in their group to their members.

Scott believes that real communication is very important to make better society and better culture. He said “Communicating and collaborating each other make the society and culture better. If people don’t communicate in face-to-face, the strong communities are never made.”

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The screenshot of Meetup.com


What is the definition of meetup? Is it different from “event”? Scott said “In meetup, the participants are communicating and collaborating each other. It’s a community.” How about the definition of EVENT?  ”The audiences in the event are all entertained equally. They are just consumer.”

Scott told me that “meetup” is the “grass roots” word. It’s not top-down like the word “Association”, he said.

Meetup.com are earned their operation cost by the fee from event organizer. I asked him about  advertising income. He said to me “I HATE ADS” strongly. “If product is good like TOYOTA and Apple, you don’t need to be in advertising bussiness.” “Our income from users are enough for us, and I don’t have any idea to raise the fee in meetup.com.”

My last question to Scott is about earthquake in Japan. Japan has very big crisis. The date of earthquake is March 11, and it is called “3.11”. It’s similar to “9.11.”

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3.11......The big earthquake in Japan.(Ishinokaki-city in 5/3/2011)


I asked Scott “Japan has big crisis for the earthquakes. We call it 3.11,and it's like 9.11. After 9.11, meetup culture has been growing in US. But has not in Japan yet. How can we grow the meetup movement in Japan? Please give us the ideas of you. ”

He told me “What you should do is to help the daily life of people in the simple way.”

The most popular categories in meetup.com are mam community, small business, and fitness. They are familiar categories in the daily life. He told me that the fact is the big hint for us.

“Help the daily life of people. and declare ”We should unite after the big crisis. We are the community. If you bring the one categolly to tipping-point, the community will be more powerful”

Meetup.com is planing Japanese localization service. “If we launch, please help us to disseminate meetup culture in Japan.” He told me with good smile.

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(L to R) Takashi Mizohata(Engineer of Meetup), Scott Heiferman, and me.


(AZ Kawahara/ TOKYO CULTURE CULTURE)

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