I want to attend this meetup but I dont want to organize it! May 12, 2009 4:48 AM   Subscribe

10th Anniversary request: Adding a third stage for "Suggested Cities" to avoid the San Francisco effect.

Right now there are two stages for Cities: Planning Stage and Scheduled.
I suggest a third stage, prior to Planning stage. It can be called Suggested or Nominated.

The reason is that I fear that the leap from nothing into Planning stage may be too big a leap for many places in the world. Organizing takes some responsibility and, if nobody else shows interest, you may be left sort of 'holding the bag' - not able to migrate to a larger nearby meetup.

There's also the San Francisco effect. Lots of people in the area but nobody willing to step up. This may be happening for many European cities such as Paris where someone might want to gauge interest in a Paris meetup before stepping up as organizer.

The way it would work: Anyone can suggest a city. There is no responsibility that comes with it. Others can also register their interest in the same way as Planning and Scheduled cities. The thinking is that if someone sees that 20 people are actually showing interest in having a meeting in, say, Buenos Aires, then it takes less courage for one of those people to move it from Suggested to Planning stage.
posted by vacapinta to MetaFilter Gatherings at 4:48 AM (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

This sounds like a good idea, but I'm really hesitating to commit to it.
posted by disclaimer at 5:02 AM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'd find it useful as well, and here's why: I could organize an Indianapolis meetup if it's on the 17th, but I won't be available on the 18th or 19th. So I don't want to sign up as the organizer only to find that everyone else in the area wants it on the 18th. It would be nice to have a thread where we could gauge what date is best for people in the area before I decide whether I can take responsibility for it or not.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:21 AM on May 12, 2009

I think this is worth doing because after the 10th anniversary party, the Suggested meetups format could still be used. The design that went into the 10th webpage wouldn't be wasted.
posted by metastability at 5:48 AM on May 12, 2009

I would also like to register my interest in a meetup I'm not prepared to organize.
posted by scottreynen at 6:10 AM on May 12, 2009

I second this. Think of all those potential meetups out there, just waiting for someone to step out of the shuffling MeFite masses and organise them.

This also has the handy side effect of sidestepping the dreaded 'I want a meetup in City X, but what if I start organising it and no-one comes' effect.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:29 AM on May 12, 2009

It's not like the organizer is unchangeable by the admins if need be.
posted by smackfu at 6:45 AM on May 12, 2009

I think this is a really, really smart idea. Kind of like Eventful's Demand feature, but done up MeFi-style.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:45 AM on May 12, 2009

posted by mds35 at 6:51 AM on May 12, 2009

I agree with this. I'm new and I don't know Dallas very well but I really want to go to a 10th ann. meetup and no one has planned one close enough yet.
posted by shmurley at 7:00 AM on May 12, 2009

I like this and would use it to suggest a meetup I wouldn't otherwise.
posted by parudox at 7:12 AM on May 12, 2009

I'll be in Boston, but were I going to be in Dallas I would do it at the Gingerman.
posted by mds35 at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2009

I'd find it useful as well, and here's why: I could organize an Indianapolis meetup if it's on the 17th...
Funny, I've avoided putting Indy on the list, too, for other logistical reasons, but I'd love to just put it up there to show interest, if anyone else is looking and willing to organize.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:49 AM on May 12, 2009

Good idea! I'd like the ability to suggest one for Antarctica, but I'm already planning and attending another one.
posted by gman at 8:53 AM on May 12, 2009

posted by mds35 at 9:51 AM on May 12 [+] [!]

Exactly. Someone just needs to take the plunge and volunteer to be the "organizer" and twiddle those knobs and tweak the buttons and fiddle with the vacuum tubes. I jumped in for Boston just to get the ball rolling, knowing full well that if I had to bail, the mods could switch someone else to the job.* The "organizer" isn't the host or anything like that, it's just the person who compiles the information on the thread and keeps it, well, organized.

