L92H3H: While the author of this book is a Meetup member since Meetup.com's early days (2004) and is a Head Organizer of 3 Meetup groups, the name & logo for “Meetup” are owned by Meetup.com and while this book would like to soon be endorsed by the name owners, in the meantime it is created independently and by its own funding and no official affiliation, connection, association, approval, endorsement, or sponsorship by the name owners should be assumed. However, for everyone's benefit, I strongly encourage you to encourage Meetup.com to endorse this book!
92J19: “We truly appreciate your support” emails Meetup HQ Support Andrea on 2010.09.20 (who also has provided me great Organizer support, too!), adding “ensure that this page cites that [it does] not have any affiliation with us” which, thanks to her, is now done.
- L92JLY: And your feedback could be here, too! Post comments below.
- L35H1U: Preface —A few things you absolutely need to know
- L2WT46: Yeah, this doc's BIG! because, surprisingly, common sense AIN'T THAT COMMON! Yes, Meetup's good, but few realize how much better it could be by everyone building on a common foundation of fair, written ground-rules. So start by just reading the Contents to know what's here and the Preface to know what's essential; then read only as much as you need now: the outlining makes that easy.
- L5TY2V: This doc is is now the standard used by 3 Meetup groups and “L5TXPS: Plans for this doc are extensive: if-possible to be the standard for Meetup and other web-based groups”
- L2QG6Y: In this preliminary release, links to the anchors/spots on this page (as the URL to this paragraph: #L2QG6Y) often are broken; to find what's being linked to, see “Use of this site” the top of the page.
- L5M9YQ: If you're a Meetup beginner, read else skim “L2X00A: What's Meetup?”.
- L5MA2X: Everybody, carefully read the details of “L5L8MF: The most serious problems of Meetup” which apply to you.
- L5MD4M: Especially if you're becoming or are a group leader/organizer including event host, you need to immediately complete “L3BP6L: [your] rite-of-passage”.
- L2Q6UD: A lot more work planned: will update significantly, so check back here from-time-to-time.
- L2PG2W: Introduction & Motivation.
- L30NQQ: I've had considerable experience on Meetup.com
- L5K5OO: And I've had some of the best leadership training in the world
- L5K4VV: Meetup.com (& likely similar websites) takes mostly untrained leaders, literally anyone paying them ~$16/mo, and puts them in power (of ~10 to 4000 members) with virtually no rules!
- L5K89H: So it occurs to me that not all but most problems could be avoided if there was just some basic guide & rules published that all members of a group would agree to follow
- L5K8BZ: So it is in that spirit that I finally created these Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com.
- L2PGOG: Things for everyone to know & do on Meetup, starting with the most-urgent or least-obvious:
- L2X00A: What's Meetup?
- L5L8MF: The most serious problems of Meetup (that I see):
- L5VN4B: #1: groups & Meetup not having ground-rules & guidelines (such as this document) -- Yes, I know you may not believe this is the #1 problem, nor any problem, or even want this, but here's why.
- L5VN8A: First, why does nearly every Meetup group have almost no written rules now? Well, yes, it's not surprising.
- L5VOSL: So the the result: Meetup has millions of users and tens-of-thousands of groups around the world, with most all without any written rules (!)
- L5VPAB: But is a mostly rule-less community of millions a good idea? NO!
- L5VPJB: It results in what you might expect: seemingly most all users APPROPRIATELY looking as Meetup (and so its collective members) as "a toy": something for fun, but which you'd be wise never to seriously invest in.
- L5L8NF: that users need to do (don't be one of those who doesn't!):
- L5L8WF: “L2ZOUX: Protect content & membership from every possibly-negative change.” --read this link
- L5LAN4: Give “L2ZIK8: Minimum member feedback especially RSVPs. Small groups especially require everyone to routinely reply & give feedback.”
- L5L8R5: Organizers & event hosts rarely fully-qualified nor even trained to be a leader
- L5LD3A: probably a few more.
- L5LAOO: that Meetup.com owners need to do, roughly from most to least important:
- L5VL3B: Strongly encourage groups to adopt and follow a standard comprehensive set of rules & guidelines (as this doc!) giving suggestions (as this doc!)
- L5LB32: Get more members, especially those under ~35 --desperately needed.
- L5M892: Allow Head Organizers (and those they delegate) to add members (email addresses and Meetup users) to their group, including completing profile info, with corrections if abused.
- L5LAQV: Provide safe-checks, reporting, and/or versioning (like MediaWiki) to “L2ZOUX: Protect content & membership from every possibly-negative change.”
- L5LBHE: Cut the email sent to members (both quantity & size) to about 1/5th.
- L5M6Y6: Additional ones, including:
- L2WWLB: Meetup protects a user's privacy notably & maximally (even from Meetup itself!),
- L2ZQSN: Mostly info you put into Meetup you can add-to & change at any time (including all signon & profile info and most info put ON Meetup except NOT event data)
- L2PHDN: L2PHDN=Good User Profiles are The Standard, so keep up & excel!
- L2Q8EC: General values for everyone:
- L3BPVF: #1: Live up to your title(s) & get your expected job(s) done (and by following your directives, rules, & guidelines -- literally else in intent/spirit) else wherever there is some problem then appropriately & completely alert/speak-up & make the best of it.
- L2PJSX: above all: Communicate!, and Communicate as best you can! --this is essential
- L4O0F9: Follow (Speak-up! —a Guide to Great Communication)L4NX0J
- L2PHZC: A person's RSVP comment and event review is his/her personal space to say candidly what s/he feels, so respect that!
- L2ZIK8: Minimum member feedback especially RSVPs. Small groups especially require everyone to routinely reply & give feedback.
- L2ZJBL: For an event NOT advertised elsewhere, table of typical vs. desired success (percent/ratio attending/msgs, RSVPs, etc) --under construction
- L2YG4U: Bookmark http://Meetup.com and somewhere between once-a-day to once-a-week, go there and RSVP for upcoming events & reply to discussions.
- L2YWIR: Personal emails from other Meetup members to you: keep on the look out for these & reply to them, including about every 2 weeks search for any you may have missed.
- L2YVM1: Make you have a good user profile (for each group) which, every few months, you update.
- L2PI3W: Follow Meetup.com's policies & guidelines on posts & messages, as you agreed to when you created your Meetup account.
- L2Q8XD: Be predictable: no surprises unless pleasant ones.
- L2Q7ZQ: When you make a mistake which troubles someone, to all persons troubled you need to (1) apologize, (2) admit & explain especially if asked, and (3) make appropriate amends.
- L2Q8FC: From UU's principle #1, see the notable inherent worth & dignity of every person.
- L2SAJC: Discovering the person of the Meetup profile=*
- L2ZLDL: SERIOUS: You cannot & should not trust Meetup to protect content & membership info wrongful changes nor even to permanently save it nor to notify you of changes nor be able to tell you who deleted/changed/removed it.
- L5VIJ4: This is due first due to Meetup having weak but typical Web 2.0 software (as which doesn't version content) and second to Meetup having a lack of rules (as L2PGK2: Before any action (human directive)); so first responsible is Meetup.com and second is its users.
- L2RF9J: On Meetup, ones posts/content & group-membership & communications are typically at-high-risk of wrongful deletion & editing & banning & blocking, especially by organizers including other organizers, and typically without any warning, alert, reason, nor even saying who did it: routinely one's stuff just permanently disappears!
- L5V5P1:Comparison table: Negative act target vs. Safeguard: When someone does a potentially negative act (deletes, changes, bans/blocks) on a target, what (almost non-existent) protection the Meetup software offers and how users typically respond to it, vs. say L2PGK2: Before any action (human directive)
- L2RF5R:(in other words,) Meetup makes it way too easy & routine for user content to permanently disappear, including membership status.
- L3CHPA:Meetup NEVER warns you before changes are made, including any potentially negative changes (if someone has the power to change something, they can make the change immediately without anything stopping them) with only one small exception.
- L2ZP1Y: And except for obvious extreme cases and most minimally, Meetup doesn't alert whenever someone else changes something which would obviously pertain to you, most especially if the change is clearly negative (as an deletion or a removal or block)
- L2PGP0: Most tragically, Meetup keeps no prior versions of content (including of prior memberships)
- L2RFM2: Consequently, unless you can trust all others to follow protective rules as those given in this publication (Protect content & membership from every possibly-wrong change), YOU SHOULD BE CONTINUALLY MAKING YOUR OWN BACKUPS of any important content you put on Meetup
- L5VJQE: —and unfortunately continually manually making backups is notably complex & time-consuming (to always be stopping & making a backup copy of every addition/change you make, and file it systematically so you don't end up with a mess), spoiling a great deal of the fun of Meetup. Causing most people to instead sadly just "not care" (generally expect to NOT take anything/one on Meetup seriously, and rarely put serious investment)
- L5VJ1Y: How to do this (to continually manually backup your content & changes on Meetup)? Still I've developed several techniques, which I'll be describing here later.
- L2ZOUX: Protect content & membership from every possibly-negative change.
- L2PGK2: Before you take any action, even on your own stuff, which would-or-COULD unjustly negatively affect someone else, including before you change, delete, ignore/block, leave/quit, remove/ban, or report, do all of the following in order:
- L7L96D: Determine the rule(s) being violated so justifying your negative change.
- L2Q1A3: If the rule(s) being violated are not published, get them published & announced.
- L2PGZN: Properly tell & warn the person responsible for the problem to correct it by reasonable time specified else what reasonable correction you will do.
- L5M2FD: For potentially important issues, you must also ask to confirmation that the above the message was received.
- L2PGN3: And if by that deadline no one responds otherwise, do corrective action in this order:
- L5MI9Z: Providing you have adequate justification (as a true emergency), you can skip steps. If you didn't exactly follow the plan above, as soon as the emergency (if any) has passed, make up for this as follows:
- L7L8LS: Notes on this
- L5M6DL: Meetup software seems typically but seriously remiss here (protecting content & membership-info from wrongs)
- L5VI7V: Due to software shortcomings, there are a few values you can't add or change at a later time
- L2PGJI: For organizer/leaders of a Meetup group:
- L2WTPW: Get off your pillar!
- L2WUUB: Expect and ENCOURAGE people to constructively criticize your events & leadership, even publicly, as best they know how. And take it in stride, "like a man"
- L2WV8R: As a leader, like being a military officer, you're expected to live up to a HIGHER standard about how you conduct yourself.
- L2PHGV: As an organizer/leader, the Basics for everybody to know & do on Meetup are especially required for you,
- L2YXLK: Head Organizers: Personal emails from other Meetup users emailing you about the group: "keep on the look out for these & reply to them, including about every 2 weeks search for any you may have missed."
- L2YY53: Group organizers & leaders must have significantly better contacts & ID & verification on each other beyond the minimal info Meetup gathers & provides on its users.
- L3BP6L: Becoming a leader/organizer (of a Meetup group) is to be a small rite-of-passage.
- L2QARZ: On hosting events:
- L2QBS7: Piggyback on (cross-post) other groups' events where possible=
- L57JFG: KEY: Every leader, including an event host, must take first care of those s/he leads, gathers, and invites.
- L2QN3U: L2QN3U=SERIOUS: Event host(s) must be promptly reachable for & especially during the event, unless announced prior.
- L57JVR: L57JVR=KEY: at the event, the event host(s) must gather all group attendees and be able to guide & help them during the entire event (as tour-guide) --thus pretty much must physically be there with the attendees during the whole event--, unless announced prior but ideally there should be no exceptions.
- L583HT: BOTH failing is really bad.
- L2QDZB: Event listing/calendar entry:
- L9BLQK: Meetup's “Who's coming?” list
- L2QR0G:Event text description (“What's happening at your Meetup? Give as many details as you can”):
- L2QNOM:Complete “Where it is?
- L2QRNE: RSVP Settings
- L7UNG7: Complete “Email settings”
- L2QQMN:Complete “Ask questions when members RSVP”
- L2QERQ: For many real listings which are good examples, see http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/calendar
- L7UNZO: After clicking "OK", Meetup will ask if you want to Announce the event --do NOT do so yet, instead follow the directions in the next section.
- L2QDRL: Announcing an event:
- L7UO68: Emails can't be taken back, so do NOT email members (including announcing an event) unless you're sure all the details are right and the message is approved!!
- L2RD7Q: Give just the people coming your cell phone.
- L35DEN: On Delegating (notably having sub-organizers):
- L2S524: Intermediate issues on Meetup
- L2SCMI: Appropriate trust of Meetup profiles=*
- L2UCGE: Within Meetup, being involved in both normal & controversial groups where you want to keep them separate.
- L2S50W: On hosting events.
- L5TXPS: Plans for this doc are extensive: if-possible to be the standard for Meetup and other web-based groups
- KVA16I: Document Background & History
L2WT46: Yeah, this doc's BIG! because, surprisingly, common sense AIN'T THAT COMMON! Yes, Meetup's good, but few realize how much better it could be by everyone building on a common foundation of fair, written ground-rules. So start by just reading the Contents to know what's here and the Preface to know what's essential; then read only as much as you need now: the outlining makes that easy.
- L5UEZB: Meetup.com has more bells & whilstles (features) than any other web-based group management system I know of (including the best-by-far matching of people-to-groups I've ever heard of, maximally if not-obcessively opt-in marketing (on his own (organizers can't do this) a person has to first join Meetup then go to the group site fill out a form, sometimes even meet meet certain criteria & apply); and it's been in operation a number of years (middle-aged in web time) since about 2003 and has a few million members.
- L5VKHF: STILL Meetup has very low participation rates indeed seemingly just as bad as direct-mail marketing! For instance, to take not the best example but a real one, in ~235-member AsianFriendster, the event "(2010) 4th of July Day/Night Debauchery in Huntington Beach!" got 8 RSVPs! and only about 3-members attending (the hosts); though the notice was just 1 day the market effort was extrodinary and experience has told that additional notice wouldn't help). This results in an RSVP rate of 3% (=8/235) even though it takes just 2 clicks to RSVP, and an attendance rate of 1%; while some groups have higher, in a very successful group (of 3100) a popular event got 80-members attending (3%) and about say 120 RSVPing (4%).
- L5UGBR: So why the the very low (~4%) member participation on Meetup.com???
- L5VL05: Well to take the case of content protection (it applies overall), L5VIJ4: ...first responsible is Meetup.com and second is its users.
- L5UGM4: Some of this is clearly from L5LAOO: (serious problems) in the Meetup.com software (such as overloading users with email) but for that we just have to hope Meetup.com will fully realize & fix these. But even that doesn't explain everything:
- L5UGNL:The rest, however, is from something ordinary Meetup.com users (members & leaders) can do something about, as by following the rules in this document.
- It comes from a few key sources:
- L5UHNO:Poor leaders who recklessly destroy budding spirit,
- L5UGUL: shoot down the members who do trying-stepping up to the plate to contribute.
- The member takes the time to write up some reasonable feedback (instead of just the YES/NO RSVP with no explanation), but then the one time it sounds even possibly negative the organizer throws him/her out of the group (I've had this happen to me about 3x); or, now having caught the attention of an organizer, the organizer finds something undocumented & unenforced to pick on him for so throws him out of the group for that (I've had that happen 1x).
- L5UH59: The member takes the time to contribute and write up idea but then an organizer inconsistently deletes it and without warning nor explanation (so it's gone): I've had this happen to me at least 3x.
- L5UH7Q: Members write up Talk posts and have online discussions and then an organizer deletes them without warning nor explanation: I've had this done to me at least 3x; one time an organizer deleted everyone's posts over ~1mo old, so years of history were deleted, history one needed to remember who was who.
- L5UI0F: don't show up or can't be found for & even at their own events they host, so you show up and can't find anyone: I've had this happen at least 3x.
- L5UHUI: people are naturally very sensitive to first impressions, so after any one of these experiences, that member is probably NEVER going to contribute again, plus may stop RSVPing and showing up to events. And then other members won't wisely step up to the plate because they don't see many others do it, or may have heard/saw what happened.
- L5UHVK: Apathetic members who join the group don't give feedback (perhaps after some painful experiences as above, even in other groups)
- L5VK3K: And from all sources directions, a bad precident is set. Users are quick to pick up on that precident, and most no one then dares to go beyond it.
L5TY2V: This doc is is now the standard used by 3 Meetup groups and “L5TXPS: Plans for this doc are extensive: if-possible to be the standard for Meetup and other web-based groups”
L2QG6Y: In this preliminary release, links to the anchors/spots on this page (as the URL to this paragraph: #L2QG6Y) often are broken; to find what's being linked to, see “Use of this site” the top of the page.
L5M9YQ: If you're a Meetup beginner, read else skim “L2X00A: What's Meetup?”.
L5MA2X: Everybody, carefully read the details of “L5L8MF: The most serious problems of Meetup” which apply to you.
L5MD4M: Especially if you're becoming or are a group leader/organizer including event host, you need to immediately complete “L3BP6L: [your] rite-of-passage”.
- L5K4SN: I've been using Meetup.com for almost 6 years ("since November 20, 2004" says my Meetup profile, founding a Meetup group (the Pasadena Polyamory Meetup Group in 2004) back in the days when Meetup was so new they were giving group hosting away for free to get people on-board. And since then I've been active in Meetup groups from size 7 members to 3000 members, been a member of about 30 Meetup groups (presently in 20), gone to over 100 Meetup events and met probably over 1000 people in Meetup, made a complete profile listing my about ~200 interests (too many!) plus complete sub-profile for every group I'm in, been an Assistant Organizer in 1 group, am Co-Organizer in another, and founded 1 more group (the Unitarian Universalist YOUNG ADULTS! of US,CA,OC in 2009, a chapter of Unitarian Universalist YOUNG ADULTS! International which I also founded --one of the toughest groups ever to recruit for since it's about the "R" word ("religion") for a too-unknown "R" (UU -- "scary" stuff --NOT!)), and purchased 231-member Asian Friendsters in 2010.05, and then OC Perl on 2010.07.14.
- L5K4UG: And in this time I've typically-repeatedly seen dozens of problems hurting group spirit & success (as group leaders recklessly deleting members posts or throwing members out), all of which could have been avoided by just having everyone follow some basic ground-rules.
- L5K5UN: I'm also a US Military officer, and a formerly NCO (Non-commissioned officer) and worker-bee Enlisted (E4), plus
- L5K5UZ: most of my life, founded & ran my own businesses and
- L5K5XB: hired about 20 people and interviewed many more.
- L5K5IA: The US Military (I'm now an officer), and pretty much any real-world organization of significance, never puts someone in a leadership role without notable training plus typically proof that they can do it. However,
- L5K5GX: Meetup.com has almost no rules & training on management besides the most raw; yes it well tells how to set up a nice looking website, but that's about it.
- L5K6Y3: Meetup.com makes it very easy (too easy) for one to become Head Organizer of a group of people (typically strangers) and get almost instant members; and even easier to make several people Assistant Organizers of that group of people.
- L5K7AN: But you may think, but when problems come up, Meetup has rules, right? Not really.
- L5K7MF: So far (as of 2007.07) Meetup's Terms of Service & additional instructions seemingly cover
- L5K7XE: only the most extreme people problems (such as not slandering someone or physically stalking them, as "(d) shall not be defamatory, trade libelous, unlawfully threatening or unlawfully harassing;"),
- L5K7XT: not the common people problems as not deleting & touching other people's content and judging members fairly.
- L5K7N3: At first the lack of basic common rules came to me as a surprise & shock, but on thinking about it, it makes sense (at least initially):
- L5K6TW: Meetup's motive is probably what you'd guess & understandable:
- L5K74B: to get sign-ups in a highly-competitive market-space, especially since:
- L5K80J: the market is new, often unknown & untrusted and still unestablished (in other words, since Meetup doesn't have the presitgue of say the military, it would be very hard to say you must enroll in a multi-week hard "boot camp" before you qualify to pay us to be a group leader!)
- L5K74L: and since doing so is legal, as social websites are so new that standards & regulations (such as this document) are just developing.
- L2Q5LC: This document attempts to fix many of the problems in using (or from mis-using) Meetup.com --so help give Meetup.com support staff a deserved vacation!-- by laying out some standard guidelines & rules for a Meetup group and for using Meetup.
- L5KB2N: published publicly on http://LoveRules.Info (Loving rules so Love Rules(tm)), so
- L5KB5X: foremost everyone can freely & easily access it and reference it while
- L5KB6L: secondarily still paying (a tiny bit) towards its development thru embedded ads: please click & visit our advertiziers.
