I was at a community meeting a month or two ago and heard a lady there who was interested in there being a professional networking group in my city area. So well, now I am trying to start one.
One thing that came out of that particular meeting was that to me it was clear that there was a level of "anything and everything" that had crawled into the resource centre involved because of an obsessive committment to everything being on a "drop in" basis. As a result not only was every group reduced to the lowest common denominator and creative groups effectively neutered by the impossibility of committment and overemphasis on the "social" nature of events, but I also got an impression that some people had been uneasy at some of the characters who had "dropped in". I felt that in order to build an effective and strategic group, it would be necessary to be discriminating in the groups membership.
Let me explain why I feel this way. It is not out of exclusiveness but a desire for real quality and excellence. At the end of the day a group is not a pub or a night club. Its not there for everybody: its there to serve the ends of its members.
For this reason I am proposing to appropriate friends that we start such a group and veto out potential members who would not be in the best interests of existing or future members. Discrimination, yes, but necessary discrimination. If we are to be an effective networking group, we must concentrate our membership on the people who are going to be of most benefit to other members, and not allow individuals to hijack or destroy an organization, which is what I have been looking at lately.