In the early part of the last decade, a young developer named Andy Baio organized a series of dinners with his fellow geeks whenever they were in Los Angeles. Baio later became known for his link blog, Waxy; for his conference, XOXO; for popularizing the art form that would later become known as the supercut; for producing an 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis, Kind of Bloop, and for becoming an early adviser and chief technical officer for Kickstarter. But at the turn of the century he was working for a financial services company in Southern California, and on Thursday nights he and his friends would gather at Japanese restaurants along Sawtelle Boulevard for ramen and bubble tea to discuss their projects.

Among the guests sitting around the table were Matt Haughey, the creator of Metafilter; Jason Kottke, whose eponymous blog defined and brought prestige to the form; and Andre Torrez, who would go on to build the image-sharing platform MLKSHK. Baio, who had met his friends on the internet, wondered if he could find a way to help bring online communities together in the real world. That led him to the creation, in 2003, of, a social calendar that anticipated many of the features of a movement then coming to be known as Web 2.0.