- L30S4D: And it comes from my 6 years of experience: every rule I've written is here because I've already seen one or more organizers-or-members violate it, typically costing hours of unnecessary problems.
- L5K8IN: First to smoothly run my own groups I headed, then then I started realizing, "Hey, this could also help everybody."
- L5K8MN: This document is for mostly Meetup organizers plus intermediate/advanced Meetup users. But it is also written for the beginner user, too, if s/he just takes the time to read it, and more:
- L2Q59U: It's first L2PGJI: For organizer/leaders of a Meetup group. As you've got to know this stuff even if your members don't. But the truth is most people are not ready to be a leader/organizer without some training. And L5K4VV: Meetup.com (and likely similar websites) takes mostly untrained leaders, literally anyone paying them ~$16/mo, and puts them in power (of ~10 to 4000K members!) with virtually no rules.
- L30QLA: But it's also for users (L2PGOG: Things for everyone to know & do on Meetup, starting with the most-urgent or least-obvious), to get the most out of Meetup and to help make the groups they pick a success. Meetup is huge & different and in certain areas not obvious, and this document guides the way, cutting down to what you really need to know & do.
- L30QPN: And the end of this document is also for intermediate (L2S524: Intermediate issues) -- the ones who want to do the more advanced stuff and perhaps also seek to improve Meetup to the next level.
- L5K8OU: In the big/eventual picture, it's for all Meetup users & Meetup curious: as the sooner you know & do the stuff contained in here, the sooner you save yourself significant time & frustration.
- L30Q86: This document helps Meetup groups run smoothly.
- L2Q5K8: --published guidelines & rules, keep everything consistent & fair & with no surprises (especially if published before any counter-action is taken),
- L5K8VF: Use of this document:
- L5K8WL: I require it for all groups where I am the Head Organizer; there it has been put to use & required:
- L2QA15: http://Meetup.com/AsianFriendster --put into effect 2010.05.21
- L2Q9S2: KRL2TU(UUYA!(Unitarian Universalist YOUNG ADULTS! Intl.)) --put into effect 2010.06.02 ("L3DIME")
- L2Q9R9: http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC --implicitly put into affect this is a chapter of KRL2TU(UUYA!(Unitarian Universalist YOUNG ADULTS! Intl.))
- L5K90D: http://Meetup.com/OCPERL --put into effect the day I took charge, 2010.07.14
- L2Q697: Moreover, the rules & guidelines for one group mostly well-apply to others, so, for the most part, it's best to write each rule & guideline once and share rules & guidelines among as many groups as possible.
- L30RPP: In fact, following this gives each participating group more credibility: a group using a set of rules such as this, especially one used by several groups, establishes a notably higher standard & deserved reputation for that that group (kind of like a business being a member of The Better Business Bureau).
- L30RUQ: A group following these standards can & does publish on its Home page & About page:
We're a proud follower & endorser of
Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com L2PFGY!
- L2Q9M6: Groups which already use this as their base rule set:
- L5KBBH: See the 4 groups already using it mentioned above.
- L30QXB: And more groups are welcome to start using it, too; and I will eventually start really promoting it to them.
So step-up and be one of the first to put on your group's Home & About page:
We're a proud follower & endorser of
Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com L2PFGY!
L2X00A: What's Meetup?
- L2WZT6: Meetup is cool & most everyone should join.
"& join Meetup with 70K local groups of every sort worldwide." says our group's business card (in Files).
- L2X4S4: Membership on Meetup (and most of its group) is free, quick, & easy.
- L2X01O: Meetup is a bit of a one-of-a-kind:
- L2X3CT: Instead of socializing online, it's socializing in-person!
- L2X0CT: In many ways, it's like "an instant local social life"; in fact you can move to new area and instantly (within weeks) build a local network of groups, activities, & possibly a few friends.
- L2X0VM: It's mostly & surprisingly free: both the groups & the events, and it will get you into a lot of places cheap or free when you'd otherwise have to pay.
- L2X10I: It will definitely get you out-of-the-house. In fact if you're living in an area for at least a few weeks, it's an impressive way to discover the local hot venues & events -- even if you grew up there! The "inside invites" are unlimited. And it can easily give you more fun local things to do than you possibly have time for.
- L2X0PS: As far as building friendships, I think it's a bit weak here: while it's easy get introductions to local people, and even become somewhat well known, the connections (at least initially) feel quite weak (there's a feeling of aloofness and a notable feeling of distrust) perhaps because in the back of one's mind is "Oh, that's just another Meetup person, there's endless and could be anyone". Other than strongly encouraging people to make good profiles & share them, I haven't spent much time on how to fix this, but it certainly deserves some serious thought.
- L2XOHA: As would be expected, generally the more focused the interests of the group, the more cohesive its members will be. So a group focused on a particular language (as Perl or Korean) can be somewhat bonding, but a group "focused" on general entertainment (as http://Meetup.com/Got-OC) probably won't be.
- L2X5BD: While Meetup has occasional Google ads, this does not seem to be where Meetup makes it's money. Instead Meetup charges each group's Head Organizer $12 to $20/mo (for 1 to 3 groups) to host the local group website (with several power features) plus advertise the group to the many Meetup members. And while one could technically use Meetup to host an online group or mailing list, Meetup has the organizer promise that the point of the group is in-person meetings, and that's what actually happens.
- L2XO1F: Meetup is focused on doing community group activities:
- L2WZNZ: No, Meetup is not "Hookup" - it's not a dating site -- please read the name as a child would: it's for local people to Meet-up!. Indeed from below it's top two interests are "Social Networking(9007)" & "Friends(5849)"; but since dating is so popular it's 3rd interest is "Singles(4666)", still I would guess that only about 15% of groups are dedicated to dating.
- L2XO5S: Most any interest is there: Group creators create the interests, so if someone anywhere in the world has created a Meetup group covering your interest, your interest is listed and your listing that interest on your local profile could lead to the creation of a group in your area --pretty cool stuff! Specifically, a core brilliant idea of Meetup: Meetup periodically emails every user telling them which of his/her interests are popular but without a group in their area, typically leading one of them to start a Meetup group for it --very clever & good!
- L2XPP2: There are thousands of interest topics
- L2XPPP: From my Interest list (yours would be somewhat different), top popular interests with over 400 groups Worldwide (# in ()) are: Social Networking(9007), Friends(5849), Singles(4666), New In Town(4656), Entrepreneur(4620), Night Life(3105), Adventurers(2203), Dance(1828), Newly Single(1747), Wine(1372), Make New Friends(1329), Web Technology(1167), Movie Fans(959), Dating and Relationships(958), Writers(702), Web Design (625), Libertarian(580), dating(520), Bicycling(514), Software Developers(488), Singles 30's-50's(431).
- L2XQFH: And there numerous other popular groups, as Metaphysics(2000 groups worldwide) and Sports(1431).
- L2XQPU: But you probably don't want to be just signed up for popular interests, as a lot of your best activities & connections will come from groups which have a more focused interests, for example (from my Interest list):
PHP with only 204 groups world-wide, but where I've gotten some excellent web programming advice and it's easy to build connections; and
Polyamory with only 99 groups world-wide, but still being so unfortunately still uncommon, Meetup's world-wide group directory for Polayamory is the best I've found.
- L2WZG8: Meetup is like MySpace but instead in-person:
- L2X3C0: it's the leading social networking site where the focus is instead on meeting people (in person at fun events), notably not burning endless time online (chatting & updating your wall & endless apps). And if you just follow the money, it makes sense: MySpace & Facebook get their money if your face is plastered on their website so they hit you with ads; Meetup gets its money from individuals (like you me) paying Meetup a small monthly fee to get their members to show up to events.
- L2X3FA: The focus is on being in your being groups and your attending events, the other people are secondary (in my opinion, too much so).
- L2X3OR: It has some good points: where as you can spend hours or days to days to set up your Facebook or MySpace profile to keep up with the Jones, your Meetup profile is easy & takes only about 5 minutes to create.
- L2X3J5: There is no people-search! So you can't search for people by their name, location, interests, etc. The best you can do is just scroll thru the list of who attending your event or your group, and what groups is he/she on.
- L2X3YJ: The focus is on the profile of the person within a particular group they're in. A person's main profile is a bit tricky to get into, has very little info (just a few line bio, often empty), and DOESN'T tell tell what the person's been up to (you have to look at their profile within each of their groups, a time-consuming process).
- L2X3VH: In fact the Buddy/Friends feature is being removed --I guess instead it points you to the person's Facebook or LinkedIn page.
- L2X0HS: It's like a paid & more advanced version of Yahoo Groups with support (and only support) for local-based groups:
- L2X082: An individual can search for nearby groups & upcoming activities matching their interests.
- L2X0AE: New groups get automatically announced to local members having matching interests (so if you specify your interests, you'll get notified if groups appear matching them, even if there are none now).
- L2X0IX: It shares some of basic features of an email marketing site like MailChimp, but with a complete localized group website as well
- L2X1PG: It's worldwide, but especially strong in the US, seemingly especially in NY & LA.
- L2X2DI: Demographics. It seems to be popular by most races (especially whites & Asians), mostly college grads, low & medium income, ages about 25 to 60 with the largest group about age 40. My guess is it's not so popular with college grads & younger because they, being in school, are already "meeting-up" everyday and through those meetings hear what events are happening, plus the schools already organize tons of clubs on their own.
- L3DHF9: The introduction from KRL2TU(UUYA!(Unitarian Universalist YOUNG ADULTS! Intl.)) moved to here (and to be integrated in):
- L3DI42: MEETUP.COM, the leading local-group web-hosting service, operating world-wide, and outperforming Yahoo Groups, Facebook Groups, eVite,... seeming everything. Meetup's like MySpace but IN-PERSON (face-to-face, what a "concept"! Meetup's goal is to MEET-UP!). And UNLIKE Facebook, Meetup respects your privacy (use a pseudonym or just first name), essential to protect your freedom of speech so your personal life doesn't permanently get onto your business resume and you can safely speak your mind, participate in controversial groups, and more.
- L3DI4H: Meetup is worth switching to from other services; any doubts, ask DestinyArchitect (Meetup user since 2004).
- L3DI4O: Just follow-the-money:
- L3DI53: Facebook (& MySpace) make all their money by keeping you plastered to your computer screen. The more minutes you spend, the more ad exposures, the more money they make; and with it's addictive web apps, Facebook has gotten outstanding at this - did you know Facebook was banned by the Italian government because it was keeping employees from working!).
- L3DI5B: In marked contrast, Meetup makes money from organizers paying them to have their members MEET-UP (meet in person). In fact Meetup group create requires on page 1 that every organizer to check “I pledge to create real, face-to-face community”. The MEETINGs are what it's all about; the web profiles take 5 minutes (though I'd hope folks would spend a little longer). And Meetup charges small but real money for setting up in-person meetings (when a web site can be hosted for $5/mo or less, and many group message boards & calendaring can had for free (as pre-existing Yahoo Groups), Meetup charges $12 to $19/mo to the ordinary joe-shomoe) so Meetup has got do deliver. Yes Meetup has also some occasional Google ads, but very much on the side: in 5 years, I've never even read them. And Meetup charges for membership nothing. So Meetup apparently makes basic its money when the organizers are pleased (notably because they achieved this “real, face-to-face community”) so continue paying ~$15/mo; and Meetup makes money when their members are so impressed by what Meetup has delivered to their groups, and the in-person life it has brought them that members, too, decide to become organizers (as I have) and pay Meetup a real $15/mo. So in short, in marked contrast, Meetup apparently makes it's money because, just like it claims to, it actually does get people to meet-up, making a “real, face-to-face community”.
- L3DI5O: So, Do you want to spend your new life in front of “face-book”, or perhaps lost in outer “my-space”,
or do you want actually want to “meet-up”?! - Just by the very names of the services, the choice should be obvious!
- L3DI63: And the group management & sharing functions are better, too: for instance see Meetup vs. Facebook Groups written by an administrator of both.
- L3DI7G: And most events are free or quite inexpensive (if they are like typical Meetup.com events).
- L5VNAQ: Who likes-at-first talk about rules you need to follow? Generally nobody!
- L5VNXL: Who likes it when first being told "but there are rules" - Nobody. That won't attract members, especially when you're just getting started.
- L5VNIJ: Indeed, perhaps even more than the member doesn't want to hear it, the usual (non-bully) organizer/leader also doesn't want to at first say "Now here's a bunch of rules for you", nor want to be the one to enforce them and maybe punish members or throw them out.
- L5VO2F: And Meetup.com, at least at first, seemingly doesn't want to be telling Head Organizers "Hey you've also got to have a set of rules" as that's probably complicated (a notable barrier to him/her becoming a Head Organizer)
- L5VOEK: especially when Meetup is opening up their business in a competitive new marketplace (competing against established services as Yahoo Groups, which are also free!) and
- L5VOGG: Meetup is getting paid by each Head Organizer they get and NOT by the success of the Head Organizer's group (by the # of events and size of the group) except just that it stays alive. Indeed more Head Organizers who are not so successful actually makes Meetup considerably more money than a fewer building and joining & which are big & quite successful.
- L5VOJN: Rules & guidelines, plus their enforcement & judging, is complicated (indeed why we have lawyers & judges & police & military & much government), including readily custom to each group (if done well), and well beyond what the Meetup software has been scoped-out to do.
- L5VOP3: Meetup is supposed to be fun & primarily social, so "Let's not have rules there, too! Don't we already have too many??"
- L5VOZ6: And, hey, the other free services don't have many/any operation rules.
- L5VOUD: Plus Meetup has most everything else (great looking, easy group websites, now millions of members, thousands of interests, tens of thousands of groups), so the lack of rules probably won't be noticed, almost certainly not until a group grows bigger and the lack of rules becomes a problem.
- L5VOT2: So the result: No operation rules!
- L5VP38: (except for the basic Terms of Service, but these being only the most minimal rules, mostly only saying No to extreme things as posting of copyright content, slander, or child porn --things which Meetup themselves would be held legally accountable for if they didn't require)
- L5VPE1: Fortunately thanks to external laws of the civil society in which it exists, it generally doesn't digress into anarchy and wrongful violence. But it does...
- L5VJRL: As
- L5VQJL: Who can really trust a relationship when people (or at least the data on them) can just disappear, or they can do do wrong things (at least online, as delete & remove) and not even be seen for doing them? Probably no one could.
- L5VQW3: Else who could afford the time & effort to do all the necessary protection from this (as copy your content, and theirs) in case they did? As wrongdoers can so easily erase their tracks on Meetup.(as they easily erase tracks) so to prove what they did? Pretty much no one could
- L5VQOG: And even if one did, there's no rules to hold them accountable. After all, by Meetup's rules, it's perfectly okay for an Assistant or Head Organizer to delete whatever content they want or remove/ban someone on a whim, and without warning, notice, or reason, and this is typical. Just to name a few woes.
- So the only option is very sadly just "not really care" about things on Meetup: generally expect not to take anything/one seriously on Meetup, and rarely put any serious investment, which is exactly what happens: for nearly everyone, Meetup becomes just a big toy. Because it tragically doesn't have what it takes to really build something serious on.
L5L8WF: “L2ZOUX: Protect content & membership from every possibly-negative change.” --read this link
- L5M6M5: not doing this is very serious & wide-spread: most leaders fail here (reckless handling of content & member roles) plus about 10% of members fail here (as by quitting w/o warning and/or explanation)
- L5M6ML: -Not doing literally is what typically kills small groups (they get forever deleted) simply because members join but never speak up, so the leaders don't know what to do.
- see L5K4VV: Meetup.com (and likely similar websites) takes mostly untrained leaders, literally anyone paying them ~$16/mo, and puts them in power (of ~10 to 4000K members!) with virtually no rules.
- L5VL68: Why is this first before everything? In short, it's fix what's seriously broke before you build onto it. It's because Meetup has already got millions of users - certainly among those people there is already amazing talent.
- L5LB78: The young adults (around 18 to 35) do NOT appear to be on Meetup.com, and those younger appear non-existent.
- L5LBDB: Instead the crowd (indeed several times more, especially those notably absent) appear to be on Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites.
- L5MDKM: And one very key and industry standard to way to do this and more (plus essentially free - just some policy changes and smaller software adjustments) is my very next point: “L5M892: Allow Head Organizers (and those they delegate) to add members (email addresses and Meetup users) to their group, including completing profile info, with corrections if abused.”
- L5M9UP: In other words, be like most all other mail-marketing companies:
- L5M8BV: This is what Yahoo Groups has always done and it is what every mail-marketing company does (for instance, http://MailChimp.com/features/compare) without even having to advertise so, and for excellent reason:
- L5M8MV: Of the people I meet who are interested in the groups I run, ~90% WOULD give me an email so I could put them on our mailing list but only about 2% are willing to join Meetup and actually follow thru (only if I keep after them, usually via phone or in person). As most everyone says essentially “I'm on Facebook (or MySpace or something else). So why would I want to join Meetup? Facebook takes up too much time already. I definitely don't want more email. Plus it sounds like some hookup site. So no way!”; and, after that first negative impression where "they have to join something, especially another web social networking site" typically nothing I can do will persuade them). In other words, people are willing to give me an email and answer a few questions right there, but if they have to go to some website and especially if they have to join something, most especially something even remotely like Facebook, forget it they tell me. So clearly
L5M90W: combined with desperate need to L5LB32: Get more members, especially those under ~35., clearly a reason to NOT host (else primarily host) group sites on Meetup. at least for people under this age and easily just in general.
L5LAQV: Provide safe-checks, reporting, and/or versioning (like MediaWiki) to “L2ZOUX: Protect content & membership from every possibly-negative change.”
- L5LAXV: L30NQQ: I've had considerable experience on Meetup.com; and from all my experience, an urgently needed feature is protecting content from accidental & especially wrongful permanent deletion and membership from being wrongfully banned, blocked, removed, or leaving (including there becomes no record the person was ever a member!).
- L5LCIKCurrently L2RF9J: On Meetup posts/content & group-membership & communications, including yours, are typically at-high-risk of mistaken & wrongful deletion & editing & banning & blocking, especially by organizers and by other organizers, and without any warning.
- L6LGXS:Lack of protection from wrongful user changes then become the main motivator for requesting ways to backup Meetup content.
- L6LGDB: Meetup makes it way too easy to recklessly do these destructive operations, notably content deletion and membership ending. And the lack of content protection Meetup provides, especially from a combination of these fairly bad things, from most to least serious:
- L6LGF0: Meetup software doesn't keep prior versions of content, most notably MediaWiki (used for Wikipedia collaboration, indeed w/o which Wikipedia would not be possible). This is unfortunately hard to fix (would require a near full rewrite of the core database, and a fairly sharp software architect).
- L6LH7K: Meetup's Terms-Of-Service don't prohibit any negative content change except for the clearly illegal (slander, child porn, etc). Now I see this may be a good thing (to always give the group the maximum possible freedom) BUT I think it is massively incomplete unless Meetup also “L5VL3B: Strongly encourage groups to adopt and follow a standard comprehensive set of rules & guidelines (as this doc!) giving suggestions (as this doc!)”. In comparison, Wikipedia has numerous rules of what makes good content, a leading reason why it's so good.
- L6LGDR: Destructive operations are done instantly by anyone with the authority to request it with no way to require confirmation from someone else (such as the next person higher in the command chain),
- L6LGEQ: when a user is no longer with the group (for whatever reason), the user's group profile disappears from everyone even the user, his/her membership disappears from all lists, and while his/her posts and attendance references remain they are linked to an unspecified "former member" with no photo.
- L6LGE8: Destructive operations never require a reason nor cannot be required to require one (for instance, I would like to see the Meetup-enforced option that "You cannot join this group unless you promise to give a truthful reason if ever you leave it.")
- L6LGF5: (rare but still possibly putting one of my sites at risk in the near future): protection from wrongful data deletion due to somebody's claim(s) of inappropriate content: possibly beyond what the web host could be reasonably expected to determine (say if an intellectual property matter), the claim(s) could be wrong and/or could easily trigger deletion of appropriate content maybe massively (say if an entire site were deleted due to one thing appearing wrong, as a trademark). But it's not clear Meetup assures protection here. This I will cover in the referenced thread.
- L6LGE0: Destructive operations rarely say who did it (it often could have been any organizer, you have no idea who).
