Meetup’s New Fees, Travels and the Mobile Media Conference

This is old news as of a couple weeks ago but I haven’t had a chance to write about it until now. Meetup is now charging a monthly fee to organizers. I currently run one Meetup group: The Boston Wi-Fi Meetup and I plan to pay the $9/month (it goes up to $19/month in 2007). Some people seem to think it’s a tragedy that Meetup is asking us to pay. I have no problem with the fee. They’re even setting things up so that group members can chip in. What’s the big deal? Meetup has done a great job of attracting a lot of people to their site and there’s no way I could ever reach out to everyone in the Boston area interested in WiFi on my own or even with the help of our newish BostonWAG organization. I appreciate the services they provide. Maybe Meetup could have done a better job of getting money out of venues and advertisers; but $9/month is really not a big deal. If you can’t find $9 worth of value in what they offer then I don’t really see why you’d use their service in the first place. Nine dollars! I’m sure we could find individuals or companies who might like to sponsor the Boston Wi-Fi Meetup to offset the costs, too.

The people who are whining about this remind me about the people I’ve encountered who don’t understand (all that quickly) the value of WhizSpark’s services either.

In more recent news, Michael and I concluded our 10 day road trip this morning when he dropped me off at Dulles Airport at 6AM so I could catch a 7AM flight to Los Angeles for The Media Center’s (@ American Press Institute) Mobile Media Conference. I discovered earlier that I forgot the USB cord thingie to download audio files for podcasts in Michael’s car. So, unless I find a Radio Shack that sells the cord relatively cheaply, audio tidbits will have to wait until Sunday. Hopefully I don’t sound like a broken record but mega thanks to Susan Mernit for inviting me to speak on a panel with her at the conference about community wireless. I’m excited (albiet very sleepy) to be here! Also, it’s worth noting that Susan does the best job of introducing people in the hallways between sessions, etc. I really admire her down-to-earth and approachable style.