Unfortunately Dave, I don't think that meetup.com has anything to offer us that we are not doing already.
I have had a bad experience with meetup.com, as I am also a noder on E2. Looking forward to meeting up with some fellow noders in London, I arranged to go to the E2 meetup scheduled for Saturday 3rd August at 5:00 pm. I turned up at the venue (Pages Bar in Victoria) (albeit 20 minutes late) to find that another group had booked the venue, and were charging an admission. I walked away and found a different pub.
Apparently there were 2 E2 noders who did find each other
having paid the admission. I have since met up with Brit noders, who seem to have quite a good grape vine. Their verdict was also a distinct thumbs down for meetup.com.
Here are my criticisms of meetup.com:
- They are promising the Earth and delivering very little. Geeks of the world unite seems to be the message.
- The meeting on a given subject (Perlmonks, Slashdot, Buffy, E2, etc.) is always synchronised to the same date globally. Why? IMO this means that inevitably fewer people will be available to attend.
- The venue list (certainly for London at any rate) is piss poor. I have pointed the meetup.com help desk in the direction of Grub Street also saying that many of the venues I can give a personal report on as to suitability.
- When it comes to venue voting, you only get a choice of a random 3. There is no "none of these" category. I did look at a homebrewers meetup for London, but they did not offer a real ale pub.
In summary: local events are best organised by local groups. Larger scale events e.g. YAPC take months of planning.
The existing mechanisms of discussion forums (e.g. PM), mailing lists and IRC work better than a meta meetup site and a collection of mail bots.
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