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Members Against Meetup's New View Message Board › Who ARE You?

Who ARE You?

A former member
Post #: 255
I'm going to borrow an idea from the Worldwide Meetup Organizer Group.

Once you've joined Oryx's group, come by this thread and tell us all about yourself. Until Oryx stops by and posts the story, I'm going to direct you to what I found out here.­

A former member
Post #: 256

Hi, I'm John, I'm hanging on.

I'm a lifetime sailor. My grandfather had a large wooden sailing vessel that he sailed around the world in 1953 with his third wife who was half his age.

In 1961 I began sailing with him (I was five). At age 10 I started sailing my own boat, which my father, a non-sailor, but fantastic carpenter, allowed me to think I built my self - I'm pretty gullible.

The rest of my life was pretty boring, except of course when I was sailing, but to you all, that is probably even more boring than the times I wasn't sailing.

My grandfather was an alcoholic and died that way. So at a tender age I decided I would not even start drinking. I dreamed about sailing and sex, but found that sailing was easier - see, pretty boring.

Fast forward to 2007. Something pretty amazing happened. I'll spare you the details, but the upshot was that I had to learn how to connect with people if I wanted to continue to go sailing. Before, people found ME and my life was pretty simple. Now I had to find people. I joined a club that had an email list. I worked that list, connected with people and could sail more. I quickly found out that I wanted to sail more than anyone else I could find in the email list.

I needed a bigger list.

So after reading a ton of stuff, and learning a ton of stuff, I founded the Got Wind and Water Sailing Network. I didn't want to spend much money, and I didn't want to spend a lot of time online. So I chose Meetup as the platform I would use. I just wanted to connect with people to go sailing with. When I found how easy it was (I was now pretty good at it), I decided that it would be cool to Pay It Forward. My grandfathers third wife had explained the principle to me in the mid sixties while handing me a chocolate bar. I never forgot it. Anything wrapped in chocolate has sticking power. They made a movie about it later, but my grandfather's third wife wasn't in it . . . There was something about a kid and his mom and a teacher . . . no chocolate . . . hmm.

When I founded Got Wind and Water, I decided that I would share my new founded ability to connect people with the rest of the world. It worked and I went sailing a lot. So did a lot of other people who dreamed about sailing, but had never tried it because they didn't know anyone. We took a lot of photographs so other people could see all the fun we were having. A rubber duck somehow got involved.

That is a pretty silly reason not to do something. It's a pity I didn't discover that before all my hair turned white.

That sex thing would have been pretty cool when I was younger.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it. If you don't believe me you can read what other people have to say here.

John Cabrall
Got Wind and Water Sailing Network
. . . powered by the Meetup Platform*

*with the post Feb. 12th new, new, view, my MPG seems to have taken a hit. But I found WMUOG, spent WAY TOO MUCH time on the discussion boards at HQ . . . and am now here.

I guess clouds do have silver linings.
A former member
Post #: 7,360
I am Len.
I know the internet fairly well, and have been in computers since I was 15, and that is a little while ago. Let me just say that my first program was written with pliers and a hammer and leave it at that shall we.

I have a small company that writes and manages small websites. I have been using the internet for business as well as pleasure since the days of 9,600 baud modems.

When I started using meetup I had some help from some wonderfully adept organisers. The old, now silent ones who had seen meetup develop since the beginning. They, and a very few of the staff were really helpful to me. Without their help my group would not be the success it is. I rapidly grew to know the platform myself. I was even invited to join the select group whose work is used so much by all of us.

I used to be a person who helped out where I could on the discuss Meetup boards. No, I wasn't a Volunteer Moderator, I was just keen to return the favour that had been such a help to me. I enjoy helping others, so answering the frantic pleas of new organisers trying to make sense of meetup gave me pleasure and served a purpose.

Now I am silent, but I am still happy to help where and when I can. It amuses me to see posts about censorship on the boards today. If only they knew just how censored the boards really are.

A former member
Post #: 689
I'm Lara, and the kidlet in the photo with my is my 2 yo Duncan.

He's the reason I became a meetup member: have a baby, lose yourself in a pile of diapers and burp cloths, dig yourself out, search for others in the same stage of life... voila mommy meetups.

But I learnt I'm not the typical "mommy". I had my son later in life, (yes, mid-30s is late *sigh*), and because I teach pre-natal, infant and child development (I'm a home economics teacher) I know too much to be the typical first time mom. And so I ended up run out of my first meetup group for being too opinionated. (I like opinions).

I was immediately invited into my second meetup group by my organsier (Joleen) and during our first face to face meeting she asked me to become an AO. Together we branched off from that group a few months later to form a play group.

I've also AOed a crafting group (where the O when AWOL), mommy-fitness group (another AWOL organiser), and a mom & infant group (again, an AWOL O). I've learnt from these experiences that organizing is difficult work, but I like being useful.
A former member
Post #: 2,611
Hi, I'm Jeanette, the founder and organizer of DAFT (Denver Atheists & Freethinkers).

I was also a member of the Beta Test Group. I was enthusiastic about the addition of the photo and video modules, as well as the movement of the menu to the top of our Home pages... since at first that appeared to mean more room for our group description sections.

Some of the early changes were good, although the bottom half of the page needed a lot of work, the modules clearly needed to be movable, and the organizer photos were too small.

Then after several weeks, the final "mock-up" was released to the test group, and suddenly it all looked horrible. It felt like a bait-and-switch.

