New and improved email settings management
We are excited to announce a new, streamlined Email Settings page for managing your Meetup email and communications options.
You’re now able to opt in and out of different sorts of emails for each of your Meetup Groups from one Email settings page, instead of hopping to each Meetup Group individually:
Suggested Meetups on your member calendar
We just made it even easier to discover new Meetups. The member calendar on your home page now features Suggested Meetups based upon your interests and location:
Suggested Meetups are public events and will appear alongside Meetups from your current Group memberships. They are listed as ‘Suggested’ so you can easily gauge whether you can attend. Click ‘RSVP’ to be directed to the Suggested Meetup’s details, where you can RSVP and join the Group in one simple step. To enable or disable suggestions, simply toggle the switch at the top of your calendar to ‘on’ or ‘off’.
There are so many fantastic things happening in your neighborhood! The perfect Meetup for you might already be suggested on your calendar. Find out over here.
All Meetup Groups now have the new look!
I’m pleased to announce that today we’ve wrapped up a long and extensive process of evolving Meetup Group home pages and event pages to better reflect the vibrancy of Meetup Groups and their Meetups.
This all started back in the winter with feedback and research from the Meetup community. In June, we unveiled a new look for Meetup Group home pages and invited Organizers and members to try it out and send us their feedback.
Over the past three months, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Organizers and members sent in tons of feedback, and we made further updates to the new look based on what we saw and heard.
We also monitored how the changes impacted the Meetup community. In August, we were happy to report that Meetups with the new home page layout were attracting more members than Meetup Groups that had not made the switch.
As of today, all Meetup Groups are now on the new layout.
Building a community from scratch is hard and sometimes thankless work. As a Meetup Organizer, I know that it is also incredibly rewarding. We are a small team here at Meetup HQ and we are inspired by the thousands of Meetups happening every month.
We invite you to keep providing feedback on how we can help make your Meetups even more successful and we will continue to do everything in our power to make them better and more rewarding. If you have feedback on these changes that you would like to share, you will find a contact form on your Meetup Group home page for the upcoming week where you can easily reach us. You can also find us through the Community Team’s Help and Resources section or on Meetup’s UserVoice.
P.S. A full timeline of this process is available here, and you can check out the full list of updates that have been introduced.
Learn more about Meetup attendees
Now, when you’re looking at an upcoming or past Meetup, you can easily learn more about the attendees!
From any upcoming or past Meetup page, simply hover over any member in the attendee list. A box will appear with information about that particular member, pulled from that member’s profile in the Meetup Group. To learn more, you can always click the member’s name or photo to visit his or her full member profile page.
Updates to Meetup announcements
We’ve made some changes to how Organizers are able to announce newly created Meetups to their Meetup Group’s members.
First, you’ll notice that once you schedule a new Meetup, you are shown a dialog box. This dialog box allows you to easily send your Meetup Group members an email to notify them of the new Meetup. Organizers can include a custom message in the email. Here’s how it looks:
If you don’t want to announce the new Meetup right away, you can come back to it later. The ‘Announce Meetup’ button will stay on the page with the Meetup’s details until the Meetup is announced. Here’s how the prompt to announce a Meetup looks:
We’ve also updated the email template for the announcement email itself.
Now, Meetup announcements from Organizers will have the same look as many of the other emails we send out. Here’s an example of an announcement email, complete with a custom message from the Meetup’s Organizer:
Invite your friends to Meetups
Going to a Meetup alone for the first time can be intimidating. And even if you’ve been to dozens of Meetups, you probably know someone who might enjoy attending a Meetup with you. Now when you RSVP Yes for a Meetup, you can quickly search for and invite individual Facebook friends to join you at the Meetup!
Here’s how it works:
Once you’ve RSVPed for a Meetup, you’ll see a confirmation page. Towards the bottom, you’ll see the option to invite friends from Facebook to join you at the Meetup:
Once you’ve connected your Facebook account with your Meetup account, the confirmation page will pop up a random selection of your Facebook friends.
Beneath each friend, there’s a button to ‘Invite’ that friend to join you at the Meetup. You can scroll through all of your friends by clicking ‘More friends’ in the bottom right:
Or, you can search for a specific friend by typing his or her name in the search box:
Clicking ‘Invite’ beneath your friend’s photo posts an invitation to your friend’s Facebook wall. For public Meetup Groups, the wall post looks like this:
The post lists the Meetup Group and the specific Meetup’s details, and links your friend to the page with that specific event’s details.
