Tomorrow, TechCrunch turns five years old. We’ve grown up with the Web over that time from a one-man hobby in Michael’s home to an expanding media outfit of almost two dozen full-time staff around the world. Since all of you won’t fit in our new offices in San Francisco (as much as we’d like to invite you, especially the commenters on MG’s posts), we thought why not let readers throw their own parties around the world.
A couple weeks ago, with the launch of Meetups Everywhere at our Disrupt conference in New York, we started with about 50 Meetups. Quickly, that grew to 150, then 250, and now the number is at more than 350 TechCrunch Meetups from Bangalore and Jakarta to Johannesburg and Miami Beach. More than 4,000 readers will be celebrating with us, and you can join them.
Check out the nearest city with a TechCrunch Meetup, or create your own. The biggest Meetup right now is in American Fork, Utah, with 372 people all going to a BBQ, followed by San Francisco (333), New York (164), and Bangalore, India (137). Come meet me at the one in New York City, or TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher in the UK.
These Meetups are more about you, and how much the Web has changed in the past five years, than it is about us. Just think about it. Five years ago, Facebook hadn’t yet graduated from colleges. YouTube, Twitter, and Foursquare didn’t even exist. TechCrunch was writing about Web 2.0 startups, but now we don’t even use that term anymore because the entire Web has absorbed those concepts. It is social, programmable, and increasingly mobile. Every site with an API is a potential platform that can be mashed up to create new sites and apps. That’s just the way it is.
If you are an organizer of one of the 350+ Meetups, thank you. Here are some things you can do. Take plenty of photos and videos, and upload them to Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, or YouTube. Tag everything #tcmeetup. Stream live video from your meetup, you can set up a free channel on Livestream, and we will be streaming on the New York City party on this TCMeetup channel.
Get people on video answering these questions, and we’ll pull together the best answers in a highlight video: