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Ann Arbor Adventure Club Message Board › New Meetup Format Changes

New Meetup Format Changes

Mazin
Mazin-A
Ann Arbor, MI
Hey folks,

We've gotten a slew of questions about this, so I thought I'd send out an e-mail.  As many of you may have noticed, Meetup has now "upgraded" the site to what they call "New Meetup."  Some of the many new upgrades they've added is that half the functionality is removed, tons of things are broken and lots of stuff looks terrible!  Yay!  But it still kinda works, and we still have our fun and adventurous community, which is what's most important.  Anyway, here's a few notes that may make your interaction with the "upgraded" site a little more smooth:

RSVPs: When you RSVP “No Thanks” or “Can’t Go” to an event (formerly known as “no”), you can no longer leave a comment.  So, that unfortunately means that it's harder for you to be courteous to other members and the organizer by telling them why you can no longer make the event.  There is a workaround, though. You can still use the “Talk About This Meetup” section to post a general comment on the event.  Just click on the little entry field that says "Post a comment..." and start typing.

Calendar: In case you haven’t found it already, the monthly calendar button is no longer in the top menu bar.  If you go to the main group page (just click on Home), you'll find a "Calendar" tab right next to the two tabs that say something like “4 Upcoming” and “30 Past” Meetups.  (Personally, I'd suggest switching over to the Calendar view immediately anytime you're at the group home page and perhaps even bookmarking it.  It's the cleanest of the three views and closest to what we had before.)

Activity Feed: Another thing that has been changed on the main group page is that the "activity feed" has been moved.  This is the very useful list of notifications of everything that has been going on in the meetup: stuff like new pictures posted, who just RSVP'd, new events listed, new discussions started, members joining, etc.  It's basically how everyone traditionally kept informed of what's going on in the group.  Unfortunately, "New Meetup" decided to hide it at the bottom of the page, below the entire list of upcoming Meetups, which can be quite long for some groups.

To read the activity feed more easily, I'd again suggest using the Calendar view of the main group page.  It's the cleanest of the three views and allows you to see the activity feed without too much scrolling.

Ideas: The “Idea” feature was effectively removed from meetup.  It is now replaced with a weird new "meetup in the making" feature that has been almost universally disabled by organizers.  Under this new system, any idea is automatically turned into a meetup after three people like it, even if the event had no one to host it, no location, etc.  That's doesn't sound like a recipe for a good meetup!

So, here's what we will do instead.  If you have an idea for an event that you'd like to discuss, just create a thread on the Message Board with a title that starts with "New Idea:".  To get to the Message Board, just click "Discussions" in the main menu bar.  Please include as many details as you can and whether you're willing to host.

Maps: Instead of attractive and often useful custom event pictures, meetup has decided to just drop a generic-looking Google map icon next to each event listing.  To make matters even worse, it has been reported that, in some cases, the tiny maps are incorrect or devoid of any useful information.  While I've never personally witnessed this bug, please double-check the address/directions using your GPS or a web site.  It's been reported that Google Maps will actually give accurate directions even if these icons don't always do so.



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Hopefully, they'll work out some of these kinks in the weeks to come.   In any case, I hope that helps for now!

- Mazin
Lloyd
user 12078021
Hazel Park, MI
Post #: 51
Everyone in my rock climbing group hates it too. There is a Meetup feedback page where you can vote and hopefully the Meetup people will listen to the masses. You don't have to be an organizer to vote, I don't think...I'm hoping all of my members go here and vote and leave angry comments. Perhaps yours will too?

meetup feedback/voting page
Mazin
Mazin-A
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 15
Everyone in my rock climbing group hates it too. There is a Meetup feedback page where you can vote and hopefully the Meetup people will listen to the masses. You don't have to be an organizer to vote, I don't think...I'm hoping all of my members go here and vote and leave angry comments. Perhaps yours will too?

meetup feedback/voting page

Yeah, I voted a while back. They're getting a lot of flack for it. Even the CEO has created a thread trying to placate the masses. Users have documented over 100 changes, almost all of them poorly thought out IMO, and bugs. Here's a list of them, if you're curious: http://www.williampet...­

Carol
carush
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 9
I sent an early email to them and I finally got a response back yesterday...no plans to allow the old format, changes are permanent. They are taking Meetup in another direction. They still want to know about bugs though.

A number of organizers are considering BigTent and Groupspaces.
Mazin
Mazin-A
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 17
I sent an early email to them and I finally got a response back yesterday...no plans to allow the old format, changes are permanent. They are taking Meetup in another direction. They still want to know about bugs though.

A number of organizers are considering BigTent and Groupspaces.

They're too prideful to admit it, but they've thankfully already started rolling back a bunch of things:


  • Removed references to 'helped plan' in favor of crediting original creator/Organizer(s)
  • Reinstated roles and titles on Meetup event pages
  • To replace the Calendar menu item, they've added a new 'Our Calendar' link in metabox, which is accessible from any page in your group
  • Restored 'How to find us' option for events
  • Restored two month display on 'Calendar' page
  • Restored RSVPs in latest activity feed on Group home page
  • Event Photos: Working on restoring them in a way that works with new page layout
  • Removed autocomments for Organizers + Event Hosts (all of those annoying "Mazin edited the description of event!" comments)
  • Removed the alarmist blue screen of "There are no events in this meetup group! Request one from the organizer!" page
  • Stopped sneakily appending unprofessional meetup messages to the end of the new user initiation e-mail, that told users "not to flake."
  • Restored a link to the the group description page. It is now called "Read more about us" and is on every page in the metabox.


Once they get the pictures back and perhaps re-organize the top pages some, I think things will start to feel more like they were.
Lloyd
user 12078021
Hazel Park, MI
Post #: 53
That's something... I was pondering moving my group elsewhere. I could even probably just exist on Facebook.
Mazin
Mazin-A
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 20
The event organizing and group coordination capabilities that meetup provides are pretty trivial. You can get twice the capabilities of Meetup, Groupspaces, BigTent or Ning by simply running your own vBulletin software with an RSVP module. I've done it myself in the past. Unfortunately, what you can't replace is the critical mass of people that meetup has access to and the resulting consistent stream of new members looking for fun and interesting things to do, who find your group. That's what really makes meetup meetup, is very hard to build, and none of those other groups have it yet, sadly.
A former member
Post #: 35
This has been posted today by Meetup HQ http://meetupblog.mee...­
Lloyd
user 12078021
Hazel Park, MI
Post #: 54
thanks for posting, Ula. Glad to see they're doing something..although I still can't figure out what was broken to begin with.
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