If you invite a friend to a Meetup in a private Meetup Group, the wall post looks pretty similar, but doesn’t include specific details about the event. Instead, wall posts created by inviting your friends to a private Meetup Group link to the Meetup Group’s home page, and includes a bit of that Meetup Group’s public description.
Tegan is on Meetup’s Community team.
A new design for Meetup event pages
Starting today, we’ll be rolling out a new version of Meetup event pages for groups. The new version includes a cleaner, map-free layout and simpler RSVPing. We also reorganized the tools so it’s easier to find frequently-used editing options. Here’s what Organizers will notice:
1. Reorganized tools - The most common actions are now just one click away, which should make it easier to Edit, Cancel, Feature, Export and Share Meetups. Above the list of attendees you’ll find RSVP-related options in the ‘Tools’ dropdown menu, along with a button to ‘Email Attendees’.
2. Basic information more prominent - The date, location and description of the Meetup are now front and center, and all three can still be updated right from the page. Organizer-only options like waiting lists and event fees can be edited by clicking ‘Edit’ at the top of the page.
3. Streamlined description editor - The Meetup description editor now includes a more prominent ‘Add image’ option. You can upload photos from your computer or select any image from the group’s photo albums. Additional options for editing the Meetup description are still available by clicking ‘Edit’.
Here’s what members and potential members will notice:
4. Easier RSVPing - The RSVP box is easier to locate on the top right corner of the page. Members can RSVP by answering ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the question “Will you attend?” and clicking the RSVP button.
5. Days left and Spots left - Similar to the new Meetup group home page, days left and spots left are displayed next to the RSVP button.
Everyone will see the new event page layout for all of their Meetups starting today.
Updates to Sponsors and Perks
Now it is easier for members to distinguish between a Meetup’s Sponsors and Perks!
On your Meetup’s home page, a new section titled ‘Membership Perks’ will display up to three randomly selected Perks and direct offers from Sponsors.
Sponsorships from Meetup and Sponsors uploaded by Organizers will continue to be shown in the ‘Our Sponsors’ section.
On your Meetup’s ‘Sponsors’ page, Sponsorships and Membership Perks are also separated into two sections.
For more information about Perks and Sponsors, check out our Help and resources section here.
Mark is a Product Manager at Meetup.
New look for Meetup Groups (Updated 9/7/2011)
Over the next few weeks we will roll out a new look for Meetup Group home pages. The new look is intended to better reflect the vibrancy of Meetup Groups, and holistically address some key issues raised by the Meetup community.
The maps are gone. Customizable headlines are back. Recent activity and photos are more prominent while keeping Meetups front and center. We’ve created a quick video tour that gives a run down on what’s new.
(If you want to check out a full list of the updates, click here)
We’ll be asking Organizers over the next few weeks to opt in, give the updated look a try, and send us feedback on how it affects your Meetups. We’ll monitor the new look’s impact and make revisions based on what we see and hear. The plan is to have every Meetup Group on the updated layout this summer.
We realize the changes we made a few months back created a lot of stress and frustration for Meetup Organizers and members, and we’re sorry about that. Every change we make to the Meetup platform is aimed at fostering robust local community. Sometimes we nail it. Sometimes, we miss the mark, but we are committed to doing everything in our power to help Organizers and Meetups succeed.
Organizers and members work tirelessly to make Meetups happen. We’re proud that we’ve helped spark millions of Meetups so far, and look forward to working with our community to spark millions more.
Special thanks to everyone who provided feedback through UserVoice, online and in usability testing. We could not have done this without you.
Up next: a new layout for Meetup event details pages. Stay tuned for that. We’ll roll it out when the transition to the new Meetup Group home layout is finished.
UPDATE 6/14/2011 - Over the last few weeks we’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response regarding the new look. We’ve made a few additional modifications based on the the feedback we’ve received. The full list of updates here includes all of the latest changes.
As of today, we will make the new look available for all Organizers. Please give it a try and let us know how it impacts your Meetup Group. Thanks again to everyone who has provided feedback and insight!
Next up: updates to the layout for event details pages. Keep an eye out for those changes in the coming weeks.
UPDATE 8/8/2011 - We’ve made a few additional changes to the layout in the last few weeks: our latest enhancements include an expanded calendar view and improvements to the feed so you can see more information at a glance. We’ve also upgraded the photo logic to showcase even more recent images.
We’ve had some time to measure how the recent changes have impacted Meetup Groups across the Meetup platform: Meetup Groups with the new look are attracting even more new members than Groups who haven’t made the switch. Due to the success of the trial, we will be switching all Meetup Groups to the new look on August 30th September 7th. (See below.)