- L6LGEK: Small point: Except for membership-ending, Destructive operations do not ask the reason (unlike MediaWiki, which asks for a comment for every change, and generally is provided one)
- L5V4M3: Fixes include (--this section to be rewritten & probably integrated into the prior one):
- L6LI5Y: Those implied by the above weakness list.
- L5V4MZ: Make every change undoable via versioning.
- L5V4ZS: The underlying mechanism of famous Wikipedia, this is what MediaWiki does (except for the deletion of a page - that takes admin action to undo).
L5V50D: This is very hard to implement - would take considerable software architecture talent to design, but has the greatest long-term benefits.
- L5V4S0: Have deletions, blocks, ignores, leaving/removing/banning especially w/o explanation, and deleting-changes logged in the activity trail of the group(s) plus persons doing it & affected it, and make these logs public.
- L5V59E: As a refinement, "keep score": tally these wrongdoings (vs. right-doings) similar to an eBay feedback ratings which is part of a person's profile and public.
- L5V514: This is not trivial but relatively easy to implement. And
- L5V53W:Would probably make great improvements towards exposing & deterring the wrongdoers & wrongs as:
- L5V5HG: It seems the best rules & guidelines alone don't stop people from doing things if there is some motivation. But once people know that their bads are being tracked and especially tallied & shared/published, it seems that stops most people from doing them, but probably not until that point.@@
- L5M7G4: This naturally follows according to L2ZZ29: communicate via web pages and NOT via messages.
- L5LCCJ: The amount of email Meetup sends
- L5M7I7: is in violation of this principle so of course,
- L8CZ2M: is enormous, a major turn-off members and prospective members have complained about.
- L8CZ3K: How much email from firstname.lastname@example.org? For the week ending 2010.09.04 I received 188 emails and the groups I'm on was 26 so ~1 email per group per day which may not sound bad but it's not evenly distributed: some groups send a several per day and the rest maybe 1 per 2 weeks (or less) -- and the several-interruptions-per-day by Meetup, especially from one group, is where the real problem is: causes the occasional but critical messages from other groups & people to be lost, plus causes me to want to tune-out from all the Meetup email.
- L5M7HX: overloads the user, causing
- L5M7IW: The user not to want to be on Meetup or leaving Meetup.
- L5LCE5: Small groups messages are lost in all the noise of big groups, making it even harder for new groups to form.
- L5M7BL: NOT sending so much email & email content, but instead getting the user on the website for all Meetup reading
- L5LC7J: Simply fix this by as many of these 3 methods as possible:
- Safely moving to communicating on web pages by:
- L8D10G: First insure the content being sent is on the website (including being versioned as we may need to go back to prior versions (which email keeps) so do the prior need: L5LAQV: Provide safe-checks, reporting, and/or versioning (like MediaWiki) to “L2ZOUX: Protect content & membership from every possibly-negative change.”)
- L5LC8I: THEN cut the content from the email by sending only short email alerts (to check the website) and not-allow else avoid in email all but the simplest details (just very brief summary plus links to the site)
- L5LCEM: For instance, don't allow email lists, only discussion boards (ideally which version their content).
- L5M7TF:If most every email fits in an SMS message or tweet, then emails are the right size!
- L5LCA1: filtering alerts, as
- L5M7W5: "I don't want events more than X miles away" (VERY needed!, especially in sprawling neighborhoods as LA & Orange County),
- L5M7XL: maybe "I don't want events hosted by this person")
- L8D22A: Combining alerts (only say 3 emails per day per user profile (a max quantity settable by the user), regardless how many groups that profile belongs to) by delaying send them only x times per day (to minimize disruption) by:
- L8D2CT: Either:
- L8D24X: Send the messages individually but in succession so they all come together
- L5LC95: bundling messages into one big message
- L8D1YO: This has to be done with care as with a lot of content may take one a while to respond to and the receiver may need to check-off-else delete each thing dealt with to keep track of what's been done & read, or need to individually forward only certain items.
- L8D290: Ideally this group can be sorted (by say say group & user) making it easier to deal with.
- L8D2HN: Ideally posts that were subsequently deleted or replaced (by an updated version) need not be sent (further minimizing disruption & confusion).
- L5LCO6: Cut the monthly flat-fee. Instead, charge Head Organizers by usage, as $.05 per email sent out by the group.
- L5LCSE: So every event held in a group of m members, presuming 3 mass-emails per event, would cost 3*m*$.05.
- L5LCVJ: This big groups or groups with a lot of events pay more, whereas a small group or a group with few events pays very little. This is much fairer.
- L5LD06: Charging per email message sent also encourages group organizers to figure out ways to send less email, which is then good for everybody.
- L5LD4F: Use XHTML for all user content. Cut the BBCode.
- L5LCK1: Allow groups to run only their own ads on all their pages and keep all/most the $.
- L5LDBI: One key reason: if I pay good money for web hosting (and ~$16/mo is top dollar for web hosting, and just-reasonable for value-added hosting) then I expect to be able use it to run my own ads and only my ads. Having Meetup put ads on my pages, and me not, when I'm already paying good money for the hosting, feels mildly gouging on the part of Meetup -- yuck!
- L5LDAN: Similarly, Meetup should only collect ad revenue on their pages (on site-wide search pages & directories & support).
- L5M70L: Ensure events have End times, not just Start times.
- L5M717: IMHO, it's shocking that Meetup hasn't fixed this, given:
- L5M81I: Never delete a group (as when it's unpaid for 2 weeks).
- L5M83C: Instead when the group goes unpaid, Meetup keeps all ad revenue and events cannot be held.
L2WWLB: Meetup protects a user's privacy notably & maximally (even from Meetup itself!),one of its notable advantages over say Facebook
- L2WWFJ: Meetup internally typically does NOT have the legal name of its users, even organizers
- L2XWQL: a notable advantage as then even Meetup be at risk of wrongfully revealing who their members are because typically they don't exactly know.
- L2XWRB: even becoming a Head Organizer within Meetup need not compromise this great privacy protection because Meetup subscription can be paid by prepaid credit card.
- L2WX03: This is even a little better than MySpace (as MySpace internally does ask what a person's legal name is, though users can fill in whatever and typically do)
- L2WX2S: And it's a huge advantage over Facebook, what I call "The Big-Brother of social networking sites", as Facebook will suspend any user accounts without warning if they even suspect someone isn't using and publicly displaying their user name.
- L2WX8Q: Meetup allows a person to have multiple Meetup profiles (though I sense most people have just one). All you need to do is specify a different email address for each.
- L2WXCU: This allows to keep your have an additional profile(s) for controversial activities if you need one.
- L2WXBE: Like MySpace (allows this)
- L2WXEW: Unlike Facebook (doesn't allow this, so further exposing ones controversial activities).
- L2WXG0: Unlike Facebook and even MySpace,
Meetup asks the absolute minimal personal information on you (seemingly too little!), and every answer can be whatever you want (provided of course you're not trying to impersonate someone):
- L2WY31: email address (needed to communicate, & is confirmed to be good); each profile must have it's own email address, which is used to sign in to Meetup.
- L2WYQ6: A profile has only one email address, and prior addresses seem to be immediately forgotten (no history kept) providing even better security in the case you (as I did) first used a more revealing email address.
- L2WY3U: zip code (needed to find groups near you matching your interests)
- L2WY4W: display name (needed to name yourself, instead of just being a number); can be any value you want; and most people just use their first name, then allowing them to feel more comfortable joining controversial groups. Even organizers do not need to give their legal name to Meetup, and many/most don't.
- L2WY5K: photos (0 or more, as many as you want; needed so you can find each other at events), and about 90% of people put at least 1 representative photo (like Facebook; and unlike MySpace where many people use crazy photos on their profile)
- L2XV43: A textual bio & introduce-yourself-to-the-group, BUT these can be anything or blank, and typically are.
- L2XV0O: Not asked is everything else,
- L2XVAV: including common questions which might be useful, at least for anonymous membership demographic reports, such as: gender, year & perhaps month of birth, place of birth, highest level of education, income, marital status, etc.
- L2WXO9: Meetup keeps a person's email address & even zip code private from everyone -- even organizers can't see it.
- L2WXR4: This is similar to Facebook & MySpace but not quite so anally (so forcing you to also use their web messaging as well, and spend all your time on the site). Instead, for notably reply purposes, your email address will be revealed when you send a message to other member(s) only if you choose to do so for that message so then the conversation can proceed via normal email messages if you so choose. And most messages are sent this way, but it's never required.
- L2WYVE: For better or for worse, this also makes it reasonable hard if not impossible to move a group off of Meetup should you ever desire that: here's my real attempt at that.
- L2WZ0F: Unlike Yahoo Groups, even with your email address, an organizer can NOT add you to their group -- only you can add yourself.
- L2WZ20: Better-than-it-sounds Pro: Technically you can never get spammed via Meetup, even if you give an organizer your email address. You can only get on a list (a group) because you consciously & explicitly added yourself. (However in practice, that's another matter: unfortunately Meetup can still easily deluge you in email --a topic to be added to here soon.)
- L2WZ5T: Serious CON: It's VERY hard to hard a significant % of people "on your Meet event mailing list" who would otherwise be there:
- L2WZB3: People don't want to bother creating a new account just to get on your list.
- L2WZCH: People have correctly heard/experienced MySpace & Facebook burning up all one's time, so don't know else won't believe Meetup would be just the same (no matter how many times you tell them "it's about meeting people (in person at fun events), not spending time online").
- L2XW9W: It's impossible to search for user(s); all you can do is slowly scan the membership list of a particular group (which is always just local, and a person can have a different photo on each group!) and scan the people with a certain area waiting for a particular interest (example), and always a profile can have a generic name (like "Sue") and most do: Unlike social networking sites, it is impossible to search the Meetup user base; and it's impossible to search for a particular user even if you know his/her name or email.
- L2XWIF: Users can hide their groups & interest lists, though I discourage this and instead encourage a user to instead create an additional profile for his/her controversial activities.
- L3G5RM: The Meetup privacy writeup from KRL2TU(UUYA!(Unitarian Universalist YOUNG ADULTS! Intl.))#KS18JO moved to here (and to be integrated in)
- KS1A5K: User data privacy on Meetup.com is seemingly as good as it gets:
- KS18TK: Seemingly all user data entered by the Meetup.com user on him/herself can be changed at any time by him/her. Most notably, the user can freely change his/her name/handle, email address, pictures, location, etc. And seeming no history is kept of this data other than what users' keep by manually copying what was there (if they bother doing this, which they rarely do, other than naturally the user's name/handle which they naturally often remember & retype). Further the Meetup.com site does NOT use this data to refer to the user (such as using the user name to in a URL), so (unlike MySpace URLs) references to the user don't reveal this information and user all this user information can be freely changed without breaking references.
- KS1906: For each user, Meetup.com creates a unique, public non-identifying number, called say his/her user #, to identify him/her; plus notes the date when the user joined Meetup.com and the date when the user joined a group and the date when the user became a group Organizer. These cannot be changed, and are seemingly the only things which cannot be changed.
- KS1A7T: (Unlike Facebook), users are free to put as a name/handle whatever name they want (provided naturally it doesn't impersonate anyone). And about 95% do NOT include their full last name, which I think is a wise choice, as this it allows him/her to participate in controversial groups and generally freely speak his/her mind without that getting into his/her legal & business & governmental matters where legal name is used. Since the username will be the same on all your group profiles, it's better to select one more private (as a handle else just first name).
- KS1ANH: (Unlike Facebook and others), Meetup.com never asks for your legal identity, even internally, including never asks for your real name, exact address (only zip code), or phone number (except for the billing name and address on a credit card, but only the Head Organizer pays, and for with a Prepaid credit car you can put most anything); presumably it would ask you for your Paypal or similar identifier if you had to pay for an event via Meetup but so far (in 5 years) I've never had to do that.
- KS1AH3: Unlike MySpace and Facebook, it is apparently not possible to automatically search for users (other than to search for a user name within a particular group he/she is a member). In fact you can't automatically list what all events a user is attending (even if the user wants you to), and determining this is actually very hard. Nor can you automatically list all the users While enormously protecting the user's privacy, my intuition is that here Meetup goes overboard.
- L2REQM: Mostly everything you put just ON Meetup.com (and not send FROM Meetup) you can change later and you can add things at any time.
- L2Y1OH: This includes all signon & profile info (your email address, display name, photos, answers)
- L2Y1JK: A great feature.
- L3CJVJ: For when you make mistakes, want to update something, or you revealed/said something you wish you hadn't: it all can be fixed.
- L3CJW4: You can feel totally free to just come up with some quick answers (as for your display name and bio description email-for-meetup) then change it later when you have a better idea of what would be best.
- L3CJM5: A unique feature:
- L3CJPC: on many sites (as MySpace & even MediaWiki (used to make famous Wikipedia & many other wikis)) your username/display-name cannot be changed later (as it would break the link to your profile)
- L3CJPL: On some other sites, a record of your name & email addresses and other contact info is kept so once you've revealed something to the website (as your exact identity) they internally will forever have it even if you wish you hadn't told them.
- L2Y1PY: The only exceptions I can think of are:
- L3CJT7: Anything you send FROM the site (as the details of an event or some other email) is of course forever trapped in an recipient's email box.
- L3CL11: This includes everything sent to the group mailing lists (one of the reasons I recommend against having them for general member-member communication and instead use a Discussion board)
- L3CKIF: However for events Meetup suggests & makes it easy to create a change-alert email
- L3CKJX: Though a better solution (not suggested but easy to do with Meetup) is just to send short emails with only minimal essential & tantalizing details and instead get users (in the habbit) of coming to the website for the complete (and latest) details.
- L2RE1M: an event-listing/calendar-entry page has exceptions you may want to be aware of:
- L2ZKJF: until the event starts,
- L2RE5F: the page can be freely edited -- so it's a good idea to check it (even just before the event) for changes.
- L2ZKLO: You can RSVP to event, and 100% change your RSVP answers (except for unRSVPing)
- L2REEG: L2REEG= Once you RSVP to an event with any answer (and your RSVP is not removed by an Organizer), you can forever post Talk comments on the event (even after the event)
L5L2G3: Changed 2010.07.12: “Any member of your group can now "Talk about this meetup" before and after an event” announces Meetup.
- L5L30W: I'm glad. Makes things simpler:
*In case you want to talk (as ask Qs) before RSVPing (handy if the Event Host doesn't allow Maybe, which is unfortunately is now the default & popular).
* Plus if somehow you get removed from the RSVP -indeed that just happened to me today for an event: some organizer removed my RSVP (and "without" explaining! But I recall the event host posting something about RSVPs over the 80th she would delete, so that was probably why, but she/organizers not knowing of the rules of this doc, she/they deleted that explanation as well!). But still if I needed to (I don't here, but it could happen), thanks to Meetup I can still Talk!
- L2ZKOX: Your own Talk comments you can't edit later BUT you can delete them at any time, and repost them if you want.
- L2ZKSL: Every RSVP & Talk comment you post results in an email (alerting of it & containing a copy of what was posted) and the email goes to:
- L2ZKXZ: to the the Organizer notifying him/her of this (so realize they are alerted immediately),
- L2ZKYV: but unfortunately NOT to you the poster (so you must manually keep your own record of these if you care, especially if you change/delete them, or for when an organizer wrongfully deletes them w/o warning & backup, or -for just RSVPs- when Meetup automatically deletes them without warning when the event starts).
- L2RE6Y: but once the event starts,
- L2RE95: all of its initial content becomes frozen (everything but Talk posts & reviews & photos), including no more RSVP changes and no more changes to the event description (except the parts in the Talk Back). And an organizer must email support@Meetup.com to get something removed from it.
- L2RE7E: (annoyingly) RSVP comments forever disappear and are seemingly eventually replaced by each person's review of the event if s/he submits one.
- L2ZK4G: who attended & and the textual review from each Meetup lists on the event page. Here's how attendance is calculated:
- L2ZK6A: Every RSVP YES is by default considered to have attended.
- L2ZKD3: Every RSVP MAYBE I recall is is considered by default NOT to have attend;
- L2REGV: (since Meetup annoyingly doesn't note when the event ends,) about 1 hour after the event starts, Meetup emails every YES or MAYBE person asking for a review plus enables members to upload photos of the event.
- L3CK1Y: Your user ID number (used in URLs to your profiles) cannot be changed by (good) design, but this is unimportant, auto-generated, and mostly internal. \
L2PHDN: L2PHDN=Good User Profiles are The Standard, so keep up & excel!
- L2U9XT: As on most social websites, on Meetup good user profiles are the standard. However fortunately on Meetup making yourself a good user profile is VERY quick: taking only about 10 minutes (vs. hours on Facebook and sometimes days on MySpace since the artistic standards are exhaustingly high)), so since terribly easy on Meetup, just do it now and get it done with.
L2Q4C8: Though there may be exceptions, meeting all these profile criteria is required for leaders/organizers in all the groups I run, and is often & typically should-be required for members as well.
- L2PLPM: DON'T give info on Meetup which legally nor physically exactly identifies you
- L4W2NX: Including, except when sent privately to someone you trust,
- L4W2PG: DON'T give your legal last/family name on your profile (at most give your last/family name initial)
- L4W2Q1: Exception: if this profile is strictly used for your professional work and never your personal work, and you want people to know say the groups you're in, etc.
- L4W2TD: Don't give your exact physical address (zip code is fine as that still could be any of about 10K people).
- L4W363: Exception: you have an address (email or physical) or phone number for just business-use or for just this particular identity.
- L4W4DR: Realize phone number, email address, and physical address are frequently searched on Google and other search engines, so just giving any one of these pieces of information can then find all the other pieces and routinely are used this way (for instance, the business who asks just your phone # and pulls up all your other info)
- L4W4P8: I strongly recommend this.
- L4W4PR: This is typical on Meetup.
- L4W2VD: Why?
- L2UALU: This allows you to freely to get involved in controversial groups & subjects (especially those you don't foresee now) without worry that people will not find this about you unless you want them to.
- L2UARU: It keeps your personal life out of life with the government (police, public office, courts) and out of your career, as those are required to use and have your legal name.
- L4W34D: Most notably, your workplace, the law, government, collections, recruiters, investigative businesses, and others will not find your personal stuff (by just Google Search by your legal name) unless you want them to (by giving them the link/handle)
- L2UAOD: Choose a good display name.
- L2UAVA: You may also want to use a generic name, that lots of people have, as just "Toni". I haven't done this (I use a unique name "DestinyArchitect") but doing so is the norm on Meetup (and I may later regret I didn't do it). Why?
- L2UB6Y: This makes it hard for search engines & casual lookers to start noticing & gathering together all the various groups you're involved in (on Meetup and on other social networking sites).
- L2UBDB: This can be combined with putting a different (as disguised) photo of yourself as your main photo for your controversial groups, so casual observers, even from the other groups on Meetup, don't draw the connection. So say, if you want to be in the "Underwear fetish" group, you can kind of hide this fact. Casual browsers of membership & attendee listings won't spot the connection, will think "probably a different Toni".
- you may not see any need for this now but everyone eventually gets into controversial matters, so it's best to protect yourself from the start. But fortunately if you decide later Meetup easily allows you to change your name, however people will but by hat time know you by your prior name and will have likely posted about you under than name, and none of that can be changed automatically, so again it's best
- L2PH7F: Photo. The norm on Meetup is to have a representative photo of you, and may & probably should be required by your group. So members can find you at events plus know you, you typically must always have as your main group profile photo a representative head-shot and, if not clear from that photo, ideally also have elsewhere on your profile a representative body-shot else body description.
- L2PHAP: Your group profile questions must always be complete, and completed well.
- L2PLY7: DON'T make any aspect of your Meetup profile private/hidden=.
- L4W28J: As hiding your info has drawbacks:
- L2QM1U: is uncommon on Meetup, and for good reason:
- L2QM2A: is seemingly unnecessary as Meetup.com already gives you plenty of privacy by default (for instance, Meetup doesn't require you EVER to fill in your last name real name, and most people don't).
- L2QM4R: seems unfriendly & suspicious (what do you have to hide?)
- L2QM5U: works against people getting to know you and to learn from you, especially just as you might learn about them.
- L4W29W: There are better alternatives:
- L4W2BU: DON'T give info on Meetup which legally nor physically exactly identifies you so then you don't have to worry about revealing something compromising.
- L4W4UC: And more listed within Within Meetup, being involved in both normal & controversial groups where you want to keep them separate.
