Feb 032012

Version 0.75; status: outlined & targeted ~90% and ~50% of the basic details (how to get there) worked-out & filled-in.

  1. LYU0ZA: Solution (under-construction)

    1. LYU10I: The overall goal

      1. LYU89R: is: gradually but as soon as one is able,

        1. LYU8AD: NOT have Meetup.com be the basis of one’s groups & events & person profiles, but find-else-build other Web 2.0 sites & services for that
        2. LYU8AV: but DO use Meetup.com when & where there’s positive ROI, especially for what Meetup.com’s best at, especially when it can’t be found elsewhere (as typically Meetup.com’s advertising for a group (very strong) and ideally for an event).
      2. LYU5XL: is kind of the last (or perhaps latest) “step 4” in one thinking increasingly wisely about the situation (at least the thinking I went thru from 2010 to 2012):
        1. LYU5ZC: “Step 1” is “Meetup.com looks great for running groups & events! –The most powerful community group database anywhere. And super easy & cheap to start a group and it seems to do everything a group & event would need, and already has 10,000s of groups, including many local, using it for everything. So let’s get started and also use it for everything.”
        2. LYU60S: “Step 2” sneaks up on you starting about 6 months to 3 year later (depending how tuned in group the leaders are) and is “Meetup.com is driving me nuts running groups & events on it! I’ve tried fixing the various problems that appear, and made some admirable efforts, but some problems I’m realizing can’t truly be fixed by organizers, only by Meetup.com, and and more & more problems I’m realizing –almost no end. So I & many others reported the core problems but no action: there is so much wrong with Meetup.com which the designers aren’t fixing. So let’s dump Meetup.com and find or build another Web 2.0 site to do everything!”
        3. LYU7IU:  “Step 3” is “Wait a minute. It’s really hard to find-else-build one single site which is as complete as Meetup.com promises. Nothing is really complete, everything out there seems to have serious drawbacks, unless I custom build everything from scratch which actually is enormous work. So I guess I’m just just going to have to suffer until some business invests big bucks and fixes this.”
        4. LYU8NM: “Step 4” is “Wait a minute. The core problem is I/one probably can’t have one-site which does everything, so I need to let that go; and that makes “just dumping” Meetup.com even more unrealistic. So rather I need to find-else-build a combination of Web 2.0 sites to do the job (a “best of all worlds”) and gradually transition.”
      3. LYU7W2: This is easier to say than to do, aka “The devil is in he details”, so it’s under construction and still remains to be seen how well it will work, but it should work –as indeed there WAS life before Meetup.com!
    2. LYUYHI: So then, in the end, what’s left/put on Meetup & how is Meetup used for the group/events?

