How To Set Up Your Own Dot Com Meetup

Social Networking

Networking with other like minded people is one of the keys to blogging success. In addition to attending tons of local and out of town networking events every year, I also have the weekly Dot Com Pho meet up. I’ve received quite a few emails asking for advice on setting up their own dot com meet up.

Join The Social Networks

Before you can set up a dot com meet up, you need to have a network of like mind people. Fortunately, finding them is a lot easier than ever thanks to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and

I especially like because it’s designed to get people face to face with each other. If you can’t find a meetup group to join (which is pretty hard to do), you can create your own and have other meetup members join. Once you get enough members, you can set up the first live meet.

Choose a Meet Up Friendly Place

Depending on the number of people attending the meet up, you may want to call up the restaurant or bar to make sure they’ll welcome your group. If I have a lot of people attending I will go check out the location to make sure it can accommodate our needs.

Ideally, you’ll want a place that will allow everyone to sit together yet allow for free movement so people can mingle and get to know each other. If you’re checking out a bar, make sure their music isn’t blooming during your meet up time. The music maybe off when you check the place out but that doesn’t mean it won’t be on later.

Make It Affordable for Everyone

While I would love do a meet up at a five-star restaurant, it’s best to keep it affordable for everyone by choosing a less expensive place. This is why Dot Com Pho works so well. A bowl of Pho and ice coffee will set you back $10. This is something everyone should be able to swing. Remember, the food isn’t the important factor. The face to face networking is what you’re after.

The History of Dot Com Pho

The history of Dot Com Pho goes all the way back to 2001. Back then it was call Bad Pho Day. The name was a play on words from the video game, Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Most North Americans don’t know this but Pho is pronounced “fur” and not “full.”

Bad Pho Day happened every Friday between myself and a few employees from Ralph Audio in Vancouver. We would get together at a Pho shop on Broadway to talk about audio mostly. However, the stuff I do on the Net was also a hot topic. Bad Pho Day ended when most of the Ralph employees that went quit and moved on to other jobs. It came back to life as Midnight Golden a few years later.

Midnight Golden was held at the Golden Award restaurant. We would go there at midnight (hence the name) and stay there until it closed at 2AM. The group was made up of myself, Carl Nelson and Ed Lau. We would do Midnight Golden multiple times per week. Mostly on the weekdays so we can have the entire restaurant to ourselves. Midnight Golden ended Carl moved to Hong Kong. Today, Golden Award is call Silver Castle. Midnight Silver just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Dot Com Pho started long before the Dot Com Pho videos came out. I’ve been going for weekly Pho noodles for as long as I can remember and always told anyone who wish to meet up to come out for a bowl. On one of these meet ups, I brought along a Flip Video camera that Pure Digital sent me and decided to film the event. And that’s the Dot Com Pho you know today.

53 thoughts on “How To Set Up Your Own Dot Com Meetup”

  1. One of the greatest benefits of a meetup is the opportunity to actually meet those you interact with online on a daily basis. Too many don’t think about how important that is and some don’t take advantage of the chance either.

    Thanks for your quick “how to” on setting up a meetup…

    1. Kok Choon says:

      This is awesome tool! I can setup my meeting online…

      1. Abdul says:

        Unfortunately i barely have any bloggers living near the place I live! ;(

        1. I’m sure there are plenty of bloggers regardless of where you live. If you build it, they will come. haha

        2. Li Weng says:

          Just buy them plane tickets 😉

  2. Great tips! I’d love to create a blogging meetup in Australia!

    1. Same here, but i live in croatia, and i doubt that is possible to make bloggers meet up.
      John Great Tips!

      1. You might be surprised… Crotian blogger meet-ups may be on the long-tail end of teh spectrum – but here’s your chance to dominate it and get the early advantage!

      2. MoneyBlog says:

        I live in Romania and I agree with you about the fact that it is more difficult to make” bloggers meet up”.

  3. Kris says:

    Yes the Dot Com meetup is essential to people trying to establish a full time income online. Networking is key. I always tell people its not what you know its who you know. Thanks for the post!

  4. Tyler Ingram says:

    I need to get out to the DotComPho more often. It’s been a while since I had pho! I miss the pho!

  5. Mario says:

    Nice article John thanks for sharing.


  6. Patrick says:

    Good tips, John.

    1. Will you follow then?

  7. Alberto says:

    I enjoy watching the Dot Com Phos. Of course a lot of it has to do with the fact that I love eating pho…

  8. I have never tried Pho, but one day when I get my ass to Vancouver I will have to try it.

  9. Mike Huang says:

    Meeting up with people is harder than you say, John. Sometimes it’s difficult because mostly all bloggers now are so young and most are shy. That could be why the Blog Expo in Vegas didn’t get as big as a hit.