- L2Q4PP: right now please turn on “Email me when this Meetup Group's message board is updated” (it's tragically off by default) so when Discussion Board talk happens, you'll be alerted (and can also join in when it interests you)
- L2QM9V: it takes about 30 seconds: it's right there waiting for you to turn it on (or check that it is on) on (your group profile http://Meetup.com/MyGroupName/members/MyMemberNumber) then (“Edit email settings” http://Meetup.com/MyGroupName/settings), or just type in that last URL. For instance, to get to it look under “Message boards” under
- L2QMTB: http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/settings
- L2QMWA: http://Meetup.com/AsianFriendster/settings
- L2QMEV: Why? If you don't do this, organizers will be forced to use the group Email list to send you email and you DON'T want the email list -- it has MANY drawbacks for you & everyone:
- L2QMG1: You can get a ton more email, and a lot bigger emails. Instead of one email per day (max) for all your Meetup groups (letting you know which have new discussion posts), you will (by default) get everybody's discussion post and not just the summary but the full text -- you can easily be overloaded by some side-discussion.
- L2QML3: The messages will not be grouped by thread but mixed up, will not be formatted in nice HTML, and cannot be updated
- L2QMNP: So, like the Nike commercial, “Just do it!”
- L3G5XW: The Meetup profiles writeup from KRL2TU(UUYA!(Unitarian Universalist YOUNG ADULTS! Intl.))#KS18JO moved to here (and to be integrated in)
- KS1899: For each user User#, the Meetup.com site hosts multiple profiles (except if the user is not a member of any groups - then just one):
- KS19A0: All user profiles contain
- KS19MI: the user's name/handle (same on all profiles)
- KS1BC3: Again the group profile cannot have a custom username, so best to pick the most private username for general use
- KS19MR: a main picture (custom to each profile) plus all additional pictures for the user (same for all profiles)
- KS1B3X: While you can pick a custom picture for each group profile, the other pictures you have for yourself can be found if the reader looks at your main Meetup profile (a takes a tiny bit of knowledge of how & were to look - not an easy click)
- KS19MY: a friends lists (same for all profiles I think)
- a greetings lists (same for all profiles I think)
- KS19FU: The user profiles are of two sorts:
- KS1A06: a public "general/Meetup profile" for the user, which every user has, of the form http://Meetup.com/members/<User#>. This profile also contains:
- An extremely short bio entered by the user (sadly many users forget to enter & update it)
- The date the user joined Meetup.com.
- KS1A4M: And for each group the user is a member of, "a group profile" for the user, called say "your group profile", of the form http://Meetup.com/<GroupName>/members/<User#>. This is only public if the group's profiles are public, otherwise it can only be seen by the members of the group. This profile also contains:
- KS1AZZ: An "Introduction" also called (as I recall) "Why did you want to join this group?"
- KS1B0Z: A web page for yourself (again within this particular group)
- KS1B23: And 0 to 5 short-answer questions custom to the group (selected by the group Organizer(s))
- KS1BIE: The date the user joined the group and the date the user became an Organizer of the group (non-changeable)
- @@under construction
- L2SGDA: http://Meetup.com/help including Support@Meetup.com - they have the final say
- L2SGER: Within every group, the members in charge, as listed by the official titling fields of Meetup.com (detailed here). Meetup helps considerably with title-management within a group.
- L2U85B: Within every group, every person on Meetup has two types of titles which can generally only be set by the Head Organizer (so you can trust them) and which are displayed most everywhere that member is listed (so you can know them), including of course on the member's group profile. They are:
- L2U5OX: a formal Meetup title, which, listed from highest to lowest, is one of:
L35C3J: formal Meetup title (within the group) L35C3Y: how many members hold this title L35C6U: official Meetup description quoted from http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/manage/roles (should be the same for every group): L35C6H: additional details L2SG5R: (Head) Organizer=
Exactly 1, or 0 but then the group enters limbo for 2 weeks then is forever deleted The Organizer has full control over the Meetup Group, including the ability to manage the group calendar and site settings, all member communication, and everything related to money collection. Learn more means and really should be called "Head Organizer" --it's not just an "Organizer", it's the top-one. This is also the person paying Meetup to host the group. L2SG6L: Co-Organizer=
any number (0 or more) [The>Every] Co-Organizer can do everything the Organizer can do, with the exception of receiving online payments. Learn more L2SG7A: Assistant Organizer=
any number (0 or more) [The>Every] Assistant Organizer can manage the group calendar and all member communication, but isn't able to manage most site settings or any money collection. Learn more L35CI0: Event Organizer=
any number (0 or more) [The>Every] Event Organizer has limited control over the Meetup Group, but has full control over the group calendar and can email members. Learn more L2SGCO: Just-Member=
any number (0 or more) none listed (but should be), probably incorrectly assuming all know what a member is & can do L35D9W: See details below on a member's capability L35EE7: General Non-member=
the title of everyone else L35EIW: This is the status of everyone (before they've joined the group) or (after they're out of the group for anything other than banning). L35EFN: Banned Member=
any number (0 or more) who naturally must have held the title of member or higher L35EHH: A person can only be banned under certain strict rules detailed in this document.
- L35CUX: capabilities of a member. Every group member (but not the general public):
- L35CX0: Can see most every group page which is not public (potentially most everything if the group is marked private)
- L35CYS: by default gets alerts & messages from the group (as of events & discussions).
- L35D0F: Can see the emails & phone #s given on every event page in "How do we find everyone".
- L35D7Q: Can RSVP to events & post to the group.
- L2SG9E: an additional informal textual title. Unlike the formal Meetup title, this field is only interpreted by humans (Meetup doesn't do anything with it other than record & display it). It is unfortunately frequently not used but is very helpful, and can be used for for a combination of:
- L2U6MV: Giving special typical group titles which are outside of Meetup, as "Treasurer" or "Secretary" --what apparently this field initially designed for.
- L2U6OR: Getting Meetup to display next to each member (in most listings) additional information about the member which is very useful, such as what city s/he from (useful & friendly in general and especially for attendees to do carpooling) plus the date the member joined plus is he she "an attendee" or "a regular attendee" plus what related groups is s/he involved in and titles there. I've done this for all my members on the group I've started: see http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/members
- L2U86Y: Within every Meetup event listing, 1 or more group members are designated as the event organizer(s), specified near the top of the listing.
- L2U8CW: By default the event organizers are RSVP'd YES and usually do attend, but be aware they can also RSVP NO in which case they need to have then designated on that event page alternate attendees to be the coordinator during the event.
- L2U6ZI: Do NOT trust title designations listed in other locations unless it's a secure communication from an official on the matter. For instance, if someone lists in the profile bio OR question-answers "I'm the treasurer" don't trust that and tell them to get that on the title. And if someone tells/emails you saying "I'm the organizer" (or any other given title, including the "the treasurer") verify that by checking his/her Meetup profile to see that it's listed in at least one of these 2 official title fields above. However if the event organizer posts on the event (in say a Talk comment) “In case I'm not at the event, in charge will be Toni http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/members/12097116” then that's an official designation as (unlike in an email message) one can't post on Meetup (and most websites) as a some user unless you have his/her password.
- L3BQQ5: Even if you're "just" a member, you have an expected job, too: to be a good member, and, for starters, this document gives you plenty of rules & guidelines about what being that good member is about.
- L3BSO3: L3BSO3=L3BSO3= For all leaders (and desirable for just-members, too), as one's final step before you assume a title/job within the organization, you must announce & sign before everyone a pledge:
- L3BR0I: On a public discussion thread of the organization titled say “the recruiting, pledge, and welcoming & farewell of every group organizer/leader”,
- L3BV4D: which is is "pinned" so it will will be always listed the top of the discussion lists
- L8T8S9: there one posts:
- L3BU7Q: this pledge completed accordingly
- L3BU4B: In general, all changes in position/title (coming, going, altering) must be posted on this thread by the person who's title is changed, else by his/her superior(s).
- L3BUVH: A title/job change post is ended with further comments as welcoming or farewell words and ideally telling "why the change" and "what the expected consequences will be".
- L3BTOZ: Once posted, as a signature, the pledge or other title/job change is never to be removed nor altered where truth could be denied, repudiated, or forgotten; and helping insure this, a copy of the thread is saved after each title/job change.
- L3CFGZ: After the announcement, members & public are welcome & encouraged to post constructive comments.
- L4X61O: For real examples of this practice & ceremony,
- L3BUPQ: Our 1st is http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/messages/boards/thread/9198142
- L4X629: Our 2nd is http://Meetup.com/AsianFriendster/messages/boards/thread/9360694 .
- L8T9LQ: Some history of this pledge process --only for those interested
- L8T9MW: The real examples listed above show some early history of the pledge.
- L8T9PF: In the original pledge, the introduction and these instructions & pledge were copied onto the thread as a template.
- L8TA43: the 1st completion of this pledge by someone other than me it's author: this went fairly smoothly, though I do note it would have probably been difficult had I not been on the phone with the doer while he was doing it. While my instructions are pretty clear, my guess is it's too new for people (especially volunteers) and somewhat so one will have to step them thru it on the phone or in person.
- L8TAD5: 2010.09.15: I've done quite a few updates to improve & strengthen the text & process, including:
- L8T9QC: I no longer put a copy of these instructions and the pledge template on the organization's thread; instead that thread directs the reader & especially incoming leader to go to this source to get the latest version
- L8T9TF: This means less duplication & considerably easier updates (the copies don't need to be updated because there aren't any)
- L8T9UL: Prior versions versions should be publicly available (so one could insure later that at the time the person signed to what was the current version) and this will be supported in a later version of the host of this document, http://LoveRules.Info
- L8T9Z1: The pledge now itemizes (in a nested list) the things being promised to to make that promise stronger & more obvious.
- L8TA0A: I've added as the first detail being promised to “[*]I promise to reply & respond fully & timely to messages & issues regarding my organization & group; and ”
- One might think this would be an obvious expectation for any job/title/role (as operations generally break down if this (communication) fails), but:
- L8TAFO: It painfully & increasingly wasn't done by the 1st completion of this pledge by someone other than me it's author where it became a serious problem especially in his 2nd event.
- L8TAH9: It was also a problem (though only intermittently) with the next new incoming leader (also in this 2nd event) - many messages went un-replied, not catastrophic but problematic.
- L8TAOH: Indeed with caller ID, spam, and such, it seems an increasing trend for people thinking it's okay to just blow off messages.
- L8TAQ8: Hopefully this overt explicit promise will help correct it- we will see.
- L8TAU5: I added the general source of expectations (“of those I organize, oversee, & lead and especially of (my governing documents (laws/rules/guidelines) and the people in charge)”) - while this might be assumed, I think it's worth stating.
- L8TB7M: I added “[*]my organization & group's summarized self-description, including its website(s)' Home page (including, on Meetup groups, “read more about this group”) and About page, all which I have completely read today, and” --yes, this is significant standard docs which a leader/organizer should know at least at the time of joining
- L8TBWK: I added BBCode formatting including for the example values to make formatting easy on Meetup's threads; note this would be in the way for other thread systems (as pure HTML) when that comes to pass.
- L8TC0G: Added this history section.
- L8TBZR: Other small improvements.
L2PJSX: above all: Communicate!, and Communicate as best you can! --this is essential
- L2YFCU: You want organizers to put on good events? You want to see neat places you like? You want to meet & become friends with & build relationships with people who interest you and you care about?
Well NONE of this happens without good & regular communication!!!
L4O0F9: Follow (Speak-up! —a Guide to Great Communication)L4NX0J
L2PHZC: A person's RSVP comment and event review is his/her personal space to say candidly what s/he feels, so respect that!
- L5LADI: In the RSVP comment, it's personal space to say how much s/he and guests will attend and candidly why or why not, as much detail as possible. And in the event review, it's naturally to say what the attendee liked and didn't like. A person needs to feel free to say what they feel, especially because these comments are public. So long as as it meets the comment criteria, a person cannot and will not be faulted for any negativity put there --Without this special protection, users cannot feel fully comfortable to give essential RSVP feedback needed so events & the group can be improved. Indeed statements here of what the person truly sees as wrong is not "being negative" but rather being brave & strong -- saying what's often desperately needed to be said in order to get things fixed, and the person should be THANKED for publicly having the guts to speak up about it.
- L2YDG9: This shows participation (essential to get small groups going) plus tells organizers the essential feedback of what groups to plan.
- L4O13M: Don't expect the leaders to do all the communication; the leaders are directed by the members: so communicate back more rather than less.
- L2YFZB: Be different: speak up! And then, especially if no one else did, get the events & group made to fit you!
- L5L9PU: Put your feedback in the proper place
- L2YDZ4: If you get an email with "YES, NO, MAYBE" buttons, click the appropriate button (which sends you to the website with that answer) then on that event page click "change your answer" and pick and leave the same YES/NO/MAYBE but fill in the comment field.
- L2YDCS: RSVP YES/NO/MAYBE, and ideally (especially for small groups) give a detailed comment telling How much & especially Why that choice.
- L5L9RK: Unless this is not the proper place, put your feedback where everyone will see it. Unless appropriate, don't send a private message - say post it on the Talk link, or on a discussion, or use a public greeting. Not only may it help others but (especially for small groups) almost no one wants to do anything unless they see others participating.
- L2YDIO: The smaller the group, the more your feedback, especially public feedback, is critical. When count of people in group is say:
- L2YDOB: 2 to 100: you should do this for their every event, especially if it's not one you'd attend.
- L2YDOT: 100 to 1000: you should do this for their every event which you take any time reading the description of.
- L2YDUD: over 1000: you should do this for their every event where you carefully read the description.
L2ZJBL: For an event NOT advertised elsewhere, table of typical vs. desired success (percent/ratio attending/msgs, RSVPs, etc) --under construction
Typical (for seemingly all group sizes) Desired (for group size 2 to 100) L2ZJOZ: # of people attending divided-by the # of individual messages sent (1 email sent to x people counts as x, not 1) L2ZJN4: % members RSVPing ~3 to 8% L2S3P8: >80% L2ZJNL: of members RSVPing, % YES or MAYBE L2ZJO9: of members RSVPing, % leaving an RSVP text comment L2ZJOL: of members RSVPing YES, % not showing ? <10% L2ZJMR: % showing up with no RSVP if it's possible to do so 30 to 60% L2S3S8:
- L2S3C0: For a typical successful Meetup group which is public & trivial to join (example: http://Meetup.com/Got-OC), as a quick guesstimate (not computed) by what I've seen, typically
- (only) about of members will RSVP,
- L2S3Q7: about 80% of these will be YES or MAYBE (very very few bother to RSVP NO if they are not coming)
- L2S3WO: Unfortunately most will RSVP without leaving any text comment (this is bad but unfortunately even Meetup strongly encourages this by sending out event reminders which don't even ask).
- possibly will show up with no RSVP if it's possible to do so.
- to be continued
L2YG4U: Bookmark http://Meetup.com and somewhere between once-a-day to once-a-week, go there and RSVP for upcoming events & reply to discussions.
- L2YVCT: This is less notably less disruptive than Meetup's event emails (for every event announcement, change, & reminder!) plus you can comprehensively overview & plan your outing time.
- L2YX38: It's easy to overlook/miss these in enormous amount amount of automatic email everyone gets these days from mailing lists & spam, including unfortunately Meetup's high amount of automatically-generated event emails.
- L2YX5X: They are emails with subject containing "Meetup Message from" (search for that including the quotes).
- L2YX6R: They are generated when a Meetup user clicks on one of your Meetup profile's "Send Email" link (such Send email as on profile Desiree), and are only being sent to just you from a real human (and a fellow Meetup user) so would be very unfortunate if they got mixed in with the spam & low-priority email.
L2YVM1: Make you have a good user profile (for each group) which, every few months, you update.
- L5MFQN: I've rarely seen problems with this on Meetup, so why I'm listing it last. This is pobably because these policies are so open, only avoiding the extremes which most everyone would do anyway.
- L5MFRX: Here they are:
- L2Q7BR: http://Meetup.com/terms (Terms of Service) under “5.3 Grounds for Removal, Sanction and/or Suspension.”.
- L2Q7EJ: 1 or 2 more to be listed, but all I've seen are very general.
- L2Q875: This seems to be a huge problem for a lot of people. Don't let you be one of those people!
L2Q8FC: From UU's principle #1, see the notable inherent worth & dignity of every person.
- L2SGJU: The most important thing is you have Appropriate trust of Meetup profiles (detailed there). However, for further details (explaining why):
- L2SCDV: A mostly good-thing if you know how to deal with it: Like a mild taste of MySpace, most everything on a Meetup profile, even potentially on a paying organizer's profile, can be made-up/fake (and occasionally is): this includes the name, location, photos, interests, and self-answers to the bios & profile questions; but NOT the PROFILE's groups & titles & join dates -- these can't be forged (the the groups the PROFILE is joined an the title in those groups (as Assistant/Co/Head Organizer) plus the join dates). And a person can have multiple separate profiles (and occasionally does). --this section under construction
- L2SAQS: In my 6 years of being on Meetup, never verifies -- and understandably (it would be a huge & controversial job) and overall I think their NOT doing this is a very good thing PROVIDED a person knows how to operate in this kind of SEEMINGLY crazy environment.
- L2SBLW: Unlike MySpace, on Meetup it seems fairly rare that any info on a person's profile is deliberately incorrect: interests, names, & photos, & answers are generally fairly accurate (though occasionally the photos are a bit younger than the real person). However it is often very incomplete in the info it provides on that person.
- L2SBWX: On Meetup, while rare, profiles are occasionally invented. But seemingly unlike ....
- L2SBL0: to be continued
- L2U2JK: Safely & Efficiently meet other Meetup members for carpooling, dating, and all other non-Meetup event meetings= --TO BE CONTINUED
- L2U2MZ: For everyone's safety, do for yourself and encourage those you're meeting to do Appropriate trust of Meetup profiles :
- L2U2PP: Up until you actually meet in person, with limited exceptions
- L2U2RL: You do NOT and ideally shouldn't give out your real name
L5VIJ4: This is due first due to Meetup having weak but typical Web 2.0 software (as which doesn't version content) and second to Meetup having a lack of rules (as L2PGK2: Before any action (human directive)); so first responsible is Meetup.com and second is its users.
- L5VIUE: Why will become obvious next, when we have a closer look at the problem.
L2RF9J: On Meetup, ones posts/content & group-membership & communications are typically at-high-risk of wrongful deletion & editing & banning & blocking, especially by organizers including other organizers, and typically without any warning, alert, reason, nor even saying who did it: routinely one's stuff just permanently disappears!