      1. LYV1FK: a group’s official site & events are on other Web 2.0 site(s), NOT on Meetup,
      2. LYV0AK: so if a group & events are listed on Meetup,
        1. LYV0BA: they each link back to their respective official listings NOT on Meetup.
        2. LYV0C5: and are only put on Meetup to benefit from Meetup’s (often outstanding) advertising & promotion
      3. LYUYIR: so if a group has a Meetup.com site,
        1. LYV0G6: it contains:
          1. LYUYU0: The title, location, interests, logo, & color-theme of the group are set to match whatever they are supposed from the group’s the official site
          2. LYUYSG: A “Read more about us” group description which contains, in order:
            1. LYUZ6I: A 1 or 2 sentence slogan/intro for the group
              1. LYV1Z7: Real example: “(LTBKIT=Welcome!, Android Developers, Administrators, & Super-Users of the US.California.SoCal.Orange County area! Since 2009, we are Your Leading Local Community Groupand we are Here to Serve You!
            1. LYUYU0: The alert of
              1. LYV2NE: “OUR OFFICIAL SITE IS [http://1.JotHere.com/LYUYU0], NOT HERE, SO SEE THAT for complete details, including for our actual group stats (much bigger & older than shown here) plus to officially join.”
              2. LYV2NL: “THIS MEETUP GROUP SITE is only an ad for us, so all important info is put on our official site, NOT here. But while officially joined, you’re welcome & encouraged to ALSO list yourself on Meetup as our member, promoting your membership with us on Meetup, too, by simply also joining ” followed by
                1. LYV554: Let x be the URL of a Meetup site for the group, being kept to list Meetup members who are also our members, as ideally the old Meetup site?
                2. LYV2QC: If x exists, then
                  1. LYV33I: Is this site x?
                    1. LYV37G: YES: Then “this site.”
                    2. LYV38D: NO: Then “x ;IN ADDITION, you can join “.
                3. LYV2UQ: If x does not exist or is not this site, then “this site (and if this site is ever deleted as to run another ad for us, you can also join our new ad site).”
            2. LYUYKK:  the synopsis of the group, ideally full of keywords, so that the group is found by users doing searches on Meetup, copied from the official synopsis of the group on the group’s official site.
          3. LYV0I2:  A membership list which contains just:
            1. LYV0IQ: The group/event leader, as group head, advertising it in-addition on Meetup.
            2. LYV0JS: any member/attendee who also wanted, in addition to his normal on the site NOT on Meetup, also wanted a group profile on Meetup, event though this is not official and doesn’t give him/her group notices.
            3. LYV0NM: Members who still keep their now-unofficial Meetup group profile after the group was moved to other Web 2.0 site(s).
            4. LYV1JW: Profiles which contain minimal info (just the “Intro” Q and a photo) as the real info is in the official profiles.
          4. LYV0UV: All other Meetup.com site content (discussion (message board & mailing list), files, photos, pages):
            1. LYV0WT:  has allow-posts/edits  turned off.
            2. LYV0XP: Where all existing content, if any, has been fully-copied to the group’s official site, then probably deleted from the Meetup.com group site.
        2. LYV1GW: it then can be readily deleted without serious loss
          1. LYV5DY: as all content exists elsewhere as the official version and the content which is here can be recreated by only copying these few pieces of the official content.
          2. LYV5I2: So finally nobody can hurt the group & events by deleting the Meetup content
            1. LYV61T: including most especially not the biggest violator here, Meetup.com.
        3. LYV5MR: so now a group can create a Meetup site, or multiple ones, just as an ad to promote itself, even temporarily & repeatedly
          1. LYV5S8: repeatedly benefiting from Meetup’s huge email blast to 10,000s of local Meetup members which Meetup automatically does 3 days after group creation, but only then, for a cost that may be as little as 1 month’s hosting.
          2. LYV5WF: Instead of being screwed by Meetup by only getting 1 blast ever, typically well before the group is ready for it (after just 3 days), and then having to pay forever and never getting a promotion again.
          3. LYV5ZW:  Finally, the tables are turned!
        4. LYV81X: If an event listed (in this manner) on the Meetup.com site,
          1. LYWTUE: the event listing/post is of a certain format
            1. LYWUCX: The format: it has all its fields complete except the event description  a minimal amount of info:
              1. LYWUHX: says “For the complete latest official details and to RSVP, see ” (the official calendar entry, which is not here but say a Google Calendar entry).
              2. LYWVYM:  Does one of:
                1. LYWUIE:  Says “RSVPs & COMMENTs HERE DON’T COUNT but you can ADDITIONALLY RSVP & COMMENT here for good spirit.”
                2. LYWW1R: Says “HERE, RSVPs & COMMENTS are turned off.” and does so.
              3. LYWV6U: Optionally says “Quoting from the official description as of <date/>: …” in certain cases
                1. LYWVCE: iff one of:
                  1. LYWVHU: this can be formatted well either (won’t change much or will get updated if it does)
                  2. LYWVID: It’s it’s in (invisible or very-small font) which only the search engine can see.
              4. LYWVKN: Has the change history of the listing iff this can’t be better placed in the official sources, as here it will be lost if here is deleted (as easily happens on Meetup)
            2. LYWVNG:  Real example via OCAndroid:(SCALE=annual Southern CAlifornia Linux Expo) Day 2of3 10=SCALE10x EXCEPT none of these itemized criteria is fully met (except perhaps LYWVKN) but it is minimal.
            3. LYWVWO: so so achieve the goal: the Meetup.com event listing/post can be freely deleted without any data lost (which can’t be easily generated from the info on the official site)
          2. LYWWD3: This needs to be tested.
          3. LYV8H2: TO BE CONTINUED
    3. LYUMIW: So what Web 2.o sites CAN be a good basis for groups & events?

