[Ubuntu-US-CA] Fwd: Meetup.com seven month trial for Ubuntu California

Elizabeth K. Joseph lyz at ubuntu.com
Mon Jul 11 17:14:24 UTC 2016

Hi everyone,

I was asked about Ubuntu California's experience with Meetup.com and
I've shared my thoughts with the loco-contacts mailing list[0], and
included below.

Have any thoughts in addition to mine? I'd love to hear from you,
either here, on that list or in private.

[0] Everyone is welcome to join, not just leaders. The list discusses
general LoCo work/questions worldwide, sign up here:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth K. Joseph <lyz at ubuntu.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 10:08 AM
Subject: Meetup.com seven month trial for Ubuntu California
To: "Ubuntu local community team (LoCo) contacts"
<loco-contacts at lists.ubuntu.com>

Hi everyone,

I was having a more private chat about Ubuntu California's usage of
Meetup.com as a trial, but as I was writing out our experience I
realized it would be much more valuable in public, so here we go!

My experience in northern California[0] has been mixed, leaning
positive. The breakdown is pretty much what we expected when we began
this trial about seven months ago.

tl;dr: Right now the pros outweigh the cons as long as the LTP[1]
remains available to us and it's worth continuing.

Long version:


 - Increased attendance to events.

 - Greater reach for our events via Meetup.com's network effect of
recommending meetups to like-minded folks.

 - Lower barrier to entry for most folks to RSVP (no need to create
Ubuntu-specific accounts to RSVP with LTP).


 - Many open source folks up here simply refuse to use the platform.
They explain that it's because it's proprietary, a for-profit company
they don't want to be tracked by and/or "spams" them a lot with
reminders and groups it thinks are related to their interests. It's
not a small percentage who feel this way up here in the bay area, so I
still need to use LTP for my events, my announcements look like this:
(southern California may be different, the Pasadena Ubuntu Hour used
to use nothing, now they just use Meetup). It means more work for me,
but it's tolerable.

 - Highest percentage of no-shows I've ever seen for an RSVP system,
probably because it's so easy to say you're going, then not show up

 - The "location" for us is set to Los Angeles, so most of our early
members were from southern California, it took several events for
folks up north to start getting notified that the group existed and
was something they might want to join.


 - Again meetup is really built to be per-city, so with the location
of Los Angeles we've gotten both annoyed "San Francisco events are too
far away" (con) as well as "I'll be sure to check it out the next time
I'm up north!" (pro) comments.

 - I believe it met the RSVP needs of the UbuCon Summit and related
events (pro), but requires people to join the team in order to RSVP,
which meant lots of folks from other states and countries had to join
our team, unfortunate for them and made for artificial inflation of
team members early on (con).

[0] For those of you not aware of California geography, we're as big
as many countries, San Francisco and Silicon Valley are in northern
California, Los Angeles and San Diego are in southern California. I
take a plane when I travel from SF to LA :)

[1] LoCo Team Portal at http://loco.ubuntu.com/ which has it's own
problems. People continue to struggle with registration following the
Launchpad/Ubuntu SSO merge, so I've had to offer my email address as a
registration option for years. Things like the blogging aggregation
has been broken for over a year,  making the whole site look stale (I
opened ticket #28223, but someone in the community needs to actually
fix the platform by resolving ticket #26425: "Upgrade django version
used in LoCo Team Portal").

Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph || Lyz || pleia2

Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph || Lyz || pleia2

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