    1. John Chow says:

      Na, it’s a lot easier than you think. All you need is one other who is interested.

      1. Keral Patel says:

        Hmmm and in places like where I live there are very less bloggers. Or I can even say spammers as they mostly do not even write good blogs but just copy paste some articles from here and there and they call themselves as bloggers. I have found some real ones though who are hard working and good people but then I myself have a major problem of getting together with unknown people. Yet thinking it will be fun someday to just try it out and see how it goes.

  10. I’d always wondered about the Dot Com Pho story. It’s interesting.

  11. I need to get out to the DotComPho more often. Another great article John, thank you for sharing.

  12. Stephen says:

    “Fur” is for animals. “Phuh” is what we eat at Vietnamese Noodle places. I’m still trying to figure out if John says “Fur” to piss people off or if he really doesn’t know any better.

    I know we say “Pho” because it’s totally wrong and we know it. Kind of makes it our own afterall.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      I was going to call John out on that, but I guess you beat me to it. Yes, “pho” is pronounced more like “fuh” and not “fur”. We all say “foe”, even though we all know it’s wrong.

    2. John Chow says:

      I know it’s closer to Fuh than Fur but I like Fur better. 😛

    3. Carl says:

      It’s not close to “fur” at all! We’ve been telling you this for years, and you even have Lan on a dot com pho version correcting you!

      I agree with Stephen that John just calls it “fur” because he knows it irritates people.. that’s a John Chow thing for sure!

  13. browie says:

    We have one near me but we have only met a few times. Wish there were more people around here to do that with.

  14. Its been a while since we had a dot com pho in Toronto

    1. Arfan says:

      Interesting your In Toronto too? same here we could probally have a dot com pho here hahahaha

  15. Sohail says:

    Networking is very good for bloggers for discussions but if all of your friends have time. You can arrange it but not all the times.

  16. BusinessX says:

    In Oklahoma I was thinking of a meet around BBQ, we have a lot of those joints. Also considering opening each meet with a homage to John Chow for providing the idea. Maybe a toast or something.

  17. PHO is pronounced “fuh” 🙂

    are you using a new comment system? different from brian’s threaded? which one are you using?

    1. John Chow says:

      It’s a hacked version of Brian’s.

  18. Keral Patel says:

    Meetings really helps the business a lot. Ideas can be shared and new opportunities do come up when meeting face to face with like minded people.

  19. I seriously don’t know of any meetups anywhere near me… unless they are about an hour or more away. It’s about time one is formed in my area! Inland Empire, California.. here it comes! We have like three Pho places, and an awesome Korean BBQ Place.

  20. eric tan says:

    Thats exactly how our Food Trips STarted… just a bunch of people who were craving the same food….

  21. Been working on one here in the KY Jelly state, but no luck finding anyone yet.

    That’s pretty cool about the history behind it all. Never knew any of that.

  22. Dfunda says:

    the information you provided is very valuable 😀

  23. Ben Pei says:

    I hope organise mine some day too.. When I get enough fans to form up that is..

    1. Diana Rupert says:

      I am one of your fan Ben Pei. I love your post totally.

  24. Diana Rupert says:

    Great post John. I hope my site could also have some visitors too.

  25. says:

    Super Beitrag, danke dafür.

  26. Ian Fernando says:

    you know it! might have to do another IANteract Dinner in Vegas maybe! I know I enjoy having my IANteract Meetups here in Jersey.

  27. Chip says:

    It’s a great step to organize a meet up. It’s like an explosion, and you get to know new bloggers, make new friends and become a small authority in the domain.

    Once you’ve organized your first meetup, it’s like a snowball rolling down the hill.

  28. This is awesome tool! I can setup my meeting online…

  29. I think networking is great for bloggers. Ideas can be shared and new opportunities do come up when meeting face to face with like minded people.

  30. Anyone in San Diego want to meet up?

  31. Tom Chuong says:

    Great suggestions, John!

    I live near San Francisco, and I was wondering if anyone wants to help me organize a Pho meet-up here in California. Shoot me an email if you’re interested. Thanks!

  32. Don Mega says:

    Great post! I’ve been a follower of this blog for a while and the brain food that I recieve keeps me coming back for more. Sound advice and no fluff. With like a gazillion How to make money blogs on the internet, it’s blogs like these that keep me interested in this niche.

    Donald Gabriel Mega “Don Mega”

  33. Joseph Dang says:

    I must chime in to help others pronounce Pho. Think of the F word. Now say it without the “ck” that’s about as best as I can describe it.

    Even though me and my friends go around calling it Poe (a mispronunciation we heard a long time ago and so we use it regularly now.)

  34. Li Weng says:

    Sounds like a very good idea. “Hey you wannna meet up for pho?” Cool.

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