      1. LYUT8E: For group pages including rules, event descriptions, and group discussions, top is:

        1. LYUTA2: WordPress, specifically http://1.JotHere.com as that’s “WORDPRESS & ITS BEST EXTENSIONS”.

          1. LYUTE2: ENORMOUS PRO: The leading self-hosted Web 2.0 site, including open-source and with 10,000s of extensions, so super portability & extensiblity
          2. LYUTCP: HUGE PRO: versions all data (except: versioning of comments coming when possible)
          3. LYUTDD: HUGE PRO: provides standard WYSIWYG HTML (except: comment WYSIWYG coming soon)
          4. LYUTEV: BIG PRO: Has comment threading/nesting
      2. LYUX03: For member/attendee photo profiles (& connected contact info), gathered into mailing list(s), top is:

        1. LYUX13: Likely WordPress, specifically http://1.JotHere.com as that’s “WORDPRESS & ITS BEST EXTENSIONS”.

        2. LYUX25: Possibly Google+
        3. LYUX68: Possibly a service as http://Zerply.com
          1. LYUX6F: Found when looking cute smart gal http://zerply.com/AriellePhan
        4. LYUXS1: NOT Meetup.com due to its serious drawbacks LYUX8H & LYUXGO & LYUNJV.
      3.  LYUT5W: For event (calendar) listings, top is:

        1. LYUMLS: seemingly Google Calendar per Google Calendar PROs thru CONs LYUSZ8.

        2. LYUU0R: Possibly http://EventBrite.com — to be investigated.
        3. LYUU1N: Possibly http://zvents.com — to be investigated
        4. LYUU26: Maybe Meetup.com event listings (if still really needed)
    4. LYU7YZ: Things group/event leaders, esp in Meetup.com, can & should do right now-else-soon, in order:

      1. LYUMFT:  Post group pages including rules on http://1.JotHere.com (instead of on Meetup) and then link to this from content on say Meetup.com

        1. LYUV4T: This is easy as
          1.  LYUUFQ:  only the main group organizer has to have an account the WordPress site
          2. LYUV56: If a member wants to comment on these pages, yes, s/he has to also create an account on the WordPress site, but by experience member’s sadly rarely comment on these pages even if on their native (Meetup.com) site.
        2. LYUULM: Real example is quote:
          (LO9QFO=To attend, you must follow the latest version of “info for every Meetup.com/OCAndroid event LEVW4X”)
          in “OCAndroid Beginner-to-Intermediate Developers’ Training 6+
      2. LYUUHR: Post each event description of-some-detail and/or to-be-repeated on http://1.JotHere.com (instead of on Meetup) and then have the event/calendar listing (on say Meetup.com) link to it

        1. LYUV96: Dramatically reduces the work to maintain in sync multiple listings on 1 (or more) calendars.
        2. LYUVDI: Enables the easy creation of maintenance of a directory/table of all the occurrences & listings of an event.
        3.  LYUUYY:  This is fairly easy as
          1. LYUV3D: only event creators (typically more than the main group organizer(s)) have to have an account on the WordPress site, and
          2. LYUV6X: ordinary members can still give their comments without an account as they always have: by posting on the event listing in their native (Meetup.com) site.
            1. LYUVEW: Yes, now that there is a central shared event description for possibly many calendar/event listing, it is better, when it applies, for the member to post on the WordPress site, and in those cases the member can also create an account if desired.
        4. LYUVHO: Real example is: via OCAndroid:(SCALE=annual Southern CAlifornia Linux Expo) Day 3of3 10=SCALE10x
      3. LYUVK5: Extend WordPress (as http://1.JotHere.com) with a plugin to allow Meetup.com logins