L5V5P1:Comparison table: Negative act target vs. Safeguard: When someone does a potentially negative act (deletes, changes, bans/blocks) on a target, what (almost non-existent) protection the Meetup software offers and how users typically respond to it, vs. say L2PGK2: Before any action (human directive)
L5V7I6:\ Negative act target --> (right)
L2PGK2: Before any action (human directive) -not standard on Meetup yet
L5V7E8: Overall on Meetup.com (for any target) L5V61I:a profile (person) from another person (blocking/ignoring) L5V64E: a profile (person) from a group (quitting/removing/banning) L5V65T: a discussion or talk post (deleting/changing) L5V6VH: an RSVP response (changing/deleting) L5V672: an event (changing/deleting) L5V7K6: Overall: any (of the 9) safeguards against possible negative acts L5VB5G:about 7 of 9 safeguards L5V8W5: 1 of 9, thus content & membership-status is in serious danger of wrongful change/deletion and routinely just silently disappears L5V9D6: No safeguards what-so-ever. L5V9EA: Only 1.0 of 9: Only after-the-fact notice, and just to the effected person or organizers (secret), and while reason is requested, wrongful is typical and then never a reason is given. L5V9IG: Only .7 of 9 - as noted below L5VDRW:
Only 1.1 of 9
2.3 of 9 (Meetup's
best target protection) as detailed below
Possible negative made undoable, ideally any number of levels? (as by versioning) - the safeguard which makes Wikipedia possible
L5VCAL: never L5VCC7: no no L5VCCH: L5VCEB:
L5VCEV:no L5V68S: Possible negative Logged on the site? L5VB7L:
L5V7PF: ~.2 of 5 thus almost never logged (see the one tiny exception) L5V7PR:no L5V88Q: no L5V8B2:.2: no for Talk and absolute minimally for discussion (who & when the post was last edited is displayed: example) but deletions never reported L5V8BT:no L5V8CX:no L5V6K4: For possible negative, notice of it given (as email) to all affected & acting parties L5VB87:
~2.6 of 5
L2ZPKB: text disappears without alert
.6: yes, but only to the affected party if not done by him/her.
one is recommended and generally done
L5V5YK:for a possible negative, permission level key (as computer role): Required? Given out after & when proving worthy? L5VB9D:
assumed (separate issue)
.5 if generous: Yes required (except for blocking msgs) but NO (given out without any proof/test of proper handling!, esp. by Meetup itself)
0 (anyone can do, which is dubious), no
assistant organizer or higher if not one's own post, no
assistant organizer or higher if not one's own post, no
an event organizer or higher if not one's own, no
an event organizer or higher, no
L5V79P:For a possible negative, report of who did it (if not done by self) is given? L5VBAB:always L5V92F: Never typically (see the 1 tiny exception) so it could be anyone allowed ("an organizer" - usually any 1 of about 5 people). And in all my experience, when it's wrongful (as is typical),they don't tell anyone they did it. L5V8H4:
no (it could be blocking one person or everyone)
no (could be anyone allowed)
no for talk, yes for the last person to edit a discussion post (example) but deletions are not reported.
no (could be anyone allowed)
no (could be anyone allowed)
L5V6C9:Doing a possible negative first requires approval of immediate superior (should almost always be the case (even if OWN content whereever it could negatively affect someone else), with the ability to hand out permission in bulk once earned) L5VBBJ:always & sets the standard here L5VAU3: Never L5V8II:
L5V6O5: Before doing a possible negative, warning: Required? Typical? (should typically be yes in both cases) L5VBCX:always & sets the standard here L5VASB:
warning before doing negative never required, not typical except for by the rare top leader
L5V71U:For doing a possible negative, Explanation/Reason: Requested? Required? Typical? L5VBDQ:always & sets the standard here with requiring rule(s) broken to be published beforehand & cited L5V8TI: no (except for events & profile removal), no, no except for events L5V8MR:
n, n, n
n, n, n for all cases I've seen (where the act is wrong)
no, no, no
L5V8QO: n, n, 50% (1 of 2 that I've seen) L5V8SJ: .8: y, n, yes L5VAM5: "Keeping score" - Tally of acts (as bad vs good) kept & shown, as done by person? By the group? L5VBF7:not yet never, never L5VANX: L5VAOJ:
- L5VGFF: The table above details exactly. Some highlights are below.
- L3CI4A: Specifically, and again never with warning:
- L3CI5G: too easy to block/ignore others
- L3CI5X: too for memberships to be ended and then the member's group profile to be deleted
- L3CI6T: too easy for organizers to edit, delete, & ban other members & their content, even often content of their superior organizers.
- L3CIQB: And no real safeguards are there to stop this (besides sometimes a tiny warning which is easily dismissed).
- L3CIX4: So be very sad sadly not surprised when:
- L2ZPZR: your content gets unexpectedly changed or deleted and you don't even know which group organizer did it; or
- L2ZQ08: a member leaves or is removed from the group (and it could unexpectedly be you!) and you don't even have a record of his/her group profile nor (on Meetup) that s/he was a former member.
- L2ZQ0P: Without warning, and without anyone being told, suddenly & unexpectedly: someone blocks you, or an organizer blocks some of their own members (this assistant organizer did this), and with nobody alerted.
- L3CIVQ: and other destructive behavior
- L3CI9N: Indeed Meetup itself will automatically, permanently, unnecessarily delete the entire group (including all its memberships & content) if the group goes unpaid for more than two weeks (though before doing this, it does alert all members twice)
- L3CIGI: Meetup.com's behavior here is brutal & unnecessary and NOT what competitive services as Yahoo Groups & Google Groups do (which keep a group indefinitely); indeed the web hosting has a near zero cost if the group is inactive, and still Meetup brings in money with embedded ads. A much more appropriate response would be to suspend further posts to the group if the group goes say two-weeks unpaid.
- L5M5ZT: Only 1 exception I know: the Head Organizer can request that joining a group requires approval, but that's just beginning to address this need.
- L5VGT7:Yes, for discussion posts, Meetup offers “Email me when this Meetup Group's message board is updated” and “Track this discussion” but tragically:
- L5VHBO: these are NOT on by default, making the discussion boards much less useful as members (even posting members) aren't by default notified of posts (you have to alert people manually, which is inefficient, forgotten, & a pain), causing some groups not to rely on them, as said Head Organizer Keith for his groups.
- L5VHC2: (As the above table details) there is still almost no protection from possibly wrongful deletion & changes including no email alerts.
- L5VGS5: The only exceptions are from the obvious extreme cases:
- L5VHMD: If an event is changed, Meetup encourages one to announce to general affected members, and this is generally done if it would affect them. However Meetup doesn't encourage nor even suggest that other organizers especially co-hosts are notified, so typically they don't get notified (when at least co-hosts always should) in the planning situations.
- L5VHSR: If an organizer changes the RSVP of someone, Meetup fortunately automatically & always notifies the person (via email), but this notification doesn't include a reason and DOESN'T tell who did it (only their title) even though they're typically are many.
- L3CHW2: BUT even if you are alerted, by then it's usually too late as....
- L2ZM3P: --quite unlike MediaWiki (used to make famous Wikipedia & many other wikis), which (almost) always saves prior versions of your content which you can get to, a key ability that enables to do what it do (ultra collaboration) so bringing it unprecedented fame
- L2ZNR6: So unless somebody saves a copy, all deletions & changes are permanent & cannot be undone. Unlike say wikis and better blogs, Meetup does not keep a history of changes to content, just the latest version.
- L2ZNRV: The only "advantage" of this (Meetup keeping no prior-versions) is if you wanted to protect something from even Meetup (as perhaps your exact identity) BUT that is:
- L2ZQF4: somewhat extreme
- L2ZQFZ: easily & much-better solved by occasionally allowing deletion of prior versions, and
- L2ZQHK: much rarer than the regular problem of having important content get deleted/changed without any prior copy (and so constantly having to make manual individual backups).
L2RFM2: Consequently, unless you can trust all others to follow protective rules as those given in this publication (Protect content & membership from every possibly-wrong change), YOU SHOULD BE CONTINUALLY MAKING YOUR OWN BACKUPS of any important content you put on Meetup
L5VJQE: —and unfortunately continually manually making backups is notably complex & time-consuming (to always be stopping & making a backup copy of every addition/change you make, and file it systematically so you don't end up with a mess), spoiling a great deal of the fun of Meetup. Causing most people to instead sadly just "not care" (generally expect to NOT take anything/one on Meetup seriously, and rarely put serious investment)
- L5M4EK: --to insure everyone can know them and they will be consistently applied.
- L2Q1KI: Especially if required by your domain, propose the new rules where everyone can see them, and get the necessary vote/feedback for them.
- L2Q2HR: this is seemingly best done on the group Discussion Board else a Group Poll.
- L2Q27P: This step is required if any of the following are true:
- L2Q28S: you are not the Head of the group or you yourself don't have controlling interest (over 50% of the "shares") of the group;
- L2Q29G: there are significant others actively participating in the group who might be concerned by this change
- L2Q2A8: your group rules/by-laws require a vote or at least a proposal-and-feedback period for such change.
- L2Q1ZD: Make sure to announce the proposal, then allow enough time for feedback/voting, and then (only if the rule(s) passe) publish & announce it.
- L2Q20S: Publish the rules & guidelines on a web page where everyone can get to them and ideally where all changes are logged and where readers can make comments.
- L2Q2TJ: I recommend http://LoveRules.Info (this site, where these rules are published) since the site meets the publishing requirements and is already is about social rules already; simply request publishing permission. Otherwise I recommend the Meetup group's Discussion Board.
- L2Q2O4: I do NOT recommend the Meetup group's web pages (at least long term) as these don't meet the publishing requirements (don't log changes and don't allow comments on them, may not be sharable between groups, and get quickly deleted (in 2 weeks) if the group ever goes unpaid-for). Especially rules which potentially span multiple groups (such as these) and probably rules of private groups, it's probably best to publish these NOT on Meetup so they can be easily shared/seen by everyone.
- L5M3CO: The must be indisputably communicated, including it should be clear and in direct words and in-writing if-possible, and never in gestures nor implications.
- L5M0D4: Specifically tell him/her, in-writing if-possible, effectively “___ appears to me not okay because it violates published rule at URL ____ and at URL ____. And because of ___, it appears to me this falls under your responsibility. So please correct this within __ days else, (once getting|since I have) proof that I should do this from my immediate supervisor, I will fix it myself by doing ______. Please let me know if you have any problems with this.”. Notes: the # of days should generally be at least 3; complete “(once getting|since I have)” (either “once getting” or “since I have”).
- L5M211: Sadly “else what reasonable correction you will do” sounds possibly threatening.
- L5M27P: But ironically it is the most respecting (at least by my view) as it fully respects “no unpleasant surprises”.
- L5M3LW: Fortunately the phrasing I suggest above, “else, (once getting|since I have) proof that I should do this from my immediate supervisor, I will fix it myself by doing ______” doesn't sound nearly as threatening.
- L5M2B4: While NOT recommended, the “else what reasonable correction you will do” may be omitted in the first contact but then you must still answer this question if the person seems to express any objection and probably extend the deadline (from that point you answered forward) for not having said this up-front.
- L5M0VT: Insure-you-have else request-to-get proof that your immediate supervisor approves this action.
- L5M1G8: If you have it already (including if you have proof that your immediate supervisor told you to take this sort of action without first asking him/her), go to the next step. Otherwise, forward your relevant communications with the person(s) to your immediate supervisor, CC'ing the person(s), and asking your supervisor permission to proceed with the actions you proposed, and act as your immediate supervisor directs (if a legitimate order).
- L5M1NX: As implied, in all cases, take the action which you proposed ONLY IF & WHEN you have proof that your immediate supervisor approves it.
- L5M10K: This outdates & replaces the rule (L2PLBY: If you're a leader/organizer who is new to position less than 2 months, DON'T actually make any changes until you get confirmation from your immediate group leader; instead remind your leader leader the time has passed and you need confirmation.)
- L2PGS0: If the item(s) you are about to change is not a full duplicate and there isn't a backup copy (L2ZLDL: Unlike MediaWiki, Meetup keeps no backup!), make a backup copy which:
- L5M5RR: can be used to restore everything if any mistake was made and which
- L5M5SN: is ideally on online where the content's author(s) plus you and your immediate supervisor can see it (ideally on the same site, Meetup.com, else say on http://docs.Google.com ).
L2PGTH: Take the action necessary (which should be just as you said you would do)
- L5MIOK: Correct things to follow the plan above (as do the steps that you missed, ideally all of them).
- L5MIOW: If asked, explain the discrepancy to your immediate supervisor plus to the person(s) affected (explain how & why you didn't follow the plan above).
- L7L8MM: Because of existing "would-or-COULD unjustly negatively affect someone else"
- L7L8RM: cut "(other than direct words, private where possible)" as direct private words would not unjustly hurt someone else
- L7L8UW: cut "on anything other than flagrant violation (as commercial spam)" as if it's "flagrant violation" then the hurt is not unjust.
- L7L8VF: cut "(so including any action on your own stuff)" and added ", even on your own property, ".
- didn't cut "including before you change, delete, ignore/block, leave/quit, remove/ban, or report," as here it's useful to be explicit.
- L5MFZ5: Without software protection & assistance, this costs users significant time and/or headache if they care about content, including their content, not getting wrongfully lost.
- L5MG7O: It leaves it up to the users to know & follow civilized handling of the content, which is time consuming & complex: see L2PGK2: Before you take any action -
but those rules are brand new, will take much time (if ever) before they widespread and widely practiced, so realistically,..
- L5MG86: for vast the majority of users and especially organizers who DON'T know/do this, the user has to protect him/herself:
- L5MGSL: --also keeping somewhere a copy of every post (as L2ZLDL: Unlike MediaWiki, Meetup keeps no backup! --see the conclusion there) as you never know when an organizer will delete something you posted (happens all the time: a number of Meetup organizers just do sweeping deletes), or a member will quit the group and you don't have any record of his/her profile.
- L5MGTP: I've developed various techniques. For event announcements, fortunately Outlook (the email client I use) allows me to edit email messages, so I append to an event the message my RSVP answer and plus any Talk posts I made;
- L5MGVF: but even with my best efforts, this considerably slows down the Meetup usage experience (always having to cover oneself from reckless deletion) and makes it A LOT less fun.
- L5MH5A: And my guess is most Meetup users would not even know how nor tolerate going thru this trouble, so would have to endure theirs & others data being lost: as far as one's data, living like a small fish in an ocean who could get eaten any time --We need our IT systems to be more civilized!
- L5M6GS: See “L5LAQV: Provide versioning (such as MediWiki has) & safe-checks to “L2ZOUX: Protect content & membership from every possibly-negative change””.
- L5VIBE: This is covered elsewhere in this document (on privacy) so I will tie section in.
- L2WUHL: No matter how big your group is, being a leader is NOT an opportunity to play god & boost your ego (often by randomly sacrificing members with your power Meetup too easily gives you, including ignoring & banning members and deleting their content on a whim and without explaining (and in writing, to the member and to anyone else who questions you, carefully citing the existing & published group standard);
- L2WUI0: in fact, no matter how big your group is, being a leader NEVER gives right to abuse anyone, and indeed the larger your leadership role, the more bad your any abuse of ANYONE is (imagine what would happen if the US President got even allegations of personal abuse of anyone).
- L2WUIC: Rather, being a leader is an opportunity TO SERVE & TO PROTECT & TO PLEASE & TO REPRESENT *all* your members, yes even those you don't like, and the bigger your group, the better you are expected to get this -- so act like it!
- L3CG3X: because that's exactly how the problems get found & fixed. Else if you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen!
- L5L3OA: DON'T make your role model Saddam Hussein, ready to kill (else demote/remove/ban/delete) anyone or any comment which might seemingly speak an unkind word of your leadership or what you've done.
- L5L3U3: Yes, there ARE routinely Meetup leaders like this. In fact it was with great surprise that I found the head of one of the biggest Meetup groups in my county like this. This person has over 3000 members in his group, so you'd think with all those backers, any negative words would roll off him like water off a duck. But the opposite I found true: after months of support & continued support for his group & events, for one event I didn't like it (hey, that happens; no group is perfect) and voiced my sincere opinions, and just for me, in the public space provided for me (in my RSVP comment; I was saying MAYBE or NO and explaining exactly why). Well he threw me out of the group; AND without explaining why. I was shocked. It was one of the things which inspired me later to write this document. But fortunately, on his own --indeed without my saying a word-- about 2 months later he added me back into the group, and when we met in person at another event, without my prompting, he said he did so because he felt sorry. Well that is why I'm not naming him and his group here; I appreciate his seeing, and on his own. And later one of his Assistant Organizers mentioned, "Him? Yeah, it's surprising. He's pretty sensitive." And his story is one of the better ones. Because, yes, this problem is routine: without something to stop them (hopefully rules like these), Meetup organizers easily become reckless overly-sensitive dictators: reckless & brutal with their membership's content and roles.
- L5L4UD: For exactly what member talk is allowed, see the Communication Guide's Don't Blame the messenger and A person's RSVP comment and event review is his/her personal space .
L2PHGV: As an organizer/leader, the Basics for everybody to know & do on Meetup are especially required for you,
- L5MB1X: to help you do job better plus to keep you from just being a big hypocrite.
- L2Q3D3: Exception to DON'T make any aspect of your Meetup profile private/hidden (which everyone is asked to follow):
- L35A0H: I would not allow this as I don't yet see a real need for this (there are other alternatives) and I don't even make an exception for myself in this area, and I've been a Meetup member for almost 6 years and also organizer at all levels and for over a year total now,...
- L35A31: that is if it were not that I have seen some Head/Co-organizers of some big groups (over 1000) which DO have their membership list set to private. Well I've asked them why they do this and never have they told me a full satisfactory reason. But only since there are some examples out there, I'm reluctantly willing to consider this possibility, but prudent limits for the protection of everyone:
- L35ABU: If you insist, you can keep certain aspects of your Meetup profile private (namely your groups listing and your group interests) provided you first get written approval for it from your immediate group leader, which requires in writing you do all of the following:
- L2Q3GV: show to your superior(s) the info you want to keep private (if it's already private (as before you took the job) then at-least-temporarily un-hide it so s/he can see it), and
- L2Q3YK: see your superior(s) ideally make a copy of the info-to-be-made private (not to generally reveal it, of course, but so s/he can back his/her decision especially again to him/herself and to other group leaders & superiors plus replacement leaders whenever his/her decision ever comes into question)
- L2Q436: well explain to your superior(s) why you need to keep this info private (a good reason), and even though you a group leader (so need to better conform to the Rules for everybody) and this is not the norm even for ordinary members
- L359PE: Including well explain why the alternative Create additional but separate persona(s)/profile(s) where on each you can freely share your group memberships won't work for you.
- L2Q48X: plus see your superiors all approve that this private info on you, plus keeping it private from everyone else on Meetup, is reasonable and not in conflict with the group interests nor your group title(s) nor of Meetup's interests.
- L358FI: Who most immediately inspired me to write this section? Kin who wanted to become an organizer but had his group memberships hidden.
- L2YXON: "It's easy to overlook/miss these in enormous amount amount of automatic email everyone gets these days from mailing lists & spam, including unfortunately Meetup's high amount of automatically-generated event emails."
- L2YXP5: They every email with a subject containing "A message from someone interested in" (search for that, including the quotes)
- They are generated when a Meetup user clicks on the "email me" link below your display name where you are listed as Organizer on every page of your group (such email me on on every page under http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC), "and are only being sent to just you from a real human (and a fellow Meetup user) so would be very unfortunate if they got mixed in with the spam & low-priority email."
L2YY53: Group organizers & leaders must have significantly better contacts & ID & verification on each other beyond the minimal info Meetup gathers & provides on its users.
- L5MCQO: This is for the welfare of the group and since group members expect organizers to know & be coordinating with each other,
- L2WWBB: Group members reasonably expect that the organizers can easily contact & coordinate with each other and that if any problems arise, their subordinate organizer would be able to reach his superior must and visa-versa. Consequently,
every group organizer should have the following private, current, & verified contact information for all his/her superior & subordinate group organizers:
- L2WVIK: cell phone
- L2WW81: email address
- L2WVH7: zip code (not just city, because especially with someone coordinating, we need to be more precise)
- L2WVCV: Group members must trust that the Head Organizer wouldn't appoint just anyone to the position of being an organizer directing them places to go & more; specifically members must trust a subordinate organizer will be someone they can trust. Therefore, for the protection of & service to the members & the group,
every organizer of the group
- L2WW3J: should at all times have privately have the exact id (identification information) for every one of his/her subordinate organizers:
- L2WVGT: Legal name (because an organizer is trusted to physically send members to places & direct them, plus represent the group)
- L2WVMV: Representative easily-identifying photos (if not already on the organizer's profile, which is the best situation unless the group's controversial topic would require otherwise)
- L2WW44: should meet-in-person with every one of his/her subordinate organizers before he/she actually holds a meeting, and verifies that:
- L2YZT6: the person's Meetup profile matches the real person in its photos & statements, and
- L2YZUW: the above exact ID info (pictures & legal name) matches the person including (for the name) a trusted photo ID for the person (as Driver's License, Passport, or other ID which would be accepted at a US Post Office).
- L2YZWX: As without the above, it would be possible on Meetup for a seemingly-nice person with but actually with a fake profile to volunteer to help a group and often readily be given the job of subordinate organizer, but then use their power to trick & mis-direct members to some place or some activity which is bad, then disappear without a trace. And of course in addition to the arbitrary damage done to the group and its members, the superior organizers would be of course held responsible. So the above is not an option.
L3BP6L: Becoming a leader/organizer (of a Meetup group) is to be a small rite-of-passage.
- L3COUC: Unlike the typical Meetup group today where it seems people are made (and removed) as assisting organizers on a whim.
- L3CONT: You must, in order:
- L3BP88: be a good member of the group including knowing & abiding by the group's rules (which should be specified on the group's About page)
- L3BPAE: optionally find & volunteer for a vacant leader/organizer title/position/job(s) and possibly apply-for & offer-to-do them. Note:
- L3BPP9: For every title the group offers, the group must have a detailed job description on a permanent public web page. See for Meetup, the general job titles offered.
- L8T7Z6: For most every Meetup group, EventOrganizer positions are almost always available and appreciated.
- L3BPF0: be invited to take a leader/organizer title/position/job, and finally
- L3COJ9: announce & sign before everyone the pledge for you to do that job.
