Most of us have gone through it. You end up on a site like classmates.com, add your info and try to look up some old friends - then comes the message. "In order to do anything cool on this site, you have to pay $$."
It drives me nuts. My recent frustration being with meetups.com. There are a few other registered writers in Kingston, the Canadian city where my family lives and I visit once a year. I thought it would be cool to have a writers get together with the other half-dozen Kingstonians registered on the site. I go through the motions, write a nice detailed message saying, let's meet up at Starbucks/Chapters, date, time, etc.
I click next.
In order to proceed, you have to pay $12 per month for your group.
As I pull my hair out, I come up with a few "stuff you" ideas to get around the problem.
One - I put my email address, in code, in my Meetups blurb. "Wanna meet up, email me at des4859-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk."
My second idea, look up the other writers names through 411.ca and call them. I came up with, on average, three people per name. Also, there were a couple people who only wrote their first names. This is admittedly kind of awkward, and I envision cold calling people after tracking them down via the internet going badly.
"Hey, I noticed you're a writer at meetup.com and wanted to get together, maybe at Chapters later this week. I promise I'm not a psycho axe murderer... any more!"
Insert sinister laugh here.
"Are you some sort of internet stalker?"
"No, I'm a writer, my family lives in Kingston, I live in Morocco."
"Then why don't you meet up with writers in Morocco."
"Because hardly anyone speaks English here."
"Please leave me alone, freak!" click.
Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. But I still don't feel like calling fifteen numbers to get in touch with five people.