Tag Archives: photo

Guidelines for Members Uploading Photos to your Meetup

This post is an edited version of a message board posting on Nashville Hiking Meetup.

Your Meetup site is a great place to upload and share photos after events. There are a few things to think about before members upload every photo from your recent event, though. These guidelines can be shared with your membership:

  • Please pick the best photos you snapped to share on the meetup event; don’t just upload every one you took. If everyone uploads their 50 total photos from an event, just think how long it would take to look through an entire album? And your five photos of one cool wildflower is just too much when you add all the photos up.
  • As of this writing, the meetup site does not allow you to rotate images after you’ve uploaded them, so please do that on your hard drive ahead of time. I know; annoying.
  • Feel free to post links in photo comments to larger online albums such as Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, etc. A post such as “I’ve uploaded my entire album to my Flickr account here…” is totally fine.
  • Please do not upload blurry photos or images that turned out low quality.
  • Organizers have the full right and ability to delete photos that are inappropriate, low quality, repeats, etc.


See Kelly Stewart’s Google+ profile.

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Read your event questions (and respond!)

By guest blogger Eve

It’s good practice, as any trip leader knows, to read and respond to questions posted about an event. But it’s also worth noting what kinds of questions people ask. Many of them are preventable with better event descriptions, and it’s easier on you to furnish that information up front than to go back and answer it piecemeal. Pay attention to what kind of questions are being asked in your meetup, and learn to answer many before they are asked.

Some people will ask questions because they didn’t read the description carefully. It’s irritating, but that’s human nature. Some questions are logistical and cannot reasonably be answered in advance. For example, here in New York City, it’s impractical for out-of-town events to have a central departure point in the city, so the comments sections are often full of people asking for rides and other people announcing they have cars. The third kind of question is the problem: Where are we meeting? What does CDT mean? Can you provide more details? All of these questions should have been answered in the initial event description.

What, precisely, goes in an description will vary by the kind of event: Nashville Hiking Meetup uses a difficulty rating system for hikes, but it wouldn’t make sense for a movie or dinner meetup to do that, or even for NHM to rate its annual picnic as “strenuous.” However, every event description should answer these basics:

  • When and where is the event? Be sure to include an address or map whenever possible. “When” means a start and an end time.
  • What are we doing? Hiking? Dinner? Happy hour? Stitch ‘n bitch?
  • Are all abbreviations explained? I’m not telling you to spell out “5 p.m. in Seattle, WA.” But your event description shouldn’t require a crack team of cryptologists to decipher, especially if it’s aimed at newer members.
  • Who can attend? Does it require experience? Is it for the leadership team only? Are little kids or significant others welcome? What about dogs?
  • What does it cost? Are there admission fees? Bar tab minimums? Do members need to pay up front? What’s the refund policy?
  • Who is leading it? While Meetup makes us answer this one, event organizers should make sure their profile page includes a recognizable picture and an up-to-date bio — not your life story, but enough information to establish that you know something about this activity.
  • And let’s not forget about a descriptive name of your event. That can make or break your attendance numbers.

There may be other questions specific to your activity – hikers want a trail map, movie-goers like a link to trailers, recreational sports enthusiasts want to know if they need to form their own teams. Don’t expect people posting events to remember all these items off the top of their head; even experienced event organizers can inadvertently leave a key detail out. It can be helpful to have one or more event description template for organizers to start from, tailored toward your meetup’s activities.

If you don’t include the basics, members will ask about them. Some will forget to come back and check out the answers. Others will give up reading halfway down the page of questions. And yet others will say, “I don’t trust that this guy knows what he’s doing. I’ll find another group.” You don’t have very long to capture your members’ attention; sell them on the event the first time they see it.


Eve is an experienced trip leader with several meetups and is an Oregon/Tennessee transplant living and working in New York City.


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Using Pinterest to Promote Your Meetup or online group

Pinterest Logo

Pinterest, the visual social bookmarking site, seems to be everywhere in the blogs and industry articles. TechCrunch just reported that Pinterest has become the fastest independent site in the U.S. to hit 10 million unique visitors in one month.

But I’ve seen plenty of comments from my friends on Facebook such as “I don’t understand Pinterest. What’s the big deal?” I have to admit, I was scratching my head for several weeks after joining the beta, thinking it just a pretty scrapbook for girls.

Until…my friend Hippie Dave posted a message on Nashville Hiking Meetup’s discussion board saying “I think you should make a ‘best of NHM’ photo album so that people can stop by the site and see the most beautiful photos from time to time.” His point was, he loves looking at our event photos but doesn’t want to sit through an album of 250 photos taken at just one event (We average 5 events per week. Do the math.).

It’s a great idea, though, since I’ve said for years that our event photos and videos have likely been the second best promoter of Nashville Hiking Meetup behind word of mouth.

Yes, this could be accomplished on the Meetup site itself. Create a new photo album, call it “Best Of,” scour the thousands of photos that members have uploaded over the years, copy the image URLs or download the image file, and re-upload the images to my Best Of. Then monitor the uploads on a regular basis and repeat the process for each future event.