- L6PEM6: Short link this section: http://bit.ly/bLn81L; out-of-date, now http://bit.ly/bAwwtk.
- L5L6CK: Idea: Rather than create an event from scratch, advertise to & in your group someone else is hosting which looks successful and matches what your group does..
- L2QBT5: Pros:
- L2QBY1: okay if only a few of your people come -- still they will all find a lot of people there and the event will still be a success
- L2QBZQ: this is especially important for young adults AND when you're trying to buildup group involvement when the group's new or involvement has been low.
- L2QBXN: A fraction of the work
- L2QC5I: Encourages discovery between groups.
- L2QC6M: Is commonly done on Meetup (called "cross-posting").
- L2QCAO: How to do a piggyback/cross-post:
- L2QD48: For regular piggybacking/cross-posting of someone else's events, get approval in bulk (as "from now on"), so you don't have to ask each time.
- L2QD85: Again, follow rule try to communicate on web pages: in particular if the host is a member of your group, use your Discussion Board, otherwise use theirs.
- L2QDA3: For a real example, see http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/messages/boards/thread/9069858.
- L2QCH5: Draft up the Event listing / calendar entry --see that for details; also:
- L2QCKN: Generally keep all the same settings of the source event.
- L6PA53: At the top (else within the first two paragraphs) of your copy listing, give a URL to the main listing as saying "This event is cross-posted so expect possibly-considerably more people attending than listed on this RSVP. Quoting for from the main listing at ____ (please RSVP there if possible),"
- L6PAE9: a real example of this, with some of this wording, is at http://Meetup.com/web-development-social-media/calendar/14115991 .
- L6PAEE: It's important that this is at/near the top as detailed so (1) the reader knows the remainder is quoted (not original) text and from where and (2) because after the event Meetup will collapse after the first two paragraphs but readers will still need to usually go to the main event to get the most official & complete results.
- L2QCYC: For many examples, see the first meetups in http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/calendar/past_list
- L2QCBC: List but do not advertise/announce/email the event. Rather, ask permission to cross-post the event from your source if you haven't gotten already and permission might be expected (definitely if the event is private and not publicly posted), .
- L2QCD7: the event host can plan, decide, & recommend, and won't be startled by anything, be sure to include:
- L2QCVY: URL to the group (if not implicit),
- L2QCW6: the URL to your proposed event listing saying you HAVEN'T it yet, plus
- L2QCWS: your estimate of how many people from your group will come
- L6PAOE: In the main event listing, if possible mention and point to all the additional event listings.
- L6PAQD: Then since the additional event listings already point to the main one (see above), from any event listing one can find all the others.
- L6PARF: Say quote[This event is cross-posted so expect possibly-considerably more people attending than listed on this RSVP.] and quote[This is the MAIN POST for this great event but it's ALSO POSTED IN ADDITIONAL GROUPS so SEE THESE POSTS, TOO, FOR MORE ATTENDEES, REVIEWS, & INFO OF THIS): the event venue http://Meetup.com/ocdigital... currently lists 2 (http://Meetup.com/web-devel... (where you can SEE MY REVIEWS) and http://Meetup.com/digital-a...) and maybe more, and more can be found at ____] --updated from this real example.
- L6PCM2: Unless the group will always be private, an explicit link to the venue must be included here as you cannot depend on the automatic venue link which Meetup provides (at the top of the event listing) as that is not link (just a name) for people who are not members (a weird behavior Meetup).
- L6PCA2: For the venue, the including the individual listings there seems handy, but to save space (plus insure one is working off a complete list), one may omit the individual listings PROVIDED the group is not private.
- L6PB9Y: While some many want attendees to RSVP at the main event listing (and if no conflict, this is the best idea), this is often not possible-else-easy as members might not be a member of that group and the piggybacking group may not want people RSVPing there wanting to build up the participation in their own group. Therefore, so everyone can see these other people's attendance & reviews, it's essential that the main listing link back to each of these copy listings.
- L6PAUY: Where should this info be within the main event listing?
- L6PBN4: -Ideally where it will always be easily seen (as this navigation info is important as explained above, even after the event).
- L6PB18: probably at the top of the event description (as after the event Meetup will collapse after the first few paragraphs) unless there are too many to list.
- L6PB1R: else as a Talk post (which may be the only way possible to get it there if you don't have Event Host privileges for that main listing); the talk posts are always displayed; but there can be many and it could get lost in this.
- L2QCXO: Unless the host says otherwise, announce the event.
- L57JUX: Including:
- L58UHS: Details. If you host an event, for everyone who RSVP'd YES or MAYBE or has questions, and ideally even those who RSVP NO but may be convinced to go, you MUST be reachable immediately during the event and at least 2 hours prior to the event so they can find the event and they can find the Meetup group, plus whatever other needs arise. This is true unless you announced in-advance otherwise (as "Instead of me, leader x will be your point-of-contact for/during this event" or (though I've NEVER seen this on an event listing) "Sorry, I won't be available to answer questions about this; all I'm doing is just letting you know it's happening"))
- L583F3: Failure here is rare, but I've see it.
- L583HT: especially when the event host isn't present: see the examples in the combined failures
- L58VPK: Typical violations (of event host reachability L2QN3U) occur because the event host isn't present (esp. during the event, typically a violation of L57JVR) and:
- L58RWW: Event host didn't give a phone# (too common on Meetup) and attendee's phone won't (else won't easily) surf the web to send a message to the host (very common) else the event host contacted doesn't receive email messages (and from the site (Meetup)) on his/her phone (very common)
- L58RZG: the event host forgot/lost/didn't bring his/her phone or the phone's dead
- L58S68: the event host had his phone turned on silent (happens in a meeting or performance or movie where everyone is going to)
- L58S84: the event host doesn't answer calls from unrecognized numbers (increasingly common among all phone users) and doesn't check his voicemail promptly or at all (also increasingly common)
- L58W4R: The event host isn't routinely checking & replying to email
- L58W5B: The event host is overloaded with Meetup email (a problem for most all Meetup members)
- L583ZY: If phone # abuse can be avoided, it's a very good idea to provide a cell # for event host(s)
- L5842S: This is especially important if something could go wrong (event host(s) late or forget, big area where people could get separated or not find each other, etc).
- L584D0: Mobily (as via cell phone), only a few people can still surf the web (to send say Meetup messages) but most everyone can call a phone # or send a text message.
- L58T6G: The key problem is to protect against phone # abuse: ideally to insure the phone only for the purposes of this event and when other means (as RSVPing on the website) aren't applicable. This is tricky and discussed elsewhere in this document (links to there to be added).
- L5847O: It's a reasonably good idea to try to collect attendee's cell #s.
- L5848O: useful for informing attendees of big last minute changes (as a new meeting spot which is distant (so don't go to the old one)).
- L584A6: More complicated - have to track everyone attendee's phone #, too
- L584JM: helps with but not all the benefits as as giving out cell # for event host(s) (say if an attendee is lost, he needs the Host's phone more than visa versa)..
- L5844Q: Collects better contacts on your members getting more commitment from them and ability to reach them when not responding to usual messaging.
L57JVR: L57JVR=KEY: at the event, the event host(s) must gather all group attendees and be able to guide & help them during the entire event (as tour-guide) --thus pretty much must physically be there with the attendees during the whole event--, unless announced prior but ideally there should be no exceptions.
- L58UN3: Why? People rightfully expect that the event host be there to bring together everyone from the group attending, plus direct & guide them them during the entire event (tour-guide style, or whenever they need), and accompany them.
- L58R4O: Exceptions should be rare, for good reason, & and announced well in advanced:
- L58R9V: Humans are genetically social creatures, not built to do stuff alone and definitely not for long periods. In "primitive" cultures being sent off alone was only for extreme situations: as a rite-of-passage (generally for men) to see if they could survive on their own if needed, and to excommunicate someone.
- L58R8D: So exceptions should be announced well in advanced as "This is a no-host, on your-own event".
- L58QXT: But even if attendee(s) & potential attendees expect the event host(s) not to physically be there with them and helping them, and definitely if happens when they don't expect it, this creates problems or the worry of problems:
- L58RGD: Counter the point of being in an in-person group (including a meetup.com group) as the point is to meet-up in person (and that means NOT so much with the other people at the venue, but the other group members)
- L58RFM: What if-or-when something goes wrong -- how to reach the leader? (and get good directions)
- L58RM1: Lots of problems could-or-do normally arise: you can't find it, you can't find parking, you can't get in (or you can't get in at the price promised), you don't now how to interpret it or what to look for or do, you don't understand something, you just like being accompanied, safety issues, and problems nobody foresaw. And
- L58RQE: you can't reach the leader/host (his not being present) because:
- L58RVE: you forgot/lost/didn't bring your phone or your phone is dead (you can't/don't use someone else's phone).
- L58SAG: You forgot to copy down the event host's phone number and your phone can't (or can't easily) surf the web to get it.
- L58WL5: Typical violations of event host reachability L2QN3U which all occur because the event host is not present (if there, the event host would be reachable).
- L58SDQ: You reach the leader on the phone but it's hard to describe over the phone what to do (as give directions -- in person you could just point).
- L58SMS: See also all the problems of doing an event alone L58531.
- L58SK5: Even if expected, implicitly suggests the event hosts & organizers don't care.
- L5829F: Failure here is fatal for events (and so groups) where their might be just 1 or 2 other people showing beside the event host or where it might be hard to find the group.
- L58YJN: The person shows, doesn't see anyone else, so
- L5851D: likely never comes to another such event again.
- L58531: L58531= If they stay still stay, they have to do the activity alone which generally has many problems:
- L5854J: typically mess up one of the major points of their coming (to be in a group)
- L5854W: is almost always less fun
- L585DB: easily has them feeling cast-out, uncared for, forsaken
- L5855P: can be socially awkward (if most everyone else there is in a group but they're alone), especially if the crowd is young adults
- L5856T: may have-them or force-them to make new friends/companions when that is problematic or impossible especially when they're alone
- L5858I: can be life-threatening (in activities as in an isolated big place, as a desert or forest or cave, where one person can get hurt and the other is needed to go for help)
- L585ER: is often ineffective, problematic, or impossible if they were counting on others (especially the event host) to do the activity
- L58YIQ: Words to the host L58YIQ= When Jay neglected his duties as an event host (to be reachable and ideally present), here is part of a message I wrote him afterwards (as an attendee of his event) which captures what this does to attendees:
More seriously, how do you think I felt walking around alone for hours, with no one to see the fireworks with nor chase girls with, while most everyone else came with their friends & family? I shared with you I wanted to go to parties afterwards that you said you would try to find --- but then I couldn't reach you. So, never being here before on this special event day, I had to find my own way, which wasn't easy.
Being alone, I tried to make some friends, but when you're alone and everyone else is in groups, that's fairly hard, and it backfired on me painfully 5 of 8 times despite my best efforts: people getting unkind or nasty/cruel to me essentially because I was alone, so they didn't trust me from the start else could get away with treating me bad. In the day when everyone was in this unique neighborly attitude it was okay, but by evening & night it got bad. While I did eventually (at 1am) make some new friends, when alone I also got secretly ditched twice (someone pretends to be your friend for an hour then secretly ditches you because it's easy (and fun?) and no one else sees it), and overall it was pretty unpleasant. In order:
(1) Mild win: From the house you were at, I then hung out at the neighbor's party. With only a little teasing at the beginning, they eventually were okay with me. I then joined some of them in a bike ride, and all that went very well. This probably was because of uniquely friendly environment of the neighborhood parties on this particular day, which allows you to do this sort of thing, apparently even if you're by yourself.
(2) Win: Later my bike chain broke; fortunately it broke in front of guy who repairs bikes. He fixed it and for free - yeah!
But as evening wore on, people became less friendly to a guy just by himself:
(3) Loose: I tried to meet up with an okay looking Korean gal, who had also lost her friend. Things when okay until her friend returned. Then when about to leave her, since she said she was into religious stuff, I handed her the UU Young Adults business card. She looked at it and rather rudely handed it back to me, saying "UU brings together all the religions; that's bad. Pick Jesus." I tried to politely ask her to think about what she was saying (including, tactfully, if her refusal just now was loving as Christianity dictates), she was responding to this but unfortunately some guy (the store manager?) showed up, probably seeing that she hand handed back the card and thought I was soliciting business to customers in his store, and said to me "Excuse me! Excuse me!" and then to her "Is he bothering you? I will kick him out." She fortunately was honest and said No, but obviously the incident was unplesant, so to no have further problems, I shook her hand and left. Obviously it would have been less likely for she & this guy be casually rude to me if I was with someone. Indeed, if I was not alone, I wouldn't have even bothered to talk with her.
(4) Mild loose: On the beach sand, waiting for fireworks, everyone was in groups and I was all alone (and looking unprepared not having brought a beach blanket). I sparked up a conversation with a couple of gals (from different groups), which went fine (word wise) but ended short, probably because I was was alone. The 2nd attempt there was more talk, which was good, but she still was looking at me weird, almost certainly because everyone around was in a group and I was obviously single. Not wanting to battle that, I left the beach until the fireworks was about to begin.
(5) Mild loose: I walked along some Asian gals walking from & two the fireworks on Main Street, but, unlike me, they were in groups, and made clear I couldn't break in.
(6) Big loose: When the fireworks was about to begin, I returned, hoping to find someone so not to watch them alone. I sparked up a brief conversation with a very pretty gal (Joe, pretty face, Asian eyes (1/4 Asian) but very busty) then picked up talk the guy she was with (Tony, who was 1 inch taller than me about 30lbs heaver- built). The guy was overseeing this and another young gal (Witney, white, tall & thin) - but not dating either of them, just long friends. He kind of liked me and invited me to join them for the fireworks, which I did. All went fine. And I told the guy I appreciate his company and afterwords would go buy him a beer, which he appreciated. Then in leaving the fireworks (the beach sand), I said to everyone "Thank you guys so much for company; I can't reach my friend [my event host] who invited me here, so am all alone so it's really nice for you to allow me to join me."; the guy appreciated this. Then moments later in the heavy crowd we momentarily lost the guy, and the two girls (who were at first oddly avoiding tell me their first names), now started acting really funny (I now see they wanted to not hang with me but didn't want to say it, so were instead trying to loose me, probably knowing I couldn't find the guy if I lost them, but they didn't manage to loose me); we found the guy again and he was fine but then the gals both came up and wispered something in his ear (I now know it was instructions to ditch me); sensing the gals were acting weird I should have asked "What's going on?" but I didn't, especially being the newcomer I mistakenly respected their privacy. So we then went to a club (Fred's) where the bouncer in the VIP line (Mark) knew & trusted Tony. Tony very quickly said "It's just me and the 2 gals" and the 2 gals followed him in, but the bouncer would not let me pass. First I thought it was an accident so I called to Tony but I could see Tony heard me but was pretending to ignore me. So they ditched me, meanly & secretly. And without having said one word there was any problem with me (every word was netural or positive), and indeed there really wasn't any problem it was just the girls didn't like a new person and could push Tony to do wrong, which means Tony was a real pussy and passive-agressive (like the women) and had no guts (indeed even though he was bigger than me); regardless, I would have confronted him in a second but the bouncer wouldn't let me in, said "Get in line". I explained to the bouncer what Tony and the girls did and he said he would tell Tony, but I doubt he would/did. And the line was too long to wait. This really pissed me off. So I went to Starbucks to both call AND email you, but I couldn't reach you, either. Which then had me feeling forsaken.
(7) Big win: At the clubs at night, it was much impossible to talk with anyone as I was there alone so they weren't going to open up. However, I did meet a couple of young Japanese guys here as students on a 6-mo Visa, and we hit it off okay and I hung out with them (finally at about 1am I met some company!). They also needed a ride home where I was going so I gave them a ride. In fact they may join the group we're in (AsianFriendsters).
(8) Big loose: I left them to bike to my car and drive back and pick them up, but 1 block out my bike chain broke again, so I had to walk over a mile. Enroute, indeed for this entire walk including stops stops to offer further assistance to her, I met a rather cute & educated (UCI grad) Korean gal (Jessica), who was single and dated white guys, a very good find. And since the walk was long, we talked about 50 minutes and it was pretty obvious to even her friends we were hitting it off. But I was alone and she was with 3 of her girlfriends, and when typically misjudged issue came up, her gal friend (Jenny) laid into me (started giving me crap) -- not as pretty so probably jealous, though that reason didn't occur to me at the time; so it would have helped if I had some company! Still the pretty gal Jessica promised to meet and gave me her real phone number and said "just call me tomorrow and we'll meet", but (as is typical for guys when meeting a girl via general public) she didn't answer nor call back, which was big bummer (and, as she was the only potential date I had met all day among thousands of people I saw, I blew a few hours trying various messages & methods to get her to reply & keep her word).
Because of how hard it is socializing when you're alone and most everyone else is in groups, especially among young adults, many/most people would have just left if the event host wasn't there, and certainly that crossed my mind, too, but I stuck it out, but as you can see the experience was mostly painful.
- L582ON: For events where nobody may come to it (so then the event host(s) might also opt out), it's critical to say "RSVP YES or MAYBE before you show up, else don't be disappointed if you don't find us."
- L582OF: Failure here happens when the Event host(s)
- L582BR: don't show. This is rare but happens typically when the event is auto-scheduled (as weekly or monthly) so the event hosts don't have do anything and forget that it's scheduled (but still will be automatically RSVP'd as YES). I've only seen this in:
- L583XR: See Eddie O 's example in the combined failures
- L585L8: In the event Oceans Kick Ass where I came for just the 2nd feature ("Kick Ass") and nobody (including no event host) showed other than one other ordinary member like me; while we kept each others company (and only thru extra work on my part that I found him), we still both were feeling forsaken.
- L582FO: Tune out doing their own thing. I've only seen this by:
- L584L7: See Jay's example in the combined failures.
- L583M5: Failure here is rare but I've seen it:
- L58258: the now defuct http://www.meetup.com/South-OC-Handball-Club where the Founder Eddie O had used the auto-weekly scheduling then routinely didn't show, to the great disallusionment of me and anyone else who did but found no one there. And then when I used my mobile-Internet to message him (as he left no phone #, though that's fairly common on Meetup and OKAY IIF the host shows and it's not a big place) then he wasn't online what he was doing at at that moment, so I couldn't reach him.
- L5836W: Jay 1/3rd thru his (2010) 4th of July Day/Night Debauchery in Huntington Beach! , where, pursing his own pleasures, he got intoxicated or otherwise neglected his hosting responsiblities.
- L58WOI: The key problem seems to be the event host not being present as that easily leads to typical failures event host reachability L2QN3U, so by default, just be present!
- L57JIZ: You would think this is common sense and indeed even seems even most Meetup organizers do this without saying, but I've seen failure here more than once: see the examples above.
L2QDZB: Event listing/calendar entry:
- L9BLS6: Meetup's “Who's coming?” list is misleading (should be called “Member RSVPs” and sometimes not given) so subtly but profoundly hurts especially small groups as typically the event is potentially excellent BUT
- L9BLUF: “Who's coming?” is incorrect (and damaging) name for this list; it should be “Member RSVPs” (0 RSVPs might be just fine in some cases, but 0 is “Who's coming?” always terrible)
- L9BLV7: Meetup lists misleadingly few or 0 YES/MAYBEs because of many reasons:
- L9BLVQ: Many (maybe hundreds or thousands) of people are coming but this listing just went out to a small group.
- L9BLWU: The listing was put up just a few days or few hours before the event (Meetup doesn't display when the event was posted)
- L9BLXK: The listing hasn't yet been emailed out yet (Meetup doesn't list on the event when or if when it was emailed out)
- L9BLXV: The listing is being posted (cross-posted) many places so there are several times more people than listed here (Meetup doesn't ask nor show nor track if an event is being multiply-listed even within Meetup.com)
- L9BMAP: Other people want to go but (1) didn't know all this or (2) weren't brave enough to be the first person to put YES or MAYBE ;-) -- don't be one of those! [;)]
- L2QCPT: Prepend to the event name “PROPOSED: ” (and do NOT announce the event to the group) until you've got permission for the event or listing (if permission's necessary).
- L2QDZR: Be sure to include at the top of the event listing the time range (including the end-time) as Meetup badly doesn't allow you specify the end-time.
- Real example: “This is an all-Sunday event (~10:15AM-~9:30PM,); RSVP & come for all portions you can.”
