Software Niagara is now in its fifth year. For the first four years, we survived without Meetup.com. This year we decided to bite the bullet and signup as an experiment. The experiment was originally supposed to go for six months, but we let it go on a bit longer.
After using Meetup.com for a good chunk of time, it's fair to say that we gave it a shot but it's just not a great fit for us. We did see our Meetup.com membership list grow to three times the size of our mailing list, and that did lead to a few new faces at our events, but we didn't see nearly the same levels of growth at our in-person events as we did on our group page.
At $15 USD per month, Meetup.com is not cheap. The cost of this falls onto our volunteers as we do not have financial sponsorship. With such a relatively steep price tag, Meetup.com provides little value beyond acquiring an audience.
Although Meetup.com has been valuable for acquiring members. The problem is that it does not allow exporting member lists with email addresses. This leaves us forever locked into the platform in order to keep communicating with our members. This is an ongoing cost that we do not want to continue to bear as long as this group exists.
In a nutshell, we want to have some control over our members list and member communications. We want to own our content. We want to own our brand. We want to control our destiny.
Coming July 2017, you will not find us on Meetup.com anymore. We are letting our subscription lapse. Please bookmark this website and check here for your local tech news and event listings. We will still be organizing our own events. DevTrx will be returning in Fall 2017. And more exciting new is to come.