There are many issues with this model:

  • Duplicate files on the meetup site. Server space is cheap but not free. Somebody’s paying for it even if it’s not me directly.
  • How would visitors actually find this photo album? There’s no way to feature a specific photo album on the main page.
  • If I want to “own” the Best Of album, how do I keep members from accidentally adding photos?
  • How does an “internal” photo album promote the meetup to the outside world?
  • We have a lot of great videos. How can we feature those, too?
  • Yet another thing for me to manage? How much time is this going to take per week?

Enter Pinterest

In a matter of seconds, I created a Hiking Tennessee pinboard, and began adding content to it.

Pinterest board that indirectly promotes Nashville Hiking Meetup

Seconds after that, a few of my followers on Pinterest had re-pinned, or essentially shared (or liked), images and videos from my new board. This could catch on.

One of the most valuable features of pinning content is that the pins point back to your original post or source page. So if someone wants to click through, they are taken to our meetup page or to our YouTube page or Flickr page; wherever the original media is posted. Marketers love this feature because it ideally leads the visitor to a conversion page: make a purchase, become a member, sign up for an email newsletter, “like” my Facebook page, etc.

Pinterest is also so stripped down of features that it’s easy to get started. I love the “Pin it” button that you can drag to your browser’s tool bar to pin anything while you’re browsing the web. (Note, I’ve had some compatibility issues between the “Pin it” button and Chrome. It won’t find compatible media on some pages so I just switch over to Firefox temporarily.)

Instant “Best of” album

I’ll be very interested to see, in Google Analytics, how many referral visitors Pinterest ends up sending to Nashville Hiking Meetup. Just a handful so far, but stay tuned.

Create your own greatest hits pinboard and post a link to it in the comments section.

See Kelly Stewart’s Google+ profile.

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Five ways to Recycle Content to Promote your Group on Social Networks

I love the connections that I’ve created between my main meetup site and outside networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr (and I don’t necessarily mean technology connections). I used to lament that if I wasn’t able to post on the social tubes about a new event on my meetup, then I didn’t have anything to “talk” about.

That all changed when it dawned on me that I have tons of content that can be recycled or reused. Over the years members have uploaded thousands of photos to Nashville Hiking Meetup. Why not post some of the favorites from the past to Facebook or Twitter? I’ve posted almost 60 videos to our YouTube channel. They may not be new to me but with us adding 2.4 members per day on average to Nashville Hiking Meetup, those older videos are new to many people.

Here are five ways to reuse or recycle content:

  1. Post a photo of the day on your Facebook page. Simply grab a photo’s URL from Meetup.com or Flickr or wherever and post it on the social networks. As an extra added bonus, be sure to credit the photographer.
  2. Post video clips from YouTube from your previous events. If you’re not already shooting and uploading short videos (under two minutes is my recommendation) then definitely start shooting or ask one of your members to help you out.
  3. Post links to newsworthy items on your Twitter or Facebook. I set up Google Alerts to email me when certain keywords are found in news articles, press releases, etc. If I think the story would be relevant to my members, I’ll post the URL on our social pages along with my comment on the article.
  4. Automate postings using a tool such as RSS Graffiti, which continuously monitors any RSS or Atom feed and will post anything new to your walls.
  5. Create a publishing schedule and “pre-post” items out in the future using a product such as RavenTools. I love Raven because I can schedule posts days or weeks ahead and I know even if I’m away from my computer the social networks still get fed.

What are some of your ideas for recycling content in order to feed the social networks? Let me know in the comments.

See Kelly Stewart’s Google+ profile.

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How to create a new photo album on a Facebook fan or business page

August 4, 2011 update! Facebook has put back in the ability to create a new album at the time you upload a batch of photos:

The NEW upload photos function, showing the ability to create an album.

Original Post:

Frustrating, I know, but sometime after March 2011, Facebook removed the “Create Album” button on the photos feature of the fan/business page. As of this post, seemingly you can only upload photos to your Wall Photos album on your fan page (remember I’m talking about a fan page, not your personal profile page). Note, I’m using “fan page” to represent any sort of business page that you administrate on Facebook.

I finally figured out a workaround and like most tricks, is very simple:

  1. Go to your fan page (like http://www.facebook.com/nashvillehiking) and click on the Photos button (usually under your branded image in the left hand column):

    The Photos link usually found in the left column of your fan page

    The Photos link usually found in the left column of your fan page

  2. Click Upload Photos in the upper right hand corner of your page:

    Upload photos button

    Upload photos button

  3. In the resulting dialog box, click Try the basic uploader:

    The Upload Photos dialog box in Facebook

    The Upload Photos dialog box in Facebook

  4. For some reason, the basic uploadergives you the ability to add an album. Here, name your album. Then add a location if you like:

    The Create Album form in Facebook

    The Create Album form in Facebook

  5. Then upload at least one image to your new album.
  6. Once you’ve created this new album, you can then add new images to that album without using the basic uploader.

Does it work for you? Please leave me comments below.


See Kelly Stewart’s Google+ profile.

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