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Some changes to the LA Hungarian Meetup Group

From: Nanda D.
Sent on: Friday, August 2, 2013 12:01 PM

Hi All,


I have made some changes to the LA Hungarian Meetup Group.


As you know, this meetup started 8 years ago as a small group of friends and like-minded people, and the first few dozen of us joined by invitation. Then we opened the group up to anyone who was interested in all things Hungarian and who lived in the LA area. As with any online group with an open door policy, we had a mix of people join us, but most did so with an intention to participate in the events and to connect with their fellow Hungarians. :)


However, I have been growing increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of strange people lurking around in the group. We now have over 400 members, many of whom none of us have ever met… I used to send out personal emails to them to invite them to events and to try to draw them out, but it didn't work. The problem is that we sometimes put our personal information on the website (phone numbers, email addresses, even home addresses…) and these strangers have access to that information...


So in order to keep the group a bit safer, I’ve changed the settings so that all new members must be approved before they can join. Many meetups already do that, while others have closed the group to new members. I am keeping the door open because it's great to have new people join us, but we need to know a bit about who they are. To approve new members, I will ask for full name and a photo from now on, and ideally a profile on any social network (like Facebook). If they do not have any such profile that’s fine, but if I get a creepy vibe (as proven before, my radar is pretty good for that), I will ask them to join some other meetup, not ours…  :)

 

Not that it’s fool-proof, but it will make most of us more comfortable in inviting group members to our homes, and at least this should eliminate all the weird profiles: the people who have no intro text, no answers to any of the questions, no photo, or who don’t even live in LA or even in the US. I will try to clean up the group and remove the inactive profiles and those without an intro/photo as my time permits. If anyone could help me in that (removing those profiles) that would be greatly appreciated, please let me know.


Also, I have been posting a lot of events in the last few months and while it’s been great, I need to slow down significantly, because organizing these events, answering emails about them, as well as calls, posts, etc takes up a lot of time, so from September on we will be returning to one event a month.


I would also like anyone who is willing to host the monthly event to let me know, as I need a breather. Usually I ask for hosts for a potluck because those are our best events, but if you are willing to host a lunch outing or any other event, that's also great, and those take very little effort on the host's end.

 

Hopefully the last few months’ meetups have allowed everyone to find a number of friends that they stay in touch with outside of the group, so they can keep their “Hungarian” going, and also everyone now knows what to expect when attending a meetup. Let me know if you think of any improvements to increase everyone’s comfort level with their fellow members, anything that would make it safer for those who would like to attend to do so.

 

Thank you and see you soon.

 

Nanda

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