As discussed on Tuesday evening, I have investigated putting MHV events onto the Meetup site (http://www.meetup.com/).
I started to create a MHV page and got as far as the payments section. After abandoning it, I then magically got an email telling me I qualified for a discount “coupon” if I “act quickly” (I do love internet marketing).
Naturally, there are “plans” associated with different cost structures and billing cycles.
Here’s what we’d be up for for a year on the middle level plan - “Unlimited Members and Organisers” (The lower level plant is limited to 50 members which I think is too few to be useful in our context):
Amount billed today: $58.47 (with coupon discount)
Renews every 6 months at: $89.94
ie. $148.41 for the first year
(They only take credit cards, but I am happy to do this and get reimbursed if we go ahead)
Meetup tells me that it has 827 people in the Canberra region who match our target group (based on the keywords Robotics,Electronics,New Technology,Microcontrollers,DIY (Do It Yourself) Hacking,Arduino,Canberra,Makers,Makerspaces,3D Printing,DIY Technology …
which were the only ones I could find that were relevant.
What should we do? Meetup does offer a new avenue for getting the word out, even though it is “event” based. People who join our Meetup group would get invitations (and reminders) about our Maker Meetups and Community Meetings, if that is how we choose to use the page (we could also add workshops, etc).
On the other hand, weekly invitations and reminders might be overkill (spam) for people with a casual interest - in which case we could just limit our use of the page for notifying the (now) monthly “Maker Meetups”. But does that justify the $148 a year cost?
Although the “discount coupon” expires today (I think), I don’t think that fact should drive an immediate decision.
Perhaps we should discuss this again at the next Community Meeting. People who haven’t used Meetup would then have a chance to have a look at it and make up their minds about its value.