06/07/2010 03:06 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

HuffPost Meetup On June 8th To Discuss Gulf Oil Spill

Some of my favorite people in the world I've met on the internet. In the era of the social web, people increasingly refer to folks they might've met in a comment thread or a retweet as a friend. The connection made by the once obligatory "Hello" plus handshake in real life----IRL, if you will----can now be accomplished with a few keystrokes. But that doesn't mean that those friendships should stop there.

Tomorrow is World Ocean Day and, the Huffington Post and Meetup are encouraging our readers to meet other readers nearby to talk about how you can help the Gulf oil spill clean up effort, strategies for reducing our dependence on oil and how to work towards a clean energy future for our communities. At the time of publishing this post over 1,500 people have self-organized and scheduled 300+ Meetups around the world on June 8th. We're asking organizers to report their findings back to us, and we'll report on what YOU determine to be the best ways to respond to the gulf crisis.

We've also compiled a list of resources to help get the conversation started.

As a part of a broader initiative to offer our very social readers the opportunity to be more social both online and off, we're using a tool called Meetup Everywhere that helps HuffPost readers can find folks near them that share similar passions. So whether you want to connect with people near you to talk about Arianna's latest book club selection or to talk politics with fellow HuffPost wonks, Meetup is powering the technology to make it easy.

Meeting HuffPost readers near you empowers our community in really interesting ways. While book clubs and politics chats are fun, we also hope to connect our readers to organize themselves into action on pressing issues. Look forward to more opportunities to meet other HuffPost readers around world news events, shared interests, and even fun happenings.

In the meantime, sign up below or click here to find a HuffPost Green Meetup near you.

HuffPost Green Meetups