To everyone who contributed ideas and input throughout this process: thank you! We couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback and response from the Meetup community.
UPDATE 8/24/2011 - We’re down to the wire!
If you’re an Organizer but you haven’t tried the new look yet, you’ve got two weeks to take it for a test drive before it goes into effect for all Meetup Groups. Just head to your Meetup Group home page and click the ‘Try it out’ button.
We’ve revised the timeline slightly: on Wednesday, September 7th, all Meetup Groups will be switched to the new three-column layout automatically.
We’re live! The new look is now in effect for all Meetup Groups. Get details here.
Andres is Meetup’s VP of Strategy & Community.
Updates to New Meetup
Since the launch of New Meetup, we have been listening to as much feedback as we can, whether it be on our message boards or on UserVoice. I realize we have not been as communicative as we should have been regarding our next steps, but we wanted to make sure we had an opportunity to hear from everyone, and it takes more than a few days for all Organizers to check in on the site and have an opportunity to give us feedback.
Over the past few days, you may have noticed a flurry of enhancements, bug fixes, and changes rolling out in a fairly steady stream. On Monday alone, we had over 8 launches to the site pushing literally hundreds of changes. Most all of these are directly driven by feedback from Organizers. While we don’t have plans to completely revert the changes from New Meetup, we do realize that we didn’t get it completely right, and are committed to fixing the legitimate problems and complaints we are hearing from you. In order to keep you as informed as possible, we want to list out the larger of those changes here.
First though, I want to address one big misconception that I have heard more than a few times. We in no way set out to indicate that we are devaluing Organizers. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I strongly believe (and this sentiment is shared by all at Meetup HQ) that Organizers are the SOLE reason Meetup is such an awesome platform. The work you all do is amazing and is not something that technology or flashy design can ever hope to replicate. I completely recognize that in some cases, we made mistakes that may have made it feel like this wasn’t the case. For that I apologize.
Now, that said, here are the bigger things we have changed in past few days, as well a bit about some of what is coming. Over the past few days:
- We brought back the link to your calendar to every page. We assumed that by moving the calendar to the home page of your group that that would be enough visibility, and we were wrong. Now you will see a permanent link to the calendar in the group information box on the left side of every page on your group. Combined with putting the calendar directly on the group home page, it should have more visibility now than ever before.
- We brought back roles and titles to the RSVP list. These should never have been removed, and honestly, it was a bit of an oversight that they disappeared.
- Similarly, we are bringing back the list of event hosts for a Meetup. They are already almost completely back on your event pages, and should be added to your group home pages shortly (showing these on the group home page is something that did not exist prior to New Meetup). Also, the ‘helped plan’ copy is for the most part gone from the site.
- We shortened the list of Meetups on your group home page in order to pull the activity feed higher up the page. We hope to down the road add ability for the Organizer to set the exact count of Meetups to show, but for now, this should help. Similarly, we cleaned up the language and design shown on group home pages when you have no Meetups at all on your calendar. It is now much more subtle.
- We cleaned up the welcome email your members get when they join your group. If you have something written, we will not add any additional language to the email.
- The auto-comments that were showing when you made edits to the Meetups are now removed if the edits were made by Organizers. Organizers now also have the ability to delete any of those auto-comments made by members.
- We brought back ‘How to find us’ on the event page. That should not have been removed, and it is now back.
Some things that are coming soon:
- Bringing back photos tied to the event page. We never actually showed these photos on the group home page, but we are now working to find a good way to do so. We also are looking to make this feature much better than it was in the past, and will likely allow multiple photos to show tied to the Meetup.
- We are adding more controls to the HTML editor for the event page. Things like changing colors/sizes of the font and adding photos to the description should get much easier.
- RSVPs will be added back to the activity feed.
- We are making the ‘Featured Meetup’ work better, including adding the ability to un-feature and to have more than one featured at any time.
This is just a small list, and as always, we will continue to make improvements to the site. We will continue to make these changes with one goal, in support of our mission: to spark Meetups everywhere about most everything. As I said, we firmly believe that the success of Organizers is (and always will be) pivotal to achieving that goal.
Please continue to let us hear your feedback. While we as a relatively small team can’t respond to everything, we are listening and paying attention to everything. You can continue to post your product suggestions here.
Going forward, you can track big updates via our blog and smaller updates over the next week here.
Again thanks for all your feedback. I’m sorry that the last week was bumpy and painful for some folks out there. That was certainly not our intention, and we are doing everything we can as quickly as we can to help resolve some of this pain.