Meetup meta: please think carefully when posting -- add desired time/title the first time

by jwhendy1 min read19th Apr 20119 comments


Personal Blog

There seem to here have been a fair amount of meetups posted with no times, and then re-posted with added times or slightly adjusted wording. Perhaps Google Reader is the problem (how I follow the top-level), but not only are there a lot of meetups (which has been talked about quite a bit lately), but these changed post titles show up as two separate entities. (Example)

For planners, please think carefully when announcing your meetup and post the time and the title you want on the first try, if possible. Thanks.


Perhaps a standard title format could be proposed that handled such things?

Meetup: [City/State/Country] [Time] [AM/PM] @ [Venue]

Or something like that? This would have the benefit of helping planners not forget anything important, but might have the added benefit that if a future implementation of some sort makes a meetup page or auto-scraped list of happenings, a standard format will make this easier.

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I disagree: if it's a first meetup (i.e. you have no idea how many people can make it), it would make sense to first post a thread in discussion asking for interest, asking about preferred dates etc., and then decide on a date taking answers (if any) into account.

When calling for the next Paris meetup, I followed the "official" script in this post, offering a date. As answers came in, it quickly became apparent that a couple weeks later was better for everybody, so I edited the post (and send out mails) to take this into account. The post was never promoted, which may be for the best since it's original date was cancelled.

But in retrospect, I should have asked for interest in discussion first, then once I had a better idea of attendance, post in the main section with the definitive date (which would have had more chances of being promoted). I'll put a new post in the main section anyway this coming weekend (the meetup is the week after that), but I feel that's spamming the main section more than is ideal.

(of course, a dedicated "meetups" subreddit would be the best)

Up voted as I hadn't considered that this is how planners were doing things -- namely, making a "blanket announcement" and then coming back with a specific time/date.

On the other hand, I consider far better tools to exist than top-level posts for actual planning. Couldn't posts, then, simply announce that a meetup will be occurring soon, then direct others off-site to a more suited tool for discussion and nailing down specifics?

Anyone who finds the first link will find the second and can track the resultant decision off-site.

On the other hand, yet again, I'm reminded that this is an issue with how feed readers track this stuff... so maybe my request is just silly. From the actual site's perspective, there's still only one post, so it simply contains more information once updated. It's only Google Reader that treats it as two posts.

In the end, I'm inclined to say that you've convinced me to change my mind. I didn't realize the purpose was for a two-part planning/announcement process and interpreted the evidence as signs of hasty composing of posts. I was wrong.

On the other hand, I consider far better tools to exist than top-level posts for actual planning.

For the DC meetup posts, I've been doing non-dated/locationed posts in discussion, then will post on the front page with specifics.

I also think that is perfectly reasonable -- use discussion for discussion.... then top-level for a "formal announcement." On the other hand, some have mentioned that they don't think everyone reads the discussion area and think they'll get more meetup attendees via top-level posts.

This is another reason I point to other tools -- those who want to receive updates about a meetup will, and only those for the group have to see such announcements, not everyone.

I really wonder who, stopping by LW for the first time, will need to see a top-level meetup post because they happen to live in that area and happen to have seen the LW site on the day where and announcement was near the top.

I think most people who want meetups in the first place would be willing to track such things elsewhere.

Sometimes proposing a date/time is helpful because it gets people into a more practical mode and starts off the discussion by having people say "yes that works for me"/"no I am busy then"

Agreed; that probably works best when you already know there are a lot of Lesswrongers in your area, which isn't the case in Paris (there were two of us at last meetup, so rescheduling to double attendance makes sense).

An alternative strategy for arranging the first meetup in your area is to state flatly that you'll be in a certain place between certain hours, with a book to read in case no-one shows up. You signal commitment and what have you got to lose?

That's what I did, but then two people said they would be available a couple of weeks afterwards, so I rescheduled anyway. I'm just saying enquiring about interest first might be more optimal in some cases (though I would recommend still fixing a time and place if no-one shows interest).

Speaking of meetups, I wonder if there should also be singularitarian meetups, advertised here and on SL4.