        1. LYUVLL: –an idea I’ve had since ~2011.06.
        2. LYUVTF: On quick look around 2011Q3, it seems no plugin already exists.
        3. LYUVMS: On quick look, it appears possible with the Meetup.com API
        4. LYUVO7: Probably best done by extending an existing WordPress plugin that allows logins from multiple providers, ideally those similar to Meetup.com logins.
        5. LYUVPB: At via OCAndroid:(SCALE=annual Southern CAlifornia Linux Expo) Day 2of3 10=SCALE10x I met Rob, a nearby WordPress plugin programmer, who is quite interested in co-developing this with me.
      4. LYUVV4: Post group discussion on http://1.JotHere.com (instead of on Meetup Discussion (Message Boards & Email List)).

        1. LYUVX5:  So all members, and not just say leaders, will actually participate in the discussion, it’s key that LYUVK5 is done.
        2. LYUW6M: Dramatic immediate benefits including all those mentioned in LYUTA2 (very significant) plus the ability of members from different groups to participate the discussion.
      5. LYUWAY:  Create user-profiles grouped into a members/mailing list on a Web 2.0 site other than Meetup.com

        1. LYUWFA: If done in WordPress, it’s key that LYUVK5 is done.
        2. LYUWGH: More to be developed & posted here.
      6. LYUWH9:  Post each event  listing in service(s) of LYUT5W as on http://Calendar.Google.com .

        1. LYUWK8: To email people, this requires mailing-list LYUWAY is done.
        2. LYUWM1: More to be developed & posted here.
      7. LYUWN7: More to be developed & posted here.

  2. LYU0M2: Motivation

    1. LYU0NM:  For many group/event organizers, including me, using Meetup.com is a sweet-bitter experience, as the pros are great but then the cons (which you discover later) are terrible.
      1. LYU0QK: Sold by the pros, I and most others have tried to use Meetup for everything.
        1. LYU0S2:  Meetup claims their Meetup group site can be used a group’s entire web hosting & communication, and so it seems by the feature set, and and still most groups on Meetup use it that way: if the group doesn’t have a Meetup site any more, then it doesn’t exist any more.
        2. LYU0VT:  And the pros are amazing (detailed elsewhere)
      2. LYU0XT: But then serious cons start being hit, and for nearly all the serious ones the Meetup staff doesn’t seem to ever address & fix them.
    2. LYU1GT: To figure out what services of Meetup one wants to keep using else copy, and which to avoid, see Meetup.com’s PROs thru CONs LYUNVO, especially the notable ones.
  3. LYU0LT: Additional history, in order:

    1. LYU08W:  Published an eBook on Meetup.
    2. LYU0DP: For at least a year, slowly realizing Meetup isn’t fixing their woes, so been working on this issue on & off.
    3. LYU0EU: At SCALE10x, met Rob who liked my suggestion of plugin to allow WordPress to accept Meetup logins and wanted to help code it, and said I’d post the details.
    4. LYU0GC: In emailing Stuart, wanted a post respond to his Q of what to do about a small group he started where the fees were too expensive.
    5. LYU0JQ:  To address above & more, created this post from scratch, giving new ID LYU07Z and title “using Meetup.com in moderation for events & groups for the best-of-all-worlds LYU07Z
      1. LYZY5V: Problem with this title: it could be addressing attendees, when in fact the topic is addressing organizers.
    6. LYZY6T: Retitle to “organizers using Meetup.com to get best-of-all-worlds: only for advertising events & groups, NOT as a website for them http://1.JotHere.com/LYU07Z“.
      1. LYZYZA: A lot clearer as to who the doer is (“organizers”).
      2. LYZZ16: a lot clearer the intended action (not just “using in moderation for events & groups” but “only for advertising events & groups, NOT as a website for them”), as the exact action to be done, including the extremity of it, is now clearer to me (clear this is what to needs to be done) having written-so-worked out the logical response due to Meetup’s many ever-unfixed shortcomings detailed in Meetup.com’s PROs thru CONs LYUNVO.