The Latest Activity feed was no longer removable, and had been placed in the center of the page and enlarged to dominate the page. The events section had been crushed over to the right side of the page, into a narrow vertical column (which as I pointed out would work great in China, but most groups on Meetup are in countries where we read horizontal text). And the group description section was collapsed for members, with no option to keep it expended.

None of that crap was going on in any of the many versions we "previewed" before that. All of the earlier versions were better than that last version. And whereas the majority of organizers in the beta test liked most of the earlier changes, the vast majority were opposed to the final version, and clearly stated that the negative changes far outweighed any positive gains.

So since the large number of us who had been supportive up until that point were abruptly very concerned, and that concern turned to anger as it appeared we weren't being heard, Meetup decided it was time to lock the discussion thread about the topic in the beta group, delete all attempts to further discuss the topic, and unleash the "New View" on all of Meetup.

It is now clear that they had planned to do that all along, and that nothing that was said in the Beta Test Group, nothing that was said on the forums and blog during the test phase involving all of Meetup, and nothing that was said after it was irrevocably imposed on all groups on Meetup would make a bit of difference to their decision.

I left the Beta Test Group, since of course I have wasted all of the time I spent under the delusion that I was helping the site to become better. (Len did tell me that quite a long time ago, but it didn't seem logical. Why go to all the pretense of running the Beta Test Group? That still doesn't make sense to me.)

I only hope that in the long run, Meetup will eventually give us the ability to move modules around, expand our group descriptions, or even remove the deplorable Latest Activity feed, or at least move it out of the way of more important things.

They are saying that this isn't the final product, and I do hope that's true. But they haven't done themselves or us any favors in releasing it before it ~is~ ready to be a final product.
A former member
Post #: 75
Wow. That is some pertinent information Jeanette. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm sorry you had to go through it. Funny, but I got the impression from both my discussions and the MU Staff replies in the "Discuss MeetUp" area that MUHQ really didn't give a damn too. It really is a bizarre behavior and of course hugely disappointing. I have run focus groups and beta test groups before and I can't imagine ignoring the results like that and still having a job afterwards. Of course at a credible company like ours we had fail-safes to make sure something like that could never happen.

As for locking the threads, that is exactly what they have been doing in the "Discuss MeetUp" section too. That and banning people who speak up... like me...

Ooh, just realized I had to write about who I am... I am Justin, one of the organizers of the Los Angeles Scooter MeetUp Group. I have worked in advertising and design for the past 15 years for most of the major LA ad agencies. And yes, that includes web design, so not that I have all the answers to everything all the time, but when I make my comments about the new UI to MUHQ (or rather, made them, as I am now banned from commenting), they really are informed opinions.

I really hope we can all keep this momentum going if for nothing else than to punish MU for their arrogance.
A former member
Post #: 120
I'm Jeff. I've been an assistant in the Portland, Oregon Hiking Meetup since late 2006. We have over 2500 members and we lead events year-round. Our activities include hiking, backpacking, car camping, snowshoeing, walks in the parks with dogs and occasional kayaking. We meet once a month at a pub so new members can meet the organizers and we can all just socialize.

I'm a programmer/analyst now and in a past life I spent 17 years in publishing working for daily newspapers and the National Enquirer. Through Meetup I've made some great friends and discovered another wonderful hiking club which owns two lodges in the mountains where we have now had some great events. I also met my current gf through a Swing Dancing meetup. So I'm a huge believer in Meetup, and that's why I care so much about the ramifications of the new view.

A former member
Post #: 153
Jeff-I am actually signed up for and looking forward to your 4/1 event. I'm going with ACJ, however.

I'm Heather. I have been the organizer of the Portland Metro Young Widows and Widowers group since July 2008. As the name implies, I was unexpectedly widowed just over 2 years ago at the age of 34. I started the group because I found I didn't relate to the other widow/ers in my Hospice group who had been married longer than I had been alive. I figured in a metro area this size, I couldn't possibly be the only young widowed person, but there were no support groups specifically for us, so I started my own. We meet once a month for dinner.

In October 2009, I joined a social group and found it was nice to just be a member of an active group with no responsibility. In January, I became an official photographer for the group; last week I became an AO. It's an awesome group that has been such a blessing for me as I rebuild my life and my fear has been the new view is going to negatively impact it. (I don't think my group will be as negatively impacted as my members really only visit the site when I post a new dinner or something to the message board. Newly widowed people don't have much of an attention span).

When I'm not at Meetup events or complaining about the new view, I can usually be found with my non-Meetup friends, volunteering, curled up with my "boys"- the cocker spaniels in the picture with my nose in a book or trying to sort out my life through my blog.
A former member
Post #: 1,388
I am Beth Owls Daughter. I have been the organizer of the Raleigh-Durham Tarot Meetup since it first got started. Not sure who first created the group, because from day one, I was getting emails asking me if I would, first, join, and then right after that, requests for me to become the organizer. (Leading me to think that Meetup itself created it, on spec). As far as I know, we are the oldest Tarot Meetup.

Anyway, it's been over seven years. I grew our group from 3 people huddled over Tarot cards at Barnes&Nobles to the 2nd biggest Tarot Meetup in the world, with 334 members (many international) at this moment. Our local members have met monthly without fail (except once due to a snowstorm), and we now average 25 people, often with a waiting list, each month.

I have worked very hard to make this happen. Not only do I promote MU on Facebook & Twitter, it's on my website, it's in my monthly newsletter and I even pay out of my own pocket for advertising in the local metaphysical magazines.

This is why I feel so abused by these arrogant twits who think they know more than I do about what is good for my group! That's why I'm here.
- Beth
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