Tag Archives: Meetup.com

Meetup changed the event description field (and I’m not happy)

On July 24, Meetup changed the formatting options in event descriptions. No longer do we have an HTML-like view of our descriptions, and many formatting options have been removed (this help post is no longer valid: http://help.meetup.com/customer/portal/articles/868340-html-for-meetup-descriptions). Meetup says they did this so event descriptions look consistent across platforms–desktop to mobile to tablets–but did they have to go so far?

Today I discovered that the system also removes href tags when the destination site appears to compete with Meetup.com. So, if you hyperlink text in your description to Facebook or Google Places, Meetup makes the decision to remove those tags.

I’ve worked hard over the years to differentiate my meetup from others out there. Earlier this year they removed much of the formatting options of the look and feel of my overall site. Display fonts are now exactly the same across all meetups. They reduced the size of the banner graphic.

Now my meetup looks essentially like all other meetups. Not cool.


Meetup turns 10 and we got a birthday present!

Today I received an email from Meetup HQ/CEO Scott Heiferman about the company reaching their diamond anniversary. For being one of the top 200 Meetup organizers in the world (based on total number of RSVPs) I got invited to their 10th birthday party! This is quite an honor, especially with 92,000 meetups in the world! Doubt I can make the party because it’s in NYC, but wanted to thank all Nashville Hiking Meetup members past and present, and also our great trip leaders who carry the torch every day.

It’s cool to think we are one of the top 200 meetups on earth!

See Kelly Stewart’s Google+ profile.


Fluctuating member numbers in your meetup

One of the metrics I track with Nashville Hiking Meetup is member growth rate. Every so often I go into my Google spreadsheet I’ve set up and enter my current number of members and a calculation shows me my member growth rate per day. I also estimate when I’ll hit a certain member milestone; for example, I can say by 11/30/2011 I’ll have 4,000 members.

At one point in the past, our growth rate was about 5 members per day. Right now it’s hovering at about 2.5 new members added per day.

But recently that number has dropped.

Why? Meetup has reinstated a policy where inactive and lost members get automatically removed. The email I receive from Meetup says something like:

Gern Blansten has not visited Meetup and all of their emails have been returned as “undeliverable” for at least 6 consecutive months.

And I like it. Although larger member numbers are typically a good thing, inactives put a drain on the “system.” You want your ratio of active members to inactive members to be higher and higher. Often I get the question, “Well, you have 3,800 members but how many actually show up for events?” Pruning off the dead weight helps the active numbers increase.

Plus, from Meetup’s standpoint, the fewer dead emails they send to, the lower their costs. Email service providers charge by the emails sent, and even if the company is using an internal system to send mail, dead email addresses sap precious IT bandwidth.

At one point in the past, Meetup was automatically removing these ghost members but turned off that feature globally. I’m happy it’s back.

See Kelly Stewart’s Google+ profile.

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