Charlie has a Poking the Bear post up where he suggests among other things disbanding the meetup as is.
Rather than comment point for point, I’ll just take a second to write up a couple of my own points.
The meetup as it stands today does do a few things very well and any future events/organizations will need to keep these in mind.
- Presenting at the meetup, even if it is not egalitarian, is still a significant milestone for a company seeking to gain exposure in the New York tech scene.
- It puts a diverse set of people in a room. One of the problems with relying on small, nimble groups of people is that it reduces the chances for fortuitous connections that might not occur at “Technical CEO/founders with blue eyes meetup”
- As mentioned in Charlie’s comments, it serves as the front door to the community.
The dynamic between nimble, flexible events as championed by Charlie/NextNY and the recurring, established meetup seems to indicate, clearly, there is a place for both. This new infrastructure and leadership of the meetup should focus on:
- Help organizers put on small events that work. Hold workshops for new organizers. Create a library of best practices. Manage the collective intelligence, even if it just means being the stewards of a wiki.
- Coordinate. Gary’s Guide is the closest thing we have to a comprehensive list of upcoming events, but there should be some dedicated energy to making sure that there is not too much overlap between events. We’ve all seen way too many of the same prolific presenters that go from event to event pitching to anyone that will have them. There also needs to be an easy way to provide better context for the events.
- Cultivate the conversation. One thing that NextNY does really well is police the threads for spam, self-promotion and non-helpful contributions.
- Fight the bottom-feeders. There is a fine line between offering “services” to the community versus being a pest. Building a reputation system for these events whereby getting banned is a possibility and is appropriately damaging is needed.
Overall, I feel like many in the community feel like that because the meetup group is going to have more structure and potentially going to get bigger that it is going to suck. It doesn’t have to be so.