Oct 112011
 Posted by on UTC 2011.10.11Tue at 19:26 Meetup.com bug LSXLEY, Meetup.com group LSXLEA  Add comments

(Permanent URL:  http://1.JotHere.com/LSXKT1)(Updated 2011.10.12pst1708) (Note I have removed exact identifying details from this message to protect the recipient; but I can add them back if the recipient is okay with that.)

Dear Head Organizer Jim http://Meetup.com/ComeOccupy<LocalCityName/>/members/<Member#/>,

Today Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:53 AM, Meetup <info@meetup.com> wrote me about your new Meetup Group.

I am of mixed opinion about joining & going.

  1. Pro: The Occupy-Wall Street cause sounds like a good.
  2. Pro: seems some Irvine occupier has joined.
  3. Con: you are a brand new group and you only have 3 people joined (unusually low for a New Meetup group now 3 days old)
  4. Con: this “Occupy” movement it’s a still far-from-fully-clear (esp what action to take) and yet you give almost no details on your site, nor links to an official say-national site which may have these details.  A big help would be:
    1. Even some URL, as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_Street ,  so people know what you are referring to and
    2. maybe a few paragraphs of explanation to get some idea of what it means to you (as interpretations vary widely) and how you got involved & what you have done and how long have you been involved, etc.
  5. Con: this group is called “ComeOccupy<LocalCityName/>”.  But <LocalCityName/> is not known for having dealings with the Wall Street & high-finance & the banking industry, what these protests target. Indeed <LocalCityName/>is known for being fairly liberal, even a center of the county’s arts & liberal arts, and in fact has reasonably well known & seemingly respected homeless shelter. So protesting it, as the name suggests, would be mus-guided, if not even cruel. One other person I mentioned your group to had this immediate negative reaction. Until I explained what I’m guessing you mean (but don’t explain) is that you are “Occupy Wall-Street of <LocalCityName/>“: but if you mean that, then please give it a name suggesting that, as otherwise people will easily think, on just hearing the name, and maybe even if you explain the name, that instead you are just being cruel to a city which doesn’t deserve it.
  6. Con: You’re the a leader (indeed the head) but even in that case,
    1. You don’t give a picture of yourself. Having a clear IDing main pic is the standard we use for all the groups I help lead –and that’s even for ordinary members give a pic of themselves. Without revealing exact (searchable) ID, pictures give more trust, and help each other meet. Moreover, as a leader, how can I easily find you without one?
    2. You hide your meetup groups.
    3. You turn off the ability for members to send you email (why I’m also hiding my email from you; you can reply via Meetup)
    4. You apparently turn off the ability for ordinary members to send you greets.
  7. Con: Your upcoming event has a description of just “There will be Peace Vigil people and Ron Paul people. Pay them no never mind. They are harmless and do not bite.” –While “Peace Vigil” sounds fine, the part about “Ron Paul people” (who I only vaguely knew) didn’t give me a good impression when you added “do not bite”. The warning made me think of the local folks who I knew to “bite”: (at the Laguna Woods Mother Market and then at the post office) the protesters, , about 1year ago, very pushily featured Obama as Hitler, and were extreme and very pushy when I talked with them, but on Googling for who they were I found what I recall was the image, which says it is instead with the LaRouche Campaign, not “Ron Paul”. Anyway, the vague “not bite” warning I would not recommend as that could lead to negative wondering if one wasn’t sure what you were referring to, as it did for me. Rather, if there is a problem or negative reputation, then if it’s worth saying then spell it out (I’d recommend). You Also, “Pay them no never mind. ” is not a valid sentence and it’s not clear what you’re saying.

My bottom line is there may be very good reason you only have 3 members, even after Meetup has advertised your group to probably 1000s: you may have a good cause, but since it (plus the your group) are new and largely not clear (even the cause), I think it is essential for you, especially as the Head Organizer, to be LESS secretive and definitely not unusually secretive as you are (unless you also give good justification why you need to be this way) and definitely with more details & trust-building-links of your group, to build trust from those, as myself, who might otherwise be interested in joining you.

How how do you fix it? Even if you do change the site, indeed follow all my feedback above and that from others, sadly due to Meetup’s design flaws, it may be too late.  You see, once a new group site is created, Meetup.com announces to the world (all the local people who might join) in one huge email blast exactly 72 hours after the site is created, with no way to pause that if the site is not ready, no way to try small-run test emails, and no way to email it out again (even if it’s years later!) –a site just gets one chance.  So in your case, especially since you’ve got just 3 members, I’d recommend you make the changes (except the exact name you want –use a similar name like with a “1” before it), plus more improvements, and get feedback from others until you’re sure the site looks good, then when you’re sure the site is great, then open a Meetup new group site with the name you want, copy over over the prior site to create the new site (within 3 days), then Meetup will announce this well-prepared and tested site, and once that’s established, just delete the original site.  This is the only practical workaround I know.

Should you change your site (and I hope you do, to make these improvements and more), so it will still be clear what this message is referring to, I’ve made a quick archive of your present site (just 4 key pages of it) which should appear in a few days at http://L8IPUB.JotHere.com/JIT_archive_LJNZCF/meetup.com/ComeOccupy<LocalCityName/> (or possibly http://L8IPUB.JotHere.com then work your way down to that).

Thoughts? (indeed you are welcome to post here (and your email address will be hidden), or private-message me back. Hope this feedback helps.

Aside: I originally tried to send this exact message (but with the exact details) via the usual method, http://www.meetup.com/ComeOccupy<LocalCityName/>/suggestion/  but when pressing “Send” Meetup.com would spuriously prevent sending complaining “Your message was flagged as looking like SPAM.” so I removed the exact IDing details and post here.