The new version of Meetup launched in September, 2004. Now this really is your
Meetup Group. You've got the power to make it thrive!Here's what's new:
- Your Meetup Group has a new home page. This is 'home base,' where you'll continue the conversation between Meetups.
- Each Meetup Group should now have an official local Organizer. The Organizer's job is to make Meetups run smoothly by choosing a time and place to meet, confirming that the venue can hold your group, and welcoming members. They can also schedule extra events, contact members directly, and update details like group name, description, and logo. The Organizer is there to help other members, not to take over the Meetups, so don't be shy about asking questions and making suggestions. Organizers don't 'own' the Group--you all do, as members.
- Anyone can now start a Meetup Group, anywhere. We used to restrict the number of Meetup Groups for a given topic of interest to one in each city. Now there are no restrictions.
- No more restrictions on time, day, and frequency of Meetups. We used to schedule every local Meetup Group within a topic of interest to meet at the same day and time worldwide. If that doesn't work for your Group, your Organizer can change the time of the Meetup--and schedule extra events.
- No more venue restrictions. Now you can meet in public parks, private homes, stores...wherever you like. Use the Contact Organizer form to share ideas with your Organizer.
- No more venue voting. Members used to vote on where to meet from a ballot of choices selected by Meetup.com. While this worked well for some Meetup Groups, it worked badly for others. People got stuck at meeting places that were too small, too loud, too unfriendly, or--worst of all--closed. We made these changes so that locals could decide where to meet, because they know the needs of their Meetup Groups better than we ever can.
- Meetup Groups can get more specific. If your Group is specialized--for example, machine knitters within the Knitting Meetup community, or mothers of toddlers within the Stay At Home Moms community--your Organizer can now update your group name and description to reflect that.
- No more Meetup-defined 'locales'. Meetup.com used to assign each Meetup Group to a pre-defined city boundary. That worked fine for many people, but others got stuck on the border between two "locales", and couldn't find a conveniently located Meetup. So we're doing away with pre-set city boundaries. Members in the US and Canada will enter their ZIP or postcodes, other members will tell us what city they're in. Then they'll simply tell us how far they're willing to travel, and we'll automatically calculate the nearest Meetup Groups--regardless of their city.
- You can join as many Meetup Groups as you like, in any topic of interest. On the top-left of your screen, in the blue area, you'll see a link that says 'All Meetup Groups' for your topic. Check it out to see other Groups nearby and far away, and to see your Group on the Meetup map.
- You can RSVP for friends. If you have friends who want to see what a Meetup is like, but haven't signed up yet, you can RSVP on their behalf.
- Your September Meetups: Many of you voted for a meeting place for your September Meetup, before the Group Organizer was appointed. In most cases, we expect that the Organizer will stick with the Group's choice, and your September Meetup will take place as normal. If not, he or she will let you know.
- Big Meetup Groups: Some Groups were large enough to meet at more than one venue each month. In some cases, we've divided them into smaller groups and assigned members based on where they last voted to meet. If this happened to you, and the new Group is inconvenient for you, you're welcome to join one or more of the other new Meetup Groups in your area. There's no limit to the number of memberships you can have.
- Small Meetup Groups: Meetup.com will no longer cancel Meetup events that don't reach a minimum number of RSVPs. In the previous version of the service, we used to do this to make sure people did not show up and find themselves alone. Now that the Group Organizer will be there to welcome members, there's no need for automatic cancellations (though the Organizer can choose to cancel an event if necessary).
So what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Confused? This is the place to discuss the changes with your Meetup Group.