Meetup a Scam?

Blog Meetup appears to be a bit of a scam. “Venue voting” began today, and the three choices were suggested by no one in my local area. Reading the site, it tells me that “The MEETUP Venue Team hand-picked 11,409 venues worldwide.” More like, they solicited ad revenue from a bunch of restaurants in each municipality and are drumming up business for them. If that’s what’s going on, it really sucks. (UPDATE: Please read the comments…)

9 thoughts on “Meetup a Scam?”

  1. this is scott from meetup. sorry you feel that way. no, we are not getting paid by any venues yet. yes, we did try and pick 11,409 good venues. no, we’re not perfect BECAUSE WE HAD TO FIND 11,409 venues in over 500 cities for launch! overall, we’re a group of decent people trying to do something good, helpful, and innovative. there’s no scam. please do the right thing and reconsider your post. if there’s any confusion, email me at [email protected] or call me anytime at 917-678-4343. thank you.

  2. Wow. Quick response, Scott. Perhaps I did jump the gun a bit, but frankly, venues suggested by a central authority made (makes) me a bit nervous. It should be easier to suggest venues, I think. I hope Meetup will develop into a useful service, and I apologize if I’ve misunderstood your motives.

  3. I am sorry but this is backwards. I am not sure about the people who run Meetup, but when I organize an event I typically ask those who are or will be invited what location works for them. I am dissapointed with how this was setup.. I wish that the venues were actually choosen by those who would be attending, and not by the Meetup people. Second, I wish that they didn’t pick the time/date for me… I would like to know why Meetup happens to fall on the exact same day and time of my local Portland Blogger meet… talk about disrupting and dispursing. Common, this is a 2 way medium… poll the participants.

  4. I find it fascinating that anyone would WANT to pick 11,000 venues for 500 cities. That’s a huge endeavor! Seems like it would just be easier to connect with “hosts” in the 500 cities and get people involved on a sort of grassroots level to help pick venues, etc. That’s how my event planner mind works, anyway.

  5. nick: i realize that you’d do it differently if it were organizing an event in 1 city around 1 topic. but the only way we could justify building something like this was to build it for as many topics & cities as possible. we couldn’t let there be open venue suggestions because there’d be a ton of unstandardized crap in there. and we’re sorry for the conflict with the Portland blogger meet, but we had to pick 1 day for the meeutp in 500+ cities. sorry.

    sooz: yes, it is quite an endeavor! and we wish we could have made a good product without having to do all the work we did. the fact is, there’s no way to find 500+ local hosts without the risk of having a host be a jerk.

    overall, this is a case of version 1.0 of something that’s actually working — yes, it’ll get better — but please just take advantage of it & have some fun with it

  6. I’m curious about how MEETUP is handling situations where there is already an active community that meets up regularly. In Dallas, we have at least 30 bloggers that gather once a month, on the third Wednesday of the month. Now, MEETUP has scheduled a monthly gathering on the third Thursday of the month. Is it really necessary to have more than one group meeting?

    I’m also not sure how it is going to succeed without any one person driving its progress.

    (Disclosure: I organize that Dallas group.)

  7. Oh, yeah … disclaimer: good point! I co-host the Boston Blogs.com gatherings. So, I guess in theory we are “competing” if we don’t adjust our schedules and join the MEETUP party. The “blog” topic is of course just one of a zillion over at MEETUP. Maybe this is less of a big deal for the other topics. Though as I blathered on about on my capricious.org website, the venue options for Boston made me laugh. Especially the divey bar in “Southie” that is one of the 3 options. I think a model similiar to about.com “guides” would make MEETUP really cool.

  8. This is what it says on the meet up site….

    I am gonna set up separate voting on the gta site

    Who chooses the candidate venues?
    The MEETUP Venue Team hand-picked 11,409 venues worldwide. (We’re also taking suggestions from users!) Then, our magic computer chooses these three venues based on availability and appropriateness for the topic. It’s not perfect. That’s where YOU come in: Help pick the best venue(s) for your city. The actual MEETUP venue(s) are open to a vote. We never force a MEETUP to be at any particular place in any town.

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