- L9BEYE: Standard text to insert:
- L9BEZJ: Standard event text L9BEZJ:
- L9BF3G: BBCode
[divider]“[b][url=http://bit.ly/bIisdV#L9BEZJ]Standard event text L9BEZJ[/url] updated 20101215[/b]pst1238:
[b][u]Please RSVP![/u] [:)][/b] and post helpful, supportive comments![/b][list=1][*][b]RSVP YES else MAYBE [i]even if[/i] Meetup's “Who's coming?” list has 0 YES/MAYBE[/b] --there are likely others who might want to go, and your YES else MAYBE starts [i]them[/i] doing MAYBE or YES! (for more reasons, see [url=http://bit.ly/bIisdV#L9BM7X]“How Meetup's “Who's coming?” list can mislead you into not coming.”[/url])
[*][b]Aim to give an enthusiastic RSVP comment telling [i]Why[/i] your YES|NO|MAYBE[/b] as [list][*]“YES: I love the DJ!” or [*]“NO: Can't stand House Music but enjoy!” or [*]“MAYBE: Would love to but need a ride; I'm in zip 92602(Irvine).”[/list][*][b]The event's [i]actual[/i] hours are [i]within the event description above[/i][/b] typically the first things it says; [i]DON'T go by the start time which the Meetup software displays[/i] if that doesn't match --[url=http://bit.ly/bIisdV#L9L5U7]2 key reasons why[/url].
[*][b]Indicate in your RSVP comment what times & events you'll be there for[/b] especially if the event is more than an hour. Unless indicated, it's fine to come to just parts. Also if you'll be arriving late and/or leaving early, here in your RSVP is where to say when (as exactly as you know). Skip saying this only if you'll really be there for the whole event start-to-finish.
[*][b]Please carpool.[/b] --It's Green, helps u learn where attendees are, & often makes real friends.[list=1][*]On the event page, include in ur RSVP comment else a Talk post "CARPOOL/RIDESHARE ANYONE? I'm in S.OC(Laguna Hills) El Toro&Paseo Starbucks & can give or take a ride." tailored to fit.
[*]Find & set up rides w/ ur carpool buddies. Periodically search the event page(s) (click the Venue to see repostings) for all potential attendees (as RSVPing YES/MAYBE) where your route and their route (their profile gives their city) do/could intersect reasonably (start by page-Search (Ctrl-F) for the words "Ride","Car",& "Share", then consider every potential attendee; if their departure location isn't displayed, their Meetup profile gives their city), and post a Talk "James & Ben, the Starbucks at El Toro&Paseo in Laguna Hills seems a good mtg location for us to carpool, and I cd be stopping there at ~5:30pm. Wanna carpool? What time to meet?". If u see those contacting you, post a similar Talk reply.
[*]If a carpool is arranged, insure ur carpool buddies have ur cell # (Meetup's Send Email can privately send stuff) else post "I'll be watching & replying to my Meetup email then (via my smartphone)".[/list]
[*][b]At the event, help your group find & gather members[/b], [i]aim to have the meet-up succeed even if the event listers can't be there or can't be found[/i].[list][*]Before leaving, take a careful look at or bring a printout of [b]the “Who's coming?” list to help you find everyone[/b].[*][b]Volunteer to host! Post “I'LL HELP HOST![/b] Find me there....” and ideally include your cell # in your post (if you format your cell 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX it will be hidden from non-members, and after the event you can delete that post to hide your cell #).[/list][*][b]If Meetup does not allow one to RSVP[/b] (because it's past Meetup's event start-time or RSVP-deadline) then RSVP by [i]below[/i] posting “I'll be there: (YES|NO|MAYBE): <and WHY & your comments>”. Also be sure to answer the event's RSVP questions:[list][*]For the public questions (as What hours will you be there?) answer in your RSVP post. Then, [*]For the private questions (as What's your phone, email, real name?), in the event listing click on the 1st event host then click “Send email” and send your answers privately.[/list][*][b]Mostly communicate where anyone possibly interested can see[/b]. Give your RSVP on the event page and post your comments&Qs in your RSVP comments or below or via a Meetup Greet; and avoid emailing, & SMS/txt messages, & phone calls unless that first option isn't being responded to or won't be seen in time or it's a sensitive issue.[/b] [url=http://bit.ly/bIisdV#L9FIHT]3 key reasons why[/url].
[*][b]To update your RSVP[/b] answer/comment, click “Change your mind about attending?”; after doing that, Meetup will [i]again(!)[/i] ask you the organizers' private Qs; if you've already [i]completely[/i] answered these AND no change is needed (you'll have to remember as unfortunately Meetup doesn't display what you last put), then you can skip answering them again (for instance, instead click “Meetups -> Upcoming” to RSVP to more events or click “Never mind” to go back to the event page).
[*][b]Questions? Reservations (as for a table)?[/b] Just say in your RSVP comment else post below.”[/list=1][url=http://meetup.com/GroupName/messages/boards/thread/NUMBER]Organizer notes & discussion[/url].
- LAB1QH: Custom code (immediately follows, must be tailored to fit)
[url=http://meetup.com/GroupName/messages/boards/thread/NUMBER]Organizer notes & discussion[/url]. Guest list by top-level promoters else [url=http://meetup.com/AsianFriendster/members/9891966/]Event Organizer REBOS Jun[/url] when he hosts; event listing by [url=http://meetup.com/AsianFriendster/members/1895099]Destiny[/url] with some weekly updates by [url=http://meetup.com/AsianFriendster/members/13111512/]Shawn[/url].
- L9FIHT: Why “Mostly communicate where anyone possibly interested can see”? 3 key reasons:
- L9FIKO: properly shows the group members being active (which is crucial on Meetup to attract more participation; I've had events where several members were interested but it would look like there was not much interest and that I (the event host) was doing all the talking because they were texting & emailing & calling me),
- L9FIL9: shares your answers with everyone and gets your Qs answered by others, too, and
- L9FILU: gives everyone a much better history & documentation of what happened.
- L9L5U7: Why “the actual times are within the the event description”. Event hosts sometime(s) need to insert the actual event time range within the event description to work around 2 key unfortunate limitations in the Meetup software:
- L9L60T: it doesn't ask, display, & take into account the end time of an event (lots of users have complained about this)
- L9L622: it doesn't allow members to RSVP & update RSVPs after the event has started (so for longer (as multi-hour) events event-host(s) sometimes tell [i]the Meetup software[/i] that the event hasn't quite yet started (when it has) so their members can still add & update RSVPs [i]during[/i] a longer event).
- L2QE4X: To increase participation & communication, here's standard text to include towards the top of your event (remove/correct the parts which aren't true)
“And it's fine if you can't make the whole thing; still RSVP YES or MAYBE saying in your RSVP the events or hours you're coming!
Note if you're coming, let me know (here RSVP YES or MAYBE, else contact me) --otherwise you probably won't find us especially since our adventure sometimes changes on the fly. Also we advertise elsewhere so more people attend than listed here as attending. If you still can't make this one, still RSVP your interest here, especially since we plan to be repeating it!”
- L2QCMX: For an event, or any portions of an event, which you got elsewhere, tell everyone where you got the portion (include the source URL) and be sure to quote all text you copied (an possibly say the date & time when you copied it if that text might change).
- L2R9ZH: Include a sound/video player else else hyperlink for every keyword (relevant term/item) if there's any chance somebody won't know it exactly, as one can't reasonably decide if one wants to go if one doesn't know what you're talking about.
- L2RBFW: If even one person has to do just one web search to know/see/hear what you're talking about, you haven't done your job of linking.
- L2RAU6: For instance, do NOT assume you are writing for just fans. Instead assume you are also writing for your grandparents or someone of a different country who just won't get every (or most) keywords unless you make each a link to what it's referring to.
- L2RAA9: Not doing this is a notable problem in maybe 75% of event postings today. Way too many postings seem to assume you already have heard of and are familiar with the particular band or music or DJ or performer or special venue or movie (even though most people just see a movie once), etc. And if you want to get new people to check out your events, this is NOT the way to do this; they will probably feel you won't want them because you can't even bother to take a few seconds to link up what you're talking about -- something fairly easy for you do but a problem for them, and for the most part then they just won't do it and just won't attend.
- L2U1X5: If the event organizers haven't done this (and you're not an organizer), then fix it by posting comments to the event (Talk posts in Meetup).
- L2U23M: I've listed real example(s) of this below under the particular type of content being fixed.
- L2RAHO: If it's music being played, give a links to where one can hear good samples. Do NOT assume the reader knows nor care to know the DJ or performers. There are millions of songs out there so everyone's favorites are not necessarily yours. Constantly I'm being emailed to go hear performances by DJs and bands I've never heard of, so have to do a Google Search until I finally find song samples, or I mostly just don't go. Properly done, it should take no more than two clicks before I can start hearing representative samples of the music being proposed.
- L70WKK: An excellent example is Got-OC's event "Yonder Mountain String Band".
- L2U1WW: A real example I did to add song playing is at http://Meetup.com/got-oc/calendar/13178234 (perhaps that inspired the above excellent example!)
- L2RA2J: If it's a comedy show, give example jokes. Here's a great real example giving a video sample of each comedian performing.
- L2RALP: If it's movie(s) being watched, give the popular rating(s) of each film (notably the http://IMDB.Org rating) plus a movie database entry from either http://IMDB.Org or http://Wikipedia.Org (which seemingly then always links to the http://IMDB.Org entry).
- L2RB61: And for a person or an organization or product or activity or religion or concept, give a link it's entry in http://Wikipedia.Org else the link to it's official website.
- L2QR3M: Try to nicely format the event description (using the BBCode formatting tools) - it makes your listing a ton more appealing.
- L2QR4G: Don't worry if you're not a master at BBCode. Do the best you can then another organizer with more skills can probably polish it up for you if you just ask.
- L2QRI4: You can insert pictures from the web to dress things up. Google Image Search can find lots of excellent free stock images.
- L2QR5K: For fancy formatting, compose your text in an HTML editor then convert to BBCode using the many converters available, as from Google Search[HTML BBCode converter]
- L2QRA0: Fortunately Meetup seems to possibly be slowly transitioning to HTML instead of BBCode. At least I noticed ~2010.04 every Meetup group's home page is now done via a in-web-page WYSIWYG HTML editor instead of plain-text.
- L7U73R: To avoid wrongful (sticker-shock and bad first impressions), do not include (in the main event listing) any price which is over 2x the general admission price; instead put something like "VIP tables with bottle service are also available - click here for more details" (a link to the prices) else put the prices in one of the event's Comment/Talk posts which will likely only be read if the person has already decided they want to go.
- L7U81E: This is especially important since the main event listing is also typically emailed out in its entirety, and though the event host can (and generally should) override this (just send out a minimal alert enticing people to visit the event page), this listing is still automatically emailed out by Meetup.com software (by default) to also later remind members of the event before it starts --and email messages cannot be taken back.
- L7U770: I made this rule as a result of this original event listing (which was also announced to our group without my approval);
- L7U7T4: in it you will see very quickly the prices "$250.... $350... $450" even though right before (if you then take the time to look at it, which probably most people wouldn't been now being sticker-shocked at these high costs) "Tickets are 25$ at this point". Even the event host's rewrite to fix this still gave this bad impression (the event is terribly expensive) to another professional writer, until she was asked to continue reading it: it took her 20 seconds to notice that wasn't the price, but
- L7U8GT: people get so much email these days a person may glance at an email just 1 or 2 seconds and it turns them off, just hit "delete" -- especially on Meetup which typically overloads a person with event announcements once they've joined at least ~5 groups. Moreover,
- L7U8HL: While we were getting RSVPs on our last event, we now got no RSVPs (at least no positive ones) and the event listing was then featured on our group home page (which happens automatically, since it was our next event) and our stream of incoming members suddenly reduced to 2/5ths of what it was! (search for section L7NZSH -- note this document is not currently public as it contains names).
- L2QNT9: For Venue (such as http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/venue/1187998)
- L2QNTN: ADVANCED: Set "Hours" to say “http://maps.google.com/maps?cid=13991503850299109034” (followed by the hours if you have them and have room after that)
- L2QO3P: This URL is the Google map entry for the venue, which gives not only hours but directions, numbers, reviews and more. It's terribly useful, much more than the cramped contorted address-only Google maps that Meetup provides.
- L2QO73: To determine this URL, go to http://Maps.Google.com and look up the venue then on it click “more info” then “Link” and copy the URL given and paste it into your web browser address bar, then (the tricky part) edit the URL so it's of the form “http://maps.google.com/maps?cid=13991503850299109034” (you want to delete everything except “http://maps.google.com/maps” and whatever “cid=13991503850299109034” number it has) then (finally!) you'll have this nice, short, descriptive URL which goes directly to that venue.
- L2QNHB: Complete “How to find us[ there]” aka the field, “How will members find you there?” -important
- L2QSE8: This is a special field which, among other things, helps protect your phone # & email address. Even if the pages of your Meetup group is public, non-members and those not logged in will see the word “[masked]” in place of every email address and phone number here.
- L2QSJR: For instance, when not logged into Meetup, this event gives for that field “If you don't find us, email me at [masked] (goes to my cell phone) saying (1) where you're at, (2) how long you'll be there, and (3) your cell #.”
- L2R4CD: Thus your email address & phone will NOT get into public search engines & web crawlers, which is good (especially to avoid spam to your email).
- L2R4HC: L2R4HC However it seems your phone & email will be available to all group members for all time, which probably isn't a problem but, at least for the phone #, is not very desirable.
- L2QOXV: You also want to give instructions for people to give you their cell phone plus tell you where they're at.
- L2RLW5: For instance & probably best, “[text me else leave a message] saying where you'll be & for how long and your cell #”
- L2RLVR: For instance (real example), “[leave a message] saying (1) where you're at, (2) how long you'll be there, and (3) your cell #.”
- L2QNXW: In give the contacts of the person (typically you) who will be coordinating things at the event.
- L2QOT2: These contacts must in order of preference:
- L2QP3M: the cell phone of that person ---much preferred as many people (including me) still can't easily send email from their cell phone, though realize it will be be visible there to group members forever.
- L2QP3Z: an email address adding truthfully “(goes to my cell phone)” -- sending and email address to your cell phone can be done:
- L2QQ1K: with most smart phones (talk to your mobile phone carrier)
- L2QQ1Y: if you own or know someone who has a domain name, most domain registrars can create effectively unlimited email addresses to that domain which can each then forward to any number of email addresses. Via this method, I then created email address MtgDestiny@(classified) which forward to my standard email on Meetup plus to my mobile phone vial an SMS-to-email gateway as 2345678901@Messaging.SprintPCS.com or 2345678901@Vext.com or 2345678901@Txt.ATT.Net or 12345678901@TMoMail.Net, which will then send the first ~150 characters of the message to your cell phone (note standard SMS text rates apply).
- L2RM0V: Putting this and the prior point together,
- L2QOYJ: A good real example is “If you don't find us, email me at MtgDestiny@(classified) (goes to my cell phone) saying (1) where you're at, (2) how long you'll be there, and (3) your cell #.”
- L2QQJV: Another good example is “If you don't find us, call me at 1.XXX.XXX.XXXX and leave a msg (esp. since caller ID is flaky) saying (1) where you're at, (2) how long you'll be there, and (3) your cell #.”
- L2RL2S: This field can be & has been used to announce say "2 hours before the event, I will email my phone number to everybody who RSVP's YES or MAYBE ", effectively announcing that you will Give just the people coming your cell phone.
- L2RKQ1: In this real example, it has “How to find us ""I'll send my contact info to those who RSVP "Yes" a day before the event.""” but for me 1 day advanced was too early to plan just downtime, so I RSVP'd the day of the event, but then I wasn't sent any contact info, so without a clear way to find everyone, I actually didn't go, so at least in my case, it backfired.
- L2S1PY: Combining all above approaches, these two are probably the best messages:
- L2S1S4: “Give your cell# in the 2nd RSVP Q. And to all who do (& RSVP'd YES or MAYBE now) I'll send my cell # the night before. Else I'm at MtgDestiny@(classified) (goes to my cell). Text/SMS, else email, else vmail me saying where you'll be & for how long and your cell #.”
- L2RDQG: First, place an in your event announcement .
- L2S31X: Advanced RSVP requirements else benefits.
- L2RLMD: Any advanced RSVP requirement is debatable.
- L2S2ZW: It help with planning (though often not much: when it's possible for people to show up without ever RSVPing (as is typical for Meetup events), then the leader needs to be there and be ready even when nobody RSVPs YES or MAYBE (as there are typically 90% when many times the leader must go even if no one RSVP, this really doesn't matter)
- it could cause more people to go wouldn't go if they hadn't had pressure to commit.
- It could cause people who would normally go to instead not make it because they see they are past the cut-off (even though cut-off is truthfully unneeded). On the other hand, And unfortunately in most cases we can't just say "If you missed the RSVP, you'll just have to pay more" because in most cases on Meetup everything is free.
- L2QRO2: A trick: you can select say “Limited to 12 attendees” (when the limit is in fact much higher) and select “Automatic waiting list — Save time!” to cause the say “3 spots left” warning to appear at the top of the entry, hopefully causing people to be more motivated to RSVP YES or MAYBE now.
- L2QRV7: “Allow members to RSVP Maybe” -- YES, I strongly recommend keeping this YES.
- L2QRVY: About 25% of the Meetup events I've been to don't allow MAYBE, I think because they feel this will force the YES option on people even when people don't intend that. But I for one am ticked when I'm forced to give a YES or NO when the true answer is MAYBE (then risk getting counted as a no-show by Meetup tabulator if I say YES but don't actually come). I then either pick NO or YES with say the comment “but my real answer is MAYBE” (though I'd still be counted down by Meetup if I didn't show). Overall I think Don't force people, and if you want a head-count just take your YES's and 1/2 your MAYBE's.
“Email members automatic reminders”
- L7UNUK: Note in reminders Meetup emails out the FULL event listing (not just a summary), so all details there must be right.
- L7UNK4: IFF your listing may not be ready for announcement for a day or more (to edit or to get approval (typical: such as approval from your superior organizer(s) and/or the source event hosts (if a repost))), then turn this OFF; then once approval is granted (as by the approver), then remember to turn this ON. Otherwise Meetup WILL automatically announce your event listing to all members before it is ready!
- L2QQP5: I suggest this good question: “Important: What phone number else email can I (the organizer) text/call you at for & DURING this event? --insuring you find us there and more. Your answer is kept private.”
- L2QQVB: Allows RSVPers to privately give your phone number which drastically helps people find each other.
- L2QQWR: This is especially important if you're not publishing your own phone number anywhere.
L2QERQ: For many real listings which are good examples, see http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC/calendar
- L2QDSL: Generally keep the event announcement (email) very concise.
- L7UOQR: Warning: Meetup DOESN'T do this. Instead it sends out the full event listing. But that has a number of disadvantages.
- L2QDUX: Ideally make it so it will fit in an SMS message, as indeed some people (or you!) may want to SMS/twitter it.
- L2QF3M: Why make it short? While this is debatable and I'm only 80% certain of this (as still plenty of long bulk email is being sent), I've got many reasons to do it:
- L2QFIB: Change happens, things need corrected & fixed. But, if you update the event plans (besides the small portion you announced), you usually don't need to announce again.
- L2QF8Z: Short messages avoid wasting people's email's space with redundant info which also goes out-of-date.
- L2QF6D: People tolerate frequent emails if they're short & sweet.
- L2QF6N: The purpose of the email is really to get people to go the event web page where:
- L2QF79: they can get more information (as who RSVP'd & comments) plus updates plus photos
- L2QFAL: They can put their RSVP and generally give us feedback.
- L2QFD9: A short message people can SMS & twitter to others.
- L2QFEH: Increasingly people are reading email on their phone where longer emails are harder harder to read.
- L2QFO2: For the email subject,
- L2QFP2: for SMS messages, it seemingly gets truncated after 20 characters, so try to include the important stuff first.
- L2QDWU: Include ideally in this order:
- L2QDXU: When. The date (if not this week) else the day of week (if not today) else just the time start & stop.
- L2QF1H: Where, especially the city if un-obvious.
- L2QFMQ: The event name and/or keywords.
