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Young Blacks of the Bay™ (YBB) Message Board General › Want Your Feedback: Issues with Meetup and Possibly Moving Elsewhere

Want Your Feedback: Issues with Meetup and Possibly Moving Elsewhere

Group Organizer
Hercules, CA
Post #: 17

First, big welcome to the new members! Hope to meet you all soon.

We've had a great experience with Meetup since starting in April 2009, and the platform has facilitated a lot of wonderful new friendships. Here's the scoop: If any of you visited this site in the last couple days, you may have noticed the massive overhaul of the layout and features of the groups. Given that the changes were completely unannounced and very drastic, it's stirred up a bit of controversy amongst Meetup users, particularly the organizers. Please read full details about the changes and user response in the article by TechCrunch, "Meetup feels the wrath of the crowd after radical changes".

I understand the need for change on popular websites and I'm usually very accepting of it (i.e. I've never had a big problem with all of the changes on Facebook). However, most sites have done a better job of asking for feedback before making significant "improvements", giving users the option of switching to a new format, or keeping an old format. Meetup did not do any one of those things for their recent update.

I think the new layout of our site is hideous and confusing for the purposes of event planning. I agree with a lot of industry analysts that Meetup is trying to move in the direction of popular web 2.0 sites such as Facebook and Plancast, but it's not a good look for Meetup.

Anyways, my primary concern is that this platform clearly does not care about the interests of its users and organizers who are paying $72 every six months to run groups. This issue is beyond bad customer service and not receiving replies from Meetup support. Specifically, Meetup has been closing and deleting threads by members who are criticizing recent changes to the site (if you can no longer view the discussion I linked to, it was probably deleted). Meetup has also confirmed that they have no plans to revert back the old site. Basically, there's shameful activity going on that makes no practical business sense.

Bottom line, myself and thousands of other organizers are exploring sites with better customer service, cheaper pricing, and features that more closely suit the needs of our groups. I think GroupSpaces­ may be a good new home for Young Blacks of the Bay. It offers very similar features to Meetup, and some of them are even better. More importantly, Groupspaces is way cheaper than Meetup: free for groups of up to 250 members, and $92 per year for groups of up to 500 members. Given that most of our members are inactive, we probably wouldn't have to pay anything for a while if we moved to GroupSpaces as we would probably have less than 250.

With all of the above information in mind, I really value your feedback as the members who help make YBB so amazing. I want to know your thoughts on the changes, if you would prefer to stay on Meetup, or transition to a new site like GroupSpaces. In addition to posting a response, I encourage you to vote in the poll­.

Please know that if we moved to a new site, the process would be gradual and smooth, probably occuring over the course of a month. I could automatically add you to a new site if I have your email or send you an invite for easy sign-up.

Also note that according to my Meetup subscription I'll be billed for another payment in May. In other words, we're not losing money between now and May.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

With my best,

user 9342789
Oakland, CA
Post #: 1
Hey Courtney!

GoogleGroups and YahooGroups are fre,e and both of those would definitely serve the purpose. It may be harder for new folks to find out about it though. They are benefits for staying with Meetup and moving to another service.

Oakland, CA
Post #: 31
i'm in another meetup group whose organizer is in the process of transferring the group to yahoo because it's free. another added bonus is that it will be easier to read. i don't like the new format at all.
user 7452843
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 1
Hi Courtney,

This is very interesting... sorry to that they've changed the platform and are not being responsive. No bueno! As one of the first YBBers in the group, it's sad to hear that after almost two years, things are changing. I personally think you could actually move YBB to Facebook. Since there's already a fan page and many of the members are on facebook as well, it would be a smooth transition. I know that there are some people who are FB fans, who are not actually in the meetup group, so the way you can combat that is to create a new group using the groups feature on FB (in the left hand sidebar). This way, you can make it private and people will still have to request to join, plus you can still post events and photos on FB and track RSVPs, etc. but it won't be totally open to the public, only to members of the group. I think it'd be an easy transition that way, and you could still monitor who joins, but all the members won't have to learn how to use a new website. Granted, I still need to check out groupspaces and see what it's about, but that's my two cents. Good luck making a choice, I'm sure you'll do what's best.

Peace Out,
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