I’d been hanging around on Meetup.com for my town for about a year, on the ‘waiting for a web design meetup’ and other lists, and a few weeks ago finally decided to bite the bullet and start a group myself (with one other coder as co-organizer).
So… this morning we had our first meeting over breakfast, and it went really well! Only five of the 9 that had RSVP’d yes or maybe showed up, but it was a good group and we had a great time. I just set up the second meeting and hopefully we’ll get a bigger turnout, but I was really pleased with the first one.
As far as Meetup.com, it has its pros and cons. One is that it’s really user-friendly and very simple to manage your group, communicate with everyone, set up meetings and RSVP’s/reminders. It has a few nice features like the message board and polling or profile questions.
The cons are that there aren’t forums – my group is interested in having that so we can post projects for review, post code snippets, book reviews, that kind of thing, and the message board is limited to only the one general topic. Also, that you can’t do anything with the site template, which is what I’d like to get my hands on…
One of our members has started a site on CollectiveX, which is a group/social networking platform, and we’ll be using that for our forums and other things that Meetup.com doesn’t offer. But I think for the time being we’ll keep the Meetup site too, as it really excels within its limited scope: getting people to join and get involved on a basic level. If you’re in the Northern Colorado area, consider joining us.