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Contacting Meetup about new website design

From: Judah F.
Sent on: Friday, March 26, 2010 5:10 PM
Dear Denver Book Clu bMembers --

At last night's wonderful meeting, most of you there asked me to send out a link (or links) for complaining to about the new homepage design.

As we discussed, the new design hides our important greeting text, which includes a vital description of the Denver Book Club, the links to our nominated books and a link to the books we've already read. These can only be uncovered in the new design by clicking a tiny obscure link at the top of the page marked "expand to read more." Not having our descriptive text and links immediately visible, most of you agreed, makes the Denver Book Club less inviting and makes our website much less functional.

Further, the "Polls" link is now buried under the "More" pull-down menu. Previously, the polls link was on the left-side menu bar and easily found. Because we depend heavily on the polls to vote on the books we read, by hiding the "Polls" link, is damaging our ability to function as a democratic organization.

So, I promised that I would give you a way to contact to complain. Unfortunately, as part of the website change, Meetup has removed any way to contact Meetup Support directly. They instead expect us to post comment on their forum, which to me is pretty evasive. Nevertheless, here is the forum page where you can post comments about the new website design:

However, being a journalist, I tend to dig below the surface for answers. My digging produced the name of the staffer overall responsible for the new website design. He is Mark Hanna, Product Manager. He does not have a direct email address, but he does organize The NYC Pittsburgh Penguins Meetup Group, so you can contact him through his email link at the Meetup group:

Here is what I propose, if you are willing, send Mark Hanna a short and very polite email, explaining thaqt you are contacting him as the product manager, that you are using his meetup grtoup to reach him because there is not a direct email link on the Support pages. in your own words briefly say what you do not like about the new design, such as how the new design damages our ability to nominate books and vote on them. Don't stop there, though. Propose a solution. I feel that they need to modify and improve their new design in two ways:

(1) Give all organizers a way to make the description text automatically visible at the top of the page as a default option -- if the organizer chooses. This descriptive text module could become one of the many modules that organizers now can manage. (FYI, organizers already can manage other modules in the new design, such as whether or not to display past meetings, or what is displayed under "Latest Activity," so the necessary code already is built into the website. They just need to add the descriptive text as yet another module setting that organizers can control.)

(2) Move the Polls onto the main horizontal menu bar instead of burying it under the "More" pull-down menu. The horizontal menu bar has plenty of space for moving the Polls function onto the menu bar.

Again, use your own words to write the message to Mark Hanna. Be brief and be polite, so he hears us making positive suggestions instead of just complaining. Tell him how much you love, how you expect them to be be responsive to our needs, just as Meetup has been responsive in the past.

Finally, thank you (from me) for being a bit of an activist to keep our Meetup website fully functional.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Judah Freed, organizer
Denver Book Club Meetup

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