Addicted to novelty since 2001

Opinions of Upcoming.org

As you may have heard, the very popular real-world social networking site Meetup is starting to charge moolah to the tune of US $9/month. As you may also know, we use Meetup to loosely manage the Vancouver weblogger meetups (tonight’s is being merged with ye olde Beercasting–maybe they all should be?).

A meetup was scheduled tonight because of my biggest complaint about Meetup.com–they force you to book one event a month.

I’m not willing to pay CAN $130/year for what amounts to a fancy e-mail list. Has anyone tried Upcoming.org? I figured I’d migrate the list over there, after maybe taking a quick poll as to the future direction of the group.

8 Responses to “Opinions of Upcoming.org”

  1. Boris Mann

    It doesn’t do email. That might be fine, since we all read here anyway. It does do location and attendance, and you repeat all that anyway when you post here, so it’s not like we were using the facilities of Meetup in any case.

    Google Groups seems to be a non-offensive open mailing list thingie, which people could subscribe to if they wanted.

  2. Olaf

    I’m a [former] Meetup.com organizer as well. I’m giving up on them because I don’t want to pay for their services either. I’ve never used Upcoming.org, though I will check it out now that you mention it. My original idea (as in previous, not unique) was to simply devise my own scheduling and reminder service. With some sleight of hand and some fancy PHPishessness, I should be able to replicate that feature for my purposes.

  3. Travis Smith

    There’s usually more than 10 of us. Come on, $1 per person for what’s been up to now a really good service? Or ask The Whip to pay the $9 — the total bill comes to about $200 each time I’ve attended… More of my thoughts here.

    TTFN
    Travis

  4. Darren

    Here’s my reply to Travis, which makes more sense if you go read his post:

    The key, as far as I’m concerned, is that I’ve got no use for most of those features. In fact, with the exception of the new member drawing card, there’s nothing to keep me with Meetup. Furthermore, they’ve failed to address my major complaint, which is that they restrict meetups to once per month.

    More practically, I don’t want to be the guy collecting $5 from everybody for the Meetup fees. I want a minimum of functionality for zero cost. That’s apparently not too much to ask of plenty of other services, namely Gmail, Flickr, Bloglines, etc.

    If I was advising Meetup.com, I’d have told them to go with a Lite/Pro model. The Lite service is free, and only includes email notification. The Pro service has all the bells and whistles you describe and sells for $9/month or whatever. It’s a safer bet, as they’d retain way more eyeballs (for advertising) while still generating some revenue from interested groups.

    Ultimately, (unlike Flickr or MyBlogLog) they haven’t demonstrated enough value to me. If I take a survey and they’ve shown enough value to everybody else, then we’ll just stick with them.

  5. Rog

    I have no problems paying for a good, great or even adequate service. For instance, I intend on getting a Flickr pro account, even though I’m not a prolific photographer.

    I have no interest whatsoever in paying Meetup.com a dime. As Darren put it, I just don’t see that much of a value to thei service.

  6. Travis Smith

    I totally agree that the lite/pro model is a better way for them to go. I can also see how it would be hard for them to draw that line for this particular product — only notify lite users of half the meetings? ;) But there’s certainly some way to split lite from pro, and should have done that.

  7. Peter

    I don’t find the services offered by Meetup to be really useful at all. Like Boris mentioned you can get the same functionality by posting the information to your blog and use a free mailing list service like Google, Yahoo or MSN.

    Also, last week’s event with the beercasters/bloggers went really well, I don’t see a problem with joining the two groups (occasionally or permanently) especially considering that there is a great deal of overlap between the two.

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