- L2QFS6: For the email body,
- L2QFT5: Include
- L2QFVG: The event URL (also list it first because an SMS message may truncate the rest)
- L2QFTJ: When (the full dates):
- L2QFTZ: Where
- L2QFWX: The event name and some enticing description
- L2QFX6: "Please see more details & RSVP at <the event URL>" (the event URL again)
- L2QG13: Be sure to select ~“Also post this event announcement on the Message Board”
- L7UOKD: First make sure all the details are right; very often a few minutes later you'll think of something; if possible it's a good idea to sleep on it.
- L7UOA5: If you are reposting someone else's event, you may first need to get their approval.
- L7UO89:You (also) need to get approval of the final version of your proposed email from your immediate superior organizer unless they've said otherwise in writing (or unless you are the Head Organizer).
- L7UOHR: And unless it's a rush, it's generally a good idea to sleep on it, as again, emails cannot be taken back.
- L2RDBD: Especially due to the fact that it isn't possible to publish your phone (and email) on Meetup without it being visible there to group members forever, it is sometimes preferred to email your phone to just those people coming to the event.
- L2RDV3: Pros & cons:
- L2RDVR: Meetup allows you to do part of this fairly easily as you can email everyone who say has RSVP'd YES or MAYBE. However my guess is you can't automatically email to just those people who became YES or MAYBE since your last such email, so these you then have to handle manually.
- L2RDXZ: This gives your phone number to dramatically fewer people.
- L2RDZ5: It does leave your phone number in promised-attendees' email where it can never be removed (unlike a website where it can be taken off).
- However, sometimes people (like me) RSVP just shortly before the actual event, indeed after others have already set their plans. So either you have to institute a cut-off time as @@to be continued
- L35DFO: This is very important for the success of a group as typically no one person can nor should do all the work and have all the power.
- L35DHN: And Meetup advertises this fact (all the key people in charge) on every page of the group so everyone knows and indeed then having a number of people in charge further sells people on the group.
- L35DKH: Meetup also makes it very easy (indeed too easy) to share one's group powers, which makes it:
- L35DQV: very easy to share the work and often allow each person to do only the portions they want & are good at, and
- L35DQV: very easy for any organizer to, intentionally or unintentionally, mess things up (by irrevocably changing/erasing data and/or removing members); on Meetup, if it's within an organizer's power to do something, they unfortunately can do it immediately without warnings nor approval and there is no backup.
- L35DVP: Only allow as much power as the person really needs AND has proven s/he can be trusted with, consequently,
- L35DZA: Unless say you have a verified track record otherwise, start a new organizer off at the lowest level (Event Organizer)
- L35E5K: Promote an organizer slowly & just 1 step at a time, proportionate to his/her overall favorable verified work.
- L35E6D: Because of overall unfavorable work, demote an organizer generally slowly, too, but most importantly proportionate to the overall unfavorable work which must be verified.
- L35ECY: For extreme violations (such as stealing, or otherwise abusing others), naturally demotions can be multiple levels plus further actions as appropriate.
- L35EQF: Sincerely questioning authority, when doing this properly (as in directly up the chain in private, or in RSVP space or similar) is NEVER a reason for demotion and doing so will only be counted against the organizer doing it (the organizer will be required to undo it, will be required to apologize & explain, and as well as further actions which could be taken against the organizer).
- L3CGIS: With limited exceptions, Meetup profiles, while mostly fairly accurate, are still only suggestions of who that person so, though this is rare, COULD EASILY BE SOMEONE ELSE pretending perhaps even trying to trick you, so do not fully trust any self-input information on a Meetup profile (name, photos, location, bio, etc; you can trust group titles & dates) until you actually meet that person in-person and have verified these points, and expect and appreciate others for accordingly NOT trusting you if all they know about you is your Meetup profile (for instance if a guy won't give you his main phone # because all he knows you is from your Meetup profile (and in a group where any unknown could be a member)
- L2SD1D: Limited exceptions are these indicators of a profile's trustworthiness:
- L2SD4H: The only real guarantee: If you've been referred-to or vouched-for the Meetup profile by someone who you can reasonably trust on this. Most especially & commonly, if one of the other leaders in your group whom you've already verified is real and truth-worthy on this referral refers you to this person; most especially (indeed of course) if the Head Organizer designates that person a certain title in the group AND set that title in the areas Meetup designates for that (not if it says so (as "I'm the treasurer") in the person's bio or question answers).
- L2SETT: The automatic Meetup website software (not the profile owner) gives good information about the profile.
- L2U503: This is fairly reliable check but, unless it's something very common & immediate (see the first example) then unfortunately determining this takes a bit of work plus know-how on what to look for (Meetup software could do much better here). But if one takes that notable extra time to read a Meetup profile, then one can see my profile is a good demonstration here, with the Meetup software showing I've had considerable experience & leadership, so meeting most every criteria listed next.
- L2U56N: Indicators (Meetup, not the user, puts on a person's profile) from most to least reliable:
- L2U58Y: Information in the title fields, when you're just simply trying to find a person handling that kind of issue.
- L2U5JJ: The official position field: Are they Organizer, Co-Organizer, Assistant Organizer, or just Member?
- What does their free-form-text title field say? --which only can be put there by the Head Organizer.. This is fast & quick, where Meetup excels. For exampleThis is fast & quick on as the person is listed as your event's organizer, and your question is only related to that
- L2SDOF: if the profile holds leadership roles in other Meetup groups, especially Organizer. Assistant-Organizer or Co-Organizer, especially if they've held the job for a month or more, almost certainly means someone else trusts that person with his/her group. Head Organizer is also typically very trustworthy especially if the group is large or has had some meetings where people have attended.
- L2SE6D: My profile meets this criteria: you will see in the group list I am listed as "Organizer" of currently 2 groups which have had real meetings.
- L2SDQI: If the profile has been on Meetup over 6 months (more time the better) AND is actively attending events in ideally more than one group (look at the profile's custom profile for each group).
- L2SEFX: My profile well meets this criteria, providing information which can't be forged: says Meetup (not me) “Meetup member since November 20, 2004” and on my groups the most obvious are the groups where Meetup (not me) lists me as "Organizer" but you could pick any group (though then you'd have to try a few as I'm of course not as as active on the groups I don't organize). Then picking selecting/finding the group were I'm active on, clicking "View Profile" (such as this group profile) Meetup (not me) gives my "Latest Activity" which includes attending (indeed leading) various real meetings.
- L2U3G1: Unlike the typical established real-world groups, someone being a fellow member of your Meetup group, nor a member of many Meetup groups, by-itself generally does NOT mean much automatic trust of that person,
- L2U4E4: as by just that (being just being a member), still that person generally could be anyone (including not even the person they portray on their profile), because:
- L2U3VZ: for about 90% of Meetups: anyone can join, and typically instantly, and stay in the group even if they never do anything in it (as about 50% or more of members do), and
- L2U3WD: for the few groups do have have membership criteria, never have I seen anything verified nor evenly enforced nor even fully-written out (the only exception (at least as far as writing up all the membership criteria) is my own groups, as http://Meetup.com/UUYA-US-CA-OC , and still I must confess, I haven't been able to enforce all the standards as much as I'd like )
- L2SD25: lots of consistent information about the person on the profile and especially on other sites pointed to by the profile.
- L2SE77: My profile well-meets this criteria: as well as considerable detail in the profiles of each of my groups, on the main page is a bio which tells my school, military service, and most importantly gives a link to my blog (which gives a huge amount of detail on me) which then also gives a link to my MySpace. which has enormous (too much?) detail on me; and if you were to take the time to read all this, all of it is consistent.
- L2UCNW: You can do this to a large extent easily by just following careful naming & photos on your profile. However, this may not be enough:
- L2UC91: But if someone becomes interested in you and looks at your group list, they will then see that you are a member of the "Underwear fetish" group. If they, too, are a member, this is no problem. But if you fear that they would wrongfully dismiss anyone in an "underwear fetish" group (and you might be right), then you can also do one of the following:
- L2UCXL: the NOT RECOMMEND step of hiding the list of profiles you are in. Then they won't be able to make the connection --well unless they think "Hey, is that the same Toni I know in this other group" and they check the if the user IDs match and they do (which I've done on a few occasions, especially since the hiding-of-ones-groups irritated me) so it's still not as secure as you think. As, possibly worse by doing this, you're now irritating people, by hiding your list of group memberships, making everyone on ALL your groups now wonder now what you've got to hide.
- L2UD8U: Alternatively, a fix not implemented on Meetup. A each membership could have a setting of "is controversial for me" (which, in the "Underwear Fetish" group would probably be on by default). These groups would not be displayed on your public group membership list (only you & Meetup admin would see them)
- (though there is a chance they would, I've I've made these connections, as your user ID number is still the same). TEXT Under construction:
- then well then you can hide this fact from the non-controversial groups you're in. group by just putting a disguised or very different photo of yourself on that group, it is fairly unlikely people will connect the two
- L358O3: Create additional but separate persona(s)/profile(s) where on each you can freely share your group memberships, just avoid all connection between them.
- L3599G: For instance, on at least Meetup, you could have the following profiles (personas), from most to least important:
- L3599Q: One for your personal activities, where you just give your first name which is real but generic (as "Jeff")
- L359BN: One (else more) for your controversial activities, where you give different (more covert) photos and say us an obviously invented name as "Don Juan"
- L359DW: And one for your business/career & legal dealings (for your general official public image) where you use your full real name, as "Jeff David Rogers"; this you would say use for your membership in career-related groups where you might be seeking employment.
- L358TF: This also has the added benefit that even the website (Meetup) can't easily connect your profiles (well can't connect them easily (as matching IPs), which they are probably not going to bother with, and even if they do they can't connect them for sure).
- L358WW: Yes this requires you to have multiple logins on the website (Meetup), and only log with one persona at a time (unless you open two different makes of web browsers).
- L359M0: But since you also have logins on other social networking sites (as Facebook, MySpace, linked in), you could probably usefully duplicate these same multiple personas on there as well (as needed), and then, using a login server as OpenID (else Facebook, which Meetup accepts), have one login for each persona which multiple websites accept, so if you have say 3 personas, you only 3 logins total (since the websites share logins), not 3 logins on every website.
- L3CGKZ: On Meetup, this demographic exists (for instance, see the group I run http://Meetup.com/AsianFriendster) but is not easy to find as quoting from above, Meetup members are generally "ages about 25 to 60 with the largest group about age 40".
- L2QANN: big groups are key to making something happen.
- L2QBLC: From summarizing the feedback from about 70 young adults from the profile questions of http://Meetup.com/Asianfriendster/members , a top request is "more people at events": that many others (other young adults) also be there
- L2QBQW: I would guess young adults want 5 to 500 at each event and and hundreds if not thousands in the group.
- L2QBAP: it's very "critical mass"ish so catch-22: once you a cluster beyond a certain number, it "explodes" (the event happens) but less than that they just immediately leave to find a "critical-mass" of young adults which is "happening".
- L2QBF5: It's less "What's happening?" and more "Who's going?".
- L2QB83: While young adults probably don't know why they do this, this is seemingly reasonable when you think about it, because
- L2QBI5: young adults are all about networking & making connections so they can support themselves and establish a life out in the real world.
- L2QBIC: young adults have just spent their last 12 to 18 years in classrooms & schools where the minimum grouping of young adults their own age is at least 30.
- L2S43F: Why the typical low RSVP rate?
- L2S4EU: Email overload: Meetup generally sends you an instant email for every event which every one of your groups does (and generally 2 to 4 emails for each event, with reminders & updates), a lot more than most people want: as you can't send to just members which are close to the event nor to just those who like that type/series of events; and while you can send to just recently-active members I've never seen this feature used.
- L2S4N1: (at least for me) Meetup's lack of long-term record-keeping or reports of one's RSVPs (that a member can access). I want a record of everything I've said (as to back what I've said) but Meetup doesn't save prior values of RSVP comments nor when the RSVP was made and even seemingly deletes the RSVP comments after the event has started. Consequently I make a point to to save my RSVP comment, usually by editing the notice email I got as my email client Outlook lets me do: edit it (insert my reply) and mark it as complete (which also notes the date of my reply). But this individually duplicating everything is a pain, and definitely discourages me from RSVPing to a lot of events.
- L35H5C: I will soon be breaking the document up into smaller/small chucks for easier reading, commenting, & referencing plus much-better ad revenue.
- L5I8QQ: I'm waiting on getting the tools to do so in a way that will be maintainable
- L5I8UL: Originally I was planning to break it up into say 4 ordinary but still-big blog posts.
- L5I8VD: Now I'm planning to break it up into small blog posts grouped by nested categorizes, in probably WordPress.
- L35H96: I plan to gradually take this document up the Meetup chain:
- L35HB7: first implementing & testing it for my own groups which I lead
- L35HBS: Then recommending its use & adoption by other leading groups in my counties (Orange & Los Angeles) with head organizers who know me
- L5I8Z3: such as by http://Meetup.com/GOT-OC with 3088 members (the largest Meetup group in OC?) who is headed by Larry who I've met a few times and knows of me a little.
- L35HD3: Then recommending advocating & adopting it by the Meetup group of Meetup Organizers for my counties (for Orange County & Los Angeles)
- L35HFC: Then repeating this last step for my state (California), country (USA), then at the world groups.
- L35HGU: Then (or as part of the above process) encouraging Meetup admin to endorse it as a standard, as perhaps giving a software option on each Meetup group where a head organizer could decide to participate in this and other group standards, where this would be turned on by default.
- L35HKV: And maybe, after all that work and more, I'll might actually make a tiny bit from the advertising, if I'm very lucky enough to pay for all this work!
L2PFGY: 2010.05.19pst2303- I DestinyArchitect created & own this document .
- KVA3T1: Created from: copying as directed Writely doc KUJWXV KUJWXV(LoveRules.Info post template) “Revision 1039 -2010.05.18pst1459” creating Writely doc L2PFGY.
- KVA3VQ: Motive (at creation): To have what the title says; I've been thinking about this for about 6 months now, very important.
- L355RW: Indeed, what finally what triggered me to write this whole document? Though he didn't know it until I told him later, it was our proactive & supportive fellow group member Ken! A few days after I saved our over-200-member AsianFrindster from biting the dust, our fellow group member Ken emailed me quote[hi hi,..thank for taking over the group...im more then happy to be assist organizing event...thnk for last year invited me to your friend party...]; so I wrote him back quote[Your welcome, Kin! And thanks for saying so. I was waiting to see who the first person to notice might be (who said something). And no surprise it's you, bud. Good to to hear from you again!]. You see about a year earlier I had seen Kin's profile listed on the group and he just seemed cool, I so I messaged him saying hello and soon added him as a friend. So I was delighted to hear from him now! But, saying nothing against him, but truth is we had never met (I'd never really seen him) and indeed I didn't even know his cell phone #, things any group would have automatically expected if a Head Organizer were to make him another event organizer (that they then would have to trust); in fact I then noticed that his other groups he is were private (untypical, and a potential concern). So I realized, even though I had a good feeling about him when we had chatted online, now that we were talking about his directing everybody (the whole group) to events, that wouldn't be enough, so before appointing him I would first have to fill & verify these holes in what I knew of him, out of respect of respect to the group. Moreover, due to Meetup's not having software controls for this, I and everyone would have to trust him not wrongfully delete and ban stuff. So I started putting this list of things together in my reply email to him. But then I realized, "Hey, this doesn't belong in an email. That makes a long email and he might even think I'm strangely picking on him to reply back with such a long list which (obviously) was many ways written just for him. Indeed, communicating that way (telling him custom stuff which actually should apply to everyone), not only would this make me a lot of work for each organizer who joined but it might make the organizer understandably be concerned that the same standards might not be applied to each organizer, and indeed maybe I was just picking on him/her." So I realized I really had to bite-the-bullet and write this document of Meetup rules, originally titled "Rules for a Meetup Group". It was originally first just for organizers (per my immediate need to add Kin as an assistant organizer) but then I started realizing "Hey a bunch of this applies to all Meetup users, even just members, even people brand new or considering Meetup" so I generalized the document to that. I also started realizing some of the things listed here couldn't/shouldn't be spelled out to just "Rules" but were "Guidelines" so added that, leading to the present title "Guidelines & Rules for Using Meetup.com". And that's how this document was triggered & started! Thanks, Ken!
- KVA3WV: Title (at creation): desiring name[Guidelines & Rules for a Meetup.com Group]; renamed to title[L2PFGY(Guidelines & Rules for a Meetup.com Group)].
- KVA579: Published-at URL: http://Blogger.LoveRules.Info/2010/05/l2pfgy.html
- L2MXTP: This document copyright: see LoveRules.Info About's LoveRules.Info ownership & access rights for exact details.
- L30NLD: Renamed to title[L2PFGY(Guidelines & Rules for Using Meetup.com)].
- L3BOZE: Renamed to title[L2PFGY(Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com)].
- L5I9JA: Renamed to title[(Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com)L2PFGY] per my latest document naming convention.
- L5U9G7: Renamed to title[Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com, an eBook L2PFGY] per my latest doc naming convention plus since blogger is now generating decent titles.
- L6LIHP: Renamed to title[Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com, a free eBook L2PFGY] to add/emphasize it's "free".
- L6PE78: Added bit.ly URL for this doc: http://blogger.loverules.info/2010/05/l2pfgy.html shortened to http://bit.ly/bIisdV so new linked title[Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com, a free eBook L2PFGY].
- L8SZLT: Renamed to title[free eBook “Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com L2PG1L”] per 2 things:
- L8T04P: new standard to put in in the title the content ID (L2PG1L) instead of doc ID (L2PFGY) (as the content could move) plus
- L8T054: putting “a free eBook” in front as I find I often put it there as an introduction (sometimes extending as “a free eBook” or “my free eBook”) plus then putting the remainder in quotes as to show it's a title.
- L92H7W: Per email (given this ID) sent 2010.09.20 15:16 from Meetup HQ Support Andrea saying “Please know that an Organizer is permitted to use the logo in connection with their Meetup Group or with a specific Meetup event. I'm afraid that using the logo outside of this framework implies a relationship with us or endorsement by us, which is not the case. \ We truly appreciate your support, but you'll need you to either takedown the logo or use a logo that is associated with your Meetup Group instead. Another option would be to ensure that this page cites that [you do>it does] not have any affiliation with us.”, I:
- L92N9M: added at the top of this eBook (after the title & version but before the table of contents) paragraph L92H3H saying rather completely that this document has “no official affiliation, connection, association, approval, endorsement, or sponsorship” plus other relevant details, wording adapted from my UUYA! paragraph L6CBY8 (as that was already written and has been used successfully now for ~3 months by my other Meetup group I run, UUYA! of OC --you'll see it at the top of “read more about this group”). Right after that...
- L92NA7: added the section What readers are saying about this eBook including Andrea's “We truly appreciate your support” (also including the core of Meetup's position) and your feedback could be here, too!.
- L92NEH: Emailed back Organizer@Meetup.com "Dear Andrea" letting her & them know.
|L3BTOH: [b][url=http://bit.ly/bIisdV#L3BTOH]Pledge L3BTOH[/url]: I [name>>your name within the organization which should also be a hyperlink to your profile in the organization, for example [url=http://www.meetup.com/AsianFriendster/members/9891966]Jun Tamoro[/url]],[/b] in accepting the job/title [Job name>>replace with a hyperlink to the public description, the typical initial job is [url=http://blogger.loverules.info/2010/05/l2pfgy.html#L35CI0]EventOrganizer[/url]] for [area/department/location>>replace with a hyperlink to that, or put "all" if for the whole organization] of [organization>>replace with a hyperlink to that, for instance, [url=http://Meetup.com/AsianFriendster]Meetup.com/AsianFriendster[/url]] from [now>>replace with the full date & time if not "now"] [onward>>replace with the duration/end-date if known], promise to everyone that I will do my best to be a good member of my organization & group including ([list=1] |
[*]I promise to reply & respond fully & timely to messages & issues regarding my organization & group; and
[*]I promise to live up to my title(s) & get my job(s) done as expected by following, literally else in intent/spirit, the directives & desires of those I organize, oversee, & lead and especially (of my governing documents (laws/rules/guidelines) and of the people in charge), including ([list=1]
[*]my organization & group's summarized self-description, including its website(s)' Home page (including, on Meetup groups, “read more about this group”) and About page, all which I have completely read today, and
[*][url=http://bit.ly/bIisdV]Universal Rules & Guidelines for Meetup.com L2PG1L[/url] where I have carefully read the Contents (to know what's there) & carefully followed the instructions in the Preface;[/list]
[*]else wherever there is some problem doing the above then I will appropriately, timely, & fully alert/speak-up of the problem and make the best of it.)[/list]