Not that I plan on bailing or anything, but my attentions are divided right now, and I'm grateful for all of the other participants in the thread who suggested places and made a few phone calls
posted by explosion at 9:11 AM on May 12, 2009

Ok Indianapolis, I started a threat. Let's move our planning over there.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:17 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Of course I meant "thread" -- no threats. I don't care if you come or not.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:20 AM on May 12, 2009

I actually did that by suggesting Petaluma (California, USA) as a North SF Bay Area alternative to San Francisco. I was hesitant to step up because I feared some baleful responsibility to make sure it goes on would fall on my shoulders, but what the heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained....
posted by Lynsey at 9:21 AM on May 12, 2009

Of course I meant "thread" -- no threats. I don't care if you come or not.
No. You were right the first time. Indy meetups are usually quite threatening.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2009

I nth this idea. The thing with SF is that all of the regular meet up folk are off to other cities this year.
posted by special-k at 9:36 AM on May 12, 2009

I think people are overthinking the "organizer" bit. It's really not much more than starting a metatalk thread and managing a little bit of the bill at the end. I mean, I get that people are generally anti-authority around here, but it's not like the organizer can rule a meetup with an iron fist.

Look at the couple meetups where one person is attending and will likely only garner one attendee due to the remoteness (like the Zanzibar one). What's the functional difference between suggesting Zanzibar and having that meetup in the planning stage?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:46 AM on May 12, 2009

but it's not like the organizer can rule a meetup with an iron fist.

I resign, then.
posted by desjardins at 9:50 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think it would be more for ambiguous rather than remote places -- areas where you might hold a meetup if there is enough interest, but from which you would otherwise travel to a meetup elsewhere. Organizing commits you (somewhat) to actually showing up.
posted by parudox at 10:06 AM on May 12, 2009

In all honesty, I like that it commits people a little bit to showing up. I could see the utility of having a suggested pile, but we already have 58 cities on the list, and since I'm kicking in $50-$100 for any party with more than a few attendees, I think we have enough parties as is, and if people are serious, they can start more, but I don't really want to encourage tons more parties just for the cost of it all.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:16 AM on May 12, 2009

Seconded. Balkanizing the planning process more in cases where there might be a centralized meetup and might not be is a bug, not a feature. It will mean that the people who did commit will get less feedback earlier on about whether people are coming, and less participation in the planning process.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2009

This functionality is just what we need in organising The Big European Meetup
posted by jouke at 11:10 AM on May 12, 2009

I suspect this feature would actually make The Big European Meetup slower and more difficult to definitively plan far enough in advance that people can still get good ticket prices, as discussion dies down as we wait to see what if any results the addition of a half-dozen more suggestions get, and then the discussion that would be taking place in the current thread continues between even smaller numbers of people in the suggestion threads.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 11:44 AM on May 12, 2009

You've got a point there.
posted by jouke at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2009

"...it's not like the organizer can rule a meetup with an iron fist."

Dammit, that was why I signed up.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 4:29 PM on May 12, 2009

it's not like the organizer can rule a meetup with an iron fist.

But I bought a velvet glove and everything!
posted by dersins at 5:09 PM on May 12, 2009

I'm kind of surprised there isn't one set for the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area - I wonder if this feature would bring people out of the woodwork.

I'm not very social, but maybe if there were a discussion and it sounded fun I'd join in... I'm pretty sure I shouldn't organize it myself, though, because I don't think I understand fun as others do. The last big thing I organized was Polka Night (my idea) in college. *I* enjoyed it.
posted by amtho at 8:16 PM on May 12, 2009

Got it, Matt. I guess I'm a bit disappointed at the current turnout among Europeans on the Continent - so far only Berlin - and was indeed looking for some way to flush them out. But jouke may be on the right track with his push toward a big continental European meetup. Also, the London meetup has already become a huge 3-day event....
posted by vacapinta at 2:12 AM on May 13, 2009

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