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Exciting things coming for WordPress meetups everywhere

From: Sallie G.
Sent on: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 2:38 PM
Hi, everyone. Back in January, the WordPress Foundation declared 2012 the
Year of the Meetup (http://wordpress....­)
and suggested that they foot the bill for the cost of the meetups. This
sounded like a pretty good idea to me, so I signed up.

I just got the following message from Jane Wells at Automattic saying that
they're ready to put the plan into action, though it may take a while before
anything concrete happens. 

We won't have to charge as much for the meetups, which is good. We may even
be able to get some things we need, like, oh, a portable sound amplification
system or a new projector. They are going to ask us what we need, so if
you'd like to send in ideas for what would benefit the whole group and wider
WP community the most, please do.

Cheers,
Sallie

-----Original Message-----
From: Jane Wells [mailto:[address removed]] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 13,[masked]:25 PM
To: undisclosed-recipien­ts:
Subject: WordPress Meetups

Holy cow, did consolidating meetups into one main account turn out to be 
more complicated than I ever imagined! I have a giant spreadsheet with 
all the info you (and about 500 others) submitted earlier this year, and 
it has been illuminating to sort through it all, to say the least. We 
have a huge opportunity to increase WordPress meetup activity while 
reducing the burden on organizers of these events; I want to make sure 
we do it right.

You are getting this email because you replied to that survey at the 
beginning of the year and said:
a) You lead an active meetup
b) You use meetup.com (at least in part) for your group
c) You want to bring your meetup under the central WordPress account

For some of you I know circumstances may have changed -- people have 
moved, groups have splintered or joined forces with other groups, etc. 
I'm including you here anyway because you are about to get an email from 
Kathryn at meetup.com about moving your group into the central account, 
and I wanted everyone to get a heads up. If you are no longer running a 
meetup, just let her know that, or you can ask to have her add your new 
group to the list.

What moving to the central account will mean:
- WordPress Foundation will pay the dues, and will be the lead organizer 
for your group. You would be a co-organizer.
- Moving forward, other people in your area could propose/organize 
events or event series and potentially be promoted to co-organizer. So, 
for example, if your meetup is a presentation + discussion format aimed 
at users, someone else could organize meetups for developers in hack day 
format or something. More meetups per city/area without one organizer 
having to do it all is the ultimate goal.
- If you currently charge money (presumably a nominal amount to cover 
costs, not to make a profit) to attend meetups, you'll need to collect 
that some way other than through meetup.com, as we will not collect and 
disperse money via the central meetup.com account. Note that the 
eventual goal is for meetup attendance to be free, but we'll try to get 
there in time after we have more information about what expenses each 
group has.
- The meetup group is for the good of the local community, not anyone's 
personal business, and should not be treated as a free list of business 
leads or a marketing platform.
- You'll be in the first round of the "What do meetups need?" 
experiments. This could mean projectors and screens, swag, signs, venue 
arrangements, who knows. Your feedback and early experience with being 
part of the central account will help us shape the program for future 
groups that join.

If all that sounds good, then when Kathryn emails you, say yes. If any 
of it is giving you pause, email me with your concerns and we can chat 
about it via skype or phone.

Of note: something we'll have to figure out is a naming convention. It 
would be ideal for all the groups to have the same general name format 
[eg. City/Area WordPress Meetup Group] so that they're easy to find and 
can be inclusive (like in cities where we'll be combining multiple 
groups into one mega group).

Also: If you haven't seen the activity over on 
http://make.wordp...­, check it out. We're trying to make 
event organizers a regular contributor group, and there are new 
opportunities to help shape policies and programs around WordCamps, 
meetups, etc. I'll be looking for 3-5 meetup organizers who come into 
the central account in this first wave to volunteer to help shape/lead 
the program, so if you're interested in that, let me know (or comment on 
the post I'll be putting up on the make/events blog). I'll want to get 
half who have been using meetup.com, and half who've been self-hosting 
their group's site so we can get both perspectives, and would like it to 
include at least a couple of people from outside the US (including 
countries where meetup.com isn't popular).

Hope to talk to you more soon!
Jane

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